We must translate pain into action, and tears into growth. -The Rebbe
Wallowing in self-pity and asking yourself (or your God), “WHY do I have to suffer with chronic pain?” will not alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Since there is no drug (or natural supplement that I know of) that will get rid of the pain entirely, you have to learn to “manage” or live with the pain. This was a difficult statement for me to accept at first because I was holding out hope for a cure or spontaneous remission. (Deep down, I still kind of wish for the latter but can’t sit around on my ass waiting for a miracle.)
Rule out any other medical conditions
If you haven’t already, the first thing you need to do is get a complete physical exam. Once a doctor has ruled out all other possible things that could be wrong, you should breathe a sigh of relief. You may be thinking, “Relief from what? I’m still in pain!” The relief is knowing that you are not dying. That your throbbing headache is not a brain tumor. That your anxiety and fatigue is not a thyroid condition. That the stabbing pain in your back in not a kidney stone. You can stop catastrophizing every sensation and running around to a dozen different doctors. Fibromyalgia is a defect of the central nervous system so every ache and pain registers in your body as worse than it actually is. For example, you may have noticed that if/when you stub a toe or walk into the bed post in the middle of the night the pain seems to linger a lot longer than you want it to. The pain is so bad you would swear you broke something. I fell off my bike this past summer and almost passed out from the pain. I was shocked when the X-ray showed everything was A-ok.
Now that we got that conversation out of the way, I can talk about what you can do to feel better. The stuff you have to do is very simple but you need to be disciplined and keep up the work to continue to reap the rewards.
I am not going to go into the details of each strategy in this first post, but I will lay out the the 8 basic categories:
- Mindful Movement
- Healthy Eating
- Conscious Breathing Exercises and Meditation
- Good Sleep Hygiene
- Essential Oils
- Faith / Spirituality
- Positivity, Laughter & Stress Management
- Baths & Bodywork
I hope you will follow me on my (our) journey and post comments.