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The grief of losing another food from my diet

I have #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS which also triggers #Migraine s. When I got diagnosed I was started on the low fodmap diet and after elimination and reintroduction I could eat two of the six of the fodmap groups... and fodmaps are in almost everything. Over the years since I have started reacting to more and more foods. Now I react to all of the fodmaps, and even some in "low" fodmap quantities. I'm also no starch for my #axialSpondyloarthritis (#AnkylosingSpondylitis ). So my diet has become VERY limited.

This week I've identified another new trigger and lost yet another food: strawberries.

It may seem like such a small thing, but my heart is broken. I love strawberries and they have been a staple in my diet since I developed IBS. Now for some reason I'm reacting to them, even in a low fodmap quantity 💔

I struggle enough with food as it is. There is so much I can't have it's hard to find food I can eat without consequences and I'm bored of what I can eat. Strawberries were one of the few foods I still enjoyed and looked forward to eating. Now it feels like there are no treats left.

I miss food.

This is just another loss on the #ChronicIllness journey. And I will grieve for this one as I have all the others. And when I am done I will pick myself up and move forwards, because there's nothing else I can do 😞

(I've been working with a functional medicine practitioner for nearly a year to try and improve my gut health and be able to eat more foods long term, which may be why this setback is quite so deeply emotionally painful.)


Just tired...

And need a rant. Feel free to scroll by while I have a little pity party.

My #axialSpondyloarthritis flared a couple of weeks ago. Primarily in my neck causing headaches but also in all the other usual spots. So I'm on a steroid taper to treat the flare. That was going well until I had two nights of IBS attacks and migraines Sunday and Monday. Now my head hurts from AS again 😫 It feels like my head is in a vice and the base of my skull is being hit with a mallet ☠ I'm just so tired. Sleepy tired and tired of my head hurting. Tired of trying to push through and work. Tired of the pain and struggle. I just want my head to stop hurting!!!!!!

#ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #ChronicFatigue #Arthritis #AnkylosingSpondylitis #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS #Migraine #Headache


The things we do for others

What do you do that makes something a little harder for you, but easier/better for others? And is it worth it?

For example, I'm sometimes up in the night with IBS attacks and migraines. Sometimes I want a hot water bottle, but my partner sleeps lightly and wakes up to the sound of the kettle then struggles to fall back asleep. So tonight I tried making a hot water bottle by boiling water on the hob, pouring it into a jug and then into my hot water bottle. It was harder, took longer, and required more concentration. But I think the extra effort for me is worth it for not waking him.

Another example might be not asking for a meeting to be moved when it starts earlier than you usually do. For me that makes me more stressed out in the morning as I'm rushing more, and also means I have to cut my morning walk short, or skip it entirely. Reflecting on it: totally not worth it. In fact I now tend to ask to move meetings instead of suffering through.

Share your experiences and reflections with me ❤

#ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #ChronicFatigue #Arthritis #AnkylosingSpondylitis #axialSpondyloarthritis #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS #Migraine #CheckInWithMe


Pain is trying to break me again

Had a bad night last night thanks to IBS. Tonight I'm awake and downstairs at 2am thanks to AS. Also still got a headache. I feel like I've had a headache for weeks now. I'm so tired and have work tomorrow. Plus I only just had my big kicker medication (a biologic for AS) on Friday that I take fortnightly. I just want to feel better now please 😢

I want to sleep through the night
I want to fall asleep easily
I want to not increase my meds
I want to know how to help myself best (that one made me cry yesterday morning as IBS/migraine/headache wasn't done with me when I woke up)
I want to be able to exercise when I want
I want to be able to think. And think clearly
I want to stop struggling

I suppose all I can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep plodding along and listening to my body and doing what it asks of me. But oh, how emotionally tiring that is today.

Keep plodding along fellow fighters ❤

#ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #ChronicFatigue #Arthritis #AnkylosingSpondylitis #axialSpondyloarthritis #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS #Migraine #Headache


Feeling panicky 🙈

I feel panicky right now. Its been a weird emotional roller coaster day so far and it's not even lunchtime yet...

I had a TERRIBLE night thanks to #axialSpondyloarthritis - I was up for several hours trying to lessen the pain and then when I went back to bed I still couldn't sleep because I still hurt too much. Also not entirely sure whether my overnight headache was from AS or a migraine 🤷‍♀️ So I'm tired and in a lot of pain still (although less than overnight!). I was also really stiff when I got up this morning. Thankfully I had a really nice walk after breakfast: it was frosty and beautiful ❄ My TENS unit is what allowed me to get out and walk and I managed to stretch gently afterwards and get rid of most of the stiffness.

Next I had a zoom meeting at work which went well. Apparently my brain was the most awake out of everyone there 😂 A lot of us are suffering from holiday brain!

Then I started doing my actual work and asked some questions in the wrong channel and got told (nicely) where I'm supposed to ask. So now I feel all crazy panicky eventhough I can logically see that I'm smart, I'm doing well at my job, and I simply made a mistake because I didn't know something- I'm helping out a different team at the moment so new to how they work.

