Welcome to our second “Messy Middle” interview!
The point of this series is to share the experiences of other people in what I’m calling the “messy middle” we have people we are caring for, work demands, life demands, and our health conditions. Please don’t feel excluded if you don’t have children and/or don’t work etc. we want to hear all voices from our community.
Today’s interview is with Sarah from the UK – thank you so much for sharing your story with us, I’m so grateful!
Please introduce yourself – your age, location, familial situation and work situation
My name is Sarah and I’m 26. I live in Kent with my husband and work full time. I’m also studying to become a chartered accountant (9/13 exams completed so far!) and we’re trying to start a family.
Please outline your condition/s, how long you’ve been diagnosed and your experience in brief
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 5 years ago. I had surgery on my back when I was 20 for two slipped discs but the pain/exhaustion did not cease which led to my diagnosis. It was difficult to be taken seriously, my first doctor said I was “far too young to have fibromyalgia” and proceeded to change my medication continuously for three months trying to find one that didn’t cause these side effects. When I moved and changed doctors the first thing my new doctor said was “have you heard of fibromyalgia”. Since then I have been working hard to find a way to balance everything I need to do whilst managing to remain a functioning human being. I also suffer with mental health difficulties and coeliac disease (auto-immune disease preventing the digestion of gluten).
What is your favourite form of self-care?
I love to read a good book in a hot bath or snuggle on the sofa and watch TV.
What is your best tool for pain management?
I get most of my pain in my legs so a hot bath does wonders! I also noticed a big improvement when I started taking CBD. Obviously I’ve had to come off that to try for a baby and it’s been difficult swapping/coming off meds but I’ve managed and adjusted.
For more about pregnancy and fibromyalgia, check out this interview with Fibromyalgia Specialist Dr Ginevra
What is your best tool for fatigue management?
Sleep! I try and keep a routine where possible to go up to bed early, unwind and get 8-10 hours sleep. I’m also trying to acknowledge when you need to take a step back to rest and say no. Actually doing it is another matter but baby steps.
How do you manage the competing demands in life with your health?
I have to be very organised. I need to plan ahead and try to fit everything in but in a sustainable way where I’ll still get enough rest to be able to do it all.
Anything else you’d like to share or say?
It’s really difficult sometimes but having a supportive husband really helps. We’re both nervous about having children though so I’m glad I’ve found this blog!
I’m so glad you found this blog and that you shared your story – thank you! Best of luck with your journey.