I grow vegetables to feed us, make natural ingredient creams, lotion and shampoo, cook all meals from scratch and detest E numbers. I live in the beautiful South Island of New Zealand

I am sitting feeling a tad sorry for myself today. For the 2nd time I have had same ingrown toenail removed. The surgery was done early this morning and the painless injection is starting to wear off, so I need some distraction. I got myself  all settled out on the patio in the sun, and wouldn’t you know it…. it clouded over. Ever have the feeling things are against you? Well the toe will heal but it does take a few days to settle down.

Last week, I made up more of my Homemade Gel Toilet cleaner. As per usual I made a mess on the bench getting it into the dispenser bottles, so I wiped it up and sat the cloth on the dirty oven rack I had sitting on the bench, needing attention. After finishing the gel I went back to tidy up and took the cloth off the rack and was astonished to find, that where it had been sitting, was no longer greasy brown, but spotlessly shiny. The little grey cells started churning and I put some cleaner on a clean damp cloth and left it another 10 minutes. Again…. it was spotless under it. Hmmm, I thought, this has real possibilities.

I grabbed my phone and took a photo of the disgustingly filthy trays. (hiding my face in embarrassment) …………


Not quite sure how I could cover the whole tray at once, I wondered how immersion would go, so I filled the sink with very hot water and added 3 Tablespoons full of my Toilet Gel Cleaner and swished it around. I sat the tray in the water and left it for about 10 mins then lifted it out.  I had done nothing other than soak at this stage and he is what I found….


The grime was just falling off. I grabbed my trusty little dish brush and gave it a gentle rub. I won’t say scrub, as no hard work was required. …………


I quickly repeated for the other end and the job was done. I finished the job without the usual broken fingernails and bruised knuckles and associated cursing. There was no hard rubbing or scrubbing, it all just brushed off and washed away.

I did find this worked a lot easier by having the water pretty hot. It is no longer a job I will leave until its a real mission as this was just so simple.

Yet another use for my Toilet cleaning gel.

I managed to get some salad oil spilled down the front of my nice light grey cotton tee shirt the other day. I was not able to change so had to just leave it for several hours until I got home. I knew it was going to stain and wondered what I had that might dissolve it. I grabbed my toilet gel dispenser and spread a little of it on the shirt, rubbed it together and tossed it into the washing machine and forgot about it. The next day it went through the normal washing cycle and as I hung it on the line to dry, I remembered the satin and looked, but could see no trace of it. I looked again once it was dry and ALL traces of the stain had gone.

I wonder what else it might work on. I’ll keep you posted.



I am shocked to find it is nearly 3 yrs since I posted on here. Many times I have intended to do a post, but there always seemed to be something more important. You know how it is, don’t we all have ‘gunna do’ lists or ‘roun’tu’its’ that we never get to?? Now that I am here, I realise how much has happened and I am not sure where to start.

Two years ago we moved house. Not just to a new house, but to a different town too. We lived in Timaru previously, a small city on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The house was cold and damp and had a lethally sloping section and the landlord was talking about putting our rent up substantially, or selling the house. We could not afford the new rent and because the house was so cold, the section unusable in winter, and they had imposed restrictions on gardens, we decided to look elsewhere. We were very lucky to find a brand new town house unit to rent in a town half an hour south for considerably less rent than we had been paying.

So I now live in Waimate, a small rural town of about 2700 people, half an hour South of Timaru. Our new home came with a bare section with no grass or topsoil. The landlord said he would bring in topsoil and supply grass seed, but anything else we wanted done, was up to us. As the unit was built for retirees (ok am not quite there yet but getting close), it is long term lease so it has been fun setting up a garden from scratch. I have my beloved vegetable gardens and a wonderful green house and my roses and medicinal herbs. We have done well for the two years we have been here, but of course, its a bit barren at the moment.  I’ll do a post on the progression from bare ground to productive garden.

We lost our beloved dog Maddy in Dec and her passing left us bereft and with a hug hole in our lives. Thru a series of universal directions, we found (or she found us) a beautiful Cairn terrier/Australian Terrier puppy, called Luna (born under a fill moon). She is now 9 months old, pretty well behaved after going to dog training and full of energy and love. She has an uneasy alliance with my 15 1/2 yr old cat Basil, who will tolerate her and play with her occasionally, but only on HIS terms.

