Learning to Accept Fibromyalgia, Part Four: Taking Care of Your ‘Self’

Learning to Accept Fibromyalgia, Part Four: Taking Care of Your ‘Self’
Now that you have gone through a barrage of emotions that accompany the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, such as coping over the loss or change of a career, or lack of support from others, you may wonder "Where do I go from here?" While it is not under the best of circumstances, it is necessary to create a lifestyle that matches your current functioning level. Creating a lifestyle that suits your new needs and functions will enable you to take care of your "self." This includes emphasizing your strengths, and acknowledging your  limitations. It is important to remember is that the person inside still exists. Your personality, opinions, thoughts, and whole being is still here. Maintaining a low-impact environment surrounded by hobbies, joy and comfort goes a long way toward keeping certain aspects of your "self'" alive. This type of environment and lifestyle also can help reduce stress-related flares. As I have previously stated, the loss of my career in clinical research was a stinger to my heart. I still live vicariously by reading up on current medical research. This sometimes fuels my passion to share with former colleagues or friends who may be interested.  My love for reading has never faltered because of fibromyalgia. I just may not have the ability to read as often as I like. When I do read, I rely on a lap book holder. I have considered audio books for times when my hands and arms are too stiff and painful. I enjoy reading autobiographies the most, as well as word-finding puzzles. Over the past couple years, I have even taken up my husband's interest in crossword puzzles. Instead of reading mysteries, such as Sherlock Holmes or Perry Mason, I prefer to watch the shows on television, and try to solve the "whodunit" before it is revealed. This makes m
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  1. Denise Bault says:

    What a nice article! We may have changed because of this illness, but as a friend told me once, “Perhaps this is God’s way of telling you to slow down a bit.” How true for all of us and especially for those of us that have a Type A personality. I’m currently at a crawl. 🙂 I, too, try to find joy in the little things. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite got the energy to “simplify.” Every time I start, I wonder what I’m going to do with all this “stuff.” Then I wonder how much of it I will need when I have to move again – which I will – due to this illness! It’s quite the conundrum being on a fixed income, unsure of what the future holds. But I guess that holds true for everyone, doesn’t it? Anyone have any suggestions?

    • Lori Galpeer says:

      Thanks very much Denise! On my good days, I can’t help but think of those who don’t experience a bit of energy. I can understand the frustration you may feel for on my regular, and bad, days I know things I want to do but just don’t have the motivation or energy to do so. Since my hubby is not of the same organization style, and is a bit of a procrastinator, for little things (such as hanging up shelves; changing light fixture) that I need his assistance can create a lot of stress when I want things better organized in the home. He has his office and the garage as his ‘man cave’ so that he can be as messy as he wants to be, and I can just close the door and not look at it. I am sorry you will have to move because of this crappy illness! Isn’t fair what this illness does to our entire being that at times can result in a House of Cards being jostled. If I could still work, my husband would be able to retire right now, and wouldn’t have a part-time job on the side. Having to worry about keeping afloat financially shouldn’t have to be an added concern for us. From my experiences, it appears to come down to finding your niche’ and having a supportive, accommodating employer. Love to hear suggestions from others.

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