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4 Things I discovered from attending a Fibromyalgia Support Group


Last week I attended a patient support group for people with fibromyalgia.  Arranged by the occupational therapy department at the pain clinic, it was an introduction to a six-week course, giving us the opportunity to decide whether it was something we would like to attend. 

I immediately felt a bit of a fraud when I went into the room. I was the youngest there by a few years and from what I could gather from the various conversations taking place, the vast majority were either retired or not working.  Many of them were using walking aids - crutches, walkers or walking sticks.

The aim of the group was to teach us more about the condition and how to deal with it, with a focus on pacing and slowing ourselves down, as well as our mental health and moods.

When the opportunity to attend was mentioned, I automatically said yet because I didn't - and don't - want to be seen as turning down any help that is offered to me.  That said, my initial thoughts were that it wouldn't be for me because I really don't like being in large groups, especially with people I don't know.  

The group lasted two hours and here's what I took away from it:

1 - In a large gathering like this, there will always be at least one or two people dominating the conversations. They will answer first, someone else will attempt to pipe up when they pause and they will continue to talk over them until they stop.

2 - Using a walking aid of some description acts as a visual pointer to others that you need some assistance and are experiencing some mobility issues.  Without them, people aren't as helpful and are almost unwilling to listen to your experience.

3 - There is a strange sense of competition between people. Sharing the symptoms they have and comparing it to someone else's. 

4 - Negativity was abound.  Some people will always find something, anything, to be negative about. For example, the upcoming group times were given and the lady next to me started to complain about the dates and times being inconvenient to her and wanting to know what we were supposed to do if it rained or snowed.

Overall, I'm glad I attended the group but I decided that ultimately it wasn't for me and when we were asked if we would attend the course, I declined.  I was able to speak to the lady leading the group to explain my reasons and she was very understanding, particularly when it came to the points about negativity.

For now though, despite what feels like overwhelming exhaustion at times and the numerous new symptoms that come along, I'm feeling OK. My mental health is the best that it has been in a long time. Even the days when my symptoms flare, they are more bearable. 

That's not to say that I wouldn't be open to attempting a group again in the future,  I would. I am sure that there is more that I could learn about fibromyalgia and how to deal with the different symptoms. Who knows, with a different group of people come different vibes. For now, though, it isn't for me.  

What are your thoughts on support groups? Have you ever attended one, did you find it beneficial? 

Twinkly Tuesday | Featuring Life Love and Dirty Dishes


Hello and Happy Tuesday from a frosty Norfolk.  I hope you've all had a good week and weekend. I'm pleased to report we had marginally less attitude this weekend, which is always lovely!

This week's Tuesday Twinkler comes from Claire at Life Love and Dirty Dishes with a post about quitting booze and going sober.  A social drinker, Claire is seven months into being alcohol-free and her post is an honest account of why she would drink and how she feels now she is alcohol-free.  If you are looking to reduce your alcohol consumption or are contemplating cutting it out completely, pop over for some inspiration and don't forget to leave some words of encouragement.



This Week's Linky

Please don't forget to follow the rules below, it only takes a moment to share your post and the linky. 

Linking
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* The linky will open at 6am Tuesday and close at 23:55 the next day (Wednesday).
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*  By linking up, you are giving me permission to use the images from your blog if featured as a Tuesday Twinkler.

Commenting
* Please comment on my post and at least two other posts, including the one directly before yours and as many others as you can - we're all busy but let us show other blogs some love.
* I will comment on as many posts as I possibly can but please do not be offended if I don't manage to visit your blog. Rest assured, I'll continue to choose a Tuesday Twinkler.
* Don't forget to add #TwinklyTuesday to your comments so they know where you found them.

Twitter
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Confessions of a New Mummy 
 


Tuesday Twinkler?  This one's for you:
Confessions of a New Mummy



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Gratitude Journal #68




Kitchen 
We are so close to completing it! The electrician came in last week to wire in the ovens and hob, as well as under cupboard lighting.  D has fitted the blinds and plumbed in the fridge - the girls are obsessed with being able to help themselves to cold water and ice. In fact, I've never seen T drink as much as she has been recently!  All that remains to be done is fitting the final bits of plumbing and then its just a few little niggly pieces to be finished.  Slowly but surely, I've made a start on moving some of the things through but I suspect it is going to be a slow process as I'm going through the cupboards as I do it to see what we no longer need.

Fibromyalgia Group
Last week I went to an introduction session at a Fibromyalgia group the hospital holds.  It was to explain a little about the course they were offering and what we could expect from it.  I was glad I attended and grateful for the opportunity but felt that it wasn't for me.

