For several weeks, my myofascial pain has been gone. The skin sensitivity I felt from my ankles to the base of my skull is either gone or hardly noticeable. I credit this improvement to the hormone balancing supplements, increase in water, and detoxification efforts.
My symptoms this morning include:
- Some muscle fatigue in my legs and arms.
- A sharp, stabbing pain behind my left shoulder blade upon awakening. After some stretching, this is now gone.
- Tightness and soreness along my upper shoulders and neck area.
- Tenderness below my collar bones.
As I have slowed down, observed, and made efforts to change, here is a brief list of what I have learned in recent months. I will be reporting all of these things to my doctor this afternoon.
WHAT DOESN’T HELP
- Poor positioning at my computer station. (I am currently using a lap pad with a wireless keyboard . Reaching for the mouse hurts and I try to reduce use as much as possible. I am only 5″3″ and my desk is way too high.)
- Being on so much medication I cannot judge how much strain I am putting on my trigger points.
- Taking medication that is no longer effective, leading to one more thing “to-do”.
- Losing sleep or not getting at least 9 hours solid rest.
- Complaining or focusing on what I “can’t” do.
- Being in denial or thinking I can still do everything I could do 8 months ago without consequences.
- Taking to people who tell me FMS and chronic pain are not real, have a 1-way solution, or who insist medication is my only treatment option.
- Keeping my thoughts and frustrations to myself.
- Exposure to cold weather.
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time.
- Tight clothing. (Gaining weight is not helping me avoid this fact!)
WHAT DOES HELP
- Focusing on small, attainable daily goals that don’t require my dependance on someone else to achieve them.
- Drinking lots of water. ( This is HUGE– so simple, yet so easy to miss!)
- Sleeping until I feel rested.
- Taking a sleeping pill so my mind can rest as I fall asleep.
- Talking with close friends and relatives who are willing to listen and not just give advice that makes me feel like I am not doing enough.
- Going to counseling and making a plan for change and prioritizing what matters.
- Heating pad on all sore spots (usually upper back and shoulders) for at least 20 minutes before going to bed every night as well as in the middle of the day if symptoms flare.
- Taking high quality supplements designed for women’s health and hormone balancing. See http://www.womentowomen.com .
- Letting go and saying NO!
- The book Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual by Devin Starlanyl and Mary Ellen Copeland
WHAT I STILL NEED HELP WITH
- Handling flare-ups and the intense physical, emotional and mental pain that accompany them.
- Figuring out why I am gaining weight and making a plan to get back to my pre-FMS size.
- Finding medications that truly help with minimal side effects. Having something I can take to manage pain during flare-ups.
- Referral to specialists who have treated FMS successfully and treat patients facing chronic pain on a regular basis.
- Create a better work-station so I am not violating my “what helps” list just to post a blog!
- Having healthy, fast food available to me every day. My challenge here is cost as well as how much time and physical demands cooking a healthy meal entail.