Thursday, December 1, 2011

Four Effective Tools to Deal with Fibromyalgia

Many times I get a flare up of my Fibromyalgia if I am under stress. One of the things I have had to learn to do is develop and use tools to deal with the stress. This ability developed over time. It was not something that happened right away.

Talking out about the stress and emotions I felt helped. We all know that flare ups of Fibromyalgia do not necessarily wait until the second Tuesday for the support group. I had to find another way of being able to do it. Ideally a way I could talk to people in the middle of the night if I had to.

One of the tools I was able to use was list serves, chat rooms, and social media. It does not seem to matter what time of day or night there is someone there willing to talk. Of course I still had family and friends I could talk to but people online were more accessible at times.

Another type of tool I had to learn was to look at my own self-talk. People routinely get into the habit of thinking or talking to themselves negatively. We all use self-talk, we just need to learn to use it effectively. This takes some effort as it just seems to be easier to talk negatively.

A third tool that I used was meditation or prayer. Either one seems to work it just depends on your preference. Being able to give your pain, stress, and emotional to God or your higher power lets our minds rest and relax.

A fourth tool can be yoga or mild exercise. I definitely did not feel like exercising when my Fibromyalgia was in full swing. The surprising thing is that just a little exercise seemed to give me a little endomorphin rush. It made it a little easier to get through the day. As one friend told me, some days I just had to move what little bit of my body I could.

Many people with Fibromyalgia report that they know they are stressed or emotional but just say it is ok. Essentially they are denying themselves their need for help. That alone creates more stress. For myself it created more severe Fibromyalgia flare ups.
Now many times when I am in pain I realize I am stressed or emotional about something.

I have to make myself stop and deal with it in some manner. Fibromyalgia may be chronic and, at least at this point, incurable. We can learn to manage our lives and emotions to reduce the effects.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Keeping Warm with Fibromyalgia

I saw some recreational vehicles in the Walmart parking lot last night. It reminded me of my Fibromyalgia. I imagined that the occupants were people who had come here from up north. I imagined what it would be like to travel and live like that.

One of the things I wish when it starts to get cold is that I could winter in a warmer climate. Then I remember that I do live in a warmer climate. In Louisiana we have short winters and long summers.

I tend to hurt more during the winters. During the summers I am cranky. I do not like it when it is hot. Some people think that the winters here are more painful because it is a wet cold. I tend to think wet cold compared to temperatures below freezing are not really a comparison that is helpful.

My main goal is to keep warm. Keeping warm seems to reduce the Fibromyalgia pain. I have a pair of hunting socks to wear at night. Although it cost a little less than ten dollars for a pair of socks it was cheaper than the compression socks I started out looking for.

Those hunting socks are certainly warm too. They helped keep me warm all night. Unfortunately by morning they also made my calves of my legs hurt. I will have to remember to take then off sometime during the night.

I also use the disposable heating pads during the night. The name brand is Thermacare. I really do not buy the name brand though. I buy the cheaper off-brands. They are designed to lay and gently stick to the area that hurts. For me, my shoulders almost always have Fibromyalgia Pain so that is a good place to start.

I use them for that type of pain. I also move one around on various parts of my torso. They keep me warm when I am achy all over. The heating pad also lasts longer than it says they do on the box. Sometimes they last as much as four times longer. Maybe the name brand would last longer than that.

My fibromyalgia pain also responds to hot baths. I keep a box of Epsom salts around for the bath too. Epsom salt baths are recommended by licensed massage therapists after a massage. The salts draw out toxins that have been released by the massage. I also hear that coaches tell their players to use Epson salts after a work-out.

These are just a few of the things I do to help with the pain during this time of year. Except summering farther south, I just dream about that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Newbie Advice

Someone asked me what I would tell someone newly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Here is what I came up with:

'You know how you are feeling right now? It gets better. At first being sick with Fibromyalgia is creepy and scarey. At first, before I knew what I had, I felt out of control. But it got better. I got better at managing the pain and the fibro fog.

I got better at hiding it when I felt really bad and had to go to work. I still hide the pain alot. I figured out other ways to get things done. You will too. I know you can do this.'

I hope and pray you take this to heart too!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The theory that Fibromyalgia is a retrovirus has sparked a lot of discussion among myself and my friends who have it. It would be nice to have a medical test to tell us and the world we have it. Even though it is generally accepted that Fibromyalgia is real, I still get those looks.

Better yet it would be nice to have a test for our children. I routinely try to get my children to eat and do the things that I do now so the Fibromyalgia will not be triggered in them. It seems like I have had this all my life but definitely after I had to evacuate for a hurricane.

Many of my friends tell me of trauma in their life that seemed to trigger the Fibromyalgia to a disabling extent. Many of them tell me they have had some of the symptoms and problems since childhood too.

Even if Fibromyalgia is a virus or even if it is not, we still need to do those things that work for us. Journaling what we eat or what stresses us helps us find the things that make it worse. Learning to relax and teaching our children and friends what we learn helps.

