Six Tips for Relieving Pain Naturally

I have adopted many lifestyle changes over the years that I truly believe have lessened the impact fibromyalgia has on my life.

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a condition thought to affect up to 400 million people worldwide, or 5% of the population, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. It is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, with 18 key trigger points in the body. There are also a myriad of other symptoms, and I would venture to guess that none of us have the same symptoms, the same level of pain, or achieve pain relief from the same things. Fibromyalgia is still somewhat of a medical mystery with no silver bullets or miracle cures on the horizon.

For years I have considered myself a “high-functioning fibrowarrior” because despite my flares, I somehow manage to push on. I have my share of pain, flares, and exhaustion. Let’s just say there is much less jumping and much more creaking when I get out of bed in the morning. And yes, I spend time in bed curled up with a heating pad. My flares seem to last longer the older I get. But the flares are fewer and far between. Continue reading “Six Tips for Relieving Pain Naturally”

Is it Fibromyalgia or Something Else?

Chronic, widespread pain. Fatigue. Insomnia. Depression. Headaches. These are the common symptoms most people associate with Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS. But this syndrome is complex, its symptoms mimic other conditions, and it’s not easily diagnosed. There are well over 60 different symptoms that have been associated with this condition, some of which are comorbid or overlapping conditions. Muscle, skin, joint, cognitive, sensory, neurological, sleep-related, and the list goes on. For people like me, it can be difficult at times to determine if it’s just one of the myriad of things associated with FMS or if it’s something new. Sometimes it’s a guessing game: Is it Fibromyalgia or something else?

Continue reading “Is it Fibromyalgia or Something Else?”

Fibromyalgia: An Invisible Condition

The definition of invisible is “unable to be seen; not visible to the naked eye.” Fibromyalgia is often called an invisible condition because people suffering from it don’t look sick. But we feel it. Marked by widespread pain and fatigue, sleeping issues, and “fibrofog,” many people with this condition put on their happy face and go about their day, all the while suffering in silence. We call ourselves FibroWarriors.

Continue reading “Fibromyalgia: An Invisible Condition”

Shining a Light on Fibromyalgia

Every day is Awareness Day for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.

Every year May 12th has been designated as “Fibromyalgia Awareness Day” to shine a light on this invisible illness. Most of us who suffer from this chronic condition feel that every day is our awareness day, as we often have to explain what it is to people. Trust me when I say it is more than what you see in the pharmaceutical commercials on TV.

Shine-a-purple-light-wide Continue reading “Shining a Light on Fibromyalgia”

Endometriosis Awareness Day

I write a lot about my fibromyalgia and chronic pain, but long before I was diagnosed with those issues I suffered a different kind of chronic pain. And it was the first of several times I have had to convince doctors that there was something wrong with me. Really wrong with me. Endometriosis is somewhat of a hidden disease, since it coincides with a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle and will often be written off as severe PMS or dysmenorrhea. But here is the definition, from the Office of Women’s Health:

Endometriosis happens when the lining of the uterus (womb) grows outside of the uterus. It may affect more than 11% of American women between 15 and 44.1 It is especially common among women in their 30s and 40s.” Continue reading “Endometriosis Awareness Day”

Fibro Fog Defined

It’s like a turtle trying to run in peanut butter.

Fibro Fog. Brain Fog. Senior Moments.

People who live with Fibromyalgia (FMS) refer to their Brain Fog moments as “Fibro Fog.” This common symptom is characterized by short-term memory loss, cognitive issues, difficulties concentrating or retaining information, transposing letters/numbers, just to name a few.

I find my symptoms growing worse as I get older. I am transposing numbers all of the time. It takes me longer to do simple tasks sometimes as a result. And it is definitely harder for me to remember something someone told me a few minutes ago. Just ask my family. (That’s why at work I take notes in a searchable online notebook (OneNote) if I will have to remember something later.) Continue reading “Fibro Fog Defined”

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Your Voice Matters

For those of us who live with fibromyalgia, we are painfully aware of it every day. But May 12 has been designated to educate others. The theme this year is “Your Voice Matters” to call attention to the fact that everyone has a say in education, awareness, and making changes to help those who suffer from chronic pain. fibro3

What it Is

As I described in an earlier post, extreme fatigue, sleeping issues, and that “I-just-got-run-over-by-a-Mack-truck” feeling are the most prevalent symptoms for me.  Other common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
  • Constant dull ache on both sides of the body and above and below the waist
  • Tension headaches
  • Inability to concentrate on tasks
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Depression

Fibromyalgia is the second most ailment affecting the musculoskeletal system after osteoporosis.  Source: http://www.ecarediary.com/Blog2713

Sounds great, huh?  Lucky me, as I have both!  Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2000 and with Osteoporosis in 2015. I know and live with chronic pain, but try my best not to let it get me down or slow me down. And then there are all of the other weird ailments that get lumped in with this condition, for lack of any other explanation. Here’s a list of 100 Symptoms of Fibromyalgia. I have probably had most of them at one point.
fibro2

More Reading

So in the spirit of helping with awareness, here are a few other websites and bloggers I follow that write about life with fibromyalgia:

fibro1

My Voice Matters

Hopefully I have provided *a little* awareness on this “invisible” condition. So the next time I seem a little grumpy or am moving slowly, it’s probably because when I crawled out of bed and kicked fibromyalgia in the butt that morning, it kicked back.

Do you have any good resources for fibromyaglia or coping with chronic pain to share?

Cheers!

Cynthia