Fibromyalgia continues to baffle doctors and researchers, and we the sufferers are still discovering more about it as we live it daily.
As research into this debilitating condition continues it’s imperative that we share with eachother whatever little that we learn. We know that it is not a degenerative condition BUT I would call it life threatening; Life threatening because it takes over every aspect of our lives leaving us trying to live in whatever little way we can. So… with this in mind I thought I would share with you ten things that I think aid fibromyalgia and particular symptoms. I’d also like to ask for your help in adding more to the list by telling me what works for you. (WARNING: some of this may seem corny so go brave). Here we go:
1. Other fibromyalgia friends
With any illness support is crucial in coping. But given that fibromyalgia is invisible and so misunderstood, not only is support important but being able to share with and learn from other sufferers. This is my number 1 because it is what has made all the difference in my fight against this condition. No one else can understand what you’re going through like another sufferer can.
2. Pregabalin (also called Lyrica)
Now I imagine this causing a little debate among my support groups. Every sufferer is different so there is no one remedy for fibromyalgia and its myriad of symptoms. Pregabalin is what manages my pain now in the day and in the night it helps me to get the closest semblance to sleep I’ve ever had. (N.B I don’t suffer from any side effects. In any event, I already have all those symptoms listed on the side effects!)
3. Epsom salts
An old family remedy, Epsom salts are among my favourite of things, ever. Among other benefits it reduces inflammation, helps muscle and nerve function and removes toxins from the skin. Soaking in the bath with warm water and some cups of Epsom salts eases muscle tension and pains immensely. That, and the combination of a goof muscle rub and Pregbalin….ouu happy days are here again! J
4. The occasional drink
I say ‘occasional’ with great reservation having adopted the very British way of social drinking with a strong liking for the wonderful pub culture. I know alcohol affects all sufferers differently so go easy on this one if you decide to try. In moderation, the social drink settles my nerves and makes me less anxious about any pains or flare ups I’m having. It also sometimes helps with those nagging insomnia woes. My favourite social drink you ask? a bottle of Corona or a lovely glass of Summer Red.
Ok, more reservation again! (Imagine me hiding behind my pillow saying this) It was my physiotherapist who had explained the importance of exercising which causes our bodies to produce endorphins that help deal with pain. I can hear you complaining already about the lack of motivation and how difficult it is to exercise. I know it is. Debilitating exhaustion and pains make it so hard. BUT, if you have a supportive, loving partner who is patient with you, there’s no reason why you can’t exercise in bed…as often as possible. My therapist said your body should generate sweat so as to get those endorphins kicking!
6. Love and support
Sometimes we just need a little moan right? To know that someone is there to listen and just be there. Love and support from family and friends is important. They may not always understand and I know this causes significant problems in some families. It’s tough suffering like this in isolation. Try to be around people who will support you, love you and be there for you. Avoid like the plague anyone who doubts what you’re experiencing, calls you lazy or generally doesn’t support you.
7. Vitamin D
I’d be lying if I said vitamin D was a favourite thing of mine. I hate taking vitamins. But it seems most sufferers, like myself tend to suffer from vitamin D deficiencies. For years I’ve had to take calcium supplements and now vitamin D. It’s already hard with painful muscles, they must be aching so much more because we’re not getting the calcium they need to be stronger. Vitamin D helps our bodies to absorb calcium. Such deficiencies can make our muscles weaker.
8. Duloxetine (also called Cymbalta)
Another drug that’s stabilised my condition. Used to treat chronic and nerve pain, this antidepressant is also prescribed for sufferers who grapple with depression and anxiety. It’s among the more pleasant medicines I’ve had so far.
9. A pleasant routine day time activity
That’s a really long headline isn’t it? But I didn’t want to shorten it. You see, I know with crippling exhaustion levels some of us struggle to get out of bed daily. Some days we can’t do it, I understand. Other days, we need a reason to force us up and out of bed. A pleasant reason. It can’t be something like exercise or cutting your mother-in-law’s toenails. For me it’s going to work at my current job. It’s been so new to me, I like the people I work with, helping them daily and just the overall benefits of working with the company. I lie in bed in the morning, after slipping my radio nob up, I think about what the day holds, and I slowly sit up, then find myself excited about how I’m going to dress for work. Say it together with me – PLEASANT, ROUTINE, DAY TIME ACTIVITY. Also, it forces me to get the exercise I need. Rushing to catch the bus and train, up and down the office. Sure my fuse is almost blown at the end of the day and I can do little else, but I’ve realised I was so much more sick when I was stuck in bed day after day, not going out interacting with people and stretching my muscles. Join a charity and volunteer for a few hours, give after school lessons, help someone with their baby once a week. I dunno, whatever makes you happy, do it!
I know this can be a tough one. But enjoy the fleeting moments of happiness when they come daily. Smile, help someone else, laugh at yourself, smile again…when we are happy our symptoms are so much better. Happiness keeps the dreaded fibromyalgia at bay.
Gentle Hugs 🙂