The Other “F” Word

I would prefer my “F” words include Fabulous, Fearless, and Fun.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2000 and have said/thought many a curse word since that time. Fibromyalgia. Fibro. Fibro-flare. Flare. FMS. Fatigue. Fog. Frustration. Failure.  All of these have become the other “F” words  to me. I try to live by the power of positive thinking (hence, the name of my blog), but until you live a day in my shoes it may be hard to understand why even sometimes it is easier to smile and put on a happy face rather than truly answer the question of “How are you?” Because trust me, you don’t want to hear about how I am tired, hurt all over, didn’t sleep last night, and oftentimes feel like a failure because I can’t do the things I want to do.

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What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic pain disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness.

I often refer to the fact that I have fibromyalgia in my posts, but many of you might have found your way here through some of my other musings, so I thought I should introduce some of you to this condition.

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10 Things to Inspire You This Month

Setbacks aren’t failures. They are opportunities to overcome.

Life with chronic pain or a chronic condition is never predictable. You never know if you’ll wake up feeling good or bad. This has been my life for the last 20 years. I count myself lucky that I have been able to cope as well as I have, still work full-time, and find some time for activities I enjoy. So when you suffer a setback like two-weeks and counting of a lower back/disc pain, you just have to prioritize what gets done and what doesn’t. Setbacks aren’t failures. They are opportunities to overcome.

“The beautiful thing about setbacks is, they introduce us to our strengths.”

~ Robin Sharma

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6 Tips to Simplify Your Life

Letting go of things that no longer bring you joy or satisfaction can in itself be joyful and satisfying!

It’s a new year full of new hope and new promise. Many of us start the new year with resolutions or diets or workout regimens, hoping to shed some holiday weight or gain some new perspective or success. This year I didn’t make any bold resolutions or promises, but I did choose a word for the year. Simplify.

Last year was all about being deliberate about my choices and what I did. I found this gave me increased success with my blog. I wrote more posts, I gained more followers, I engaged more, and I even got nominated for an award. So what is it that I want to simplify this year?

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” ~ Hans Hofmann

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Diagnosing Chronic Pain

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

Here are some ugly truths: Women and men experience pain differently. Doctors are less likely to treat women’s pain. Health issues that disproportionately affect women are not studied as much as those affecting men. It can take women multiple visits and sometimes years to diagnose their medical issues and chronic illnesses. And when painful conditions like Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia don’t have a simple test for diagnosing, those visits and months and years can prove both emotionally and physically draining when you’re already in pain and still having to fight for a diagnosis.

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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.

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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.

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