Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Day before Christmas

Hi Everyone....

Sure hope you haven't overdone and will be able to really enjoy the day tomorrow. I'm doing pretty good, didn't give in to urges and overdo. I plan to enjoy the day tomorrow, too.

Wishing each one of you a Merry Christmas, May God bless you all as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. This is a picture of our "outdoor" tree.


Monday, November 30, 2009

OOOPS.... did you. . . . .

overdo at Thanksgiving? Did you get up very very early on Black Friday? Are you now in extra pain and heavy fatigue?

This is a pre-December warning. PACE, PACE, PACE or you won't have a very merry Christmas due to lack of planning and pacing, lack of rest and lack of getting good sleep.

We who have Fibromyalgia know if we push too hard we lose.... It's time now at the very beginning of December to plan our days.

The Christmas season used to be such a drain on me. Back some years ago, I suddenly realized that I didn't have to make dozens of cookies, tons of candy. My family all has problems with "fluffyness" (except for my thin husband. I quit doing those kinds of things, saving me pain and fatigue. I now make the skinny one a few of his favorites (single recipe) and can then say "I'm done"

We used to have a large tree and packages were wrapped with care. We now have a smaller tree that sits in the family/dining room on the table. We go to the kids for Christmas so I don't need my table. I put a few "little" wrapped packages around the tree and the real gifts are "bagged" which leaves me feeling less fatigue and pain.

We have boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations. I now choose from them and put up only the favorites cutting the time of decorating at least in half.

I do shopping online, gift certicates, cash and very little tromping through the stores. The grandkids much prefer money to getting "stuff" they don't like. The adults like the gift certificates so they can choose what they want to get for themselves.

Guess what? We still have the very same Christmas Spirit, no one misses all the sweet stuff and my house still glows with Christmas Spirit and decorations. I am able to enjoy Christmas without extra fatigue and pain.

I hope this helps you to think about your Christmas season and make plans to pace yourself and do less and enjoy more.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Support Meetings

Wednesday was the local Fibromyalgia Support Group meeting. We had 24 attending. I lead the group with the help of others who are on the board. The fact that these ladies helps is what allows me to continue on as their leader.

We meet monthly for two hours at a local restaurant. They give us our room free if people order lunch. Almost everyone does so that works out great. We have a raffle (2 for #1) of white elephants, handcrafts, things from the garden in the summer, fresh brown eggs, and much more. Everyone who enters will get a chance at winning something. We draw the tickets from a basket. The first drawn have the biggest choices of a prize. Most people pass after winning once.

We have speakers, programs done by the Board members, open question/answer or discussion times. The board meets every two months to plan meetings ahead.

We have a library of books that have been purchased with the raffle monies. We do free handouts with each meeting.

Last month we had 31 compared to the 24 this time. The Columbus Day holiday had kids at home for the mom's and we had competition from the ugly new flu bugs.

Why am I telling you about all this? A support group helps us so much. Sometimes we are hurting so bad that we really don't want to go but when we do, we find ourselves forgetting our pain.

Our meeting is a fun one (no pity party stuff). We learn, we care about each other, we laugh a lot and best of all we are with people who understand this invisible disease.

If you don't have one in the area, you might want to start one. Our paper runs a free ad for us along with the free newspaper nickel ads. Pick a restaurant that isn't too busy that has meeting rooms and ask if they would let you use it free if people order food.

As you get members get others to help you. We have one for the raffle, the library, setting up and taking down, ones to fill in if you can't be at the meeting to lead it sometime in the future. DON'T do it all by yourself as you will burn out.

Let the local doctors know about the support group. Make some fliers with your phone number on them and info about the meeting. Give them to doctors, whenever you come across someone with Fibro. Your local newspaper might do a article about a new Fibromyalgia group.

We find that evenings are too tiring for us to do. I feel bad about the working people but we are not superwomen, we can't do it all.

A good support group is good medicine. Do I get worn out and my body full of pain after a meeting. Yes, I do. But it is worth it to help others like me. I never plan anything for the next day. That's recovery time.

Please let me know if you start a meeting or go to a support group. You'll never know the benefits unless you try it. If you want more info you can e-mail me at
mrs.carol at Be sure to correct this before putting into your address book with the @ sign.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bright Lights

One of the things I've found is that when winter rolls around my spirits go down, down and down. Those gray days really get me. I bought a bright light last month and have been using it daily. It really does make a difference in my mood.