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Anyhow, its time to kick start this blog. I have lots of ideas about posts and have been following several blogs for a long while. I have been disappointed how they have changed from sensible practical information and homemade recipes that have been tired and proven successful, to recipes using ingredients the average low income person can not afford, to things they have not tried, but it was on a blog that takes you thru about 3 others to fine the original recipe. I  am also concerned about the completely stupid and dangerous suggestion that are found on the net and people take as gospel. It concerns me greatly after being in the doctors waiting room recently and seeing a young girl who read that putting orange and lime juice on you face was good for your complexion. She had been burnt but the acid and was in a dreadful mess. She found the so called recipe on one of the Facebook ads. Oh, and the advertising…. lets not forget that. OK I guess its a sign of a successful blog, but I resent the number of ads per page per article. It’s a shame when someones blog seems to become so automated and infiltrated. As in the past I will only be putting up recipes (particularly for my potions) that I have been using for years and  have easy to get ingredients and are not too expensive or detrimental to mother nature.

It’s mid winter here in the land of the long white cloud so not much is happening in the garden. We are getting a lot of super hard frosts which make it a little difficult to dig plus have had a lot of rain this week, so the lawn is a like a skating rink. Even the dog is having braking issues and leaving long skid lines and the cat is visiting the neighbours gardens more frequently – but we won’t elaborate on that!  I still have parsnips, leeks, white (yes white) carrots, NZ yams or oca, (more about them later) and silverbeet (chard) growing in the garden and have lots of stored pumpkins yet to eat. Unlike the northern hemisphere, we store them whole for use over winter and spring. I DID plant more winter veges, Brussels Sprouts, cauliflowers and cabbages, etc, but alas my little gardening assistant Luna, decided to dig and dig and dig in the raised vege gardens. Best thing I can say about that is,…. the soil is very well tilled over and the trip to the UK thru the centre of the earth is shorter!. The vege gardens are going to have to have dog proof covers for spring plantings.

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Pruning time is upon is. I have raspberry, black, red and white currants and a grape to prune in the next week or so, then the roses in about 3 weeks time. I am also waiting with bated breath for the new seasons seed catalogues to arrive so I can drool over all the possibilities. I will be planting tomato seeds very soon too. Last year I had great success planting them in seed trays, putting them inside a mini greenhouse inside my big greenhouse. They grew amazingly and quickly, so I was able to sell good sized plant very early at the farmers market. I plan on dong that again this year. I only grow heirloom vegetable varieties with the exception of sweetcorn.

So what can you expect….. well –

  • a revamp of this site, more photos and (hopefully) things of interest to you
  • questions answered or direction to answers if beyond my expertise
  • more of my own natural skin care recipes
  • my new laundry powder recipe
  • gardening tips
  • the progression of my garden from bare land to my pride and joy
  • My favourite gluten free recipes
  • The wonderful FODMAP diet and how it has improved my life
  • Gardening articles I have written
  • what ever else interests or irks me.

So I hope you will stick with me, or better still join me and see where this all goes.

Love Mari.



Oh it has been a long time since I have posted. I could come up with excuses I guess but I haven’t really had much to write about. But I plan on making an effort now and try to post something regularly.

In September last (2013), our landlord decided to sell the house we were renting. This really upset my gardening as I had seedlings ready to be planted out at the end of that month. But, we had to move my the 1st week in October, so that meant packing frantically and finding somewhere else to live in s hurry. Luckily I found a lovely little 3 bedroom house on the edge of town. It is in a very quiet part of town, beside a walkway along what is known as Saltwater Creek. The views are stunning over the valleys south of Timaru and around to the Southern Alps. We have so many birds, lots of bees and butterflies and hear the ducks and geese on the creek at night.

I have good neighbours, who like me, also have a few hens (and some roosters) as well as dogs and cats. One neighbour has a rooster with no sense of time. He crows several times between midnight and 3am. No, he doesn’t wake me up, but I often giggle at him if I am still awake.

My garden….. Oh dear… That is a sad story.

I had to leave my wonderful raised vegetable gardens behind, and this summer, it was a ‘make do’ situation. There were no vege gardens here, so I had to make do with what I could and where I could. I only managed to get two small 1.2m x 1.2m gardens assembled and filled and even then it was just before Christmas when they got planted. I also made use of part of the front garden for tomatoes, peppers and beans. But the soil here is very poor and needs a lot of compost and humus added. It will get done over winter when we construct new raised gardens to accommodate a full vege garden next spring.

