So, you went to the doctor and she/he said you have fibromyalgia. I’m sure your heart sunk. You probably, like me, thought what now. My life is over. I’ll never be the same again. There goes my quality of life. You probably did your research online before being diagnosed. Everyone does. We usually go in to our doctor’s office with the information and present the disease to them. I hope that you were given a battery of tests, before slapping a diagnosis on you. This is a disease of exclusion (the ONE thing I WANT EVERYONE to know and learn). The doctor should run a battery of tests to exclude anything and everything. They should be looking for several things like (but not limited too) Lyme’s disease, thyroid issues, arthritis, candida, hormonal issues, etc. There’s so much that should be ruled out.
So now that diagnosis is made. For some, it’s relief and some it’s depressing. Let me assure you that your life is not over because of this diagnosis. This is just a new way of life. You are not going to die from this disease. It is just a shift in the way your going to be living the rest of your life. It will change how you plan your life from here on out. Your daily, weekly and monthly activities will change. You will learn to manage your time and energy. Some days you will have a ton of energy and pain. Other days, it will be less. Please do not use all your energy in one day. You will pay for it the next. Spread out activities, like household chores. Instead of doing all of your housework in one day spread the chores throughout the week. When planning a family activity, don’t do anything the day before. Save your energy for friends and family. It’s a matter of learning to manage energy levels. Managing energy can help manage the amount of pain you will be in and vice versa.
I highly recommend From Fatigued To Fantastic by Jacob Teitelbaum M.D. It was the first book I picked up after being diagnosed in 2007. I can’t say enough about it. I read it from cover to cover. It explained the disease and gives great recommendations for supplements and medications. Dr. Teitelbaum has been on shows like Dr Oz talking about Fibromyalgia. He has his own website for supplements, too. I recommend following him if you want to study the disease.
Let’s talk biofeedback and fibromyalgia. I am a migraine sufferer, also, along with Fibromyalgia. I have suffered with migraines since I was 7 years old and I am now 35. It has been a long haul learning about natural ways to deal with them. One thing I learned from Dr. Robins, at the Robins Headache Clinic, is biofeedback.
Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately “feed back” information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument (obtained from The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Inc, on 6/14/2010 at http://www.aapb.org).
Dr. Robins and his staff taught me about biofeedback and gave me tapes to listen too. I was attached to a body temperature device that measured my temp before and after the biofeedback session. It was amazing that I was able to lower my temperature with the biofeedback exercise.
I would highly recommend learning biofeedback techniques for your particular ailment. Fibromyalgia sufferers can use imagery to learn to ease the pain and relax your body. Keep this in mind next time you visit your doctor or counselor. They might be able to direct you to the proper avenues to learn about this technique.
My goal in life is to be there for people with Fibromyalgia. It’s such a silent disease that no one knows you have it, until you tell them. When you tell them, they look at you like you have an alien coming out of your stomach. No one really knows about this disease and no one really asks when you tell them. No one sees us in pain because when the pain is bad enough we stay at home in bed until we can bear it. The public never sees our pain.
I put a smile on my face and trot on. When I tell people that I am always in pain, they take pity on me and don’t know if they should touch me, if they will make me crumble or hurt me. Gentle hugs is what we say in the Fibromyalgia community!