With fibromyalgia awareness day this week, tomorrow in fact, I’ve been trying my hardest to work out what to do away from my usual blog posts to raise more awareness. At present my blog is aimed at those who already suffer from fibromyalgia and some of the gentle, naturopathic things we can all try in an attempt to keep the fibromyalgia under control. Some of this information may be useful to others but it doesn’t really get under the skin of what fibromyalgia can do to a person. I realised today that apart from my initial posts around diagnosis, see here and here I haven’t really done too much about how fibromyalgia affects me, as a wife, mother, worker, friend, keen socialiser, and human being.
So I thought I would start a series of posts about how fibromyalgia has affected my life in order to raise awareness, paying particular attention to the different aspects of life that fibromyalgia can invade as part of its wicked plan to knock us warriors off our feet. My aim with this series of posts is not to simply talk about myself, as although I am ready to share openly when people ask I’m not one to just rabble on about myself all the time, but to raise awareness into just how crippling and down right annoying fibromyalgia can be. This invisible illness is so unpredictable, and I don’t think anyone can ever have it truly under control but it can be managed. I would so love the world to understand, empathise, and be aware of just what figromyalgia is. Over time I am also hoping to use this space to share your stories, and highlight the truly evolving nature that fibromyalgia has for each individual affecting us all so differently. We also manage things very differently and although I am treating mine naturopathically there are warriors out there who have to use medication and have other chronic illnesses alongside fibromyalgia.
The aspects of my life I am hoping to cover include, but not limited to, family life, friendship, mental health, exercise, and work. For this week I thought I would share a little more about the me before and after fibromyalgia made an appearance and in the following weeks I’ll get more into the nitty gritty of it all, as well as talking about some things that help me to manage these aspects of my life as a fibro warrior. Obviously I can’t write about everything but I will write about the things that I think make me who I am. So here goes…….
My name is Sarah and I was born in Portsmouth, UK, in 1983. I have been blessed to have two brothers, Paul and Graham, and 4 step siblings through parents remarrying. I grew up in a working class background, and although I won’t dwell on it my childhood wasn’t the most stable (only through fault of one person who doesn’t deserve to be named let alone make an appearance in this positive space). I am still thankful for many things from that time of my life. I went to a state school and had a happy school life with friends who I am still in contact with today.
At 18 I met my husband and at 21 spread my wings and moved to London. I had just recently qualified as a midwife and was desperate to move to an exciting new place and to escape the hum drum of white working class life. I wanted to be surrounded by equality, acceptance and cultural differences. I began working at a marvellous busy central London Hospital and carried out many midwifery roles there. I am still part of this amazing team today in a Midwifery Sister position with incredible colleagues and surrounded by amazing women going through a life changing journey every day.
At 22 I married my beau, and we have been married for 11 and 1/2 happy years. After a long battle with IVF we found ourselves expecting twins, Edith and Emily, who were born in 2010. They make me proud (and frustrate me) every day.
In 2012, we sadly lost my younger brother to a chronic life limiting condition at the age of 19. I can hand on heart say that this is the most difficult experience I have ever had to journey through. Bereavement is exhausting.
I am a keen runner and have completed more races than I care to remember, along with my husband, and these races include four London Marathons. My last marathon was in April 2016 and my last race in June 2016.
In 2016 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after months of being unwell. Many people take years to be diagnosed but I am forever thankful to the support of my hospital colleagues without which I wouldn’t have been seen and assessed super quickly so that I could grow and move ahead with my life. Second to losing my brother, this is the most difficult journey I have ever had to experience, as prior to this I had always been healthy with no complaints except the odd niggle.
Fast forward to today. I still love to do all of the things above, but cannot do them as often as I want, if at all. I still work as a midwife but my days have to be very prescriptive and protected from risk to allow me to continue this work. I am obviously still a mother, wife, and friend, but find my tolerance levels lowered and I’m generally more antisocial, not through choice but through necessity. I do my best to save my grumpiness for close family and myself. I’m good at smiling.
Today I have a desire to share more than I have ever shared in my life. I want to learn. I want to love. And I want to live. I want to share this journey with you all, as the things I have learnt throughout this journey have almost served as an awakeneing. Anybody can benefit from what I have learnt and am still learning, whether you have a chronic ill was or not. I want to reach out to the chronic illness community and get to know you all. I am more content today than I have ever been in my life, and that doesn’t mean that each day isn’t a struggle, believe me it is, but with the right mindset and support I am able to manage this to the best of my abilities. Am I well? No. Will I ever get well? Probably not. Am I happy? Most definitely.
So this is me. Please pop along and say hello either in the comments section below, on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. I would love to get to know you and for us to go through this journey together, to learn from each other and to find peace and happiness with the hand we have been dealt in life.
This post can also be found along with many other inspiring blog posts on Fibro Bloggers Directory.