Blog

Slamming the “Carnival” Lyrica Commercial

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Blogging Challenges, Emilys Thoughts, Fibro Pics | 2 comments

Slamming the “Carnival” Lyrica Commercial

As a person who has dealt with Fibromyalgia for over a decade, I have found the most recent Lyrica commercials to be disturbing and setting unrealistic expectations. The “Carnival” Lyrica ad showcases a mother with Fibromyalgia taking her daughter to a carnival where they play carnival games, ride the ferris wheel, and eat cotton candy.

The commercial itself is sweet and heartwarming, but it is also extremely unrealistic for many people with Fibromyalgia. Lyrica is one of only three pain medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Fibromyalgia. Many people have had good results with Lyrica in that it can calm the nerves and reduce pain. A few people have outstanding results with Lyrica and probably could go to the carnival and then pay for it for a week after.

My experience with Lyrica was initially that it was a miracle drug that enabled me to do so much more, including spending more time with my children. But then the side effects started and I got worse, much worse. Years later, I no longer take Lyrica and am able to live life again without it, but at the time Lyrica really did help me for a while. In fact, there were days that I actually could have gone to the carnival and did; I just was not able to move for days afterwards.

So what is my beef with the Lyrica commercials? Well, I simply want them to be a little more realistic for Fibromyalgia patients. It is not a cure, nor does it alleviate all symptoms, but it does help many people mitigate the nerve pain with side effects that seem to affect everyone differently.

Commercials literally reach millions of people every day and this commercial is spreading a consciousness about Fibromyalgia that is overdramatized to the good side. If everyone with Fibromyalgia really got that much better from taking the pill, don’t you think we would all take it? Unfortunately, what I have seen as the result of the commercial is the mentality of “If you want to get better just take the Lyrica pill on tv, it fixes everything” and “why aren’t you doing as well as the people on tv? You take that pill don’t you?”

That said, because Fibromyalgia affects everyone so differently and because if I had not experienced such strong side effects, I personally would still be taking Lyrica, I cannot completely slam the commercials or the medication. I just want to see a different portrayal.

A woman named Amanda Matos has a petition requesting Pfizer (the manufacturer of Lyrica) to do the following:

1.) Make Lyrica advertisements realistic, if you have any advertisements at all
2.) Modify Lyrica so that the side effects are not worse than the disease
3.) Invest more money and time into research, to find better treatments for fibromyalgia.

I personally agree with these three requests. If you do too, please consider signing the petition at http://tinyurl.com/pfizer-lyrica-petition.

Do you think the Lyrica “Carnival” commercial is unrealistic?

Young Fibromyalgia Patients May Have Worse Symptoms

Posted by on Apr 5, 2014 in April 2014, Blogging Challenges | 4 comments

Young Fibromyalgia Patients May Have Worse Symptoms

According to a Mayo Clinic study, young and middle-aged Fibromyalgia patients report worse symptoms and a poorer quality of life than older patients. The suggestion is that the syndrome may be experienced differently for people in different age groups.

Although all people in the study with Fibromyalgia reported lower quality of life than the average person of their age in the United States, the younger people actually had lower scores in mental and physical health than the older ones.

These seems incredibly counter-intuitive and backwards to me. Age has always played a factor, but I always though the opposite. In general, people as they age have more health problems, so it seemed like the symptoms for Fibromyalgia would follow the same pattern, but for some reason it didn’t.

Why?

I don’t know. More research needs to be done of course, but I suspect it has to do with the cultural differences in the way younger people have been raised versus older people. I also suspect that it is in part due to the changes in diet from generation to generation. Fifty years ago, fast food was not as prevalent as it is today, nor was processed food in general. However, younger people today often eat these foods as part of their normal diet.

I believe that ultimately these findings are going to lead to a better understanding of Fibromyalgia and treatment options. Perhaps the reason some treatments work so well for some people and not others is as simple as your age. If that is the case, then it is possible the treatments could change drastically and be more individualized and maybe even work better for everyone!

