Travelling with illnesses: what I was told.

Help for sufferers, Posts, Travel, Travelling with illnesses series

So I’ve got an apology to make. I haven’t posted anything in over two weeks. This is partly because I have been suffering (more on that soon), but also because I’ve been jetsetting.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been in a beautiful little country called Laos, making an attempt to help those less fortunate than me. Not only has it been one of my lifelong goals to travel, but spending time there helped me to improve who I am as a person, and truly push my limits to the max.

Of course, traveling with fibro, or indeed any other chronic disability, can be a bit of a challenge. Whether it be the plane journey, the climate differences, or the new activities; travelling can be a pain (literally!).

Throughout the next week, I’m going to be sharing a little about what I did over in Laos, along with giving some helpful tips for you to remember the next time you’re abroad.

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions I was given whilst away, that you might like to try out for yourself…

1. Be mindful.

I was told that one of the most important parts of looking after your body involves being able to listen to what it has to tell you.

Next time you have a quiet five minutes, get yourself comfy and listen. Start by breathing slowly and deeply, counting your breaths and feeling your body relax as you do. Then, focus on each part of your body, starting at your toes and working up to your head, and allow yourself to feel what’s going on there. Forget about your stress, forget about the outside world, just focus on you. Once you reach the top of your crown, allow your mind to accept and then let go of those feelings, and then concentrate back on your breathing.

This time, try and empty your mind, and allow any new thoughts, feelings, or worries to float through your mind and be let go. Spend a few moments like this, allowing your mind and body to relax and push aside any mental or physical problems for the moment.

2. Get a massage.

Sometimes, having a massage can really help you to relax, and what better way is there to treat yourself than to soothe your body and ease any achy muscles? Next time you have some spare cash, book yourself in to your local spa; or if you prefer to spend a little less, get a close friend or family member to spend some time with you for a pamper evening, where you can help each other.

3. Try yoga.

Personally, I haven’t had the chance to properly test this one out yet, but loads of people have told me that it is worth the effort.

Start simple and spend five minutes each day stretching out your body and focusing on breathing exercises. As you adjust, build up your routine to focus on longer, more complicated yoga positions. If you need inspiration, just try searching your fave social media for some yoga advice, as it is a popular hobby that is widely available online.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share, or an idea to try? Or, maybe you have something to say about what I’ve shared? Let us know what you think in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and share if you enjoyed this read!

Thanks guys!

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Dealing with a diagnosis

Diagnosis, Posts

One of the first bridges I had to cross on my fibro journey happened when I had my initial diagnosis. You can probably relate: after days and weeks and months of consultations, yoh finally got a letter in the post. It isn’t anything special, in particular. Just a white envelope, stamped as usual and containing a message from the doctor. For me, it was what that message said which caused a problem.

My family and I had expected, if not hoped, that I would have fibromyalgia; not because it was the easy route, but because it meant that I didn’t have to worry any longer. What we weren’t expecting, however, was the impact that it would have on my mental state. Funnily enough, getting a diagnosis of a lifelong illness (and a painful one, at that) is a nasty experience.

I had a whirlwind of emotions that day; relief, regret, resignation, but most of all, it was the churning sensation in the pit of my stomach that hit me hardest. In the time it took for me to read that letter, my life had changed. I wasn’t the same person as I had been two minutes earlier. The bubbly, motivated, fast-paced girl everyone once knew and loved had been replaced by a walking misery.

Because how can you be happy when you have to spend the rest of your life in pain? What’s left to live for when laying in bed takes effort, and getting out of it is even worse? Why would anybody choose to spend the rest of their life suffering, knowing that there is no cure? It took me a long time to figure it out.

The answer is this: there is more to life than your own body and mind.

It’s selfish, I know, but as an 18 year old girl I only really knew what it meant to push onwards and upwards, to “achieve” and “progress”. For me, that had always meant a good career, a wealth of knowledge, and a secure home in which to build my empire. That was my future. What I now realise is that, as wonderful as all this sounds, there is more to life than the future. There is the now. Like that cheesy saying goes, “today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present”. It might sound silly, but it’s true. Don’t take what you have for granted and, likewise, don’t knock it. What you have is beautiful- the people, the places, and the sea of memories that you collect as you go. Most importantly, make the most of it. Don’t waste your time worrying about that thing you’ve forgotten, or why your fibro fog made you leave your keys in the fridge, instead, laugh about it and use it as an excuse to call your friend up.

So then, what does all this mean?

Well, at the end of the day, we’re all stuck here on this earth, and nobody really has it easy. Yeah, you might feel depressed, and yeah, you might not be able to make it downstairs today, but why let that get you down? Why be miserable when you can change that?

My advice to you? Change your today so you can achieve the tomorrow you’ve always dreamed of. But in the meantime, enjoy what you have, even if it’s only a handful of painkillers and a season or two of your favourite Netflix binge.