Fibromyalgia: What works for me?

What works for you?

I have decided to write a blog about this as a sentence would not suffice. I also feel it is difficult to say what works for me as I am then implying I am symptom balanced/symptom-free and that is not the case at all. The management I have in place at the moment works for me as it does bring some harmony to my day, some balance and some relief. I await in anticipation drooling at the excitement if anyone else has a working method that frees them from the grips of Fibromyalgia, without trying to sell me something.

The management I have in place is a very holistic one as it does not just focus on one area. We need to work on every aspect of our life to bring a balance, or even close to it.

Sleep I feel is most important as a well-rested body can cope with pain and chronic fatigue so much better. I am not an expert at this (it is 3am and I am up typing a blog as I can not sleep) but what I do practice is having scheduled sleep. I do not stress if I wake at 3am, I simply use that time productively and have some me-time to crochet, blog, catch up on facebook. I get adequate sleep for a full 24 hour period by not stressing about it being during the night. I know this is easier for me now as I can not work due to ill health, many of our Fibro tribe are still working, I have no answers for this as I struggled so much from flare to flare during this time of my illness, so my heart does go out to you.

Daily I sleep, at scheduled periods usually at lunch time. I try and manage two hours daily. It was difficult to implement at first as often the exhaustion would not allow my body to rest when I dictated, it was like a petulant child refusing a nap. Over time a pattern was formed and my body now plays fair.

It is a rut, a daily ritual, a coping mechanism but it ensures balance and gives me more quality energy to smile and enjoy my sons more. I am not out on my roller boots skating up and down the streets between sleep, I am still very much sedentary and confined to my chair, but I am smiling. Inner happiness in a rested body is one of the best medicines.

I rest guilt free.

A good supportive mattress on my bed.

Diet is a hit and miss for me. I try my best but I am confined within the restrictions of my appetite. Some days I prefer bland food in small portions, other days I am fine. I do try my best to keep protein levels high daily and I always try and have a packed smoothie as I really can not be bothered chewing fruit and veg all the time. I have tried gluten free and it made no difference to the symptoms at all. I do not allow the people who think diet alone is the key any space in my mind. Try living with Fibromyalgia and a sedentary life and come back to me for discussion.

Hydration is massive, I drink huge amounts of water.

Bowel health also is part of my management. When I am not regular and constipated the symptoms are tenfold so daily I take lactulose to keep everything in order. I also take a probiotic to boost the good bacteria with my intestines. The one I take is called Acidophilus. Good hydration also helps with the digestive system.

Heat is my savior! I am never without a hot water bottle on painful areas and I have an electric heat blanket on my bed. When I am in pain I lay there with the heat soothing my body. I also use heat patches on my lower back and I have microwave heat wheat bags for my neck and shoulders.

Keeping my body warm and my home warm in colder seasons.

Comfortable clothing is essential, I live mostly in pyjamas or soft cotton lounge clothing. Dealing with widespread body pain in uncomfortable clothing is not my idea of fun.

Adapted aids to assist me such as a stick, mobility scooter, adapted cutlery, small travel kettle, rails. Anything that makes life with illness easier and saves energy levels.

Inner peace is essential, I practice mindfulness and I meditate daily. (usually before my daily nap) when things are getting on top of me I refocus and re-read a book I love called "The Four Agreements"

My day is a complete balance. I know what will tip the scales and start a flare so I avoid overdoing it as best I can. Some things can not be avoided and I do have exceptions for the boy's needs but mostly I am good.

I learned to say NO.

I remove from my personal space anything or anyone that is toxic and negative. This includes social media, the news, newspapers, friends. Living within a negative utopia is soul destroying when you are ill.

I stopped apologising for my illness. "Sorry I am in pyjamas/ sorry I have no makeup on/ sorry I can not do that"

Communicate with my gang always as they need to know how I am feeling in order to help and understand. No prizes are given for wearing a sackcloth dress and being a martyr.

Try and get a full body massage when I can afford one.

Doctor prescription medications are:

Cipralex for panic attacks, social anxiety, and depression.

Cortisone injections in shoulders
Tramadol for pain relief.
Ibuprofen for pain relief.
Paracetamol for pain relief.

Vit D every 3 weeks

Sumatriptan for a migraine (these increased with Fibro)

Shop bought supplements are:

Glucosamine Sulphate
Omega 3, 6 & 9

Hope this helps in some way. I know we are all different and have different symptoms but there may be one small thing that can make our day a little easier so I alway believe it is good to share.

 Love and gentle hugs to you all


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