 

 

 

Source:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131027123155.htm

http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/young-fibromyalgia-patients-report-worse-symptoms-than-older-patients-mayo-clinic-study-shows

Slideshow of Fibromyalgia Books

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Fibro Books, Fibromyalgia | 2 comments

Today, I’m sharing a slideshow of some Fibromyalgia books that I have found helpful or interesting or simply inspiring.

Occasional Dyslexia as a Symptom of Fibromyalgia

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Blogging Challenges, Symptoms | 10 comments

Occasional Dyslexia as a Symptom of Fibromyalgia

Many of you are aware that I took a lot of time compiling a list of 200+ Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Co-existing conditions. If you haven’t seen the list and would like to check it out, feel free to click here. One of the symptoms listed is “occasional dyslexia.” This symptom is up for discussion today.

Recently, one of my wonderful readers emailed me to let me know that the term “occasional dyslexia” is offensive to the people who have dyslexia, because actual dyslexia is constant and doesn’t go away.” No one has occasional dyslexia, you either have dyslexia or not.”  I appreciate the fact that she took the time to let me know and I even understand the distinction and agree!

I am struggling to figure out what to say instead to describe a very difficult symptom of Fibromyalgia that is so similar to dyslexia though. Out of respect for my reader and for everyone else with dyslexia, I have changed the symptom on the blog post to read “139. Dyslexia-type symptoms occasionally.”

I haven’t changed it in the PDF yet though, because I’m not sure this is the best wording for it either.  I am looking for input on the best wording for this symptom, because I do not want to minimize the struggle someone who has dyslexia in anyway, but I also don’t want to minimize a symptom that many people with Fibro have experienced including myself.

So today, I want to explore the symptom a bit and see what you suggest for expressing this very real, common, and frustrating symptom of Fibromyalgia.

Dyslexia:

Let’s start with the learning difficulty called dyslexia. Dyslexia is a developmental reading disorder that makes learning to read, write, spell, and sometimes speak difficult.  It is a genetic problem and is NOT caused by any physical problem like eyesight, hearing, low intelligence, poor teaching, or emotional disturbances (although of course someone can have dyslexia and one or more of these other issues as well). Dyslexia cannot be cured and does not go away, but appropriate teaching can help people with dyslexia reach their full potential.

Difficulties with letters, words, reading, writing for Fibro

The symptom formerly called “occasional dyslexia” for Fibromyalgia mirrors some of the same characteristics of dyslexia like transposing letters, difficulty reading, and mixing up letters when looking at them or when writing. This symptom is believed to be a part of the “brain fog” or cognitive issues many people with Fibromyalgia deal with on a daily basis. The big difference between actual dyslexia and the symptom people with Fibromyalgia have is that it goes away for people with Fibromyalgia and simply doesn’t occur all of the time.

For people with Fibromyalgia, the brain is sending confused messages, making translating words or writing or reading difficult. Some theories as to what may cause the specific issue with words include lack of sleep, pain, brain fog, brain wiring, depression, underperforming thyroid, and side effect of medications.

A few studies, nothing conclusive though

There are also some people who have Fibromyalgia and dyslexia. According to one informal study, about 9% of people with Fibromyalgia also have actual dyslexia. Some research is being done to determine if they are interrelated.

A few small studies confirm that fibro fog and the cognitive dysfunction that comes with it is real and not just memory loss due to getting older. One study found that people with Fibromyalgia scored below average when asked to recall words from a list. Additionally, many scientists believe that pain is a contributing factor when it comes to memory problems and other issues including brain fog and dyslexia-like symptoms.

How should I word the symptom?

So I ask, what would be a better way to describe this symptom? I’ve considered “acquired dyslexia,” “symptoms mirroring dyslexia” and “dyslexia-type symptoms occasionally”.

What do you recommend?

 

Sources:

“Autism/ADHD/Dyslexia and Brain Wiring…Fibromyalgia and Brain Wiring??” Women and Fibromyalgia. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014. <http://womenandfibromyalgia.com/2010/02/07/autismadhddyslexia-and-brain-wiring-fibromyalgia-and-brain-wiring/>.

“Can Fibromyalgia Affect My Memory?” - Mental Effects of Fibromyalgia. Sharecare, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.sharecare.com/health/fibromyalgia-mental-effects/fibromyalgia-affect-memory>.

