This is my personal journey into taking control of my life. Overall I have felt a reduction in pain, brain fog, fatigue and exhaustion problems, along with reduced stress and anxiety. You may be wondering how, am I taking some new tablets? Nope. I have mourned my old life and moved into acceptance.
Now don’t you get me wrong here I’ve been sliding around this change curve for about 2 1/2 years, 2 of those not knowing what was wrong, I just presumed I was still recovering from major back surgery, I’ve had severe back pain for 10 years now, I’m 41. But it wasn’t until I requested to see a Psychologist and for the first time ever I spilled out everything, no holding back to a complete stranger that it clicked. I was resisting, fighting it even, going through the whole ‘why me’ syndrome, why me? Because genetics, lifestyle and taking my health for granted created spinal issues and having that op which was such a massive shock I developed what we know and love to hate Fibromyalgia.
I can’t cure this, no one can, I will always have a malfunctioning nervous system but, can it be controlled? Can I learn to love this thing and work with it and build a different life? Well that’s what this site is all about. My journey and if I do achieve my goal then hopefully I can help others.
I read a fantastic article here, I do undertake every one of these activities apart from accupuncture as quite frankly I’d take a massage over this anyday and money does not grow on trees. But that is a personal choice
Every single day I sit and use a mindfulness technique called a body scan or I used to keep a diary. How does my body feel today? I use this recording here. It comes free with my new book. By doing this you get a sense of how you actually feel, I don’t dwell on pain, I assess my body as a whole and also my emotions, so now I know how I feel and make a judgement on how much I can do.
For the first time in over 6 months this week I managed 2 X 20 minute sessions of mindfulness yoga and 1 X 20 minute swim. Hooray
Exercise is vital to remaining healthy, keeping weight to a ‘healthy level’ keeping our hearts and lungs healthy and releases feel good chemicals called beta-endorphins, a natural opiod that is stronger than morphine. I don’t know about you but sitting around waiting to die is not my idea of a life!! I love moving and if it means I’ll live longer and have less pain then I’ll do it. Yes we feel soreness more but think long term. Do it slowly. Swimming and mindfulness yoga are gentle but effective. I know I used to be as fit as an athlete and tried it all with this condition. Do not spend all day sat watching tv or in the Internet, get up and go outside, yes if it’s raining put on a coat and walk. Also drink at least 2-3 litres of water a day and I promise you’ll never hardly get headaches. Our bodies lose 2 litres a day and some people drink what coffee? Drink water it’s free and healthy.
I take fortnightly massages at my home at £20 a pop, I’d take a massage over a takeaway any day!! I also use meditation to envisage a massage without leaving my bed, I will dig out my hypnotherapy recording I created.
Baths omg I’d live in one if I could. I have a hot bath with magnesium salts (I buy 5kg at a time) use 2 cups in each bath at least every other day, as hot as I can stand, I use hot water bottles a lot, especially at work and my friend has a hot tub that kills all aches!!
Bedtime routine is crucial, here’s what I do:-
No tv for an hour before bed but if all else fails wear uv glasses
No computer or phone an hour before bed or use uv glasses and change phone settings to reduce brightness at night. UV light reduces melatonin production in the body and keeps us awake. My UV glasses below, cost less than tenner from Amazon.
I have one coffee before 8am and no more, I don’t eat chocolate (maybe occasional treat before lunch). I don’t eat sugar at all if I can help it. I don’t drink alcohol.
I read and meditate before bed every night, use a book not a computer or use your UV glasses.
Do not eat at least 3 hours before bed as this will disturb your sleep.
I do not get up if I cannot sleep I use mindfulness techniques to keep calm and enjoy the rest. Sitting up all night in a computer stressing won’t make you feel refreshed.
Mindfulness keeps my stress under control, reducing my medication has helped my mental health and joining this site has been beneficial here. Facebook for Fibro Warriors.
Supplementation I will do a separate blog post about these. Do not underestimate the power of supplementation, I believe Fibromyalgia warriors (I hate the word sufferers) need additional supplements. How many of us have low vitamin D and an Underactive thyroid? So did I before I started using supplementation now both are normal. I use this and I only take 1 a day and my thyroid went normal in 6 weeks as the ingredients replace what is low within your body, without resorting to harmful pills. More of this later.
This is a long post but all of the above has been more effective than any medicine I have tried and believe me that is a lot!!
Good luck and feel free to ask questions. Nothing happens overnight it take patience, resilience and persistence.