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”

What Really Causes Fibromyalgia?

“Doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together.”

That question is like the proverbial, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” because there is not yet a definitive answer as to the cause of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). And without knowing the root cause, you cannot solve the problem; you are merely treating the symptoms.

What They Know

Doctors can agree on how to diagnose it, what the symptoms are, and a variety of treatments. But not every patient responds the same to treatment. And the cause of fibromyalgia still eludes the medical community. Continue reading “What Really Causes Fibromyalgia?”

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? Continue reading “Caregiver TLC: 7 Tips for Self-Care”

10 Things to Inspire You This Month

My life story will be a good one.

As summer winds to a close and school starts up again for some, I find myself wondering where the summer went. I hope all of you who made summer bucket lists were able to cross all of those things off and have some fun.

Although it is difficult to find the energy to be an inspiration to others when you’re exhausted and have little energy for yourself, I did manage to take a few days for a lovely family vacation last week. I was able to rest, relax, and recover, and I am finally coming out of this wicked fibroflare. I hope you enjoy this month’s round-up of everyday inspirations!

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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”

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”