Ok, so the first thing I need to say is that most people with Fibromyalgia may have different symptoms. This post details my struggle with it and how I cope. There is no cure or easy solution to the constant pain, stiffness and other symptoms, and it's undoubtedly not something that I would wish on anyone.
In some respects, I am quite lucky though, while I'm on a lot of pain meds and do walk with crutches, or need to use a wheelchair over longer distances. I can still walk with crutches, and the pain meds do help slightly, and I also only suffer from mild fibro-fog (yes, that is a real term).
Luckily the fibro-fog is something that is not a constant for me, so I can just stop writing, and come back later to finish and edit what I am working on as needed.
I am delighted to be able to introduce the fantastic Bianca from helenstoybox.com and the @helenstoybox twitter account. Her article was inspired by a conversation on Twitter between myself and some other bloggers (@PosyChurchgate, @Mollysdailykiss & @RomanticIsa) about videoing our own orgasm contractions to be able to watch this fantastic vision of sexual release afterwards. As Bianca is blind, she thought a post about how she does something similar would be interesting to others, and I agree with her. I was fascinated and hadn't considered recording the sounds of my orgasm, but I am certainly going to do so. Without further ado, here is Bianca's article. Check out her site for her other work.
This is an article that I have been thinking about writing for a long time now but it brings up so many strong emotions in me it's extremely difficult to write. I apologise if I tend to meander through the subject but I have no intention in wallowing in self pity within its bounds. It will help me to write down these thoughts and feelings as I come to terms with my personal disabilities and how they affect me.
I wasn't born with a disability, well except for a dark sense of humour but that has definitely come in handy. My teenage years and early marriage were like everyone else's. It had its high points and also its low points. My career was in education and I loved it, no, I lived to help and educate others and it's an incredibly rewarding profession.
When I started with my current problems it really hit me hard as I immediately had to give up my career. Basically because of medical procedures and my inability to stand and teach. Yes, I know that you can continue in that field in a wheelchair but I suffer from chronic pain associated with my disability and it simply makes working in a classroom environment untenable. Initially, I suffered from long periods of depression and refused help, which in hindsight was a big mistake. I wish that I had allowed those around me to help.
I threw myself into hobbies, drawing and eventually reviewing adult products. I have kept my disabilities a private thing as I hate being looked down upon as a second class human being. It's natural and something that I don't hold against people but often when able-bodied people see someone in a wheelchair lots of them don't know how to react. I don't need or want sympathy, I just want to be treated as an equal which is why up until now people don't know about my condition unless they have met me.
Reviewing and blogging are the two things that I live for and they have both changed my life for the better. My site is all my own work, even the design and html behind it, I have learnt a heck of a lot over these past two and a half years.
I am not wheelchair bound (yet) but need one when out and about as I can't physically walk far having had both knees replaced. The operations didn't go as planned and it has left me with chronic pain which some days in unbearable but I live for the good days when I can make do with crutches.
Living with my new condition has given me a lot of respect for anyone who carries or was born with a disability as even the smallest things can be an uphill task. I couldn't play with my kids in the park or walk with them through woods or up hills. I feel that in some way I let them down but I know I didn't, however you can't help regretting some things.
I get through each day as it comes. Some days I have to sit or lay in agony all day whilst on other days I can live a relatively normal life. I tend to plan and micro-manage things that everyone takes for granted. For me to travel it means planning a route where I can take plenty of stops in the car as it actually hurts to sit still as well as to move. I can't drive for longer than about 30 minutes and so I get to miss out on blogger and reviewer get togethers and that hurts.
Today was a low day for me. A wonderful company that I follow opened a brick and mortar store today and it was like a magnet to some of my favourite reviewers online. I couldn't attend though because, well because I am who I am and I have to live with that. I missed out on meeting some of my online friends purely because I am not able-bodied and that hurts.
I'm going to carry on fighting my condition which is only going to get worse over time leading to me eventually being totally wheelchair bound. I will not let it get the better of me though. My mind is still sharp (some may argue that point LOL) and inside I am the same person I was years ago. My body may be failing but I am not.
Chronic pain and lack of mobility are terrible and I cope as best I can using lots of little tricks (and painkillers) that may help others I hope.
I plan, I plan a lot actually. I have to have the right meds at the right time of day (and I take a lot) so a trip is a major expedition. Planning helps remove anxiety about the trip and it helps prevent mishaps. If you are in a similar boat to me then take the time to logically think things through.
Get hobbies, not "A hobby", there are days when you can't focus on one thing but you can on something else so always have something to strive for.
Be careful who you tell about your disability as some people will look down on you because of it.
Give yourself time to grieve about your disability, it can be a life-changing event that has huge implications so it's going to knock you for six. So take time to adjust.
Try not to punish yourself too much if you snap with someone, I'm sure that they will understand. If they don't then so be it, you can't put on a brave face all the time, you are what matters most.
Don't be afraid to ask for help, we all need help sometimes.
Accept help but look to others if your helpers are condescending or patronising. You need help, not to be looked down upon.
Don't get upset or surprised when people say "you are brave", it's meant as a compliment, even though if you are like me you just want to be treated as an equal.
Accept your disability, but don't let it rule your life. There is a workaround for everything and make it your goal to beat your disability in some way every day.
You will have dark days when depression sets in, learn to recognise the early symptoms and get help from a friend - talking helps a lot.
Enjoy and maximise what you can still do, focus on the positive things in your life and not the negative.
Do your best, you didn't choose your disability but you can choose to fight it and to better yourself both mentally and physically where you are able.
When you have the horn there is always a way and so experiment. One of the reasons why I like fucking machines is that for me it is a great way to enjoy myself without having to open my legs wide. A disability restricts you but it doesn't control you
I enjoy masturbation (no shit Sherlock) and I haven't found a sex toy that I can't use. I might use sex toys in positions that you wouldn't think of as normal but I am going to enjoy them one way or another.
With my condition some days are simply a "no" due to the pain, on those days I tend to research sex toys and write articles. On the good days, I make up for it. You can tell it's been a good day as the sheets are in the washing machine. I need some Sheets Of SanFrancisco bedding LOL.
Sex with your partner requires communication and understanding, things that we take for granted when able-bodied can be show stoppers to someone with a disability. Communication is key to working things through together. Remember that your disability affects your partner as well and so you need to show some understanding and compassion too.
Foreplay is incredibly important if you suffer a painful condition as you just might not get aroused as quickly as you used to. Learn what makes your body tick and learn the art of pleasuring yourself. Don't be shy get a mirror and examine yourself.
I made a big decision earlier this year and that was that I am going to attend Eroticon in London in 2018 and I have scraped the pennies together to buy my tickets (one for me and one for my partner). I have absolutely no idea how I am going to afford to get there or to stay in a disabled friendly hotel in London but that's a problem I still have a few months to work on.
I decided that I need to attend to up my writing game and also to meet some of my idols. I will be there in my wheelchair and everyone will have to take me as I am or ignore me. I am not going to change and I am going to find out who my friends really are LOL. Most people have no idea and the look of shock on their face when I roll up to them in a wheelchair is priceless.
Eroticon is going to be a huge emotional roller coaster for me but I am ready for it, I am going to fight to get down there and to enjoy myself to the max.
My future is pretty much set in stone, eventually, the wheelchair will be permanent but as there is nothing that I can do to change that I am not letting that worry me. I will continue living for today and we'll see what tomorrow brings.
So if any companies want their wares reviewed by a charismatic reviewer (with wheels) then get in touch. I prefer to think of myself as not disabled but just differently-abled.
I promise not to bite, but I do have a tendency to roll over peoples toes, so be warned.
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