5 Things People with Fibromyalgia Should Know
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at age 16. Not only was this diagnosis unfamiliar to me, it was also very discouraging because the doctors gave me no help as to what should treat it and didn’t provide any information on how to manage living with this chronic illness. Over the past 5 years, I have been able to find personal relief by using different methods. Listed are only a few of the tricks I have learned over the years to make living with fibro less painful.
The first and most beneficial trick I have found is to keep moving. I know that the last thing you want to do with fibromyalgia is move. Everything is stiff, hurts, and you feel as though you could collapse on the floor from fatigue; but, moving has helped with my flexibility and a lot of the muscle tightness and pain that I experience. Low-impact exercise is what suits me best: anything from yoga, pilates, swimming or even modifying cardio jumping moves. Exercise will increase blood flow, strengthen your muscles, increase your stamina, and boost endorphin production to combat those nasty bouts of depression we experience with Fibromyalgia.
With the rush of life, it is always difficult to find time to rest; but, it is essential to feeling well enough in order to prevent burn-out. Often times, I have had to say, “no” to fun activities, because I know that if I did say, “yes” I would find myself completely burnt out and not able to get out of bed and work. A lot of times friends and even family will have a difficult time understanding the importance of rest for those with chronic illness, but that is okay; you know your body’s capabilities more than anyone else.
The winter months are always difficult on me. I rarely experience the type of pain that I do in the cooler months. There is something about the cold that my body refuses to react “normally” to. I have found it important to wear layers of warm clothing; yet, nothing too constricting because that tends to exacerbate the problem. Along with warm clothing, I have found that using an electric blanket while sleeping at night both soothes and prevents pain.
One Day at a Time
Taking on tomorrow’s troubles will not only get you nowhere, it will stress you out; and, as many of you who struggle with chronic illness know, stress is the absolute worst enemy of those with fibro. Our body decides to attack itself and cause more digestive issues, fatigue, and pain. Learn to be okay living in the present moment: you will gain nothing by worrying about tomorrow, except maybe a headache!!
You are a Warrior
Every day is a battle, you fight against invisible symptoms that others can’t see, but are very real. You are constantly standing face to face with discouragement and depression. But know this, you are a strong and beautiful warrior! You face attacks that a normal person couldn’t handle for even an hour. You are strong! Because of your chronic illness, you are made stronger every day. Find joy in knowing that there is hope and that you are strong.