“Review: Could Fibromyalgia Cause Dyslexia?” Could Fibromyalgia Cause Dyslexia (Developmental Reading Disorder). EHealthme, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.ehealthme.com/cs/fibromyalgia/dyslexia>.

 

 

 

The One Thing That Changed Everything

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Blogging Challenges, Emilys Thoughts, Fibro Pics | 8 comments

The One Thing That Changed Everything

When I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and for many years after, I experienced a gamut of emotions ranging from being angry at myself and my body, feeling completely out of control of everything, and feeling exceptionally dissatisfied with life. I felt like I’d been dealt a really bad hand in a poker game that I wasn’t even aware that I was playing.

I was struggling against the diagnosis, struggling against the changes my mind, body and spirit were going through, struggling against my self-worth, and struggling against my life. I struggled and fought against everything and everything that I thought I wanted was just out of reach. I resented the ease with which others seemed to obtain their dreams.

These emotions and this struggle became a part of every aspect of my life: financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, relationships, and career – all were affected my attitude.

  • Financially – I grappled with money issues and could not ever seem to make enough to even cover the bills, much less have fun. Then, I would spend money on things that I could have done without, because I felt so deprived.
  • Emotionally – I never felt truly happy; I was drained, constantly discontent, and unable to come to terms with past turmoil.
  • Mentally – I was anxious and stressed; unable to focus or find solutions.
  • Physically- My body was failing me in every way and the symptoms just kept piling up: more pain, more brain fog, more frustration, more heart issues, more digestive issues, more weight gain, and more fatigue.
  • Relationships – My relationships with my friends, family, and spouse at the time were barely in existence. I was unable to connect with others in a meaningful way or even simply enjoy the moment, because I was so focused on how bad I felt and how horrible it all was for me.
  • Career- I was unable to hang onto a job, much less really focus on a career. I struggled to find my life’s calling and often thought I should just give up. After all, who am I to do anything career-wise, when I could not even get out of bed or function like a normal human being?

The more I struggled, the more I ignored, the more I downplayed my emotions and difficulties, the more unhappy, angry, and discontent I felt.

In hindsight, I realize that I was far too focused on getting things right for a “future” happiness, contentment, joy that would somehow miraculously appear when I made the right changes to my career, fixed my health, improved relationships, started a new relationship, made more money, or whatever was on my mind at the moment.

There is one decision that I made that changed the way I deal with Fibromyalgia and life that helped put these emotions to rest and allowed me to start being happy, joyful, and open to abundance right now, in the present moment, the vast majority of the time…

Can you guess what it is?

I accepted that I couldn’t change the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, but I could start taking small steps towards improving. I took the time to appreciate what I could do. I rebuilt my self-esteem slowly. I figured out what I could do to help others and focus less on myself. I ended a toxic relationship.  I began taking better care of myself. All of these things helped in the journey to becoming PRESENT in the present.

All of these things were important to becoming happier, more abundant, and joyful, BUT the ONE thing that really changed everything for me was simply GRATITUDE! I started each morning thinking of what I was grateful for. I looked for inspiration around me and was grateful. I ended each day with thoughts about what I was grateful for.

When my days were difficult and all I accomplished was going to the bathroom and brushing my teeth, I thanked the universe for allowing me to do that and was grateful. When I could bake a batch of cookies with my daughter (and that was the only fun thing I could do for weeks), I was grateful for it. Over time, I began to be able to do more and more. Instead of symptoms increasing, my gratitude increased.

Today, I am grateful for having Fibromyalgia. It has helped me become a better, stronger, more caring person who is genuinely focused on the parts of life that matter most. I find myself feeling grateful for everything, the breath in my lungs, the rain, the snow, the sun, the flowers, the weeds, the time spent with my daughters, the career, the family, the real friends, and so much more.

livinglife

 I am grateful for challenges and I am grateful for the pain. Fibromyalgia helped slow me down and focus on what really matters in life. I am grateful for each moment and see the beauty and wonder everywhere in the world around me. I appreciate the days when my body and mind allow me to simply live. I find nearly everyone around me to be amazing creatures with so many wonderful gifts and talents. I see the beauty and strength within me and around me.