With Fibromyalgia we deal with depression due to the chronic pain and fatigue. Anything that might help us is worth a try.

It sits near my computer so as I am computering in the a.m., I turn it on. After a few minutes I don't even notice it. I usually keep it on at least 30 minutes a day and on some of the dark rainy days I've used it twice in the day.

There was an article in our newspaper which spoke highly of using them just a few days ago. Two doctors from our local hospital/clinic were interviewed.

By the way, the little guy in the picture came into the yard during the day a couple weeks ago. He got tired of me taking pictures of him pawing through the squirrel food and climbed the nearest tree... non the less.. A Holly tree. Bet he had second thoughts about it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Stretch Stretch Stretch

Happy Fall to you all.

Stretching is a key to relieving pain of Fibromyalgia.

The muscles shorten when tight with pain, stretching lengthens them, relieving that pain. Stretching makes us more flexible which helps when doing chores around the home. Stretching can be fun and easy to do but there are some rules. Don't overstretch, start slowly working up to more stretches.

Put "Fibromyalgia Stretching" into Google and you will find lots of good links for stretching.

Now... I'm off to find some good stretching exercises for me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where have I been?

Where have I been? Have you ever heard of a Fibro Cave or Arthritis Cave or any other cave? I crawled in and hibernated for a while. I bet you have all done that at one time or another. Your pain, FATIGUE, etc takes over and you don't want to do anything extra. Every thing is an effort. If you haven't been there, I'm glad. It's not fun.

We have had a wonderful summer here and now are coming into the cold Fall nights. The tree's are turning colors and leaves are beginning to fall. It's a beautiful time of the year in the Pacific Northwest. We have 4 definite seasons, my favorites are fall and spring. Not much of a winter person. Summer is great but requires so much work to keep up with the flowers and yard as I love lots of color around.

Have a wonderful day..... (Oh, the picture is of my little guy, Sparky)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I hear people so often saying that moving to a hotter place like Arizona, etc helps their arthritis and fibromyalgia.

My past few weeks say "phooey" to that as we have had hot weather and I have been in constant flares. Yesterday at a luncheon of 11 women, 3 others were feeling the very same as I. I don't know the answer but I don't think that is it.

Have you ever felt a difference when you have been somewhere else than your home area? I'm curious to know.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I have struggled with choosing another subject and this morning I thought of

This is one of the hardest things to do after finding out we have Fibromyalgia. I do not believe we can become "better" until we accept the reason for our pain and then learn all we can about it and how to "Live" (really live) with it. It's very easy to try and pretend it's not there until we have another flare. It's hard to find doctor's who give us answers other than a name.

Therefore we have to be our own teacher and find out more information on the illness and coping with it day by day.

We go a few days, or a few weeks or if we are lucky a few months without a major flare and then we start doubting the prognosis again. Our brain chatter is sometimes our worst enemy if it is negative chatter.

The patients who say loud and clear "I may have Fibromyalgia, but it doesn't have me" and "I'm going to learn all I can about coping with it and apply the information to my life so that I can still enjoy each day" are the ones that live happier and with less pain.

When we learn all we can, we learn how to do the following things.
How to Pace my activities
Stretching exercises
How to get good sleep
What foods might make pain worse
What anger can affect pain
Stress and how it affects the whole body

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pamper Me's

My daughter called me a few days ago asking if I would like to have a Daughter/Mom day celebrating my birthday that is coming up next week. I didn't waste any time saying "yes, yes, yes" as I love those days when we can spend time together.

A gift to me was lunch and a pedicure. I have only had one pedicure in my life and it's been years ago. Wow, with my feet and legs hurting from arthritis and Fibro, it was like heaven on earth.

It last over an hour and was so great. She massaged my legs and feet and oh what a wonderful feeling it was. She finished with a "hot rock" treatment on my feet. I have soft skin (after buffing with a grainy cream, oil and lotion) on my legs and feet. I have pretty toe nails painted a lovely pink. I think they look at least 10 years younger and so that makes me having my 60th birthday not my 70th.

The lesson is that we need to do some pamper me's now and then as we are dealing with every day life and Fibro's famous fatigue and pain. It doesn't matter if it is a hair do, a body massage, a pedicure or what ever... it's doing something for you.

