Fibromyalgia is My Thing #8

Sleep, Exercise and Attitude

Sometimes you just need to be alone. How alone? It depends on what you have on your plate. I, for instance, have much on my plate and I enjoy the opportunity to get some of it taken care of. However, more often than not I find myself alone and sleeping. I surely cannot be that tired. Yet, I turn my head and fall back asleep.

This is not a good thing. Mind you, sleep is essential; and not just any sleep, but deep sleep where you go into REM sleep, what ever that means. I think it means you dream. Well, I dream alright. I dream in living color and always there are aspects of my dreams that stay with me throughout the day.

Is this because I have fibromyalgia? Insomnia is indeed a huge problem for the Fibromite. Once your body clock gets off it stays off for a long time. It takes much effort and conscious thought and action to get back into the right kind of sleep.

There are some things that will help. You will only know by trial and error as we are each different with similar and many different symptoms of FM.

First, there is nothing wrong with a nap in the middle of the day, as long it is not four hours or so. Ninety minutes works for me. You have to experiment to find what works for you.

Some days I can sleep all day and all night and then I don’t sleep for two or three days. That is a pattern no one wants to emulate.

Ideally we should get between eight and nine hours sleep a night. Here is where the planning comes in.

Get out a pad and pencil (or pen, I prefer pencil) and write down all of the activities that you do each day. Next to them write down the amount of time it takes to accomplish them. For instance:

Get up and do the toilette thing. Ten Minutes 10

Fix and eat Breakfast Thirty Minutes 30

Watch world news Sixty Minutes 60

Eat Apple or banana Five Minutes 05

Read part of a book Thirty Minutes 30

Rest Sixty Minutes 60

Fix and eat lunch Fifteen Minutes 15

Computer Two hours 120

Nap Ninety Minutes 90

Fix and eat Dinner Thirty Minutes 30

Check World News Fifteen Minutes 15

Check Tomorrow’s weather Ten Minutes 10

Evening snack (cheese) Ten Minutes 10

Prepare for bed Twenty Minutes 20

Go to bed and sleep Nine Hours 540

Total hours accounted for Seventeen ¼ 17.25

That leaves six hours and seventy five minutes that you can do other things. It’s always nice to know.

So take a pad with you all day and jot down how many minutes it takes you to accomplish whatever it is you are doing. Then add the numbers and see what you have to work with.

As soon as two months ago I got out of bed only to go to the powder room. It exhausted me. I have had to learn to very slowly stretch and exercise a little at a time to get back to being able to walk again. (This does get old after a while.) I am so grateful that once again I am getting back on my feet.

I am permitted to drive, however I do not feel strong enough just yet. The day will come when I pile my Snuggles in the car with me and we go see my kids. They all live a distance away (some further than others). I’ll start with the close ones!

Now we come to the part where I must exercise. And trust me friends, no matter what anyone says, exercise is essential to good health. Having said that let me be clear that the Fibromite does not and should not exercise like normal people!

We are not normal, but then, who is? What is normal after all? It does exist, in each and every one of us. Our actions are normal for us.

Exercise in water (WARM water) only. Even if at first all you can do is get in and stand. As the water moves around you it is exercising you.

Cold water will cause the muscles to cramp so badly you may think you should never get in a pool again. The heated pool is much much different. It soothes your entire body, relaxes you so you are able to exercise.

You don’t have to move a lot, just move. After a few trips to the pool you will find you are moving more and some day will be able to join an exercise class. Even that will seem a bit difficult the first time. So, don’t be hard on yourself. Do what you are able to comfortably do. Each time you go you will find you can do more. You will look forward to exercising in the water and you will find energy, not exhaustion.

So, sleep and exercise are essential for the Fibromite. So is a positive attitude.

If you have anger inside of you, you need to find a way to rid yourself of it or it will quickly cause your entire body to crumble.

I’m not one for being angry. I can only remember two times in my entire life that I was truly and completely angry. It was horrible.

The first time I was attending a funeral. It does not matter what made me angry, only that I recognized it was eating me up and anger is ugly! I went to the casket and talked to the lady, whom I barely knew, and told her how I felt and that I would very much appreciate if she would allow me to bury my anger with her. Then I mentally placed all of my anger in the coffin beside her. I prayed it would stay. I sat back down and watched as they closed the coffin and followed it to the grave yard. Once it was lowered into the ground, I felt tremendous relief. My anger was gone, never to return.

The second time I was angry it was more intense and the pain was so deep I stopped living. I only existed. Then one day I had to lay it at My Savior’s feet and leave it there. Even though I was not the one who broke the fences of trust, I had to be the first to extend an olive branch. My anger is now gone.

It’s hard to let go of anger, but it is such a cruel and nasty beast, it must be done.

The next very important thing you can do for yourself is find a positive way to look at life and keep it. Practice “Thank You.”

Here is an email I received from my beloved brother-in-law in California. I don’t know where he got it, but it is worth pondering:


I AM THANKFUL: FOR THE WIFE
WHO SAYS its HOT DOGS TONIGHT,
BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME,
AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

FOR THE HUSBAND WHO IS ON THE SOFA

BEING A COUCH POTATO,
BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME
AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS.