Being filled with gratitude was the first major change that I made in my life to truly manage Fibromyalgia and it has been the ONE CHOICE that has helped lead me towards improving all aspects of my life. Gratitude is deeper than simply saying thank you. It is opening yourself up to truly appreciate everything in life, the good, the bad and the ugly, to the very depths of your soul.

Healing every aspect of my life will take time and will be a journey that continually unfolds. I am still human and have negative emotions. I don’t always feel gratitude every moment of the day, but now if I step back for a moment and think about it, I can always find something to be grateful for in my life, in the world around me, in the amazing people everywhere.

Something deep within me has shifted and I believe it is due to gratitude that I am able to see my life so much clearly and live with a level of hope and joy in this very moment.

April 2014 Blog Challenges & Growing

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Blogging Challenges, Blogging Communities, Fibro Pics, Inspirational Photos | 4 comments

April 2014 Blog Challenges & Growing

Some moments pass by quickly while others drag on.  It feels like it’s been mere minutes that I have been away from the Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia blog, but in truth I have neglected the blog more than a little over the past few months.

Life is simply so easy to slip off into doing other things like working on my book, putting together the second edition of the Fibro Living digital magazine, working with clients, and posting on Facebook (and other social media-but mostly Facebook).

I’ve also put a lot of time and energy into healing – not just from Fibromyalgia, but also from a car accident in December of 2013. But it is past time to really step back into the blog, which was my starting point and the foundation that supports everything else I do.

For April 2014, I am going to participate in TWO blogging challenges with the hopes that I will get back into the habit of sharing my thoughts, experiences, information, and news about Fibro, about coping with symptoms, about some symptoms more in depth, and put together some new graphics as well!

The two challenges are the:

 Ultimate Blog Challenge

UBC Blog Challenge

  And

the Simple Blogging Network

Simple Blogging Challenge

If you are a blogger and want to participate also, I highly recommend them both and would love to see you there! Both of the challenges are FREE of charge and I’ve met some great people at them in the past. I always learn a lot and hope you do too!

For the wonderful new people I hope to meet through the challenges, this blog is about not only coping but thriving with a chronic pain syndrome called Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia affects millions of people and can be extremely debilitating. The symptoms go far beyond pain as well and can include cognitive issues and extreme fatigue and much more.

I’ve been fortunate enough to learn some great ways of coping, so that I can live what I consider an Inspired Life (one filled primarily with joy and excitement and dreams) and try to help others, though I often end up more than a little stretched in multiple directions a bit like a rubber band about to shoot into orbit.

My hope is that everyone with or without Fibromyalgia will be willing to learn more and share information and offer hope and healing, in the form of inspiration and information. for the sake of the millions of wonderful people suffering with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

Ihavegrown

 

Although the overall theme of my blog is about Fibromyalgia, it is also about living an abundant and inspiring life which speaks to many people who are interested in improving their quality of life.

Whether you have Fibro or not, you are welcome here! Just please be respectful of the people in varying stages of coping with a difficult chronic illness. This is a place to grow and learn.

 

 

Join the HealClick Revolution

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Blog Posts of Articles, Finding Support | 0 comments

Join the HealClick Revolution

HealClick has just opened their proverbial online doors to the public, all they need is you. Join HealClick to meet wonderful people like you who are dealing with neuroimmune and/or autoimmune illnesses.

By sharing information about symptoms and treatments, you can help find or share better ways of dealing with symptoms while making new friends. The data users submit is anonymized and used to help develop research trials and hopefully eventually to find a cure. Are you ready to find some answers and possibly even help find a cure?

HealClick is completely free to use. There are no ads and no company sponsorships. This site is genuinely for people to people connections for people who HAVE one or more of the conditions currently served. or are caregivers of people with the conditions.

