Learning To Cope With Fibromyalgia
The symptoms of Fibromyalgia are numerous and often times can be quite severe. Some of the most common symptoms that individuals who suffer from Fibromyalgia deal with are chronic muscle pain, muscles spasms or tightness, moderate to severe fatigue, insomnia, stiffness, headaches, depression, and many others that are too numerous to list. For diagnosis determinations an individual must have undergone widespread pain for more than 3 months, once other conditions have been ruled out then the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia will be specified. Unfortunately there is currently no known cure for the condition of Fibromyalgia; however there are ways that individuals can better cope with Fibromyalgia in order to improve upon the symptoms they live with in their everyday their daily lives.
Learning to Cope at Home
- Energy Savings – If the daily activities of homemaking leave the Fibromyalgia suffer with little to no energy consideration for how these tasks impact the overall quality of life. Always thinking of ways to cut down on the workload, not expecting too much of yourself and taking steps to save energy will help to decrease the Fibromyalgia symptoms. Making sure that there isn’t too much on the plate and that standards aren’t set too high is important for the energy savings of a Fibromyalgia sufferer.
- Set Standards – Many individuals who have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia would describe themselves as type A personalities. This is a bad combination when it comes to the condition of Fibromyalgia. Stopping to think about the new way of life, and how the Fibromyalgia affects every day living is important, striving for perfection must become a thing of the past, and learning to roll with the punches should become a new norm.
- Adaptation – Adaptation is extremely important for Fibromyalgia sufferers. Learning to accomplish tasks in new ways and trying to limit movements such as reaching above the head or bending over frequently is important. Get creative about modifying your way of life so that the tasks of everyday living work for you and not the other way around.
- Scheduling – It’s much easier to accomplish the tasks of homemaking when a schedule (a loose one, remember you have got to roll with the punches) is taken into consideration. At least some list of the tasks that have to be accomplished daily, weekly, monthly so that a check list can be done, that always make anyone feel better when they can check something off the list.
- Asking for Help – Life in general changes after a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. Life at home, relationships, life at work, the easiest way to begin to accept this new “normal” is to be willing to ask for help when it’s needed. It is important to try and maintain as much of a life as normal as possible, however it is also important to understand the reality of Fibromyalgia. If tasks such as deep cleaning or yard work are no longer viable options then asking for help with those tasks should be done.
Many individuals who are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia must still continue to work full time, or at least part time, occupations in order to keep up with the expenses of daily living. However, the chronic pain as well as fatigue that are caused by Fibromyalgia can make the task of continued employment very challenging at times. In order to cope with Fibromyalgia within the workplace, first the condition, and the symptoms associated with it, must be openly discussed with coworkers and supervisors. Often times just giving a simple explanation can help to ease others minds and allow them to be more open to giving concessions when a bad day comes around. For proper workplace coping to take place, a few things should be considered as well as addressed to employers and coworkers as a top priority for those dealing with Fibromyalgia:
- Reducing Stress
- Minimizing Distractions
- Provision of Memory aids, such as schedulers or organizers
- Provision of Written Job instructions
- Provision of clear deadlines, expectations, responsibilities, as well as consequences if not followed.
- Allowance of flexible work hours, as well as a self-paced work load
- Allowance of the possibility of an employee to work from home
- Allowance of periodic rest periods
- Allowance of time off for Counseling and/or Physician appointments
Of course it would be unfair to think that every single request made will be granted, but clearly communicating with the supervisors and bosses who are in charge as well as explaining the situation can often help the individuals trying to deal with Fibromyalgia while still being employed. It is important to try and continue with as much normality as possible and to continue being active while dealing with Fibromyalgia.