I firmly believe that I got Fibromyalgia for a reason. It is a reason I do not know or understand, but I believe everything happens for a reason.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Remember What Helps

One of the problems with Fibromyalgia is remembering to do the things that help. When you are in a flare it is harder to remember anything. The fibrofog is a killer. When you are feeling good you are busy trying to catch up.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The joy of Fibromyalgia is that I forgot what I have done before. So if I have spoke about this before sorry!

One of my theories with no basis other than my own experience is that I have to find new ways of doing things in everyday life. One of those things is my grabber. My shoulders hurt to much to be able to reach things that have fallen behind stuff or things that are too high. The grabber is a big help. At least on days when my hands don't hurt.

So what is your favorite piece of equipment?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Smoothies Update

I have not posted about these in awhile. They initially seemed to help with my Fibromyalgia. I made and drank them for a long time. I stopped because I got tired of so much banana. I did hear of a smoothie made with ripe avacado as the base.

Some alternative remedies seem to help the Fibromyalgia for awhile, then not so much. I think of the smoothies more as a natural medicine. I then forget about them. Do you think that is the fibrofog?

It might be time to start making smoothies again!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fibromyalgia and Three Days of Work

I went to the capitol yesterday for work. I got up early for a workshop I really wanted to attend today for work. My Fibromyalgia is screaming at me to stop. The second day of the workshop is tomorrow. Although I have a working knowledge of the information I still want to hear it.

I'm surviving on coffee and energy drinks right now. I need to go tend to an adult child that won't listen but then I will sleep. Or at least till I have to pick up the youngest son from work around 11pm. Sleep is better for my Fibromalgia than the energy drinks but I do what I have to do.

I do have another energy drink hidden in the car for tomorrow. :D That's how I keep moving even when I hurt. But I may crash Thursday. Then again I may not. errrrr

I know how to keep going when I have to. I wish I could predict which things would make me hurt and when. Stupid Fibromyalgia.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blogging Again

Yes, I know I'll never have any readers if I don't post...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I just read an article about the bodies inflamatory response and the brain's role in it. More specifically the vagus nerve at the base of the brain plays a role in the inflamatory response. So if my pain from the Fibromayalgia is cause, at least in part, by inflamation this might help.

If a device can be used to disrupt the vagus nerve for people with epilepsy, would it be too far to wish for a similar device for someone with Fibromyalgia? Anyway the article does not mention Fibromyalgia but it was a good read anyway. You can access it here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Some days it is so hard to be a mother and be in pain from the Fibromyalgia all the time. I'm amazed by the young mothers who are doing it. My youngest is a 16 year old boy. I'm almost done but...

Some days I have to go home and take a nap just so I can take him to his part time job. He is saving half of his check every pay day to get a car so I don't have to do this.

Many weeks I do not get to see my grandchildren. Either I am making up time because I had to take off work during the week or I am resting. If I do not get enough rest the Fibromyalgia knocks me on my butt.

I admire the young mothers who have Fibromyalgia and keep on keeping on.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fibromyalgia and Foot Pain

One of those little complications to having Fibromyalgia that myself and friends talk about is foot pain. Our discussion centers around how difficult it is to even walk with the pain in my feet and how much it tingles. It is so difficult that some of us use wheelchairs for mobility.

Surprisingly this foot pain or neuropathy most of us do not even have diabetes. Friends with diabetes know exactly what I am talking about. The first thing they ask is if I have diabetes. The verdict has always been no, even after having various tests at various times.

Neuropathy with Fibromyalgia and not having diabetes is surprisingly common among the women I know. Myself and others has gotten some relief with a variety of remedies. Arch supports in my shoes were very helpful when the pain was at its worse.

I also used warm foot baths before bedtime too. The relief I felt when I finally started asking other women if they had this type of pain was also extremely helpful. Most of them were just gritting their teeth and doing what they could.

The pain is many times present first thing in the morning. It even is at the point that I do not sleep with covers or socks on my feet at night. It feels like I have been on my feet for a 12 hour shift. In reality I just got out of bed.

Sometimes I use the electric cars at stores such as Walmart. Part of the reason is the pain in my feet. It was difficult to learn to use the cart at first. I was so grateful to be able to get groceries and shop with my children.

People do tend to judge you if you use the carts though, particularly if you do not look very old. Having children has been a challenge. I have difficulty doing the things I want and need to do with them. It takes a lot of planning and thought about how to do things now.

Another way I and some women with Fibromyalgia deal with the pain is medication. You just get so tired of medicine. Luckily the same medication, Neurontin that works for people with neuropathy from diabetes seems to work for me and some of my friends.

The flip side to that is that like many medications not all people can take Neurontin. The Neurontin worked best for me when I took it every day. It seemed to build up a cumulative effect over the days.