This was a day to remember for me... how was your day?

by the way... the beautiful blue jay is chomping away on my suet cake outside the family room window. Having the hobby is making me feel good... never realized we had so many beautiful birds here in our own yard. I'm still out to "capture" a few others .... one of these days. Never thought I'd have a mama duck and her ducklings waddling down my hill either. Despite Fibro, life is fantastic.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I know, I've been MIA lately. Why? Been busy working in my yard and letting some things go. The yard is getting caught up, the warm sun is getting my plants to grow and bloom and life is great. : )

You know that as you work, you think. I got to thinking about Fibromyalgia and the grief of finding out you have this weird disease or syndrome, whatever you want to call it.

We GRIEVE our past life when we could do so many things in one day. We grieve for the body that wasn't sore and hurting so much of the time. We grieve for days without pain.

It's good to grieve but life goes on and one day we need to ACCEPT who we are and how we are at this moment. The old "us" is gone but we can, even now, CELEBRATE the days as they come. There are still LOTS of things we CAN do.... there are NEW hobbies and FUN things to do that do not create more pain.

I have enjoyed so much this spring having my camera, getting a tripod to help steady the shaky hand. I have realized so much beautiful things around me that I never noticed before. The old saying "Stop and smell the Roses" is so true. The BLESSING of Fibro (bet you didn't think there are any) is that we have TIME to stop and smell the roses.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Well, I did it....

I overdid in spite of taking breaks. I bought over 2 dozen trays (some single, some quads) of plants along with the two cherry tomato plants I buy each yer. All but 4 trays have been planted. I need to "tie" my daffodils first and then plant my impatient's around my tree and and in the large barrel by the street.

I also dumped old pots with good potting soil into the wheelbarrow and recycled the pots into the recycle can. Why do we hang on to stuff like this?

I was hurting and sore last night, in spite of a couple of pain pills during the day.

But it was so worth it. I love color. I'll be sharing some of my pictures as I go along.

I've found a patch that really seems to help the sore and knotted muscles that pulsate with pain from Fibromyalgia They are called "Salonpas" and are sold in quite a few stores (Safeway, Rite Aid, Walmart and more). They really help and are very reasonable in cost.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Exercise Balls and Fibro

I'd like to share a link of one of my followers, today. Her blog explains it well.

Country Whispers

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Day after Easter

I hope none of you overdid during the Easter Weekend. I hope your day was a great one with family.

Spring is showing up all over here in SW Washington State. The picture is my little violets peeking out from their hiding place.

I've been doing a little outside. Weeds seem to grow in the spring quicker than any other time. I make quite a few trips outside with my little pal, Sparky. While he is doing his "thing", I'm pulling some weeds. Amazing at the end of the day what a difference it makes. And doing it in "spurts" allows me to enjoy my yard much more. The pain level of overdoing is not there.

I hope you are remembering to pace yourself and doing your projects in "spurts" and rests.

Enjoy Spring...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Exercise and Fibromyalgia

Like my hummingbird picture I took this morning? See those wings and tail fly? That is natural exercise for that tiny bird.

How can we do "bit's" of exercise like that? We recognize we cannot exercise like "normals" can but we also need to recognize the little ways we can get exercise throughout our day.

Dance your way through dusting, picking up or whatever. It can be with music or not. Moving our arms and legs within range of motion helps work those muscles. Lifting arms up into the air.... shaking our hands, shaking our total bodies while doing deep breathing to circulate the oxygen through out our bodies.

I have a paper sack rule for working outdoors. I'm not sure I have told you about it so am describing it here. Yep, spring comes and yard work begins but we simply cannot do long hours of heavy work. I fold down the top 3 inches of a grocery paper bag(to make it a little stronger) and then when the bag is full of clippings, weeds, etc (loosely, not packed) that signals me to take a break. Amazing what 10 minutes 2 or 3 times a day how much gets done. This is one of my golden rules of gardening. PACE yourself.

Taking walks at our pace several times a day gives us exercise and fresh air that raises the hormones that create good feeling in us. Depression is common with chronic pain sufferers Getting out and walking helps that. Do nature walks, looking for little things that we can watch or admire.

Take a walk through your main street, checking out the little shops along the way. Pick up speed between the shops so that your heart rate goes up.

