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Fibromyalgia Awareness

Fibromyalgia *pronounced: fie-bro-my-al-juh, is a real disorder; disease. I’m not sure which its being considered now… but I do that fibro has changed many lives – my mother’s, friends, my own. May 12th we’re sharing our history, informing others of this epidemic (can I use that word for this?). I feel its an awful thing to ever have to deal with.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia:

  • Chronic muscle pain for 2-3 months
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Diagnoses -According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a person must have widespread pain lasting for at least three months. Plus pain in at least 11 of 18 parts of the body called “tender points.”
    Other factors may contribute in diagnosing fibromyalgia. Only your doctor can make an accurate diagnosis.

Cause of Fibromyalgia: Unknown

Some scientists believe that fibro flairs due to traumatic occurrences, major illnesses, or even injury to certain areas of the body. But, we really have no idea.

Life with Fibromyalgia:

Symptoms vary from patient to patient, with some that can still function only using allocated sick-days for time off when a flair occurs. Others deal with so much pain and cognitive restlessness they cannot even complete regular day-to-day activities.  Its not a physical thing so much that people can see for others to know that someone is ill, has a disorder. Too often, people (even those you love) think its not real.

It is sometimes very hard for me to be the primary caregiver for my mom of only 55 years. For the last … six years we’ve lived together because she requested for my husband and I to sell our home and come take care of her and her home. There are days that she cannot even come into the kitchen to eat dinner, let alone get the dishes in the dishwasher for cleaning.  I’m thankful I am able to care for my mom, that I have an understanding husband whom will live with his mother-in-law (as in today’s world … it’s too often not accepted), and that I’m able to share the value of family with my children! But, it sometimes becomes very wearing on my own emotions: seeing my mom not able to complete simple tasks, when just ~15 years ago she was a very strong-willed red head (I’m sure some of you completely understand what I mean here)!  We have to have several conversations regarding certain things because she can’t remember that we’ve already discussed it, or at times we’ve dealt with being in the middle of a conversation and she forgets what we’re discussing in mid-sentence.

The pain, even to see in her own face, simply from just our small cat walking across her arm or leg succumbs such pain it can bring her to tears. Holidays become worry-filled events wondering if she’ll come out of her room to join us…

But then, we have some days – GREAT days – where yes, she’s in pain, but can deal with it and participate as part of the family! We thrive on those days as they’re far & few in between.

But I too have to share – as I said earlier, everyone with fibro is different, I have a close friend who is diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well who can function mostly everyday just as I do. I say mostly because of course I’m not feeling all the pains she is – but she can still get around to complete her laundry, wash the dishes, or vacuum her rug.

Treatment for Fibromyalgia:

  • Medications: Working with your doctor you may decide to use: Lyrica, anti-depressants, anti-inflammatories…
  • Exercising: Again – working with your doctor to decide what is the best regime for you.
  • Emotional Support: Therapy, Family, and Friends support is greatly needed. Having pets to care for and for comfort is also helpful!
  • Rest/Hot-packs/Showers…

Unfortunately at this time my mother’s doctor has advised against trying Lyrica. Exercising is mostly out of the question for my mom, as it hurts too much even to walk most days – but I do work with her in a flair to help her with stretches. We have put a mattress heater on her bed that has tremendously helped in the past. As for receiving rest… that’s another long story as she hardly can sleep during normal sleeping hours.

Share your journey – too many are out there feeling their loosing their minds from this disorder; alone; confused; hurting… Research fibromyalgia so that you can try to understand what these individuals go through.

Suggested Reading: Click on the Button at top of page
http://www.fmaware.org
http://www.fibrohugs.org/

Mostly – just support them, give them a hug [GENTLY], and let them know you’re there – find out how you can help. And if you know someone in my position as the caregiver; find out if they could use some help too (maybe just a break from all the shopping/cleaning).

Thanks for sharing,

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