Conditions currently served include:

Ankylosing Sondylitis
Celiac
Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
Chronic pain
Crohn’s Disease
Ehler-s Danlos Syndrome
Fibromyalgia
Hashimoto’s Disease
Hyperthyroidism
Interstitial Cystitis
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Lupus
Lyme Disease
ME/CFS
Migraines
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities,
Multiple Sclerosis
Myasthenia Gravis
Orthostatic Intolerance/ POTS
Osteoarthritis
Other
Psoriasis
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy,
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sjogerns Syndrome
Ulcerative Colitis

“We match patients with similar condition to make sharing treatments easier, then use online data to fuel new medical research” – Joey Tuan

If you are interested in joining this wonderful, supportive, and helpful community, 
please click the Healclick logo below!

logo

 

 

 

Accepting The Fighterz Fierce Fabulous Blogger Award

Posted by on Mar 2, 2014 in Awards, Fibro Pics | 0 comments

Accepting The Fighterz Fierce Fabulous Blogger Award

The Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia community has won another award! The award today is from Fibro Fighterz and is called “The Fighterz Fierce and Fabulous Blogger Award.”

This incredibly special award is given to bloggers who’s writing is incredible and inspirational, educational and enlightening. To be given this award is so lovely and is a direct reflection of this wonderful community who support my efforts to share information about Fibromyalgia, while trying to provide inspiration and beauty!

Thank you Fibro Fighterz for this wonderfully meaningful award!

fighterzinebadge_zps7d0520b3

Spotlight on Facebook Page Dear Fibromyalgia

Posted by on Mar 1, 2014 in Blog Posts of Articles, Facebook Pages | 0 comments

Spotlight on Facebook Page Dear Fibromyalgia

My Review of the Dear Fibromyalgia Facebook Page

Dear Fibromyalgia is a Facebook community devoted to educating, supporting, and sharing experiences on Fibromyalgia and comorbid conditions. Beth Biondolillo, Michelle Pena and April Zink provide a safe place for those struggling with Fibro to connect and learn.

 

Their hip approach to dealing with Fibro is unparalleled among Fibro Facebook pages. The primary emphasis is on coping with the day to day problems faced by people living with chronic illnesses. Beth hones in where invisible pleasedon'tjudgemeillness genuinely hurts – focusing on the real problems and real feelings of Fibromyalgia sufferers.ia and comorbid conditions. Beth Biondolillo, Michelle Pena and April Zink provide a safe place for those struggling with Fibro to connect and learn.

Typical posts include member questions (with answers), articles on Fibro, and so much more. They even share some things from Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia!

My favorite part of the page is the use of edgy, unique, and stunning graphics combined with deep, sensitive thoughts that so clearly reflect the deepest, oftentimes hidden, feelings of those fighting Fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses.

replacenoonecantakeawayyourpain

These beautiful graphics capture the myriad of feelings those of us with Fibro face. From laughter to tears, from silence to yelling, from anger to acceptance, these ladies find a way to share the gamut of emotions we face while offering ways to cope with day to day living with chronic illness.

Dear Fibromyalgia is much like my favorite coffee shop; warm, inviting, a little dark, and the perfect place to rest for a bit and simply enjoy.

This page provides comfort and companionship to online readers through a discussion of everyday topics that will be familiar to those who live with chronic invisible illnesses.

This is truly a fantastic Facebook page that hones in where invisible illness genuinely hurts and focuses on the real problems and real feelings of Fibromyalgia sufferers.

 

Getting to know the Ladies behind Dear Fibromyalgia

Beth Ann BealeBeth Biondolillo, the Fearless Leader

When Emily contacted me and asked to write about why I started Dear Fibromyalgia, a million reasons went through my mind.

The night I decided to create the page I was in bed, fighting a fibro-flare, and just days away from my disability hearing. My life was literally hanging by a thread as I’d lost everything or was going to lose even more if I didn’t receive a favorable decision. Like they say, “your life can change in the blink of an eye” and that’s exactly what happened to me.

I woke up one morning with what I thought was the flu. Little did I know my life was never going to be the same.

My future career as a nurse had ended, and I knew I’d never be able to work again having finally been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Sjogren’s Syndrome, CFS/ME, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, severe MCS, arthritis, DDD, bulging lumbar discs, depression, and anxiety. I needed an outlet for not only my knowledge, but also my creativity and the need to help others.