Don't sit for hours at a time, get up, move about doing a few minutes of walking in place or marching throughout the house several times

What do you do for exercise? Could you share some here? Have a beautiful day...and soon to be weekend.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


How is your sleep? Do you have a hard time going to sleep? Do you toss and turn? Do you wake up every hour or so? When you get up in the morning do you still feel as tired as you did when you went to bed? After you are up a few hours do you have the urge to lay back down?

If you said yes to some of these questions, you should talk to your doctor about your sleep problems. Without good restful, restorative sleep, your body does not heal well. It's important to get into the deep sleep (rem).

There are medications that can help you. I use Trazadone and it works well for me. Sleep Apnea is another problem for Fibromyalgia patients. Perhaps a sleep study is what is needed.

Setting good habits for bed time is important... no caffeine in the late afternoon or evening. Don't exercise at night. Don't watch TV or read in bed.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Thank you Carmen for asking about aspartame.

I personally do not know whether it is good or bad but there are both sides on the WWW. I'm sharing 3 links concerning the pro's and con's. Chain letters have been circling the web for years. I guess after reading both sides each person needs to determine for themselves what they are going to do about it. So much that is sent via e-mail through the web is not creditable and I pay little attention to them. I think if there was a real risk the FDA would be jumping in to get it off the market.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What do you have to share?

I'd love to receive questions or concerns or comments from you. We could share them here and hopefully find some answers concerning the big monster - Fibromyalgia..

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Feet Hurt

Julie commented about her feet hurting. I understand ....

I have to wear sturdy shoes (no higher heels) with a good arch support or my feet hurt. Mine I think is from the arthritis and weight.

I don't believe there are tender points for fibro in the feet but I do think when we hurt we do not walk well ( that balance thing...staggering like a drunk without having a drink). Many times our posture is not good when we hurt and that affects the whole body if the back is not straight.

There are some good roll on's that help stop the pain. A favorite of mine is celedren from Avon Products. A menthal base and it really works for me on muscles and my feet.

Putting a water bottle into the freezer (not clear full of water, it will expand) and then rolling your feet over the frozen bottle helps.

Doing foot exercises help. Making the toes and feet in circles helps the ankle. There are more you can do. I'm sure if you put "foot exercises" into Google there will be links.

When our feet hurt we hurt all over even if someone doesn't have fibromyalgia. Hope these ideas work for you, Julie, and others who read this.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Will Fibromyalgia ever go away?

Flares can be a day or two or several months. We don't know exactly why they happen. I've had fibromyalgia close to 40 years and I've had some times during that time when it stayed in the background.

Stress seems to make it worse. Possibly because when most people are stressed their muscles tighten up and therefore shorten up. That is why stretching is so important with Fibromyalgia. For me, a hot shower on the muscles before stretching allows them to stretch easier with less pain.

I've been in and out of a constant flare for several months. Weather has not helped. For many of us other diseases/conditions come into play and they have a battle within our bodies trying to decide who is #1 (don't you agree?).

I have arthritis and have had 3 total joint replacements, soon to possibly have the left shoulder joint replaced. That will make both shoulders and both knees. Fibro and my arthritis have both been flaring. They both cause fatigue.

With the heavy fatigue, rest is important. Walking will help the spirits and the joints and the muscles. I have not been diligent about walking as I must get in the car and leave my hill and find a flat place to walk. My goal is to get back to walking as soon as it warms up a little. The weather has been so cold.

In my opinion, Fibro doesn't leave us, it just hides now and then and comes out fighting. Learning how to live with it will help us endure it. My faith helps me face most days when I'm hurting. I rest in Him.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fibro Fog

Fibro Fog can be upsetting and embarrassing. Medications can seem to make it even worse.

How many times have you lost your thought in the middle of a conversation? A plain ol' memory blank. Or someone asks you something as simple as the name of one of your grandchildren and your mind is a blank?

Have you had the wrong words come out of your mouth? They are not connected in any way but the word is completely different than you were meaning to say.

How many times do you describe what you are trying to think of in order to get the word? Our spouses and friends sometimes need to be puzzle solvers with us.

It can be scary, it can be funny, it can be maddening. We might be afraid we are "losing it" or getting Alzheimer's or something.

If it is happening to you, don't panic. You aren't going crazy or losing your memory. It's a side affect of fibro. Discuss it with your doctor, hopefully, you have one that is compassionate and helpful.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fish Oil Capsules

I was told that fish oil could help my pain. I have been taking at least 2400 mg a day for about a year now and I think it helps but in reading a lot about it, I know it is also good for my heart.

