Fibromyalgia Is a Pain Disorder that causes muscle tenderness, interrupted sleep, fatigue and a host of other problems. As a women age 38 with a condition that does get me down sometimes, I won’t lose this battle, I just won’t! I have been diagnosed for two years. Before that, I was in pain and unsure along with my primary care physician for several years. A typical day in my life is filled with pain in varying degrees. Most of the time I fall asleep very late. Fibromyalgia has affected my sleep patterns very much. When I wake up every day I am already in pain, sometimes nausea and headaches are there too. Usually, in the morning, the pain is something I can bare. I usually do not take pain meds unless it is severe. And It is generally just a Motrin when I do decide to give in and take something. I can’t take prescription pain meds. They make me very sick and unable to function. And I refuse that! I do not want to get addicted them, so it is just as well. During the day I exercise when I can. Usually stretching or easy fitness on the kid’s Wii fit. I have found these game excercises to be nice, because they are short and I can do a few throughout the day. My husband and I sometimes walk on the beach. This is very relaxing and calming, and helps to get through the pain.
Diet. This one is hard. I have recently went on a diet/Lifestyle change in order to better my health, and my joints will benefit. My Rheumatologist suggested a Mostly Alkaline/Less Acidic diet that I try to stick to. Diet is important to the way that you overall feel and energy levels. However, in the past I have been so tired and fatigued that I really couldn’t muster up the energy to start a healthy lifestyle. For now I am faking it until I feel it. I have been exercising more, eating right for about a week and I am determined to feel better. Something I have accomplished in the past two years are going off soda, stopping all artificial sweeteners. This was hard because I thought at least Splenda would be okay. But , I have heard that your body does not recognize artificial sweeteners and I do not want my body working against me any more than it already is. Instead, I use Stevia to sweeten things when I need to. I have also started a balanced diet through a website called Sparkpeople to go along with my More Alkaline/Less Acidic Diet. It is working wonders. I have lost about 35 Pounds on it and have recommitted to it this week. It is free and really a great support, and helps so much with diet and fitness. One thing I really appreciate about the site, is that in the fitness area, it actually shows a little video of each exercise they are recommending. How awesome is that?
How I get through the fatigue. Well, that is a battle I face everyday. I usually sleep late. Its is a good day when I can wake up by nine. I generally can not get to sleep until at least one or two am. and about twice a month, I never fall asleep. This turns me into a Zombie of course. I have cut out caffeine, tried to take herbal supplements to help me sleep. But, no success. And as a part of Fibromyalgia, I have not gotten the upper hand on this battle yet. During the day, I am learning to give myself credit and not try to overdo things and then pay with pain later. I am learning to pittle around. Meaning, I do a chore, then take a break. I take a walk then take a break. This goes on all day. Something as simple as going to the grocery store can send me into a night of pain or even days. My Doctor has prescribed a few vitamins:Magnesium, Zinc, B12 drops, multivitamin, Vitamin D3. My doctor has also prescribed Savella in a low dose. This does help somewhat, however I have yet to find a med that takes away the pain and fatigue entirely. I feel as if I am on a roller coaster of good days and bad days. Even on a daily basis I feel like it takes me hours and hours to even feel awake and comfortable to leave the house or do a chore.
The Pain, it is always there. Most of the time the pain gets worse at night, when I have settled down for day, because I can’t take much more. When it is pretty bad, I take Motrin. I have learned that a calm house, a heating pad and a good cup of tea does wonders. I have a very supportive husband who takes over when this is happening. He also is always willing to give me a back massage when I ask, which is usually at least once or twice a week. If he is working, sometimes a hot shower with the water on my back or a bath helps.
Overall my main lesson with this, is learning that overdoing things is not worth it. I have made huge mistakes with going to a theme park, or a fun filled vacation day that sent me into pain for week. I have learned a few limits over the years to enjoy some time together and then take breaks. This summer I made some mistakes when we went to a few Disney theme parks. Then I caught on and realized what I was doing. I decided after much pain that when went to the next park, I simply asked the kids which three rides they would like me to go on them and then I took breaks in-between and let their daddy enjoy the others with them. Overall we still had fun as a family and I was not as overwhelmed after. And there have been times when I have had to cancel plans, leave stores or the mall, because I was over my limit of fatigue and pain. However, I do not want to forget I have a life. Fibromyalgia is a part of my life, unfortunately, but I will not let it be my life!