As much as I was astounded by the accuracy, understanding and empathy shown by my consultant there were no answers. No medication to 'cure' me, no miracle remedy.
When I asked what he suggested the first thing he asked was whether I really had to work? Yes, I do, there's no question of me going part-time even, so that wasn't and still isn't an option.
However, he did start me on a journey to discover for myself what helps me most.
Firstly, because of the IBS symptoms he recommended avoiding meat and wheat. Easier said than done! However, having drastically reduced my intake of both I can now tell when I've succumbed to a little chicken or bread. The stomach cramps, bloating, diahorrea and or constipation returns the next day like a punishment. A warning that works, because I always try to avoid meat and wheat where I can and I do feel the benefit most of the time. Although, I still need the loo frequently.
He also suggested that I start researching FM. He recommended four books although there are alot of publications to choose from but he told me where to start.
The first book was called Self-Help For Your Nerves by Dr Claire Weekes.
Its a small book and is easy to read - I devoured it. In fact because I often read last thing at night and my concentration is not too good, I made myself some flash cards with pertinent notes, comments and hints on. I use these to remind myself when things feel bad.
This book introduced me to floating. Imagining myself doing something which I'm finding difficult, such as getting dressed when my head is hurting. The idea is to imagine yourself floating through the steps of getting dressed...... I'm not good at explaining things but if you're interested this is certainly a good book to start with.
I believe that my FM was caused by a prolonged stressful period of my life and therefore have to really try hard to manage my anxiety and stress levels and the tips in this book really help.
You could have called me a work-a-holic which I think exacerbated my FM and although I still have to work and I do really enjoy my job I try to keep my work-life perspective more under control. I've let go a little!
I used to be a worrier. I worried about everything, my kids, my work, my work affectuing my kids, money. You name it and I've worried about it. In fact, if I had nothing to worry about I'd worry that I had nothing to worry about.
My husband often says that he wishes I could be more easy going, more relaxed, just roll with the punches. That's my living nightmare; I like to know in advance whats happening and I like to plan for everything. I don't like plans changing at the last minute and I don't like being unprepared. This is something I'm still working on. Although I'm taking little steps forward; tomorrow I shall be giving a presentation to a large group of people without any notes. That will be a first for me!
Anyway, I'm on book two at the moment but I'm struggling with it as it is a heavier book, both in weight and content. I'll let you know how I'm getting on as I get through it, but it may take some time.
Great news; my husband and my youngest son both want to come to my local support group with me next week. They're keen to understand what I'm going through. This will be my first visit so I'm looking forward to it, although I am a little anxious; nothing new there then!
Well that's todays blog; I hope you're enjoying it. I'd love to hear more of your comments.