By Jeanne Hambleton © 2009 

If you are a fibromite, you should read this!


Apart from the specialists who tell fibromites their pains are all in theirs head and I have it on good authority there could be up to 82% of them, one specialist after diagnosing me with pain for life (FMS), warned against groups. He said groups were all doom and gloom but he could not have been more wrong.


Just this week I arranged the first meeting and a social lunch for those suffering with fibromyalgia in and around Portsmouth. For my sins, in my tea half hour, I am also a support group leader for some fibromites in Chichester and Horndean, Waterlooville.


As I live in West Sussex, driving into the unknown wilds of Hampshire (Horndean to be precise which is a nice little town) I had some trepidation (I was a bag of nerves) and leaned heavily on Pauline and Carolyn, two of my Chichester fibromites, to come with me for moral support.


Needless to say we got lost. That was when the laughter started and I could not work the sat nav. Well being someone with fibro fog, you would not expect me to work out something as complicated as that, would you?  Thanks to some nice young lady is a blue sport two seater who said, “Follow me!” we arrived in the nick of time.


The meeting was a hoot from beginning to end. People with varying degrees of pain and fibromyalgia floated popped in, some stayed for three and half hours and had lunch. We laughed and laughed found out how many of us were often still in our dressing gowns in the afternoon. We even heard that Carole in her heyday stopped traffic when she wore a boutique’s hot pants, the first ever seen in Portsmouth. We also learned that Carolyn stopped traffic Paris with her mini skirts.  Her mother was so embarrassed that a needle and cotton was called for to let down to the extreme what hems there were.


Please do not ask me why one of our new members always wears one long dangling earring. I will have a bout of hysterics.  She even admitted she likes to wear odd socks and has another pair just the same. We were collapsing in laughter. By now we were inspecting her wonderful shoes which exercise the body as you walk. Truly amazing. She was the life and ‘sole’ of the meeting if you will excuse the pun. 


I am sure at the end of our lunch meeting we all felt better than we would have done had we had one shot of the three FMS drugs – Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella.

We did have some sober moments when we all agreed to respect one another, sort out any disagreements rather than leave the group, and talked about fund raising for research as there is no Government funding. The members agreed to raise awareness about fibromyalgia even if it meant hearing the dreaded, “Fibro what?”


 So it is all true. Laughter is the best medicine. It is free. You do not need a prescription.  You can laugh anyway – well there are a few odd occasions when it might be out of order. But it certainly makes you feel better.


Anything you can do get have a laugh is really worth the effort.  Look at some old photographs.  (Look at Aunty Mabel hat at Mum’s wedding. Do you remember that holiday wed had….Read one of the children’s comics – they must be funny, the kids think so. Put on a silly DVD. If it comes to it look in the mirror and see what silly faces you can pull to frighten the family


So they will think you are losing your marbles. If it is good enough for the Prime Minister to lose his marbles it must be okay for us.  Ring up a friend and have a giggle.  Join one of the round robin emails for funny stories. Look up ‘jokes’ on the interest. There are hundreds on any subject. I am told laughter can actually improve health and help you fight disease. Food for thought.


So if you happen to be suffering with mysterious pains, chronic fatigue, cannot sleep at night, get your words confused, have irritable bowel syndrome, stumble around when you get out of bed, have dodgy balance, dizziness, headaches, and much more, and fancy sharing a wee while with us in Chichester, West Sussex, or Horndean near Waterlooville, east Hampshire, ring the helpline 0845 345 59452 or email me for dates, times and places.


My thanks to my new members especially those who travelled some distance, to making us laugh. In no particular order they were Donna, Carole, Lisa with her Bright Sparkles, Susan, Laura, Pauline, Carolyn, Jo and her delightful little daughter Abbey who played happily with her colouring books and her doll.  We are currently awaiting the announcement in 16 weeks of the birth of a new kitten for Abbey, to be called Bubbles. It was great to see Terri, a personal trainer, and share her wisdom. We look forward to some easy exercises from her at a future meeting.


Our chosen venue (the TalkTalk restaurant at The Red Lion, Horndean) was all we could have hoped for with good food, lovely décor, spotlessly clean, great service from staff who smiled and talked to you. We are booked in there for the foreseeable future. All in all it time was well spent and as Carole said, after all the laughing she felt tired but happy and light hearted.  We cannot wait for Tuesday, February 20, when we all meet again. 


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