Growing up I remember the “Dear Abby” columns in the newspaper, so that’s how I named my page. I wanted people to be able to write in with their problems and concerns and, in return, receive medically sound advice, personal

rumi

support, and encouraging words; something I wasn’t always finding on Facebook. Dear Fibromyalgia’s audience

I have since relocated up to beautiful Saint Augustine, Florida, to be near the beach (my sanctuary) and have access to better health care and alternative therapies.quickly grew with regular followers much to my delight and surprise!

When people are diagnosed with chronic illness they go through stages of grief. I want to help people reach the stage of acceptance and realize that there is life after a diagnosis of Fibro; it’s just a different life. We’re now in our 8th month since start-up, and I hope to continue to grow, spread awareness, and help those who are suffering from this mysterious, unpredictable, and debilitating disease and its comorbid illnesses.

 

MichelleMichelle Pena, Relief Admin and Graphic Designer

In June, I discovered Dear Fibromyalgia. I wanted to learn more about my illness. When looking at all the FB pages this one stood out to me. There was a lot of medical information, questions being answered, everyone was welcomed to the page and of course beautiful graphics.

One day I asked for just simple support as I was going through some pretty hard stuff on top of my illness. After getting great responses from other people on the page and personal support from Beth I was hooked. When I was cruising my FB news feed, I would see a funny or beautiful graphic that I could relate to.

So I started sending them to Beth. Well I never stopped. Beth would post every single one I would send her and she encouraged me every time I did. We were only

at about 2000 likes when I told her “you know I really love being a part of the page like this. If you ever need some help please let me know”

1528635_739297502748095_1408103949_n

I self-assigned the days in which I would run the page to help her get some “me” time. I also would check on the page and her daily to see if there was anything I could do to help.I didn’t realize that she was looking for another admin. Shortly thereafter we both agreed and I became an admin. I started making my own graphics basically just pouring my heart out into them.

One thing about pouring and opening your heart up to something like this page and the community of people is that it becomes a part of you.

 

AprilApril Zink, Graphic Designer & Admin

I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2009. I had heard of the disease, but did not know anyone who had it. I was a deputy program manager in charge of 25 team members. My career was on the rise, until this disease brought me to a complete stop. I ended up having to quit my job because my brain could no longer function. I went into a deeper depression as I realized we would lose our house.

I found Dear Fibromyalgia at the end of summer 2013. I cried when I found their page. To find out that you aren’t crazy and that there are other people who have or are going through the same thing was wonderful.

The graphics drew me in, but the love, support and camaraderie made it my home. I now have a place that I can go to where I am not judged, criticized, or ignored. Now I help make some of the graphics when I can, and it helps me to feel more alive.

People don’t understand chronic pain and the effect it can have on people and their relationships. I am just glad I found Dear Fibromyalgia.

prisonofpain

 

 

Please Visit the Facebook Page

Dear Fibromyalgia

 

All graphics in this post created by Dear Fibromyalgia and printed with permission.
copyright © 2013 Dear Fibromyalgia

“Simple Aids” Protocol Featured in Fibro Living

Posted by on Mar 1, 2014 in Blog Posts of Articles, Featured, Issue 1 February/March 2014 | 2 comments

“Simple Aids” Protocol Featured in Fibro Living

Millions of people suffer with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome that affects every facet of life including sleep, libido, brain function, daily tasks and so much more. Everything in life is more difficult with Fibro. But there are a wide variety of treatment options and the “SIMPLE AIDS” protocol discussed here helps to narrow down the key components to living a wonderful life with Fibromyalgia.

My goal is for each of us with Fibro to lead the most inspired life possible. In order to reach for our dreams, we need to treat the physical obstacles, which in this case is Fibro and the many symptoms that come with it.

This treatment plan works for me (with adjustments as needed) and it can work for you too. The key is finding what works for you and doing it!

When we have Fibro we are affected physically, mentally, and spiritually. The “Simple Aids” protocol for treating Fibromyalgia with style and grace focuses on meditation, inspiration, and openness for the mind,; diet, exercise, treatments, and supplements for the body; and energy, faith, determination, and hope for the spirit.

The one constant with Fibro is that it will change and it will affect everyone differently. The “Simple Aids” treatment allows for the individual adjustments we all need to make based on our symptoms, our reactions, what works for us and what doesn’t, what our dietary needs are, what our triggers are, and most importantly our individuality.

