HOW TO COPE WITH FYBROMYALIGA
Life can be difficult at times and everyone goes through situations where things can get pretty hairy. However, unlike people whose bodies are functioning properly, those with fybromyalgia have the added stress, pain, and discomfort that just seems to never let up, making life extremely difficult to handle. My heart goes out to them and I hope that what I have to say helps make a difference in their situations.
With that being said, there are some ways to help cope with fybromyalgia. Granted, they are not cures and they all probably won’t work for everyone, but if one or two of them seem to help with the pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, then my mission is accomplished.
They say that stress can be the cause or escalation of numerous conditions. I totally agree with this statement. I know in my own life there were times that I underwent extremely stressful situations to where I came down with a condition that normally would never plague me. The only cause the doctor could find was the stressful situation that I was in. In the same way, stress can trigger fybromyalgia symptoms. If you have fybromyalgia (FMS), minimizing stress can improve your quality of life. Many people use yoga, exercise, sleep, and meditation as good stress busters. Even breathing deeply and exhaling slowly helps. Another way is to keep in mind activities that you enjoy or that make you feel better. When stress strikes, do one or two of them.
Personally, I enjoy walking out where there is a natural setting. This, to me, is very stress-relieving and when I do this, I come back revived, refreshed, and ready to tackle the world. Use whatever works to calm your tension and refresh your spirit.
Many patients with FMS complain about the fibro fog that seems to prevail in their lives. If “fibro fog” is hurting your focus or memory, keep a pen and post-its handy. Make to-do and even “to say” lists to help you remember topics you want to talk to your spouse or family about. Keep shopping lists, friends’ names, and important phone numbers and addresses in a notebook that you carry with you. This little extra help may be just what you need to keep your thoughts focused.
Anyone with fybromyalgia knows that the pain, stiffness, and fatigue play a big part in what goes on every day. However, research has shown that regular exercise is vital to your healing. Regular, low-intensity exercise, such as walking or warm-water exercise, is one of the best treatments for fibromyalgia. It helps decrease pain and stiffness, reduces stress, and may increase your sense of control over your fibromyalgia. You may even sleep better. Of course, talk to your doctor or therapist to see which exercise program would be best for your situation.
SOAK ‘TIL PRUNY
This is an exaggeration but a good, long soak in a warm bath or hot tub can relax tense muscles, reduce pain, and help you move more easily. If it’s hard for you to get in and out of the tub, try a sauna or put a stool in the shower so you can sit and let the water do its magic. Moist heat may increase endorphins, which block pain signals, and help you sleep more soundly. I know a warm shower or bath to very relaxing and can do wonders.
Many people are coffee drinkers. I love the smell of fresh coffee, myself, so I can understand why coffee drinkers would not like to give up the bean. The only problem is that caffeine may compound stress, both physically and psychologically. It stimulates the heart and central nervous system, and can increase nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia. So… try to decaf to distress. There are many good decaffeinated coffees that still retain that wonderful smell and taste quite good as well. For better sleep at night avoid caffeine from the late afternoon on and watch out for caffeine in chocolate and some soft drinks and teas.
HAVE A ME TIME EVERY DAY
With all the responsibilities that people have to family, friends, and work, it is difficult to set aside time for yourself. And yet, it is those times that your body needs to rewind and de-stress. Every day, try to carve out some time for yourself. It may mean taking a break with a good book that you have been wanting to read or doing some other activity that interests you. Whatever it is, grasp this time as your own. Your body will thank you and you will feel the difference.
I hope some of these little tips will help someone with fybromyalgia get a better handle on their situation. Life is short. There is no need to prolong the healing if one or two of these suggestions will help you better cope with fybromyalgia.