Tomatoes were planted in buckets and stood against the fence and the house. I used 10l plastic buckets, and unless I had individual dripper irrigation into every bucket, I would not do this again. They got so hot and dry in the buckets, that many just curled up their toes and died off prematurely. The ones what had other plants in front of them did better though, as the buckets were shaded from the heat and the roots did not get so hot. I would certainly advise either digging the buckets in the ground or putting a thick layer mulch or straw around and up the outside of the buckets to help keep them cooler and prevent water loss through the plastic. What fruit I did get, was wonderfully sweet. I do love my heirloom tomatoes.

I did have a very good crop of dwarf beans despite our dismal sunless summer months. My sweetcorn is still struggling to fill out but I had a bumper crop of root beets, red and yellow ones. The yellow ones are quite deceptive. They taste just the same as the red, but are less mess as they do not stain everything red/pink like the red ones do. I will definitely be growing them again next spring. I have winter cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers of different colours (green, white, orange, violet), both red and green Brussels Sprouts, red and white carrots and leeks growing for winter fare. Alas only one measly parsnip survived the blackbird onslaught. By the time I discovered this, it was too late to plant more.

Health wise it has been an up and down few months. I have only just become free of pain from the shingles I had in May. My fibromyalgia just keeps on keeping on and I continue to cope and do what I can, when I can. Summer was a disappointment to us all. We had a humid, damp summer, with very little sunshine and very little productive rain. We did not have the usual dry heat we normally have for 3 or so months and even March is not our usual ‘Indian summer’. Alas it is very autumnal already and we are noticing the leaves changing colour, we have had two snow falls in the mountains and been very, very close to a frost twice already. We have even lit the fire on 3 occasions. That does not bode well for our winter. We have firewood and an electric heater so should survive.

I have gone back to being wheat free again. With moving and all the disruption from it, alas our meals became lazy and grab on the run variety. Sandwiches were the easiest, although my stomach complained viciously. I tried making standard sour dough bread, and had great success at that, but never felt ‘right’ so I decided it was time to make the change again and for good. I have been developing a Sour dough Gluten free bread. I have succeeded and have a wonderful no knead recipe, that I will share with you including photos.  It is incredibly simple to make and really tastes good so watch this space !!!!

Thought it was about time I let you know how being wheat free was going. It’s going great.

I have adapted very easily to no wheat in my diet. Much easier than i thought actually. I don’t miss bread and have behaved well. With only one cheat.

The other night, after the make of he species had a wee win on the pokies at the pub, he came home and said he wanted hot and spicy KFC for tea. Oh nooooooo, my favourite. OK I relented and thought it would be a way of finding out how I was going. So I ate my beloved hot and spicy.

An hour later I felt like the Michelin man. I was very bloated and very ‘vocal’ with it. I had tummy ache when I went to bed.

Next morning…. I had to delay swimming by an hour. Then after swimming, I had to stay with in 5 meters of the bathroom. Oh I was a sorry sight.

Ok so you might say it could have been the hot and spice seasoning…. well I have never had this before from eating it. Nope, I am pretty sure it was the flour in the batter of the crispy coating.

Will this stop me eating hot and spicy KFC? Um…….maybe……..possibly…….could do. But I might just make sure the next day is a home day so I can suffer in silence.

But this has proven I certainly am wheat sensitive. There is no way I am going back. I feel much better wheat free. I have also cut my caffeine back. I only drink one coffee a day. Herbal tea does not quite do it first thing in the morning. 10 days in and my sweats are really diminishing. Cross fingers on that for me.

Next step? Cut out sugar completely. Stevia and Splenda (for baking) will become my new best friends. Healthy life – I am on the way.

I just had to share this. I made it last week and have no photos to share of this as yet.

I finally used the last of my toilet duck type gel toilet cleaner and had been thinking what I could use in its place. Having just trained the male of the species to actually use this product, I knew it had to be simple but effective and be in the original under the rim type squirt bottle. So, I cleaned out the container and rummaged for ingredients. I know people use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning (I do) but knew I could not get them to remain in a suspension as the baking soda would be hard to dissolve. So here is what I did.

Homemade Toilet cleaning gel.