There is no “one way only” to treating Fibro, just as there is no cure. The path is uniquely individual for each of us, but this generalized treatment protocol for how I treat Fibro may help you focus on the things you need or want to, so that you can reach your fullest potential with Fibromyalgia.

 

 ”SIMPLE AIDS”

 

S = Sleep

SforSleep

Get enough well-rested sleep, at least 6 to 8 hours a night. Without enough sleep, you will suffer more fatigue, brain fog, and pain. When you get enough sleep, your body can begin the process of healing itself as much as possible and assist you in reaching your optimal health more quickly by increasing energy levels and promoting genuine healing.

 

 

I = Inspiration

IforinspirationFind the good in your life and the world around you. Focus on maintaining the most positive attitude possible. In order to live life to the fullest with Fibro, you need to get your mind in the right place so your body can begin to follow. Look for things in your life, or in books, or online to inspire you or at least make you think of something other than your symptoms.

 

 

M = Meditation

MformeditationLearn to meditate or utilize relaxation techniques at least once a day. The mind-body connection is a huge factor in determining HOW each of us lives with Fibro. If our mindset is strong and positive, we will be able to manage the Fibro symptoms better and live a fuller life. The pain doesn’t go away; we can just manage it better!

 

 

P = People

PforPeopleReach out to people. Get help when you need it. Look outside of yourself for answers. If you are in a flare consider seeing a gentle massage therapist or acupuncturist or chiropractor to help you move past the flare (even if it didn’t work in the past, try someone else or something else) and break the vicious cycle often caused by flares not being treated thereby generating more pain overall for even longer periods of time and increasing the frequency of flares. Create a network of wonderful people to help with your life including, medical professionals, family, support groups, and friends.

 

L = Live Life

LforlivelifeStop being afraid that you will cause yourself more pain by doing something. You will have pain whether you sit around or whether you do something, so choose to do something that brings you joy or allows you to accomplish a goal. Simply live your life and appreciate what you can do when you can. Forget excuses and focus on what you really want and start working towards it. A life unlived is not a life.

 

 

E = Exercise

eforexerciseExercise as much as possible, but don’t cause yourself severe extra pain. The goal is to work your way up to at least 30 minutes a day. The exercise doesn’t have to be painful, but it does need to occur. When you first start you will most likely feel more pain, which is why I recommend starting with 5 minutes of light stretching or beginner yoga or water based exercises and allowing your body to let you know when to increase the time and/or the intensity of the exercise.

 

A = Acceptance

AforacceptanceLearn to accept yourself and your body as they are, then work on improving. Avoid negative self-talk, try not to get frustrated or down on yourself if you are unable to do something. Learn to say no when necessary and accept that people may not like it, but you know what you need to do so that eventually the no’s will occur less frequently.

 

I = Identify

IforidentifyIdentify what triggers make your symptoms worse like weather, food, smells, stress, certain types of exercise, and so forth. Identify possible hormone imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid or adrenal gland malfunction, infections, allergies, etc. (preferably with the help of a medical professional). When you know what triggers things and if you have an imbalance, THEN you can begin to eliminate or reduce the impact of them and replace your triggers with healthier options and address any medical imbalances or issues through supplements, changes to lifestyle, medications, etc.

 

D = Diet

DfordietPay attention to your body and what you put in it. Eliminate foods that cause more inflammation or adverse reactions. Consider trying gluten free, sugar free, non-processed foods, etc. Try to eat healthy foods as much as possible. Consider trying an elimination diet or testing for food intolerances and/or allergies.

 

S = Supplements

sforsupplementsAdd in supplements as needed to help with symptoms, but be careful not to take too many! Common supplements used by Fibro patients include Vitamin B Complex , Magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and/or fish oil, 5htp, Melatonin and more. Not everyone needs every supplement, so take cautiously and communicate with your medical professional about what will be helpful and what may not be. Also, some supplements interact with medications, so your doctor really needs to know if you’re considering a supplement, which one and why, so your medical team can help make sure supplements you may be considering are safe for you.