Wednesday 23 August 2017

Good Day vs Bad Day

 Good day

The above picture is how I usually look on a good day.

On a good day, I'll wake up in the morning; feeling like I can get through the day. My fatigue is bad, but not unbearable. It will take me about 15 mins to get out of bed and, once the dizziness is gone, I can go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. I will rest after this, and have a wash or shower once my pain meds have kicked in. The pain medication does not completely rid me of pain, but it makes me much more functional than I would be without it. 

I will need to rest, before getting my breakfast, and rest again, before drying my hair. After this, dressing, and makeup, I will have just enough energy to leave the house. On a really good day, which is rare, I will meet a friend for lunch. Anxiety means that I will need to be picked up by them, or given a lift by my dad, but the main thing is that socialising at all is possible. 

Once I'm home, I will rest for the duration of the day; having a few hours nap in the late afternoon if I'm able to sleep. Tea will be something easy to prepare/cook, or it might be a takeaway.

Bad day

The above picture is usually how I look on a bad day

My bad days tend to be very bad. I'm in a lot more pain, pain meds won't touch it (even though I will need to take more than on a good day). I'm dizzy, headache-y, shaky, nauseous, and absolutely exhausted. I will get up in the morning (my cat, Billie, demands it!) but it will take me at least double the time as a good day. I will struggle to stay awake through because of fatigue, but I will struggle to sleep, because of pain and nausea. I won't have the energy to shower or wash. I will make it to the living room for a coffee, brush my teeth after a rest, and "wash" myself with face wipes after another rest. Breakfast will be anything I can grab; such as an apple. It'll have to be something light. 

I will struggle to brush my hair, and I will find the comfiest, loose clothing I can find. The Fibromyalgia makes my skin very sore (as if I'm burnt and bruised all over), so I have to think about the tightness and the material in the clothes I wear. I will take my laptop into the living room, and try to concentrate on a programme, casual game or video clips. My mood will be low, because I'm not able to do much at all. I will feel fed up and I'll be likely to isolate myself from others. 

I will stay sat up for as long as I can, and then will go back to bed until teatime. I may be able to nap, but I'm very unlikely to feel much better for it.

Tea will be a takeaway, and my dad will have to wash up, as standing for more than a few minutes will make me so dizzy, I'm very likely to fall. 


Most of the time, my days are something between good and bad. I'm able to manage basic things, such as personal hygiene and preparing simple meals, but things like housework, socialising etc are extremely difficult or impossible. I manage my symptoms by balancing rest with trying to keep moving and doing my physio. I do this to lessen the chances of my joints seizing up, and also for general health. 

How do you manage the symptoms of your chronic illness/es? Do you have any hints and tips, that you  would like to share? Comment below!

Monday 21 August 2017

Ultrasound Therapy for Hip Bursitis - My experience

(TW: Mention of weight and exercise)

A little while ago, I noticed I was getting a different kind of pain in my hips. The pain radiated over my hips and halfway down the sides of my thighs. It did feel different to my usual pains from the Hypermobility Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I mentioned this at a medication review, and made an appointment with my GP. She examined my hips and asked me to do a couple of things to see if it affected my movement. Being hypermobile though, I still had a large range of movement. The GP said she suspected Hip Bursitis and referred me for physio.

Hip Bursitis ₁ is basically inflammation of the hip/s. There is a build-up of fluid and, with that and the inflammation, pain and tenderness occurs. It can be caused by a number of things; including injury or trauma. I don't remember knocking my hips on anything, so think mine was caused by the regular subluxations I have. My hips are very hypermobile, and apparently this is quite noticeable when I walk.

It was only a couple of weeks before my first physio appointment, thankfully, and I saw a lovely woman who knew about my conditions. She examined my hips and showed me an exercise I could do; in order to strengthen the muscles round them. She said it's quite rare to get bursitis in both hips (I guess I was just very unlucky!) but both my hips are equally hypermobile, so this is probably why.

She also booked me in for ultrasound ₂ sessions. I asked about this, because I'd never heard of it. I thought physiotherapy mainly involved exercise, but apparently there are other types of therapy that can be used. The physiotherapist told me that cold gel is put on my hip, then the ultrasound device is rubbed on both for 5 minutes each. It should help with reducing the inflammation. Some people only need one or two sessions to feel any sort of benefit, some need more.

I found the ultrasound very gentle, and relaxing to be honest. We started with me lying on my side, but this proved too painful, so I would have the sessions sitting down. The ultrasound device reminded me of the ones used for scans. Of course there's no screen, however. I found it a bit difficult to sit completely still; due to muscle twitches I experienced. I think this may be because of the Fibromyalgia. The physio understood though, and this didn't disrupt the sessions too much.

I had about 4 sessions, and although I still have a bit of the bursitis pain, it is a lot less painful than it was, when I started physio. I made sure I did the exercises too, which I think have also helped.

I've decided to see what kind of exercises I can tolerate, as well as the physio. I want to do this for general health, and to help me manage my weight. Since being on mood stabilisers, I've found my weight increasing and I want to try and lose that. Wish me luck!