You will need –

1 litre (quart) jug

Balloon whisk or stick mixer

teaspoon and tablespoon measure

small funnel

clean under the rim type goose neck squirt bottle


500 mls very hot tap water+|*

3 tbsp washing soda

3 tbsp borax

1 tsp xanthan , guar gum or agar gel powder

15 drops of antibacterial essential oil of your choice. I used lavender, partly due to its antibacterial properties and also the fact it was the same fragrance as the last of the purchased stuff. You could also use – tea tree oil, thyme, rosemary or any others with antibacterial properties.

*Do not use boiling water as it can be flung out of the jug while beating and burn you. Hot tap water does the trick and is safer.


Put very hot water into the jug, add borax and stir rapidly until it is all dissolved. Do this quickly as it can set like stone if not completely agitated.

Once the borax is dissolved, add washing soda and stir in, followed by gum powder. Mix this thoroughly as any lumps will block the squirt nozzle.

Add in the essential oil and mix further, then add cold water to make up the volume of your recycled bottle. Mine was 650 mls. Mix again.

This did not appear very gel like at this stage but I poured it in the bottle and hoped, knowing xanthan thickens as it cools. It did gel more as it cooled and I just shake the bottle each time before using and so far, no one is the wiser.

I am very pleased with this and would not alter the recipe next time. The porcelain receptacle is brilliant white and shiny. The only thing I would do different is  make it in the kitchen and use my stick mixer next time as the balloon whisk made it harder to get the borax dissolved when I made it over the bathroom basin. It works just like the bought stuff but is a fraction of the cost. The washing soda and borax I always have on hand for making my laundry wash and I have xanthan gum for my cooking and some of my other potions, so this is a very easy and cheap mix to make up. My guess would be about 20 cents to make?  That is better than the $4 or more for the retail stuff and healthier and kinder on the environment. It took me about 5 minutes to make up. The hardest thing was figuring out how to fill the swan neck bottle.

Let me know what you think!!

As promised, here is the recipe complete with pictures.

Porridge before adding milk and extras.

Porridge before adding extras like fruit, nuts or sweetener.

Now you can either put this all in a pot the night before and leave it to swell and absorb the milk over night or just get it read in the morning. It is essential to precook the quinoa and amaranth though. Cook like rice – 1 cup in 2 cups water but no salt is needed or do in your rice cooker. Water, soy milk, rice milk or any other substitute milk can be used. I use milk as I do not drink milk and am getting to the age where I need to build up my calcium levels. My daughter just uses water.

You can use other grains or seeds too. Buckwheat and Chai I believe are worth a try as well


1/2 cup Rolled Oats

1/2 cup precooked quinoa

1/2 cup pre cooked amaranth

(add sugar or sweetener here if you wish – to taste)

1 to 1 1/2 cup milk  or other liquid combination(this will depend on the oats you use. If  you use quick oats, you will use less milk. I use raw oats so it needs to absorb more liquid)

1tsp salt.

stir milk and grains before putting on heat.

stir milk and grains before putting on heat.

Mix grains together in a saucepan with the salt and milk and put on a medium high heat. Stir constantly until porridge boils.


Lower heat and stir until the desired thickness is reached (is about 8 minutes for me)

Remove from the heat and leave to cool a couple of minutes before carefully tipping into a bowl.

At this this stage I stir in any fruit or nuts, or just add milk and sweetener.

Lately I have been using coconut sugar and adding about 2 tsp while cooking.

This is enough for one good bowl full, enough for one person. I find it deliciously filling and am sure it is helping with my energy levels. I imagine this could be done in the microwave for people who do not like standing stirring, but I find it therapeutic first thing in the day. Time to contemplate the day ahead.

Ready to eat, with milk and coconut sugar.

Ready to eat, with milk and coconut sugar.

I would love to know of any other ideas you have for porridge. Will you let me know below please?


Wow do I feel a different person. I am 9 days wheat free and doing well.

I have got over the light headedness, thankfully and really feel so much better. My energy level is 10 times what it was last week and I have so much I want to do, I don’t know where to start. I am finally getting on to jobs I have sat and tried to ignore for the last 3 months. Alas they have never gone away, but waited for me. Typical.

My tummy is a little fragile tho, but I have read this is common, getting rid of the toxic overload from the wheat. Luckily the house is small and I don’t have far to run.

My night sweats are lessening too. I am still having the odd one but not the dozens like I did. I have very few over the day as well.