Hours up for January
January's always a tough month in terms of work and trying to keep my hours up with being off over the Christmas period. Luckily this year I've managed it and I'm very relieved about that too.

Clean Bedrooms
This week, the girls decided that they wanted to tidy their bedrooms.  They used an obscene amount of polish between them but it was well worth the peace it gave me, as well as saving me a job. 

Dance Class
Last week was E's first dance class of the year. She said that she thought she might stop dancing and it turned out that she was a little nervous about going back as the classes have had a change around and she didn't think she would know anyone in the new group. I told her to try one class and if she didn't like it, she didn't have to go anymore.  Well, the class was a success.  The teacher has taken a stricter stance with them and is pushing them more.  I think E had become a little bored and wasn't being pushed enough in the previous group, which she hadn't moved up from in the three years of going. When I asked about it, I was told she wasn't quite ready or there wasn't room. In last week's lesson, she was more animated and moving about more than I've seen her in a very long time and she was beaming.  As much as I would love to give up sitting in a cold village hall for an hour, I'm pleased she enjoyed it so much.

Twinkly Tuesday | Featuring the Next Best Thing to Mummy

Good morning to you all!  I hope you've had a great week and are facing this one head-on.  

This week's Tuesday Twinkler is a timely post from The Next Best Thing to Mummy talking about smoking, specifically in front of children and whether it should be banned. I say timely as January is a classic time for many smokers to talk about wanting to quit.  What are your thoughts, should it be banned in front of children?  I'm an ex-smoker, mostly social, but I've not smoked for almost 20 years and I think it absolutely should be banned. Adults have a choice to breathe second hand cigarette smoke in, being able to remove themselves from a situation. Children do not.  Pop on over to have a read and leave your thoughts.




This Week's Linky

Please don't forget to follow the rules below, it only takes a moment to share your post and the linky. 

Linking
* You can link up to one post per week, old or new. Additional posts will be deleted.
* The linky will open at 6am Tuesday and close at 23:55 the next day (Wednesday).
* Please add the Twinkly Tuesday badge to the bottom of your post.
*  By linking up, you are giving me permission to use the images from your blog if featured as a Tuesday Twinkler.

Commenting
* Please comment on my post and at least two other posts, including the one directly before yours and as many others as you can - we're all busy but let us show other blogs some love.
* I will comment on as many posts as I possibly can but please do not be offended if I don't manage to visit your blog. Rest assured, I'll continue to choose a Tuesday Twinkler.
* Don't forget to add #TwinklyTuesday to your comments so they know where you found them.

Twitter
* If you would like me to send you a weekly tweet to remind you that the linky will be open, please could you take a moment to leave me a comment to confirm, with your twitter handle.

* Sharing your post on Twitter? Don't forget to tag me, @newmummykate, using  #TwinklyTuesday and I'll make sure to RT you! 


#TwinklyTuesday linky badge:
Confessions of a New Mummy 

   

Tuesday Twinkler? This one's for you!
  Confessions of a New Mummy 

 
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Gratitude Journal #67



It has been somewhat of a testing week with the girls this week.  There has been a huge amount of bickering between them, they've been pushing their boundaries with me and the attitude. Oh. My. The. Attitude. It is unbearable and I find myself uttering some of the phrases my Mum and my friend's Mums used to utter when we were that age. Just when you think you've turned a corner and worked your way through that phase, it's back. With a vengence!

So, for some of this week's Gratitude Journal I have gone right back to basics, to remind myself just how lucky I am:

Two gorgeous girls.

An affectionate, daft and protective sausage dog that makes me laugh and loves to cuddle.

A warm and safe home with a loving family.

Cupboards full of food with no worries about how I will feed my family. 

Catching up with my friend L and her family at soft play, knowing that I am lucky to be able 
to take my children there.

The girls spending a few hours apart, one with me and the other with D whilst we were out and about.

The girls and D having lunch at Nanny and Grandads at the weekend. It means I have an hour to myself and they get to see their grandparents.

Reading a new book this week. 

Colouring my hair - it's a job I really don't like doing but I do like to get rid of the greys every now and then.  D was home from work early one day this week so I forced myself to do it whilst I had chance.  It came out a little darker than I would have liked but luckily it was a semi-permanent so its fading a little already.  

Flexible working - Last week I worked from home for a couple of the days, just so that I could enjoy the quiet! It was totally worth it.

What are you grateful for this week?