Beyond The Diagnosis – Living With Fibromyalgia
Receiving a diagnosis of Fibromyalgai can change the drastically course of an individual’s life forever. However, with this diagnosis doesn’t have to be negative connotations. Adapting to a few lifestyle changes, learning how to cope in the workplace, and creating a support system can go a long way in how the condition of Fibromyalgai will affect daily life for the Fibromyalgai sufferer. If a diagnosis of Fibromyalgai is dealt with like an elephant in the room then life will be miserable for the person receiving the diagnosis, however if the condition of Fibromyalgai is grabbed by the horns and appropriately addressed then symptoms management and overall quality of life can have a great outcome.
There are several suggestions for lifestyle changes or adaptations that can help to reduce the symptoms of the condition of Fibromyalgai and allow the Fibromyalgai sufferer to live life to the fullest. Some of these suggestions include making changes to diet, exercise, sleeping habits, addressing stress, as well as learning how to better pace themselves.
Coping in the Workplace
Many individuals who have been diagnosed with the condition of Fibromyalgia must still continue to work because of medical expenses, or just the need to have some continued purpose in their own lives. However, if proper attention is not given to the symptoms which are presented by Fibromyalgai and not addressed the workplace coping can become obsolete and the thought of continue employment can become overwhelming. It is important that explanation about the condition of Fibromyalgai as well as how the symptoms personally affect an individuals and their workplace responsibilities are clearly laid out between both the employee and the employer. A few suggestions that should be considered if workplace coping is to take place are as follows:
- Minimizing Distractions
- Reducing Stress
- Establishment of Memory Aids (examples would be organizers or schedulers)
- Establishment of Written Job instructions
- Establishment of clear deadlines, expectations, responsibilities, as well as consequences if not followed.
- Allowance of flexible work hours (or perhaps a self-paced work load or working from home when needed)
- Allowance of periodic breaks and/or rest periods
- Allowance of time off for Physician appointments and/or Counseling sessions
While of course every single suggestion will not be made as a standing concession, if the issues are addressed by the employee in a clear and concise manner then places of employment, managers, and co-workers will be much more apt to step in and help when symptoms of the Fibromyalgai are higher than normal.
Creating a Support System
Another important aspect of getting beyond the diagnosis and learning to live with the condition of Fibromyalgai is to create a support system. Three ways to help create a support system include erasing denial, advanced preparation, and communication.
- Erasing Denial – Denial is one of the natural emotions and reactions that occur after a diagnosis of the condition of Fibromyalgia. However in order to move beyond the diagnosis and begin to live life, denial must be erased and the process of acceptance and dealing with the symptoms of the condition must come into play.
- Advanced Preparation – Advance preparation is another important aspect of building and creating a support system. An adequate support system can allow Fibromyalgai sufferers to be able to cope with bad days when they come along because they have individuals on their team who will step up to the plate to help out with responsibilities and tasks that must be accomplished. Another aspect of advanced preparation includes making easy to cook or freezable meals that will lessen the load on bad days, also having comfort items handy (such as heating pads, extra medication, or pillows) can make a huge difference when they are needed.
- Communication – Communication, communication, communication. This is one of the most important aspects of a support system. Information about how the condition of Fibromyalgai and the symptoms affect the person diagnosed, asking for help when needed, and being clear and concise when communicating these needs are important. It’s okay to ask for help, it is not a sign of weakness. A concrete support system involves intact communication between all members. The key is creating balance and not taking advantage of others. If real help is needed then ask, however don’t use the condition of Fibromyalgai as a crutch to get out of things which can in reality be accomplished without help.