GUEST BLOG - A guest blog post by Kirsty Neal-Duffill, a Fibromyalgia sufferer and all round warrior!!!
So as you’ve guessed, I'm Kirsty, and I'm literally so
honoured to have one of Corrina's beautiful bracelets created with
me in mind AND to name it after me too! (Like how amazing is
I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia in early 2018, but I
think it is pretty clear to me now - looking back - that it was
'hanging around' long before that!
Fibro absolutely flipping SUCKS! No day is ever the same and I
can never properly plan anything because I never know how I am
going to be from one day to the next; I might even have a good
few hours in the morning then *BOOM* the rest of the day is a
total write off!
Since my diagnosis I have tried many things to help me with any
level of the pain, some things work, some don't and also what
may work or help me, won't necessarily help another person with
I can have days which I class as more tolerable and I'm able to do
things with the pain just sorta 'niggling' in the background, in a
dull sense I suppose. But then I have days which are off the pain
scale - not tolerable at all - these days I'm either bed bound or
sofa bound and literally can do nothing but try and just rest.
What kind of things help me?
1. I know prescription medication and pain relief isn't for
everyone, but for the most part it does help me get by.
2. Electric heat blanket - this has been a game changer for me -
adjustable heat temperature, can be wrapped around me or just
focused on the area which is particularly causing me the most
3. Cool eye pads and under eye ones which can be popped in the
fridge, particularly good on flare up days with my face swelling.
4. LOOPS - helping me with sensory overload situations
5. Comfy blankets and clothes, PJs, lounge wear etc are KEY!
6. Portable fan, I have one small enough for my hand bag, one
that is a bit bigger like a desk fan - both which are charged via
USB - and I do (luckily) have a Dyson air conditioning big type fan
7. Walking stick - I am still extremely in self-conscious mode
about using this out and about, it will take me a while longer I
think, but it does help!
8. Sketchers trainers
9. Following on from feet - cooling foot spray for those horrible
10. Migraine forehead strips - I feel they are a must for every fibro
11. A sensory, wave motion, led type night light - like one you may
use for a kid's bedroom (that really helps to calm me down,
especially with heightened pain and sensory overload)
12. Water bottle to drink from with a flexi straw - so I can keep
hydrated whilst having to lie down
13. Hot tub &/or heated swimming pool as hydro water therapy!!!
14. Fibro friendly - ready to go - meals or snacks available to
hand, so I am still eating at least something especially if taking
I could list SO much more (maybe I'll do a feature on my Insta
grid!) - I'm sure I've probably missed some biggies out *fibro fog
moment* BUT I will try and get a grid post done for my page.
Ok, so as well as fibromyalgia and CFS, I also struggle with my
mental health - particularly anxiety. This is how I first came across
Breathe Bracelets and I'll tell you what, I have never looked back!
Not only are the bracelets beautifully designed, with different
selections of semi-precious stones and their properties; but the 10
breaths rule and meaning is now something of a routine for me. I
will try to do this for all 10 stones on my bracelet, but sometimes I
am unable to do so; but have been practicing lots the past couple
Touching and feeling the stones whilst trying to control my
breathing really does help me! At first. i'll admit, I wore the
bracelets as they look so pretty, then one day I just happened to
have a wave of anxiety come out of nowhere (and I was on my
own) . . . and as I looked down to reach my bag for my bottle of
water, I saw my bracelet on my wrist, remembered its purpose
and how it is there to help me - and the rest is history!
I am always wearing at least one bracelet from Breathe Bracelets,
and if I come into a situation causing me anxiety or even the
sensory overload which I was talking a bit about before, I use my
bracelet to help me at this moment in time.
Now I can't always find a quiet place, so sometimes this will be in
the middle of somewhere I am feeling uncomfortable i.e. which
has triggered my anxiety. I reach for my bracelet on my wrist,
touch and *hold on to* the first stone and try my best to - inhale,
pause, exhale slowly - then take a pause as I move onto the next
stone. I also repeat the words in my head too 'in/pause/out' as I
am doing the actions.
A little mention before I sign off, I am a big advocate for promoting
any which way I can ANY awareness around fibromyalgia, chronic
fatigue syndrome and mental health!
Living with these daily is a big thing in itself and I try my best to not let them, especially fibro, stop me from doing what I want or need to.
So if I can help raise awareness and show others that it's ok to have a rubbish day, it’s ok if your pain totally sucked today or even if it's to say "it's ok if
all you did was rest today" - I do post about it!
Social media these days is mostly full of 'picture perfect'
moments or you may feel you can only post certain things . . . To
be completely honest, if I hadn't of found the 'spoonie community'
when I did, I probably would refrain from posting things, which I
guess to people who don't suffer like this, would deem negative or
coming across as being a moaner, you know?!
Anyways, that's a bit of me and who Kirsty is! A huge thank you to
the lovely Corrina for this opportunity and for the beautiful bracelet
created because of me.