Healing Trauma to Be A Present Mum

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As we continue meeting people living in their messy middle with chronic illness, today we get to meet a long time member of the Melissa vs Fibromyalgia team. Nicole has been part of the Facebook group for some time and I always love hearing her point of view.

Nicoles best tips for managing fibromyalgia and 5 kids

Please outline your condition/s, how long you’ve been diagnosed and your experience in brief

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia when I was 19 after a trauma to my body. I was dropped off the OR bed being prepped for an emergency c section. After the meds wore off I had pain radiating from my back down my legs 100 percent of the time. I didn’t believe the diagnosis because to me (at 19) it sounded like the doctors thought it was “all in my head”. Other than the disc herniations due to the fall this was all I was given as a diagnosis at the time. After another trauma to my body the fibromyalgia was severely worse. I had an ectopic pregnancy that resulted in a fallopian tube rupture and I almost lost my life. I woke up from that surgery with excruciating pain from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. Along with the most severe pain that was in my neck. This is when I took the fibromyalgia diagnosis as truth as it was explained much differently to me by this Dr. I was also diagnosed with Hypermobile EDS which is been very difficult to live with as well. Along with other things that stem from both like anxiety, depression etc.

What is a silver lining of living with chronic illness?

This is a hard one. I suppose that I’ve been able to be present for my children’s (5) lives as I’ve immersed myself in healing trauma in my body which has allowed me to be a much more present mom.

I’ve immersed myself in healing trauma in my body which has allowed me to be a much more present mom.

What is a particularly difficult part, for you, of living with chronic illness/this journey?

Being a mom, hands down the most difficult.

What is your favourite form of self-care?

Walking in nature.

What is your best tool for pain management?

Ketamine infusions have been life changing. I use CBD, calm meditation app, eating clean and mostly paleo. Stress management and self care is key for me. Restorative yoga as well.

Try some yoga free here

What is your best tool for fatigue management?

Pacing. Which is so hard as a mom of 5 when my husband works out of town half of our lives.

How do you manage the competing demands in life with your health?

I have learned to say no to things and slow down my life substantially. I try to live in the moment and have gratitude for what is going right in my life because there are so many demands I can get so overwhelmed with them all.

Nicoles interview about fibromyalgia and kids

If you have had biological children, how did you experience pregnancy? What are your best tips?

I have 3 biological and my last pregnancy was very very hard. I was in so much pain the last three months. Self care was key, walking and eating anti inflammatory foods.

How did you get through the first year – best tips!

Oh my goodness what a blur that year was with all three. Lots of prayer! I hardly had time for any self care and was in survival mode the whole time. So honestly I don’t have many tips as most things went out the window for me because of the chaos.

What are your best tips for coping with small children?

Having a routine for them so I can routinely take care of me. Even when they aren’t napping anymore I implement quiet time so I can have time for self care. Taking guilt free breaks when necessary.

More helpful reads

25+ Self-Care Ideas for Busy Mamas

Pacing Training

Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Resource Page

healing trauma to be a present mum nicoles interview with fibromyalgia

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