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.