I am managing the new eating regime well. Porridge for breakfast, lunch varies between eggs and bacon, or rice cakes with ham and cheese or else just fruit and yoghurt or anything else that catches my fancy. I plan on buying a lettuce so I can use the leaves as wraps with ham, capsicum, cottage cheese, tomato etc. Nacho’s is another option with corn chips. My tea is meat and veges and any snacks during the day can be fruit or rice crackers. It is all going well with no slips or cheats and I feel like a new person.

Male of the species is adamant he will NOT go wheat free. I look at my shrinking waist line and then at his expanding waste line (spelling is correct) and think Hmmm. We will see!!

More in a week. I’ll post a couple of recipes soon, when I remember to photograph the food before I eat it.

Today I feel blaah. At first I thought it was the increase in the dose of Gabapentin I am taking for residual shingles pain, but am now doubting that.

I think I might be going thru wheat withdrawal.

I feel slightly tipsy, have no coordination – the egg that went between the bench and stove and down between the wire rack and baking tray, when it was meant to go into the pan, testifies to that. I also feel headachy and lack energy. My joints are aching and my fibro pain is medium. I feel sort of ‘fizzy’, like getting a quickly passing ‘zit zit’ of vagueness and disorientation. Weird eh? But that is well-known. Bowel motions are a better consistency and colour….Too much info? Sorry but no other way to state that more delicately.

Today I have eaten my oat, quinoa and amaranth porridge (photos and recipe tomorrow I hope), mid afternoon I made wheat free muffins which I really liked but the male of the species  (MoS) ate one and refuses to be a guinea pig any more. Tea was potato rosti, bacon and eggs and a fried bread for  MoS to get back into his good books. I also had a muffin and am trying to resist the urge to have some ice cream.

I stepped on the scales today and was pleased to find I have lost a further 500gms since Friday. I weighed in before going to the Doctor and his scales made me a little lower than mine which is nice to know, but either way I am down 15 kgs since I was weighed there in February. Yeah I feel smug but very justified. Heaps more to go tho…. but a fabulous start. Oh OK, I would like to lose another 20 kgs, or get down to a size 16 (NZ sizing) dress size, whichever comes first.

Another thing we have been doing. About Feb we decided to eat healthily and fresh and cut margarine and oils out of our diet. No more cooking with oils, but I am using dripping or butter. You should have tasted that rosti done in dripping…. num num. For MoS’s toast and sandwiches and other things needing a spread, I use my Homemade spreadable whipped butter. I have to make another batch of that tomorrow. I use 2 x 500gm (lb) blocks of butter a a time and it does us about 8 weeks. I used to spend $4.65 every fortnight on margarine, now I spend $7.00 each 8 weeks or so.

Just think, if I hadn’t gotten sick and basically stopped eating, I wouldn’t have  worked out my issues with wheat. Will keep you posted.

How are you other wheat free people getting on?




I have also made a big health discovery…….. and a probably solution

During my illness, I ate no bread, really I lived on yoghurt or soup for about 6  weeks. I only ate to take the medications I needed while I had shingles. Read my posting –  Have you had shingles? I also had no Fibro pain during this time, nor did I have the dreadful sweats that were making my life so difficult. I have mentioned this in my Fibromyalgia Flare post. I think I have found the solution to these horrible sweats. Since eating normally, they have come back.

I reverted back to having toast for breakfast, cooked cheese puffs or muffins when I had visitors, had a pizza take away for a treat, and made some bread. Within a few days of eating normal food, my awful sweats and fibro muscle spasms and pain have come back, plus I have bloating, gas and untrustworthy bowel. I also have episodes of bad shingles pain, but hopefully that will ease since I have had my prescription for Gabapentin increased.

I started thinking back over what I ate or didn’t eat when I was sick and had no sweats and what has happened since then. I realised I was eating wheat again and could I be gluten intolerant. I stopped eating all gluten products and after 5 days I am feeling a lot better. Last night is the first night I slept well without playing the constant blankets off, blankets on game.

Yesterday I saw my doctor and discussed this with him. He looked back over previous blood tests and said I was tested for gluten intolerance in Jan 2013 and in 2008. These tests were all normal. I do not have a gluten intolerance but may certainly have issues with hybrid wheat which is what all of todays wheat crops are. He suspects  it is the polysaccharides in the hybridised wheat that is causing me problems, and I do not digest or assimilate them properly. Evidently this is becoming very common among people as we ‘reach for a slice of bread for a snack’, grab a sandwich, bread roll or panini for lunch rather than it being eaten with a meal or once a day with a meal as it was in the old days (yes I remember those days).

