Saturday, 30 August 2014

Fibromyalgia and travelling

Hiya me dears!

I thought I'd do a little series of 'How I deal with....' posts to do with everyday experiences with Fibromyalgia.

Today I want to talk about how I deal with travelling. This is quite apt as today I'm travelling to Plus North, which is at least a 5 hour car journey.

TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH FIBROMYALGIA


Buses

Buses and I are not friends. Jerky movements, standing up in the aisles, getting bounced about, it all adds up to an unhappy time for me. Given a choice of walking or catching a bus, I would always walk, even if I'm in pain. I have poor muscle control so 'putting on the toe brakes' like you do on public transport to stop you falling over is totally ineffective for me. Not many people would be happy about me landing in their laps or standing on their toes, plus the heat, noise and general sensory overload of being on a crowded bus would likely make me extremely nauseous, so it's best if I avoid buses for my sake and everyone else's.

Trains

I can do trains. They go mostly in straight lines (roundabouts make me want to barf!), tend to be chilly rather than hot (apart from in summer) and if you travel at the right time of day, you can almost guarantee getting a seat. I would of course avoid trains like the plague in rush hour.

Cars

I like cars! Providing I don't attempt to read anything whilst on the move (it causes a migraine and/or vomiting) or get in a car with a wannabe Lewis Hamilton, cars are my preferred transport of choice. Unfortunately I don't drive so I rely on my hubby to be my chauffeur, a job he usually enjoys as he knows how much I love being taken on drives. He's a good, smooth driver so he never makes me feel sick. We keep the temperature in the car on the cold side so I don't get nauseous. I always have a couple of pashminas on me which I throw over me when I get cold. Fibro folk often have problems regulating temperature so I can go from hot to cold and back again in just a few degrees. Hubby runs hotter than me anyway so he's OK with the car being a little on the cold side. I wear comfortable clothes in the car - leggings, a jersey dress and perhaps a comfy pair of boots. I tend to get quite cold feet in the car in the colder months so I prefer to wear socks and boots rather than bare feet and slip on shoes.

After dark I wear sunglasses as the oncoming lights from cars into my eyes like lasers and again that gives me a migraine and/or nausea. I must avoid using my phone to text or use social networks when we're on the move, unless I look out of the windscreen every few seconds or else - you guessed it - vomit or migraine time. As long as we schedule in rest stops to pee and for me to get the kinks out of my legs and back I can do a few hours in the car without being too crippled afterwards/the next day, but there is some damage as the vibrations from the roads do affect my body. We always have lots of water in the car, and snacks on a long drive, so we have just about all my needs covered.

Flying

I have yet to fly since I've been really ill. I last flew the year after Fibromyalgia started and I was much more well then. I'd imagine the main problems would be pain - from being crammed into a space only fit for a child and from sitting still for a long time. I'm not too keen to fly again, to be honest.

So, as you can see I avoid doing things which give me a migraine or make me nauseous. Unfortunately quite a lot of things do make me feel that way when it comes to moving from one place to another in a vehicle, but getting to see friends and family is well worth it!

Tips for travelling for other ill people

1. Keep a fleecy blanket or spare scarf in the car or in your bag. Fleece warms up really quickly next to the skin so is my favourite blanket of choice.

2. Keep water and snacks in a place where you can reach them whilst on the move.

3. If like me you have an unpredictable bladder, your emergency pee kit consists of:

Paper plates
Empty Oasis bottles or similar - the wider neck is essential
Toilet tissue and/or wet wipes
A plastic bag

Pull over to as private a place as possible. Fold a paper plate in half and make sure there's a good folded line for the pee to flow down. Place paper plate near your lady parts and the empty bottle underneath. Pee to your heart's content, making sure you won't overfill your bottle. Clean up, do the lid up nice and tightly and put everything in a waste bag until you can find a bin to dispose of everything. You can do this in or out of the car, depending on how certain you are the bottle is big enough! You can also buy She Wees and P Mates, both of which I've used many times. They both have their advantages - the She Wee is totally reusable as it's made of plastic, but the opening is too narrow for me so I end up peeing all over myself. The P Mates are made of card and can be reused a few times, but have such a wide opening they're my pee solution of choice on the go. You can also buy no-spill portable urinals, like this one. Of course, if you're a fella you can pee easily in bottles, you jammy buggers!

