Fibromyalgia and Frigid Weather

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Howdy, howdy, howdy! Here I am again, talking about my never ending topic -- Fibromyalgia.

The symptoms of Fibromyalgia are as varied as the people who have this disease. One day I will list all of the symptoms I am aware of and it will be a hub all by itself.

However, there are some common factors.

Today, I am discussing the weather (on the cool side).

Everyone, with or without this disease has their own tolerance when it comes to hot weather and cold weather.

In my particular case - I can tolerate neither the “hot” nor the “cold” temperatures. I would prefer a nice 74 degrees all year round. Ha ha - not likely to happen here in the mid-west., but a girl can wish, huh?

When most folks are putting on their sweaters to take a walk, I’m rummaging for my long johns and undershirts (which I call sleeveless T-shirts in the summer).

Overnight my bones and muscles decide they are in the arctic. The pain sets in and threatens to never leave. That is, unless I dress warmer before they have a chance to feel the cold.

Some of you know exactly what I am talking about.

There is, it seems, only one recourse for me - hibernate. Set myself up near a TV and have my laptop handy.

Equipment totally necessary: gloves with finger tips cut out, a downy or equally warm comforter, a flannel sheet to line either the sofa, or a favorite chair (I opt for the recliner so no one tries to replace me when I get up).

You will also need your windows arranged so that all of the sunshine for the day comes inside to warm and cheer you. On cloudy days this is more difficult. J

Put some bright flowers in the room. Keep your water glass filled. You might even put a pitcher of water close to your chair, as well as some healthy snacks.

Don’t forget an eye mask, in the event you want to nap during the day.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some little thing - but you’ll figure it out. (Oh - books to read and paper and pencils.)

Think of this as your Throne. Your royal palace --OR -- think of this as your prison!

Yes, I did switch horses in the middle of this stream, with good reason.

A long time ago I learned, as a fibromyalgia patient that to stay still too long causes more problems than not.

Of course the comfy spot I mentioned is a great idea for when you want to read or are not feeling well, like with a cold, but not a permanent parking space.

See, for eight to ten hours you can be warm and cozy and ever so comfortable, day after day; then you try walking, cleaning up a small area in your kitchen, bathroom or bed room and your entire body screams at you.

Your muscles have headed into atrophy - a place they were never intended to go.

My friends, it is never good to stay in one place, one position, one chair for very long of a time.

I know, I know - I made it sound so good that you wanted it for yourself. This, I did for myself, and have had a horrid time coming back so I could once again live and be a productive member of society. (This was my seclusion when my mother died.)

Once the pain set in, I was convinced that my body was dying - because of the Fibro. You must learn and memorize the #1 rule of Fibromyalgia. It will not kill you! Nope - worth repeating - Fibromyalgia will not kill you.

Once I remembered rule #1 I made a plan.

1) One step at a time.

I mean that literally,. I mean it. If all you can do is take one step forward and one step backward and must sit and rest due to the pain and exhaustion, do it! Soon you will be taking 2 steps forward and two back - on to 3, then 4. You must be consistent. Do not stop no matter how silly it seems to you. You are re-programming your body; you are giving Fibro a back seat and you are once again in the driver’s seat.

2) Trust how you feel - not how others say you should feel.

Believe in yourself. You are the only one inside your body (unless you are hiding a secret - giggle). You are in a contest with no one.

Believe in yourself. The reality is, until you believe in you - no one else will.

3) Learn, know and accept your limitations.

We do not naturally know our limitations. However, once we recognize what they are, we have an obligation to learn to live with them.

Knowing we have limitations and accepting them are two entirely different elements of fibromyalgia.

Often, by being diagnosed with Fibro, we fight the diagnosis; we deny and choose to ignore it. Of course we can only do this for so long. Then the disease begins the battle to win.

Once we accept that we have Fibro, our mind begins to work for us and the healing and dealing-with process begins.

Accepting your limitations with fibro means you give yourself permission to be a little or a lot different from others around you. You recognize that this is really okay!

After all - all humans are different in one way or another. No duplicates and that is okay! Good even.

4) Find and live a quality life.

No more feeling shy or ashamed of the things you cannot do. Dwell on those things you can do. Write them down. Read them often; program your brain. (Note: either you program your brain or someone else will)

Don’t let words from anyone who is negative, even penetrate your brain. If what they say is true, the universe will bring it back to you when the time is right.

This time of year is a good time to partake in this dwelling of positive thinking, no matter how difficult or foreign it is to you.

Are you still mobile?

If so, be very grateful to the universe and make a plan to stay that way.

If not, what other talents do you have? Writing, poetry, counseling, sharing?