You might want to try it and see if it helps you. Ask your doctor about it. Mine was agreeable about me taking it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Get your information and History on Paper

If you are considering applying for either work disability or social security you must have records. Keep a journal of doctor appointments and findings, how your life changes, day by day (what you used to do and can’t now)....pain levels....relationship changes .....memory changes...etc.

Your doctor must keep good records of how you are feeling, symptoms, work place and home changes you cannot do anymore and must be willing to work with you to validate the need. Some doctors are willing to work with you and others are not. Keep your records from other doctors if you have had more than one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Been gone to the Oregon Coast

We spent a few days at the Oregon Coast. Very rainy and windy. My arthritis and fibro are flaring tonight so will write again as soon as it lessens.

It's time's like this that I lean on my faith in God. It gives me peace and comfort to rely on His love during bad flare ups.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Laughing helps

When I am really hurting and life seems a pit, I've found that if I can think back on humorous situations in my life and laugh out loud about them, it helps my attitude toward my pain.

At one of our face to face Fibromyalgia meetings, one of the attendee's found things to make us laugh. Leaders were in on it and so we belly laughed. Soon everyone was really laughing and there was a new feeling in the air.

You might find a funny movie that can make you laugh. Perhaps it's joke web pages you read that starts the laughter. Playing with your pet and laughing at their antic's can change your attitude.

Call a friend that can get you laughing, tell them you need cheered up. Maybe it will be "Remember the time, we" or "I've got to tell you the story about"

We once had a gal coming to the meetings. Lovey was in pain so much of the time but she always had us in stitches. She wrote about her Fibromyalgia experiences but found the humor lurking behind the situation. She would read these writings to us and we'd laugh and laugh. One experience was about trying to get out of the bathtub. She turned a painful situation into the funniest thing you ever heard. I miss Lovey, think I will give her a call.

When in pain, it is easy to get into pity parties and slide around the top of the pity pot. But we sure don't want to fall in to it. Remember, if it is to be it's up to me.

I'd love to hear about some of your "being able to laugh about" experiences with fibro. Fibromyalgia isn't fun and the pain is real but we can do things to help us get through the ugly pain days.

Have a great weekend, hopefully pain free.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Moves around in the same day

Have you ever questioned yourself and your pain due to the fact that you might feel good when you get up but not long after you start hurting, this time you hurt in the shoulders. "Get out of here, Fibro" you say. The pain gradually subsides but then after lunch you starting hurting in the hip area, now you question yourself about your pain. Your self talk may not be nice. How can it move around in the same day?

Fibromyalgia affects all 4 quadrants of the body. It can and does move around in the same day. You are not imagining it, you are living it. There are 18 area's on your body that has tender points.

Watch your self talk... instead of lashing out at yourself, try accepting the pain and thinking instead "What did I do that may have triggered it? What can I do to help myself? (sit and have a pity party or take medication or do some easy stretching or get you mind busy on something else).

Self talk can be an asset or it can be damaging. Would you talk to a loved one or friend like you talk to yourself sometimes? Of course not. Be nice to you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A New Week living with Fibromyalgia

The other day I talked about living in the day... not yesterday, not tomorrow. I hope you are thinking about this as it's a healthier way of life. Do today what will help you tomorrow, don't do what will make tomorrow a pain day... for instance.....

The sun is beginning to shine, the windows are dirty, the dust shows on the furniture, the spots show on the floor, the bathroom needs cleaning and the sheets need washing. Don't go crazy and try to do them all in one day.

I used to be able to clean my whole house in one day. I now can only do one or two "bigger jobs" in a day. The whole house is never "all done". This can be so frustrating and depressing if we let it be.

Let's tackle one room a day... if there is too much to do (windows, furniture polishing, vacumning, dusting, etc., etc) then take two or three days and finish one room at a time. Be pleased, be proud and stand tall. The results (without the pain) will make us feel much more positive and having accomplished something.

Get someone to come in and do the heavy work for you if you can afford it. Get more help from your family. Share duties with a husband, daughter, son, grandchild... important not to take advantage of them or EXPECT their help.

Pace yourself, remember the 20 minute timer?

If you combine house cleaning with some thing fun for you... like reading, painting, computer, soap opera, etc then you have breaks that allow the body to cope.