Also I've had a lot more tramadol than usual in the last 24hrs so I'm feeling very talkative- I don't get high anymore just talkative 😂 I wonder whether that's making my brain run at a million miles an hour which is causing some of the anxiety 🤔

I just want my mind and body to calm down and realise I'm not in danger and I don't need to fight flee or freeze

#ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #ChronicFatigue #Arthritis #AnkylosingSpondylitis #Anxiety #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS #Migraine


Fatigue: it's going to be a loooong day

Oh dear. I've put my main medication, adalimumab, on hold as I started getting a sore throat last week and possibly going down with something. Adalimumab is an immune suppressant and my rheumatologist says to stop taking it if ill. I was due adalimumab on Friday (it's taken fortnightly). Well I had an awful night last night: woke up in pain twice (at 2330 and again at 0300) and had to get up and get ice, take meds and move about/stretch/massage both times. I also think I had an IBS attack and migraine the first time too 🥴 Today my work consists of reading and understanding a specification and I'm tired and fatigued. Let's just say that's not going to go so well. Its 11am and I just had my first fatigue crash of the day: lying on the floor unable to move while my body reboots. It's going to be a long long day and an even longer week 😴

#AnkylosingSpondylitis #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #ChronicFatigue #axialSpondyloarthritis #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS #Migraine #Immunocompromised

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Disability friendly job search sites- recommendations please!

Disability community!! My company (Graphcore) are looking at advertising roles on a broader range of sites. Do you have a preferred disability friendly job search site that you use? Please share with me in the comments and I will pass it on.

PS Graphcore are hiring. We work in tech on AI. I have found them to be super supportive so do check them out if you're ever job hunting in the tech world.

#ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #ChronicFatigue #Disabled #Work #NowHiring #Arthritis #AnkylosingSpondylitis #axialSpondyloarthritis #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS #Migraine

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Hopelessness, help and gratitude

I feel pretty hopeless at the moment. Like there is no light at the end of the dark covid tunnel. Covid cases here in the UK have been bad since everything opened up in the summer. I am still mostly isolating at home due to being immune suppressed from a medication I use for my arthritis. (Side note: it's easy for people to say "it's OK to go out" but when it's your own life and health on the line, well it's an entirely different matter isn't it.)

I am VERY fortunate to have an understanding workplace. I work solely from home and it's not a problem at all. They also offer a lot of great benefits, one of which I made use of today. We have access to a free helpline that can connect us with a counsellor. I accessed that service today and it was so helpful. I'm no longer crying the entire time. I still feel trapped in the dark tunnel but now I know there is always someone I can talk to. Plus I'm getting some counselling sessions with someone starting soon. I need to grieve for the life I had before covid because I'll never get to go back to that. I don't know whether I'll get to go back to training trampolining or not. I really hope one day I can, but I worry that all the time I've had away means my body won't be able to handle it anymore.

Chronic illness is a never ending grief cycle for one reason or another. And its okay to ask for help.

If you need help today, I hope you can access it.

#ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #Arthritis #AnkylosingSpondylitis #axialSpondyloarthritis #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS #Migraine #MentalHealth


I am FREE 😄

Current feeling: "My f***s have runneth dry"
(Warning: this video is explicit)

This is actually a GOOD thing!!! I've been working with a hypnotherapist about a few issues, the root of which are being bullied as a kid at school (multiple schools and various ages). Tonight I've had a breakthrough (thanks to journalling) and quite frankly aimed at the bullies:

F*** you. You are small minded and I did not and will not play your games. I walked away then and I walk away now. You can not and will not EVER control or hurt me ever again. I am above you as I always have been. I am valid and valued just as I am. 🖕

#MentalHealth #Recovery #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #ChronicFatigue #Arthritis #AnkylosingSpondylitis #axialSpondyloarthritis #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS


Endless mindless scrolling

I feel like I'm endlessly scrolling the Internet (social media, news, here, etc.) today looking for something to make me feel better. Except I know that's not how it works. It works as a distraction and what I really need to do it figure out what to do.

So my problem today is this frustrating annoying sciatic pain (thanks to axial spondyloarthritis) that isn't responding to anything I've done for it (yet). It's been getting worse for the last 3 days. URGH. Added to that is I feel rather unmotivated with my work right now (a temporary situation thankfully). So mindless scrolling has filled up some of my time today, and all my lunchbreak. I'm also just not hungry. The pain is consuming my mental capacity, and I don't have any of the fun stuff to do at work at the moment so I can't distract myself with that. So mindless scrolling it has been.

It feels like I'm in a bit of a funk today and not sure how to get out. I know I should eat, but nothing sounds good. I know I should do some of the more boring stuff at work, but my concentration is poor. I know I should try other stuff to help the sciatic pain, but I just cba. Not sure what I'm going to do now, but I know I need to put my phone down and do something, anything, else. So here goes. I'll press post and put it down.

#ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #Arthritis #AnkylosingSpondylitis #axialSpondyloarthritis #sciatica #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS

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