There IS something you have a talent for that you can do right now!! You simply have to make up your mind to do it.

5) Move it or lose it: so much easier said than done; so vital to a quality of life as a fibro-mite.

First move your brain - exercise it with games, reading and research.

Second - move your mind in the directions that bring a smile to your face. Just finishing or even getting one word in a crossword puzzle brings a smile to my face. What challenge would you find worth smiling over?

6) Share with others.

Sharing my knowledge with others is an important part of who I am. Whether it be a blog, a response to another’s hub, a public seminar given for free in my community or another - this has become my mission. It gives me life after myself!

7) All important is to be true to your self.

Learn who you are (not so easy sometimes). (Hint: You learn more about yourself by giving yourself away than you do concentrating on your “inner” soul.)

Think on the true and good things of life and giving to another, of yourself, your time, your knowledge. You will find that the frigid weather is simply another challenge. Dress warmer, stand as tall as you can and go forward to serve and love and most importantly, smile!

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Comments 7 comments

Christine B. profile image

Christine B. 4 years ago from Medina, Ohio

Thanks, Pixienot... for understanding and passing on information about this debilitating disease. One of the major problems I have run across is people I know don't get it... "Well, you look perfectly healthy to me..." And we do... there are no outward signs of the disease except for my ridged finger and toe nails. No one really looks at those things much, though. The pain is constant, the fatigue is overwhelming, and what I really want to do is stay in bed with the covers over my head all day. Just washing and drying my hair in the morning leaves me exhausted!

Thanks for "getting it!"


Pixienot profile image

Pixienot 4 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana Author

Dear Christine,

Thanks so much for stopping by.

I learned a long time ago that either folks "get it" or they do not. I used to carry a card with an explanation on it about how I felt, not how I looked. Sometimes I would hand it to whomever I was conversing with and either wait for them to respond or let them keep it and move on.

Education is the really big deal with Fibromyalgia.

Some days I feel the same way you described in your note. Other days not-so-much.

I think I will write a new hub and explain how to deal with this problem; and it is a huge problem for those of us living with Fibromyalgia.

Thank you for the inspiration.

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond. No excuses, just reality.

Again, thank you and I hope you are having a great day today. We are kind of like Alcoholics in that we must take one day at a time.

Sincerely,

Pixienot


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

I have had Fibromyalgia. since 2003.. the pain sometimes is so extremely horrific. sometimes people look at me like I am crazy.. and the cold weather really hurts it worse.

So I do know how you feel..

I voted up and awesome and interesting

love this hub

Debbie


Pixienot profile image

Pixienot 4 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana Author

Dear Deborah,

I am so sorry about your pain. Needless to say, I totally understand.

I have written several articles on Fibromyalgia. Feel free to browse. :)

The National Fibromyalgia Foundation is a great resource. They now even have an online magazine! Check it out. www.fmaware.org


Terri Neal 4 years ago

As a fibromyalgia sufferer, I have a ?. Do any of you hurt more after you eat, as i do? And does anything sweet make your pain flare up for about 30 minutes?


Lowin 4 years ago

I am a new fibromite. Sometimes I think everthing @ anything flares me. I'm not trying to be negitive I'm just new at this game.


Pixienot profile image

Pixienot 4 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana Author

Dear Terri and Lowin,

First I apologize for the delayed answer.

Yes, diet makes a huge difference. Even though the doctors say that sweets should not make a difference, I know they do!

This includes starchy food as well. I've had Fibro for over 30 years and done a lot of experimenting. Food plays a huge part in how you feel.

I find that eating sugar in any form in excess or sometimes in small amounts does indeed cause you to hurt more.

It only makes sense. Magicians or folks who want to sell you something concerning "balance" will have you hold your hands out, test your strength and then put sugar on your tongue and test it again. You will be much weaker.

This is a reality, whether you have fibro or not. Sugar makes your muscles weaker. If you have fibro and eat sugar, your already fighting muscles will hurt even more.

Fibromyalgia is a disease and all factors must be considered.

Lowin, you are in a depressive state. However, each of us has our own weaknesses. Right now, because you have seen limitations you are a bit edgy about what to do and not do. You fear that you will set off an episode.

Everything does not set off fibromyalgia, but for each of us it is different. Keeping a log of how you react to everything could help you narrow down your personal triggers.

With time you will find ways to overcome a lot of the pain and anxiety. It will never go away (at least not until a cure is found) however you can control a lot of it.

I wish you both the very best. Feel free to email me and I'll be happy to help any way I can. Read my other posts as well as those by other hubbers.

Keep a positive outlook, even on the most painful days. Consider the alternative!!

Pixie

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