Taking wheat out of my diet permanently may bring me back to the same state as I was while I had singles and BP issues and was eating very little…. i.e. I might continue losing weight and the sweats might diminish and my joint and muscle pains might too. Plus my bowel might settle down too.

I feel the sacrifice is well worth it. Doctor said not to substitute my previous bread intake with gluten-free bread, but do without. If I was going to have ham, cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch, just put double the ham, cheese and tomato on a plate and eat that instead. Same with bacon and egg buttie – just eat the bacon and egg. If I need to do any baking that I am likely to eat, then use substitute flour – ie gluten-free or different grains. I have been looking at recipes and have found so many – GF Blueberry Muffins….. am going to try them tomorrow for lunch. I have started having porridge for breakfast, made with rolled oats, quinoa and amaranth…. I’ll post the recipes in the next few days and get some pictures.

Today is day 5 and I am starting to feel so much better. I had less sweats last night and slept very soundly. My bloating has gone too. Still have fibro pain, but it is mid winter here and its very, very cold at times. I’ll keep you informed.

Has anyone else got this wheat issue? I would love to hear how you have modified your eating and what you eat now.  How has it affected your general health, weight loss and wellbeing? I would love some feedback

It has been a long 2 months since I last posted and it has been a roller coaster but I am now feeling great again.

As well as the blood pressure postural drops I suffered in March-May and coming off all my meds, I got a severe dose of Shingles on my left shoulder. I had no idea it was such a cruel and painful condition.

I had just come right from the BP issues, and am happy to say I now take no blood pressure meds, no amitriptyline and no sleeping pills. I still take Losec and Diclofenac anti-inflammatory and since having shingles, I am now on Gabapentin for the nerve pain. This also helps with fibromyalgia too.

Shingles has to be the worse pain I have ever experienced in the last 30 yrs. There is no relief, it is constant and I did not know where to put myself for comfort or relief.

The pain started literally overnight on the Monday morning and I thought I had gotten a chill after spending 3 hrs the previous day in the garden. Think of the worst muscle pull you have ever had, multiply it by 10 and you may be close. Usually you can find a pressure point that eases it or by changing position you get relief, but not with shingles nerve pain…. it does not ease.

The next day it was awful and I sought medical help from my chiropractor who sent me to the Doctor for pain relief. I was given tramadol but got no relief. I made a wheat heat pack and used it constantly heated and also felt relief from hot showers. I went back to the Dr on Friday and was given more tramadol and codeine. Late that night my shoulder got itchy and the next day I had huge blotches – I thought I had burnt myself with the heat pack….. that what it looked and felt like, bad burn on top of the nerve pain. The pain spread from my spine, to my jaw, and  across my collarbone to shoulder tip and down the back of my shoulder a hands depth and back to the spine. I was out of my tree with pain, couldn’t sleep and was not in a good place. On Sunday the ‘burns’ turned to blisters.


Monday I went back to my doctor and said I had burnt myself using my wheat bag…. he laughed and said no you haven’t, you have shingles. Fine, a diagnosis but what can you do about this pain? More codeine given and prescription of Lovir, an anti fungal. This photo was taken on 23 May.

By Friday these blisters had burst and became gooey and the scabby. The pain continued and the area between the blister/scabs. At this stage I was given an antibiotic and Gabapentin, which helped with the pain. The last scab went by about June 20th and the pain has eased since then,  but I am left with scars visible on neck and throat, more so since I got my hair cut very short. I still get bad pain in the shoulder but have had the Gabapentin dose doubled and I can treble it if I have to. My shoulder is still very sensitive and at times I can’t bare

So please, if you hear of someone with shingles, help them, care for them, they are suffering horrendous pain. I have fibromyalgia so am used to pain, but this was such an intense pain, it was totally different to fibro muscle pain, this is raw pain, from a spinal nerve and nerve pain is the worst that can be experienced. I am a strong person but I was out of my tree with pain.

There is one upside – since mid March, I have lost 13 kgs. For about a month I only ate to take my medication as I had no energy or wish to eat. The beauty is, now I am eating again, I have managed to maintain this weight and plan to lose more.

I would like to know if you have had Shingles and if so, how did you cope and have you had any lasting effect?? Leave a comment please and let me know.