Keep moving... laying around won't help.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Yesterday was my face to face Fibromyalgia Support Meeting. I lead the group but have 8 wonderful ladies who help out at the meetings. I could not do it alone.

If anyone wishes to start a Support Group, feel free to e-mail me for suggestions or help.

We had 23 people come to the meeting. Some were hurting, some were not. I think that without question they felt better emotionally when they left. Why? Because the meeting is always uplifting and fun. We laugh together, visit together and sometimes hurt together. That's support. Positive support with a hug, a smile and fun time can make a big difference.

One of the things we talked about was living in the now, TODAY. Not yesterday or tomorrow (neither are here) and we only have today. Getting up in the morning, planning our day and asking ourselves what we can do to work with, not against, our bodies. Pacing, planning, stretching, accomplishing something we can be pleased about... it might only be a day we get the floor swept, the kitchen counters washed off well, straightening up one room. But the way you worked with it and not against is by pacing. Do for 20 minutes, rest for 10. The pain seems to let up, we re-energize and can do something else.

Do something for someone else... a phone call to a sick or down person, write a card and mail it on the same day (grin- you know what I'm talking about) to someone who could use cheering up, if you feel well enough, go and visit with a shut in..

Always do something nice for yourself in your day. Try a different flavor of tea.... a soak in the tub... read a book (watch your posture)....take a walk in the fresh air enjoying nature. You all know more things you can do for yourself.

Have a great time living for TODAY and remember to PACE YOURSELF.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Irritable Bowel (sorry, but many fibromite's have this)

Irritable Bowel is not fun. You can be running to the potty one day and a few days later wishing you could. There can be a lot of pain in the gut.... I call it roto rootering going on inside my body.

When it happens to you, think about and note the following things:

1. What did you eat the last few meals? Anything different?

2. Have you drank more caffeine?

3. Have you eaten chocolate?

4. For some green salads or a mixture in a buffet can cause it... did you do that?

5. Spicy food? Oily or greasy food?

5. Were you stressed? Did you sleep well the night before? Did you take your medications without food and did you drink a full glass of water?

Jot down the date... the reactions you were having....and anything different from above. Track it for a month or so. Do you find a common thing happening? Could that be the cause? To find out, take it out of your diet or change your sleep patterns or do what it takes to get rid of the stress. Many times you cannot get rid of the "stressor" but you can do things to relax and distress.

Talk to your doctor about your results. There are medications that will help. Good luck

Monday, February 9, 2009


The fatigue of Fibromyalgia is utterly awful. You are feeling good and so glad. Then all of a sudden you begin to hurt, your arms and legs feel like lead weights, You don't feel like you can keep on moving due to the fatigue. That's scary and no fun. But sadly, many people with fibromyalgia have this (as does Chronic Fatigue people).

It's been described like being run over by a mac truck or a steam roller. Have you had that feeling?

Naps can help but when I say naps, it's not in a chair watching tv, not reading but laying down in a darkened room for 20 minutes or half hour (you can set a timer if you are afraid of sleeping all day). When you lay down, doing some relaxation exercises first, covering up so you are warm (cold makes the muscles hurt worse for me) and turn off the brain chatter. That takes work to do but once your brain gets the idea and you practice turning it off, it will make a difference. When waking up, don't jump right off the bed..... stretch a little, gradually sitting up, sitting a few seconds and then getting up. Rehydrate your body by drinking a glass of water and then go about your day.

Check with your doctor about sleep apnea tests in case you are not sleeping well at night.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Learn all you can

Read, read and read. There are many sites on the WWW and many books out about Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Myofascial sydrome and more. The libraray also has books that will help.

The more educated you become the more you understand your body and how to work with Fibromyalgia to make your life less painful and more "normal" (whatever that is).

If you live near a Support Group for Fibromyalgia, try to attend. Keep attending if it is informational, compassionate and motivating. Don't go back if it is a huge pity party ...."Woe is Me". Put positive, understanding people in your life.

Belittling, negativeness, doubters, etc do nothing to help you cope.

I help lead a Support Group in SW Washington State. There are times when I can hardly make myself go but ALWAYS I'm thankful I went when I leave. People who are understanding , fun to be around, seem to just lift me up and I forget me. That doesn't mean the pain leaves but I'm able to cope with it. If you live in SW Washington and want more information on the local support group, please e-mail me. My e-mail address is on this page.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fibromyalgia Hints

Here are a few hints I've learned over that years that helps alleviate some of the pain.

