by Jeanne Hambleton ©
NFA Leader Against Pain-Advocate

MEN – This is about women’s things – read it at your peril, unless you are one of those men who lie when your wife asks. “Do I look big in this?”

For all of those who thought all fibromyalgia forums are full or doom and gloom, you are wrong. And indeed, maybe contrary to popular belief, fibromites do have a sense of humour. They love to laugh and many of us accept that laughter IS the best medicine.

For my sins I am the moderator of a lively little forum sponsored by the UK FaMily magazine. On

folk are chatting about a huge range of topics, anonymously, and laughing their heads off.

I recently discovered after I had visited the doctor complaining about the tingling in my arms, that it may not have been inflammation after all, as was diagnosed, but a fibromyalgia symptom. Lots of fibromites had tingling arms. I should have checked the forum first. You learn something everyday.

Log in and have a look at some interesting theories about FMS, how some live with their problems, what to do when… and if you want a giggle look at the Make Me Laugh under the heading UKFM General Chat. (Rib ticklers for rainy days!) If you become a member you can share some of your funny moment with us.

It is a good clean friendly site with eyes everywhere to spot any mischief, which is unwelcome – if you know what I mean. I am sure other forumers will have had problems with websites imported from abroad and causing embarrassment. Hopefully we have it buttoned up enough to avoid that.

Last June 2007 we thought about injecting some joy and jokes into the forum. When I checked the forum at the weekend I had a real good laugh at the problems Ally faced – or so she would have us believe.

I am sure a lot of people can identify with Ally’s plight. It is just hysterical. The worse part of very personal shopping is with sales assistant popping her head around the curtain, leaving it wide open (as you stand there barely clad) and asking, “Are you alright?”

It is bad enough your family seeing you in an embarrassing situation when you wear the article, without a compete stranger sharing her views with colleagues in the staff room.

When I read this story from a fibromite I was looking for ‘hot topic’ to write about for my column for FaMily, but felt I had to share this one with the world. It was too funny to keep to myself. Enjoy this story. I did.


I have just been through the horrifying pilgrimage of torture and humiliation known as ‘buying a bathing suit’.

When I was younger, in the 1950s and 1960s, the bathing suit for a woman with a mature figure was designed for a woman with a mature figure — boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift and they did a good job.

Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a pencil. The mature woman has a choice. She can either front up at the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus escaped from Disney’s Fantasia – or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have? I wandered around, made what I thought was the only sensible choice for me and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in today’s bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA, to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which given the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are protected from shark attacks. The reason being that any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into a bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place, I gasped in horror — my boobs had disappeared! Eventually, I found one cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib. The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups.

The mature woman is meant to wear her bosom spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment. The bathing suit fitted all right, but unfortunately, it only fitted those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom, and sides. I looked like a lump of play dough wearing undersized colored cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtains, “Oh, there you are!” she said, admiring the bathing suit. I replied that I wasn’t so sure and asked what else she had to show me.

I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape.
I tried on a floral two-piece, which gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serviette ring.

I struggled into a pair of leopard skin bathers with ragged frill and came out looking like Tarzan’s Jane, pregnant and having a rough day.

I tried on a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

I tried on a bright pink two-piece with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows.

Finally, I found a suit that fit…a two-piece affair with shorts style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge friendly, so I bought it.

When I got home, I read the label, which said, “Material may become transparent in water”

I’m going to wear it anyway…

I wonder on what beach she is going to wear this creation? I love to be a crab in a rock pool when she does. Thank you Ally – it was funny, enjoyable to read, beautifully written and boy can I identify with the problems. Best to swim fully clothed I reckon or just not bother.

Happy holiday Ally.


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