Living Life To The Fullest – Even With A Diagnosis Of Fibromyalgia
A diagnosis of Fibromyalgai can change the drastically course of an individual’s life forever. However, it doesn’t have to be a negative change. With a few simple techniques and treatment options, as well as making a few changes to the way lifestyle is accomplished living life to the fullest is no longer a dream but in fact can become a reality. Learning to live with Fibromyalgai is the workplace, dealing with the toll the symptoms take on daily life, and learning to ask for support are some of the ways that living life to the fullest can be achieved.
Living with Fibromyalgai in the Workplace
Because of medical expenses, or just the need to have some continued purpose in life many Fibromyalgai sufferers must still continue to work full time, or at least part time jobs, to fulfill these needs. The chronic pain and fatigue that is commonly associated with Fibromyalgai can impede performance in the workplace and it is important that these issues be properly discussed and dealt with between the Fibromyalgai sufferer as well as their co-workers and employers. 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 of symptoms does comes around. For proper workplace management to take place, a few things should be considered and addressed to employers as a top priority for those dealing with Fibromyalgia symptoms:
- 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
It is important to remember that not every single request or concession will be made possible by the workplace or employer. However, if the employer can understand the medical condition of Fibromyalgai and still see that as an individual the Fibromyalgai sufferer can still be advantageous to the company then usually an agreement can be made that will work for both parties.
Dealing with the Symptoms
Dealing with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia is another important step in living life to the fullest. The main symptoms of Fibromyalgai are chronic pain and fatigue, but many other ysmptoms are also issues. Denial is not an option, proper attention must be given to the symptoms that impede daily life and changes should be made to adapt to a new way of living with the Fibromyalgai. The symptoms of Fibromyalgai affect many facets of daily life, not just the obvious physical ones but also areas like relationships, parenting, tasks, and even decisions that should be made for the future. Learning to deal with these areas where symptoms can affect the outcome is important for living life to the fullest.
- Cognitive Problems – Many individuals with Fibromyalgia suffer from memory and concentration problems, this is largely due to the effects of pain and fatigue.
- Heightened Sensitivity – The pain associated with Fibromyalgia can be so severe that even the touch of clothing to the skin can be unbearable at times. Other issues with heightened sensitivity include bright light, touch, sounds, and smells.
- Decisions – Many people with Fibromyalgia state that a diagnosis had significant effects on decisions that had to be made especially in regards to relationships or employment.
- Depression – Research has shown that about one third of individuals diagnosed with Fibromyalgia also suffer from depression.
Another area to deal with in order to live life to the fullest when it comes to a Fibromyalgia diagnosis is to learn to find support. Support is an important aspect of dealing with Fibromyalgai. Three ways to find support in Fibromyalgai is to Erase Denial, Communicate, and Prepare.
- Erase Denial – Because the condition of Fibromyalgia is often difficult to diagnose others, including family and friends, may not fully understand the implications involved with Fibromyalgia. However, support cannot be expected if the individual themselves or others are dealing with denial in the first place. Fibromyalgia is a real medical problem, while adapting a martyr role will not aid in the situation, actually admitting that there is a need for support is necessary.
- Communicate – The best way for individuals dealing with Fibromyalgia to find honest to goodness support is by communicating very clearly. Expectation for others to meet needs cannot take place if they do not know what the needs are. Simple, straightforward, and polite communication is often one of the best ways to find Fibromyalgia support. It’s not a bad thing for an individual who is suffering from Fibromyalgia to look for assistance and in in no way proves any type of weakness; it shows strength in knowing that support is needed. However it is important for others to understand the difference between a simple preference and an actual need by someone who has Fibromyalgia. Just as with any relationship a balance must take place between the givers and the takers. Individuals dealing with Fibromyalgia have to learn to ask for help and support in the correct ways others are often much more willing to offer support when they feel appreciated and not taken for granted.
- Prepare – Advance preparation can help the Fibromyalgia suffer be able to cope when a difficult day comes along. Preparing easy to cook, freezable meals can help when a bad day does come along so that not much meal groundwork has to be completed on that specific day. Other ways in which planning ahead can come in handy is by having comfort items handy at all times, either in the car or in an easy to grab pre packed bag. Items such as heating pads, pillows, or extra medication can be lifesavers in a time of severe pain. No one wants to be caught off guard.