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Thank you for a new lease of life


From my teens to my early twenties I had an extremely active life, holding down numerous jobs (sometimes three at one time) and having a busy social life, being the `life and soul of the party. This life came to an end when I was only 19 and pulled a disc in my lower back. I followed my doctor's advice and had complete bed rest for 9 months! Apparently, this is the worst thing you can do and resulted in my having to have an operation to unwrap the nerve that had wrapped itself around my vertebrae.

Since this time I have lived with constant pain in my life and have been too ill work. However, it was only 9 years later that I was given the official diagnosis of fibromyalgia. In my years of battling with this chronic, debilitating illness I have become a completely different person because of this illness. One by one I have become distanced from my old friends, who didn't understand my limitations caused by my fibromyalgia. I have suffered loss of self-esteem and confidence, with times of severe depression and loneliness.

About a year ago I was trawling the internet looking for some sort of help and I stumbled across the FMA UK website. I cannot tell you enough how much this discovery has changed my life! I was no longer alone, I wasn't a hypochondriac, there were other people like me, people who understood my pain, my anger, and my frustration. I made new friends, friends who understood what I'm going through, friends who have been there for me with a sympathetic ear and information and advice, however low I'm feeling. It's no exaggeration to say that this association has been a lifesaver for me and for many other people too.

I was making jewellery the other week with my daughter, Libby, it's one activity, that when I'm able, my daughter and I love to share (physical activities such as football, skipping, cycling etc, being out of the question). We were making small gifts for her friends as it was her 8th birthday. I have always been into craft activities, and I'm lucky that she has inherited this love. Making these necklaces, earrings etc, helps me by taking my mind off the constant pain ...... if only for a short while. Also, it brings Libby and me closer together.

It was whilst doing this that I had the idea of helping FMA UK with its fundraising activities, in gratitude for all that it has done for me. That's why I am making and selling necklaces and earrings, to hopefully help raise funds to keep this wonderful organisation going and continuing its excellent work.

Finally, I want to thank Des, all the admin staff, all the moderators on the website and everyone who volunteers their time to keep this wonderful site going.

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