Archive for January, 2010

But when you go to bed..

January 24, 2010

Some days are pretty easy days. Nothing major to do around the house; no laundry, no vacuuming, no chores to run. You got to take it easy; making a dozen simple phone calls, doing a bit of prep for tomorrow’s dinner, surfing the web doing casual research, and so on.. With no major pain, no cramps or seizing, and no other real fibro symptoms. So at the end of your day after relaxing by watch your favourite show or two, you get up setting the dishwasher to go and turning out lights wishing every one a good night on the way to bed.

You are all well and good until you decide to dump yourself into bed. Bad move. Crashing into bed like that, so suddenly with everything finally completely relaxing at once and your walls are down, the onslaught of sensation is overwhelming.

It is at this point you realize there is no real “easy” day. Some days the pain is not so bad & on some of those days, we handle it better and think we are ok for a bit.

It is that time at the end of that “easy” day that you know you will always have some pain each and every day. Some days it’s nasty, some not so bad and some days we can handle it better than others – either emotionally, physically or with the help of medicine. We will always have pain, but we also look forward to tomorrow for another “easy” day. We also realize that while yes, we have pain each and every day but we also get through it each and every day. We survive and even thrive despite this disease and what it does to our minds and bodies.

We are strong.

This post started one way in my head at 1am but my fingers decided differently. If & when my mind and fingers ever decide co-operate, I will get to that post that I meant to do. Hopefully it doesn’t stay in my head all night half written *laugh*

Tennis Ball Massage for FMS

January 21, 2010

An Exerpt from
Tennis Ball Massage for Fibromyalgia Pain
A Fibro Tip

by Tami Brady
Mar 2, 2009

An Inexpensive Massage for Fibromyalgia Sufferers

Regular massages are extremely useful tools for Fibromyalgia pain management. The problem is that often such treatment is not readily available or the costs are simply beyond the reach of the average person`s budget. In these cases, the tennis ball massage is an inexpensive and somewhat useful alternative.

The tennis ball massage is easy to do. Simply take a tennis ball and rub it back and forth around the area of the painful muscle. If the pain is on the surface, gently rub the ball over that location. If the pain is deeper, use a bit of pressure.

It is important to never push hard enough to cause damage. If the amount of pressure exerted causes more pain or sharp pain, then immediately reduce the pressure. This localized massage is meant to help not cause more pain. In this way, if it causes more discomfort, stop using this method immediately.

Tennis Ball Massage for the Back

The tennis ball massage works very well for muscle groups that are easy to reach. Places like the back can be a bit tricky, especially for self-massage. The best solution for these problem areas is finding a support like a wall or the floor. Then, the tennis ball can be placed between the wall or floor and the body part. Automatically, any body movement also moves the ball and the amount of pressure can be easily modified as desired.

Massage is wonderful for relief of localized muscle pain associated with Fibromyalgia. However, often having regular treatment is not a viable option. The tennis ball massage can be an inexpensive alternative.

To read the entire article, go to Tennis Ball Massage for Fibromyalgia Pain: Fibro Tip

They just don’t get it – How to explain FMS & CFS

January 21, 2010

They just don’t get it
How to explain Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia to friends and family
By Kelli Ellis

 Not having support from your family and friends will put a strain on these relationships impacting your stress level which can affect greatly both negative and positive on your health. Explanations need to be simple and straightforward. Tell someone about fibro without all the jargon so that healthy peoples eyes don’t glaze over two minutes into a conversation. You do not have to explain in extreme detail to produce an accurate picture or evoke an appropriate response.

Without a good explanation many people perceive persons with Fibro & CFS as not being sick but to be thought of as “lazy,” “a hypochondriac” or a “whiner.” We are none of these.

Here are several descriptions:

  • “You know, when you work yourself really hard, so that you feel totally exhausted, and you ache from top to bottom so badly that you cannot even get up? Well that’s how I feel. Only it does not go away.”
  • “It is similar to working in the garden for two days all day as well as the flu, except that it does not go away.”
  • “Fibromyalgia is like arthritis in the muscles.”
  • To my 10 year old niece I said, “It’s like when you’ve played all day and you play so much that the next day you are tired and your muscles are so sore they hurt and it’s kind hard to get out of bed – it’s like that, but it’s every day, not just one day.” This, a child, understood, but her mother couldn’t.

What healthy people need to realize is that, we don’t want to be this way and if we could change it, we could. Would I trade living day after day in pain & exhaustion, taking seemingly limitless amount of medications for a healthy body but a 10hr work day, 6 days a week with no meds?? God! Yes!
While we may “look” healthy, that does not mean we are feeling healthy. For women, makeup can hide a multitude of sins, including pale skin, tainted skin colour, bags under the eyes, and a general lackluster. Clothing choices and the way one presents oneself may not be for show, but for need. I may not use my cane cuz it would be too painful in my shoulders to use it, but it does not necessarily mean I feel well.

Well meaning friends and support people have said “I’ve had that too!” And they may have, for a few hours, waking up improved the next day and well the day after. But it truth, No, she or she has not. They have bouts of being tired or sore from whatever over exertion they experience. They do not deal with the chronic day after day extreme fatigue, pain and many other accompanying symptoms and syndromes. They think think they know because of one day’s experience – they don’t.

There are some who believe that because we with FM do not follow their well meaning advice, that it is our own fault we are sick. Horse-pucky! Don’t put that BS guilt trip on anyone, let alone a fibromite. The last thing a person with FM needs is to feel blamed for being ill. It is not our fault.

Some tips when discussing fibro and what it is: Be honest. Beware of your audience – what a 10 year old understands, an adult may dismiss. Do not use excessive jargon – the biggest word should be fibromyalgia not neurotransmitters. Know what symptoms you what to emphasize. Recognize how much, if anything, they want to learn.

For those who would be interested in further explanations, there are many resources around. To start, I recommend the “Spoon Theory”.The author has lupus, a sibling condition with many overlapping symptoms.
Another resource is “the Letter to Normals”.

If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to post them here or email me.