Caregiver TLC: 7 Tips for Self-Care

You cannot drink from an empty cup. 

Persons with living fibromyalgia are usually on the receiving end of caregiving. So it becomes a bit of a challenge when they become the caregiver. Sometimes the only energy you have is that which carries you through the day, and have no spoons left for anyone else. So how does one cope with a flare and self-care when presented with the challenging of caring for somebody else?

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Becoming Your Own Health Advocate

Health Care is not One-Size-Fits-All.

You know there is a reason they call it “practicing medicine.” Doctors don’t have all the answers. There’s no Magic 8 Ball sitting in their office solving all of the great medical mysteries. Many women, especially, take years to get diagnosed (read more here). Trust me. I know. 

This post isn’t meant to bash the medical community by any means. Having been treated for fibromyalgia and endometriosis, I have seen my share of doctors over the last 30 years. I have had some great medical care over the years…and I have had some not so great medical care. I have had doctors who would prefer to treat a symptom and send me on my way, rather than look for the root cause of my collective symptoms. And I have had some medical mysteries that have perplexed many a health care provider, leading to endless doctor visits, expensive (and quite possibly unnecessary) tests and medical expenses, and no explanations.

As Pain Awareness Month comes to an end, think about the other side of medical care – diagnoses, benefits, and billing. So what do we need to do to take our health into our own hands and advocate for ourselves?

“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” 
― Voltaire

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Easy Hobbies for the Chronically Ill

Even if your chronic illness is a life sentence, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence of isolation and loneliness.

Life with fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions can be lonely at times. Pain, exhaustion, and other symptoms easily lead to cancelling engagements, giving up hobbies, and social isolation. Your social calendar and life have a new normal. But something is missing. People want interactions and connections, something to do to pass the time. Binge-watching Netflix or reading your Facebook feed only goes so far. And having something easy to do can help distract from pain and find the social interactions again.

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Non-Drug Therapies for Chronic Pain

We all want to be able to live pain-free, to enjoy our lives. Sometimes you have to think outside the box.

Everyone experiences pain differently. Everyone reacts to drug therapies differently. There is no one size fits all when it comes to devising a pain management plan. Dealing with a complex condition like fibromyalgia, one must get creative in devising their strategy, and sometimes think outside the box. Here are some non-drug therapies for managing pain that you may not have thought to try or even heard about.

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Cloudy with a Chance of Fibro Fog

Fibro fog manifests itself in different ways, including forgetfulness, difficulty remembering names or where you place an object.

One of the definitions of fog is “something that obscures and confuses a situation or someone’s thought processes.” If you are familiar with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, you might have heard the term “fibro fog” describing those periods where you can’t think right, and sometimes suffer memory loss or have difficulty concentrating. It is a very real thing for us fibrowarriors. I have experienced this feeling more times than I care to admit, and to this day my memory is not as good as it used to be.  Continue reading “Cloudy with a Chance of Fibro Fog”

How to Be Resilient with Fibromyalgia

No matter how much pain we are in or how exhausted we are, we manage to bounce-back.

Resilience and Fibromyalgia don’t often complement each other. Resilience is one’s ability to bounce back. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that is characterized by flare ups, or “flares,” of symptoms such as widespread musculoskeletal, stabbing or burning pain; fatigue; sleep problems; and cognitive problems. These flares can be short-lived or long-lasting, and sometimes debilitating, mentally draining, and exhausting. So you can see where these two things don’t naturally lend themselves to each other. Continue reading “How to Be Resilient with Fibromyalgia”

Hydration and Fibromyalgia

Drinking water is essential to maintaining proper hydration and a well-functioning body.

It’s summer in Texas and it is hot already. Just a little time outdoors causes you to overheat, sweat, and start looking for something to cool you off and quench your thirst. The body is about 60% water, and it loses water through sweating (to regulate body temperature) and urinating (to rid the body of waste). So it stands to reason that drinking water is essential to keep those resources replenished.

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