FOR THE TEENAGER WHO IS COMPLAINING

ABOUT DOING DISHES BECAUSE IT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME,
NOT ON THE STREETS.

FOR THE TAXES I PAY BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM EMPLOYED.

FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS.

FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.

FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE

FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING, WINDOWS

THAT NEED CLEANING, AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME.

FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE IT MEANS WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

FOR THE PARKING SPOT I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH
TRANSPORTATION.

FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM WARM.

FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH WHO SINGS OFF KEY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I CAN HEAR.

FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.

FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES AT THE END OF THE DAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.

FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF
IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM ALIVE.

AND FINALLY, FOR TOO MUCH E-MAIL BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE FRIENDS WHO are thinking of me!

One time many years ago we took in a young woman and her two daughters. She was being abused. They lived with us for a year and a half. When she left she wrote us a thank you letter - twelve pages long. She appreciated everything. I’ve tried to emulate her. Make your own Thank You list. And always remember to thank others. The world would be a dull and lonely place if there were not “others.”

If you find yourself indulging in criticism of ANY thing at all, stop and think “Now what is the good I can learn here? What is the positive lesson to be learned? Can I make things better or is it just not in my corner of the world to deal with?” Or “What can I do to make things better?” And do it.

Miles and miles of smiles to you all!

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11 comments

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

Pixie- a very interesting hub.

Question. On your schedule, I didn't see you using the powder room more than once. As you know, I worry about these things. Did you just forget to put that in there, or have you figured out the secret to once-a-day bathroom trips? :)


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

Dear Pixienot,

When you have the sleep thing mastered, please let me know all of the details. Get a patent on the method, first, as the discovery will make you rich! Of all that comes with fibromyalgia, the sleep disturbance is probably the most frustrating. It may even be the snowball that begins the downward avalanche which causes flares. Again, thank you for your insight. It helps me to know I am not alone.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Pixienot, A wonderful Hub as usual. I enjoyed the Poem your brother-in-law sent you. But I wonder if too much sleeping is also a sign of depression...when one is in a lot of pain, sleep is also an escape. I now your schedule is wacky, and it sounds like you are pushing yourself as hard as you can...Because I can...I ask these questions. LOL.


Pixienot profile image

Pixienot 5 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana Author

I'm sure there is a fair amount of depression in there. As a matter of fact I go to therapy for it, but it is not nearly as bad as it was.

I think more than anything, now that I have found hub pages and love it, that I will somehow fail. Just a thought I read somewhere.

But I'll keep writing and also reading your work, which I love. Especially the stories. Have a great week (what is left of it)!


Pixienot profile image

Pixienot 5 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana Author

Jillian, I am taking your advice. So far the odds are not good. However, I will always keep the idea for a patent in mind.

Thank you for your comment


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 years ago

You give me more time to think.How lucky am I.I loved your poem.I realize the struggles you go through on a daily basis.So what do I really have to complain about .Nothing absolutely noithing.I am young and just need a good kick in the butt to push for more than I did before.I think I reach my limitations when I haven't even scratched the surface.THanks for giving me the get up and go when I am down and out.


iamageniuster profile image

iamageniuster 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Exercise and having the right attitude are very important in life.


Pixienot profile image

Pixienot 5 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana Author

Dear Dream ON, Each of us have our own struggles. They are different but often equally as difficult. I don't dwell on mine, as it does not help. Writing about it here on hubpages has helped me more than I could have imagined.

You just be kind to you!

Hey Genius,

Thank you for the encouraging words. You are so right about exercise and attitude!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I sympathize very much with your problems. My sister has fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and suffers from migraines. I live in the same house as her so I see her struggles on a daily basis. I’m just hoping that scientists soon find the cause (or causes) of fibromyalgia and more effective treatments so that she, you and all other fibromyalgia sufferers will be helped.

I loved the poem that your brother-in-law sent you!


Pixienot profile image

Pixienot 5 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana Author

Thank you so much AliciaC. My good thoughts and prayers go out to your sister and to you.

Much progress on Fibromyalgia has been made in that it is now classified as a disease and not a syndrome. Still it has its multiple mysteries.

Remind your sister that she is in charge, not the FM and to not give in to it. You can be of great assistance by helping her find her happy place. At first she may find it awkward, but eventually she will see the wisdom in it.

When the pain is too much for me, I go to my happy place and shut out all other distractions. Sometime soft instrumental music helps; other times it is the quiet that helps. But it DOES help.

Thank you for commenting and hopefully voting!

I wish you both the best. Ever have any questions, just write me at my email and I promise to answer. (pixienot@sbcglobal.net)

Miles and miles of smiles coming your way.


Pixienot profile image

Pixienot 5 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana Author

Dear sueroy333, I noticed that I have failed to reply to your question. Obviously the IBS had not been acting up and well, the other is so quick I did not think about it. Now I'm thinking about it. Hmm

Thank you so much for stopping by. I don't usually miss my comments. ILY :D

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