  • Put a kitchen timer by your computer. Set it for 20 minutes. When it goes off, get up and stretch a little, move around. Sitting in one spot too long can start the Fibro hurting. Reset it for another 20 minutes if you are going to be on the computer longer.
  • Before you get out of bed in the morning do some leg stretches and some arm stretches. Sit up slowly and get your balance.
  • Eat right. Breakfast is healthy for everyone. Before taking medications you should have food in your stomach to prevent stomach problems. Drink water to rehydrate you from the night.
  • Make a "To Do" list .... no more than 8-10 things. Cross off half of them and concentrate on the other half, taking breaks throughout the day.
  • Stay busy. I lose myself in the computer and forget my pain. Getting our mind off ourselves can make a big difference.
  • Think positive. Don't get lost in a pity party. Do something for someone else, it might be a phone call or a note.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Way you breathe makes........

The Way you breathe makes a difference.

Notice next time you are in pain how you are breathing. Are you breathing short little breaths and your shoulders are tight and up high? Pain does that to us.

Deep Breathing can make such a difference in your pain level. Where ever you are at the moment, you can do deep breathing. Breathe in through your nose, pulling your stomach in as your lungs fill with air. Hold for a few seconds then release the air out letting your tummy push outward. Do this 2 or 3 times if you are standing (like in the long grocery line) and longer if you are sitting. Why the difference? You can become light headed.

As your lungs fill to the bottom with air you are adding oxygen to your body. It will be transferred through out your body making you feel better. You will feel your shoulders loosen and lower.

This is an exercise that you can do through out the day when you are hurting or in a stressful situation. Stress can lead to more pain, so now you can do something about it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tennis Balls and Rice

What do tennis balls and rice have to do with Fibromyalgia? They both are tools that can help your pain.

Rice: Take a mens white tube sock and fill about 2/3 rds full of white rice. Sew across the top edge by machine or by hand. You can tie it if you do not have a way to sew it.

You then put it into the microwave starting for 2 minutes. No longer than 3 minutes. Do not get it real hot or you could get burned or even start a fire by it burning. If it is too warm for your skin, wrap a dishtowel around it. You then can lay or sit with it in the sore spots. This will start relaxing the muscles so you can use the tennis balls.
Note: You can substitue wheat, flax, corn (not popcorn), bird seed. You can also put herbs in it like lavender, mint leaves, spices, etc.

Tennis Balls: Buy a tube of tennis balls (they are not expensive), cut off a leg of pair of panty hose. Drop 2-3 balls down into the foot. Leave the leg long and tie just before the balls. You now can can toss these over your shoulder, stand up against a wall and massage the sore spots. Yes, it'll hurt but it will feel better when those muscles loosen. You can lay down on the floor and roll around on the balls where you are hurting.

Try it, you'll like what it does for you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

When you hurt, you hurt!

What do you do when you are REALLY hurting? I've been fighting a flare for over a week now. I got up early this morning and went to church. By the time I got home I was pounding, throbbing all over my body. It's a damp and cold day and I was freezing.

Yep, I did it. I took a pain pill, turned on my electric blanket, shed my outer clothes and crawled in.... out I went and now 3 hours later I wake up and am warm and toasty, the pill helped the pain. I temporarily gave in to it.

I am one of those girls that puts off pain med's until the last minute, instead of being smart and taking it when the pain starts. Because of that, I pay for it. Just don't want to get "hooked" on pain med's. Oh yes, my doctors have lectured me not to let it go but........

Sometimes a hot shower and stretching helps. When that hot water is showering down on your body and you do some simple stretching in the shower it helps the muscles to relax. The knots and tightness seem to begin to melt.

Have you ever had a day like this? What did you do to help yourself? I'd love to hear about what you do.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Knowing there are so many looking for support due to having Fibromyalgia, I started this blog.

Fibromyalgia is one of those diseases that you look okay so people can't believe you are faced with pain on sometimes a daily basis, moving from area to area often in the same day.

You might wonder if you are crazy, lazy or a hypochondriac. You are none of these things. You also won't die from having Fibromyalagia.

The secret is to learn how you can help yourself feel better each day. I will be putting ideas into this blog that can help you if you do it. Also more info about what all goes on with Fibromyalgia. I will also share what others have tried in my support group that has helped them.

You may want to join this blog so you can follow the updates.