4. If you are a driver affected badly by oncoming headlights, see your optician for advice. As I'm just a passenger, I can avoid the problem by wearing sunglasses. I think I'm photosensitive - I have many problems with my eyes. Bright lights give me a headache and make me physically flinch away (day or night), I have poor dark-to-light adaptation in vision (which is probably why oncoming headlights feel like spears in the eyeballs) and I have really dry eyes too.

5. Rest. Travelling really takes it out of me, even if I'm just sitting in a car, so ordinarily I like to arrive the day before an event so I can have a good night's sleep beforehand. This isn't possible with Plus North so I'm just going to have to wing it! If you're a passenger and need to sleep in the car, having a blow up travel pillow in the glove box is a good idea. I generally fall asleep sitting up (I'm like a baby, as soon as there's movement I find it very easy to sleep) but I also use one of my spare scarves as a pillow if needed.

Fibro folk, what are your tips for travelling with Fibromyalgia?

Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo

Friday, 29 August 2014

St Thomas the Martyr church, Winchelsea

Happy Friday!

The days seem to be speeding past in a blur recently, probably as we've been so busy. Last Saturday we went to a place we've been to several times - St Thomas the Martyr church in Winchelsea. Normally we only visit the cemetery, but this time we went inside the church for the first time. It was crowded as there always seem to be walking groups gathered there, and also because Spike Milligan is buried here. I didn't take many photos inside so will show you the ones of outside the church. We'd never been all the way around the outer part of the church before so there are some new shots if you've seen me post about this place before. :)

The church used to be much bigger than it is now, as you can see from the large ruined parts of it. Ruins always fascinate me more than existing buildings as I can let my imagination run wild. I also love seeing how nature reclaims her own - trailing ivy meshes with windows which long since been open to the elements.










You can see here how much larger the church once was
















 Thanks for reading/looking.

Leah xoxo

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Out & About - Flower Show

Hiya!

We went to a flower show at St George's church in Brede on Sunday. Almost all the flower arrangements were inspired by children's books and there was a lot of creativity on show. There were flowers everywhere you could imagine - on windowsills, on special stands, in alcoves and even in the baptismal font (below).























It's also the church where my best friend Rach is getting married next year, so we had even more reason to scope it out. Now I know how gorgeous it is I'm even more excited about the wedding!

The people holding the flower show were so friendly, and I didn't creep around like a guilty sinner like I normally do in a church because they put me at ease. ;) On the way out we chatted to a couple of ladies who are also amateur camera-slingers and James gave them his tips on capturing lightning. (That reminds me, I still need to share the photos from the super-storm over a month ago.)

Flowers make me really happy, so I think I'm going to treat myself to a cheap bunch every few weeks throughout Autumn and Winter as an antidote to the misery of dark nights and S.A.D.

Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Outfit August 27th - duster coat

Hello honey buns,

I've had this duster jacket by Simply Be for a couple of months but only took it for a spin a couple of days ago as I was unsure how to style it. Then the weather took a turn and it was now or never! Laura is also going to be posting an outfit with this jacket, so do check out her post. 


Calling this a duster jacket is a bit of a misnomer. It's thin and light (it's not lined) and has barely any more substance than a kimono. Had I bought it at full price I would've been peeved, as I believe it was £50 originally. My only other bugbear with it is the pockets, which are on the seam and basically mean you're virtually getting to grips with your butt-ocks (Forrest Gump voice) to put your hands in them. However I love the length and the full length sleeves which can be rolled up. It's a great way to cover up without boiling when it is warm as it's lovely and airy. Call me an eternal optimist but I'm hoping this cold snap might bog off so I can get some more use out of this jacket.

Cue silly gif, just because.


Jacket, Simply Be
Dress, old Yours Clothing
Leggings, Very
Belt, from a New Look dress
Boots, old Tesco
Hair flower, eBay

We went to a flower festival at a local (ish) church the day these photos were taken and I will share more photos later on in the week. Most of the displays were based around books and the creativity was amazing.


Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo
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