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How fibro has changed my diet

My diet has been through never ending changes since I became ill, the more unwell I’ve become the more it’s changed.

A lot of changes have been positive. My diet now includes lots more fruit and vegetables, I usually manage my five a day if not more and I often start the day with a delicious home made smoothie made with a selection of bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pears and a handful of spinach thrown in for good measure. If I’m not well enough to make one I’ll try and grab an Innocent smoothie for lunch or Aldi do an even better tasting, and far cheaper, alternative. I have a Sainsburys basics blender that cost me £3.99 ten years ago that is still serving me well making smoothies to this day. I also try and add in extra vegetables where possible, into my homemade chilli, making stuffed peppers, into a pasta bake or a roast dinner.

But some changes have been for the worst, mainly because I’m not well enough to stand in the kitchen creating something from scratch for days, and often weeks on end. I slip and cut myself when just picking up a knife,and have a tendency to drop just about everything I pick up. My days have therefore sometimes become a blur of ready meals, noodles and frozen pizzas. And maybe a cheeky KFC or three. Whilst I do love a KFC (but hate the welfare of the animals they use), the selection of about three edible ready meals I can find has become boring.

I then had a light bulb moment. My grandma used to order in delicious and relatively healthy food that we’d share for dinner when she still lived on her own. So I got on the internet and hunted down Wiltshire Farm Foods and Oakhouse Foods and contacted both for a brochure. I checked out the nutritional values and it was a million time better than the ready meals from the supermarket, and the selection was amazing. Lots of vegetables and meals I haven’t been able to cook for months on end. The customer service is quite fabulous too, they are so helpful and friendly on both email and the phone, and I can easily place my order online.

The only downside I found was when one of them called me today, as lovely as the lady was she seemed quite shocked a young sounding person answered the phone and then asked if I was ordering for someone else, and then seemed even more shocked when I told her I as at work. Whilst I understand the elderly market is a huge market for these companies, lots of younger people and middle aged people are too unwell to make their own meals, and I think they are missing out on a lot of potential customers.

So my first order has been placed, two weeks of main meals (each one different) and a couple of sneaky puddings for just under £50. I’m looking forward to the variety and the ease of it all, meaning I can rest after I finish work and still eat a wholesome meal.

I also managed to get to Brighton Open Market on my way home from work today and my wife brought me a bag full of delicious fruit, including some huge lemons which I put in my water to help with detoxing.

I’ve also starting drinking herbal tea, well ginger tea to be precise. I bought some others but can’t stomach them, including a lemon and mandarin one. I’ll just wait for my lemon verbena plant to bloom so I can make my own sweet delicious lemon drinks later in the spring.

How have your diets changed since becoming ill? I’d love to hear how you’ve adapted your diet.

Karen xx

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Adventures with my walking stick

Some of you may remember meeting Little Johnny last year. He’s a pink flowery delight named by a good friend of mine, who I’m slowly learning to love, very slowly might I add.

He’s spent most of the winter collecting dust in the corner while I hobbled around, but the time came recently when I just got too ill and he had to venture out the house with me or I wouldn’t be leaving the house at all. This time he wasn’t shy, he was raring to go. He went to my friend’s amazing art exhibition (a friend called him a lovely cane!), he then went to my friends birthday party. I then had to spend the rest of the weekend in bed recovering.

Today was our biggest day yet, he went to work with me. It was a strange journey to work watching peoples reactions to me and my stick. An old man shoved me out the way so he could sit down at the bus stop, an student huffed and puffed behind me at the traffic lights when they couldn’t rush past and someone actually left their seat on the bus and moved because ‘I’m getting off in a minute’. They were still on the bus when I got off. Am I really that scary with my stick?! At least now I know how to clear a room!

On the way home it was less pleasant, a bus full of school kids and moms. No-one wanted to let me on the bus, everyone just stared intently  but no-one moved when I got on and needed to sit down. Anyone would think I have three heads (I checked, I don’t).

Maybe I’m looking into it too much, maybe no-one really noticed. But it felt that way, and I felt awkward and embarrassed. Probably less embarrassed than I would be tripping up and landing on the floor though, so I’m going to focus on the positives while I can.

Speaking of positives, another young woman joined me at the bus stop, and I got stick envy. It was lilac, a beautiful shade of lilac, and I want one!

So that’s just the beginning of the story with Johnny, I’m sure there will plenty more adventures to come, who knows, one day he might even get a friend.

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My Actipatch, Chronic Illness and Me

Recently I wrote about trying an Actipatch, and how it helped a little before coming to the conclusion I need a giant one for my entire body.

I had lots of feedback from people and found out you can buy patches designed for all parts of the body. Great, I thought, that’s my hips shoulders and knees sorted. Then I saw the cost of them. It would appear it would cost well over £100 a month for me to benefit from having one on every problem area. Not practical, and that is over 10% of my monthly wage! I could indeed sacrifice my yummy treat filled diet for ripping plasters off my body every day, but life with chronic illness has to be more than that surely?

Once my seven day trial was up, the light on the patch went out and it went off to the scrapyard in the sky. A little piece of me wants to go and buy another one, or three, but it’s really not an option. Instead I am sitting here in pain, waiting for my next doctors appointment to see what zombifying hallucinogenic drug they fancy prescribing me next. Pregabalin has given me so much more energy, but it would appear after a blow out week I’m not well enough to use that energy yet.

I’m hoping to work with the lovely Grace Quantock in the coming future to learn once and for all how to deal with chronic illness, live and work with it, accept I need ten times more rest than I currently give myself, and still be me.

I also try and practice yoga at least 5 times a week followed by a short meditation (Yoga Nidra is simply amazing). So far I’m finding this really calming, and I appear to be developing teeny tiny muscles from a rather lot of downward facing dog. It also helps stretch out my hips, shoulders and chest when they get locked in a relaxing and non-painful way.

My work for Fibro Action is going really well, and I can’t wait to go to the fibro conference next month and report back as much as possible (before brain fog makes me forget it). I’m taking my lap top with me so I can get on the forum each evening and give my lovely friends and forum buddies an update. If you want to keep up to date with the conference next month, and in the meantime the lovely forum, click on the Health Unlocked link below.

And finally, plans to open a little online business and market stall are well under way.Trinny’s Stationery Store will be beautiful stationery; pens, journals and everything a chronic lovely such as ourselves could need to get them through a day in bed while their mind is racing through thoughts. Eventually I’m hoping this will also include some lovely craft work from Wendy Lawrie to brighten up your day. But this story will continue in a couple of months time.

For now, check out the below links, go chat to my fabulous friends on the forum and keep in touch.

Have beautiful weekends!

Karen xx

Important links that are a must see (at your own leisure of course!):