Myself and friends who have Fibromyalgia have this type of pain in other places than our feet. The pain can be in my arms, hands, fingers, and even face. Unfortunately when there is this type of pain in your feet the more you move around the more it hurts. When you do not move around much you do not get the gentle exercise that helps the Fibromyalgia.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fibromyalgia: Beliefs

There are many different attitudes and thoughts concerning people with Fibromyalgia and even the disorder itself. At this point many people do not consider it an autoimmune disease. There are also those who do not believe Fibro exists.

Then there are the people who do believe it exists, but have no idea what to do about it or how to explain it. Some medical professionals and lay people consider Fibromyalgia to be a psychiatric issue.

There are many doctors who refuse to take patients who claim to have the disease. The question which can not be answered is why other medical doctors would actively treat people who claim they have it.

The good news is that not only is there a group of doctors who treat people with Fibro, but they have hundreds of patients. Their patients have similar symptoms in vastly different personal situations.

Logically it would be extremely difficult for that many people to study a textbook and successfully lie about it. Lie many times to many people. Most people who find a doctor who treats Fibromyalgia have told there story to many medical professionals before they got there.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Memory and Fibro Fog

One of the most annoying things about Fibromyalgia is the Fibro Fog. It drives me nuts. Some days I can't remember who I am or where I'm going. I'm always trying to come up with things that will help.

I was interested in reading that researchers believe that beta carotene may help with preventing memory loss and other types of memory problems. Beta Carotene is found in carrots and other bright vegetables and fruit.

I plan to add some more of these into my diet. I need all the help I can get. Please give me seconds of spinach, broccoli, apricots, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stress and Fibromyalgia

One of the things I have learned about my Fibromyalgia is that stress makes it worse. I recently read where stress inhibits new brain cell growth. I need those brain cells.

Especially when medical professionals tell me that the reason I feel the pain maybe due to mixups in the signals in my nervous sytem. That sounds like I need my brain...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Inflamation and the Brain

My drug of choice for my Fibromyalgia is ibuprofen. Of course I have things stronger but that is the first one that I reach for. Many times it is all I need to take the edge off so I can get to work or continue working that day.

One of the things that runs in my family is Alzheimers. I do not know if Alzheimers has anything to do with Fibromyalgia. I was excited to learn that my ibuprofen was one of the thing that may be preventative for the Alzheimers though.

At least some things are working in my favor! What about you what little things are you finding that are working in your favor?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Post About Green Smoothies

I'm afraid I have not kept this up as much as I should. It took several days before I noticed a difference. I never really noticed the smoothies helped with pain. I did notice when the pain came back.

I started buying some V-8 for the days I do not get to make a smoothie. I buy the ones with low sodium as I try to stay away from salt as much as possible. The V-8 has parsley, lettuce, spinach, watercress, and beets in them, among other vegetables.

These are all vegetables I do not get to eat on a regular basis. I have already started to notice the pain recede again. Oh yeah and I forgot, the smoothies had made the chocolate cravings more controllable. The craving came back but has started to recede again with the V-8.

I will let you know how this works. I really believe food can heal or at least take the edges off pain.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Portable Heating Pads

The other day I had a stitch in my side that just would not go away. I had it for several days. I decided to try one of those portable heating pads. Like the Thermacare, but really it was a store brand. You see I'm kind cheap or well frugal.

I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did it help my side but it helped keep me warm all over. Since keeping warm is one of the things that helps my Fibromyalgia, you can see why I'm so excited. I have some at home and some in my desk at work now.

They are not exactly a natural remedy but they certainly are not medicine either!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Foods That Help with Pain

These are the foods that I have found that help with pain.
Dark Red Cherries: An older friend suggested this one to me. She told me how her grandmother ate a handful of dark red cherries every day and sometimes severa times a day. I have tried it and it does take the edge off my fibromyalgia pain.

Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother: It has many benefits, helping with pain is one of them. When I use this I put about a jigger full in a large glass of water. I know some people who put theirs on thier salad. I have done this for a couple years and it helps every time. I don't even realize it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Well I am still drinking green smoothies. You can not imagine my surprise either. I noticed when I drink them I have less indegestion.

Today the smoothie had 2 small cups of red cabbage, 1 cup of sliced peaches, 1/2 cup of red raspberries, and 1/2 banana. I don't think I will do the red raspberries again as it has too many seeds. I just needed to finish them up.

I decreased the banana from a whole one to a half today too. When I started doing smoothies in December I was using 2 whole bananas and that was entirely too much. A whole banana every day is still alot. But if you don't use banana it doesn't have a creamy taste.

I tried it that way. The flavor of the greens was too obvious. The fleshy fruit of the peach seems to do it though. It is still creamy with the peach and half a banana.

Anyway the inflamation is still low depending on what else I eat. That helps. I can't really say the smoothies do alot for the pain though. Part of the reason maybe that I somehow hurt my back and that clouds everything though.

Does anyone else use food as medicine? How is that working for you?