6 Ways to Cope with Stress when you Have a Chronic Illness

Chronic stress can cause extreme duress on the fibro body and your adrenal system.

Managing my fibromyalgia is a careful balancing act of self-care. This involves eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, working out, and taking time for me. Living with fibromyalgia means that normal, every day stressors can place an additional hardship on the fibro body. So when you are faced with an extended period of stress – bad flare or other health crisis, work deadlines, family emergencies, or simply just getting through the holidays – you can place an extreme amount of duress on your body and your adrenal system.

“Adrenaline is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.”

You can feel this when your heart starts to race or your hands or body sweats. Adrenaline is also responsible for that fight-or-flight mechanism that can give people extraordinary strength in times of crisis. And an over-exposure to the stress hormones can tamper with your overall well-being.

Continue reading “6 Ways to Cope with Stress when you Have a Chronic Illness”

No More Spoons to Give

On those days when your energy, or spoon supply, is limited, it takes incredible strength to persevere.

A few weeks back I found myself with no more spoons to give, and have been working on replenishing my health, energy, and soul. This is the reason I have been taking a step back lately from blogging, and trying to reprioritize some other things in my life. Our vacation was just the break and self-care I needed to break my pain and flare cycle. I am just now starting to feel human and like myself again.

You can read about it in these recent posts:

But what is a Spoon, you ask? Continue reading “No More Spoons to Give”

Leaving the Pain Behind

The reality of fibromyalgia is that you just don’t know when the symptoms will subside.

Pain is exhausting. It can take over your thoughts and be all-consuming. Those with a chronic illness know this all too well, coping with the often debilitating pain, while trying to carry on with their lives. Continue reading “Leaving the Pain Behind”

Best Kept Secret: WEGO Health Nominee

I use my blog and health advocacy role to shine a light on fibromyalgia and make this condition more visible.

I started blogging a few years ago to share my fibromyalgia journey in the hopes of encouraging, helping, or inspiring others. I try to maintain a positive attitude despite this sometimes debilitating condition. My blogging journey has been slow and not always steady due these limitations, so this nomination caught me completely off-guard. I am honored, thrilled, and grateful for being nominated for a 2018 WEGO Health Award for the “Best Kept Secret.” It truly gives validation to what I am trying to accomplish in my little corner of the blog-o-sphere and Twitter-verse.

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Continue reading “Best Kept Secret: WEGO Health Nominee”

Fibromyalgia Symptom Round-up

With over 200 symptoms or co-morbidities, fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from person to person.

With 18 trigger points across the body, one of the most defining symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome is widespread pain. It is also characterized by extreme fatigue, sleeping issues, headaches, and a myriad of other symptoms. It can be difficult at times to ascertain whether you have yet another weird symptom of fibromyalgia, or you truly have something else wrong. And the symptoms vary from one person to the next.

Research suggests that “the brain of a fibromyalgia patient amplifies pain signals” and  that it “is a complex condition whose definition and measurement extend far beyond charting patient-reported pain levels on a numeric scale.” It’s no wonder there are over 200 symptoms and/or co-morbidities that have been attributed to this syndrome. Continue reading “Fibromyalgia Symptom Round-up”

The Challenge of Slowing Down

I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was.

Life in general requires overcoming challenges and obstacles of many types. Life with fibromyalgia introduces its own share of challenges: lack of energy, lack of sleep, chronic pain being the most prevalent.  These things can change who you are and how you approach life. What once was a simple task, such as getting out of bed in the morning, can now be a daily struggle.

In the years since my diagnosis, my biggest challenge has been SLOWING DOWN. I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was. Type A personalities, like myself, prefer to be in the game rather than sitting on the sidelines.

Adopting health strategies such as a clean diet, regular workouts, and supplements, has helped lessen the daily pain and limited my “flares” of my fibromyalgia. It has allowed me to maintain a moderately active lifestyle. And then I begin to think: Maybe I am OK. Maybe I am in some sort of remission. Maybe I can push myself just a little harder. And that thinking usually ends in a crash and burn, i.e. fibro flare and bed rest. Slowing down, resting allows the body to recover from the stresses put upon it. Without a recovery period, we can do our bodies more harm than good. Continue reading “The Challenge of Slowing Down”

Top 10 Things I Learned from Living with Fibromyalgia

I didn’t choose a life with fibromyalgia, it chose me. Many days I wish I was my old self, pain-free and full of energy. Yet, until a cure is found, this me has been the norm for close to 20 years now. I have learned to cope and live, and even thrive.

Scott Hamilton said, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

And so I want to share my top 10 lessons from life as a fibro warrior.

Continue reading “Top 10 Things I Learned from Living with Fibromyalgia”