Fibromyalgia and Frigid Weather
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!