WORLD FIBROMYLAGIA AWARENESS DAY – 12th MAY, 2019…

On May 12th and throughout the month of May of each year, people worldwide spread awareness of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions through live events, online activities, and personal efforts. In the UK our awareness day is 2nd – 9th September but we can still raise awareness in the UK this May.

Join the millions of people who will be participating on this day by holding various events to raise awareness for fibromyalgia, an invisible and debilitating chronic condition.

Awareness and funding are the keys to battling the enigma that is Fibromyalgia, and this day was created for just that.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia may include heightening skin sensitivity – especially to pain, muscle stiffness, some difficulties sleeping, problems with memory and concentration, extreme tiredness, and headaches.

These symptoms are not uncommon in other diseases – and some sufferers don’t even experience all these symptoms – so it’s easy to see what makes fibromyalgia so tricky to diagnose.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, so at the moment the only option for sufferers is to have a number of treatments. For example, medication such as painkillers and antidepressants are often prescribed.

Fibromyalgia Association has been involved in producing an online fibromyalgia learning package for professionals and patients.  Fibromyalgia UK have it and It is free and after testing a certificate can be printed off.  While some of it may obviously fit the American system rather than the NHS, it is still a useful resource with much valuable information.

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10 TIPS TO HELP YOU COPE WITH THE SYMPTOMS OF #FIBROMYALGIA…

1.If at all possible try to de-stress as apparently stress may trigger #fibromyalgia symptoms. Some of the best de-stress treatments you could try are yoga (some great blogs on yoga here), exercise, sleep and meditation (great guided meditation sites here).

2.’Fibro Fog’ is a common ailment of #fibromyalgia so rather than getting frustrated that your short-term memory has let you down, try and get into the habit of jotting things down on paper on a daily basis.

3. Exercise, as in low-intensity exercise like walking, or warm water exercise is great for helping the pain of #fibromyalgia. This type of exercise can decrease pain and stiffness, the best exercises for people with #fibromyalgia can be found on Healthline.

4. Have a long soak in a warm bath or hot tub as this has been proven to relax tense muscles which will then reduce pain.

5. Try to use decaf as caffeine can increase anxiety and insomnia, so watch your intake of chocolate, coffee, teas and some soft drinks.

6.. Make your work-life balance work for you. If work is leaving you exhausted and in pain then design a flexible plan that works better for you and your boss. Maybe try some products like a telephone headset or keyboard tray.

7. Talk about your #fibromyalgia with your family and those around you. Let them know what can trigger it or make it worse. Never be afraid to ask for help from either your friends, family or other #fibro sufferers or a counsellor.

8. Many people call #fibro the ‘invisible illness’, as you can look fine but feel awful. So, when arranging your social life be prepared to say ‘no’ to something if you know it will be too much for you.

9. Try and keep a journal so that you can see what can trigger off an attack, then you can do something about it.

10. Join a support group, be it in person or online, they offer a place to talk to others who share your problems.

5 ACTS OF KINDNESS THAT HAVE BROUGHT ME JOY WHILE IN PAIN…

Simple acts of kindness can bring joy to anyone in pain.

My favourite acts of kindness that have brought me joy while in pain are –

  1. Someone offering to carry things for me.
  2. A cup of tea in bed.
  3. A phone call from a loved one.
  4. Someone giving me their seat.
  5. A note from a loved one saying ‘Thinking of You’.

What are yours?

 

#FIBROMYALGIA PAIN AND THE CHANGE OF SEASONS…

It’s that time of year that most #fibromyalgia sufferers (including me) dread. As the seasons change from summer to autumn then winter (unless you are in Ozz :)) we know we will definitely have to suffer more than normal until our bodies adapt to the different temperatures.

According to Fibromyalgia-symptoms.org, there are five “major weather factors” that can affect our bodies. They are temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, precipitation and wind. We may not be able to control what the weather does, but we can take some steps to try and head off a #fibro flare before it occurs when it is time for a seasonal change.

Brian Barr solicitors say that so far, researchers have been unable to determine why the changes in weather affect sufferers, however, there are some possible explanations. Firstly, changes in temperature can affect sleep patterns. Getting plenty of sleep is really important if you have #fibromyalgia, and even small shifts in your sleep pattern can aggravate the condition. Secondly, as the seasons change, the amount of light you are exposed to can throw off your circadian rhythm (body clock), making you feel low and more tired than usual. Lastly, there may be a connection between low temperatures and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which appear to be connected to pain intensity.

New Life Outlook Fibromyalgia points out that it is not uncommon to hear someone with arthritis claiming their knee or hip can predict the weather better than a meteorologist. They always know in advance when a cold front or a rainstorm are moving in, with an almost scary accuracy. Many with one type of rheumatic condition or another, including #fibromyalgia, have made claims that the changes of weather will affect their pain levels, fatigue levels, or other various symptoms.

Researchers have found little scientific proof to back up the claim that fibromyalgia symptoms are affected by the weather and weather changes. A study done in 2013 claims that they could not find a correlation between fibromyalgia flare-ups or increased pain and weather changes.

Well, I don’t know about my fellow #fibro sufferers but whatever research shows there is no question of a doubt that the change of seasons affects our pain.

Some top tips to help you cope with this which I have written about before are –

  1. Studies show that a warm or hot bath can have a therapeutic effect.
  2. Make sure if you are going out that you dress in layers, that way if it gets warm you can take a layer off but if its cool you will not feel the drop in temperature.
  3. Check the weather daily as the season starts to prepare for each day.
  4. Pull out the heat pad to use just before you go for a sleep or a rest in the daytime.
  5. Make sure you are not in a draft.
  6. Try hand warmers, Stephen Soloway, MD, a rheumatologist says they can ease fibromyalgia.
  7. Cut down on alcohol as it can dilate blood vessels and cause heat loss.
  8. Make sure you get as much sleep as possible.

And finally, a poem to finish this post –

Dear Lord, please help me at this difficult time,
When the weather changes and gives me a very hard time,
My friendly Fibro gives me pain everywhere,
While it decides which season it wants to bear.

Backache, neck ache, even finger ache to name but a few,
It just gets tooo much for you know who,
I know when Spring has sprung I’ll be in less pain,
But until then Lord, can you hurry up and decide even if it’s going to rain.