1st is Researcher
“Fibromyalgia, I was diagnosed as a teenager, and I received no mainstream therapies. Without a single pain treatment and without anybody in my life who could relate to what I was going through, I spent almost five years.
“When I met other patients online, my world changed for the better. Through a bit of luck, my symptoms were shared by the right patients. I already started experimenting with natural treatments, but it was incredibly eye-opening and helpful to learn what worked for my medical matches!
“I started trying new treatments and tracking my progress shortly after meeting all these new friends. I went home to a full-time student within six months. Of course, I’ve been trying loads of things I didn’t do. However, I have also found some tremendously helpful treatments for my pain. I have found strange herbs that have helped me to sleep, diets that all (including pain) have helped and medicine that has not made me feel fool. And I have found a place in which I belong.
“My stress has been greatly reduced by one thing which helped to reduce my symptoms. I’ve been in a very stressful job and I’m getting away from my career after years of trying to manage stress.
“I have a personality of type A and have always wanted to do things in specific ways. To embrace a healthier life, I had to learn to accept imperfection. I have developed different systems to minimize the daily stress-from repeated meal plans to my wardrobe.
“I have recognized that I have to sometimes ask for help and sometimes say no – these things have greatly stressed me. Once I controlled stress, I was able to work on other things such as food changes, stretching techniques, supplements, etc.”
“The most significant improvement in my symptoms of fibromyalgia is the modification of my diet. I would just say that my diet was taking gluten, but I believe it was much more. Now, I’m trying my best and avoid clean foods.
“For me, the change of my diet has all changed. I took my life to get my energy back from a life of constant pain and fatigue. I’m not 100% of what I used to be and I doubt I’ll ever be, but I can live again and that is something I’m good about.
“Maybe it is amusing tactics to help others and to pursue creativity, but it helped me more than any so-called therapies. I’ve not only been working on my blog to assist fibromites and my creative juices, but it also gives me some insight, which can help me and others in some ways.
“My other distraction, which I find to be very therapeutic, is knitting–particularly if the end product helps someone in need. I have knitted for different charities over the past few years, making babies ‘ and small children’s hats, Kenya’s blankets for orphanages, Remembrance Day poppies, leg chauds for pets at the vets, and small hats for top juice bottles made from innocent beverages. The latter gained me a lot of advertising in regional journals and in the Facebook page of innocent drinks, which also produce funds for Age UK.
“Gluten-free and Lyrica are the two biggest things I’ve done to deal with my fibro symptoms. I have had an inconclusive celiac test run, but I do know my body cannot simply process gluten. I get upset with both GI and fibrous symptoms like allodynia when I have some.
“I know Lyrica doesn’t work for all, but for me it was a saver. Every two weeks I have gone from 1-2 days of work missing to very few full days missing. My main problem was allodynia and I couldn’t deal with clothing. Sadly, many careers don’t let you work without clothing. It takes several years for Lyrica to manage my pain properly, but now it’s perfect.
“I saw my body as the enemy most of my life. I was frustrated with daily headaches at high school. I prayed often,’ God, if my body were to be a car, it’d qualify now for the Lemon Law! It was just another evidence that my body was defective to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
“I heard my husband complain after my diagnosis that I was broken. He stopped me and said,’ You put ME down when you say stuff like this. I just chose you. I chose you. I just married you. I married you. Talk about stopping a girl on her tracks! I think you’re gorgeous.
“I realized that my body isn’t the enemy, my sickness is when I think about the things Scott said. My body is in the same team and I are fighting the same fight. We want to feel better, that same thing. My flesh is quite stunning; even with the right resources she can heal herself!
“When I learned to love my body as it is, fibromyalgia and all, everything has changed. As I provided my body with what it needed, my symptoms began to improve: more sleep, better nutrition, less stress. I started treating myself in the manner that I treated someone I loved. I have changed my decisions and actions because my position has changed.
“The self-care doesn’t really mean actions; it literally loves you. You make different choices when you love someone. Display the same type of care you would give to a beloved. From this all will grow.”