Ten Items Every Fibromyalgia Patient Should Have

Ten Items Every Fibromyalgia Patient Should Have

Through the Fog
I’m always on the lookout for things that will add value to my life, and improve my organization and my comfort. I want to share 10 items that you also may find helpful in dealing with your fibromyalgia. These are practical and affordable items I use.

1. Pill organizer — Fibro fog can make us second-guess whether we have taken our medications and supplements. One way to get around that is to use a pill organizer. There are so many from which to  choose: Clear, colored, once-a-day or multiple times a day, etc. This is the one I use because it’s unobtrusive and easy to fill all at once.

2. eZ MELTS supplements — I love these supplements because they melt in your mouth, and each type is a different flavor. I have issues with swallowing pills, so I prefer something that is easy to take. I use the probiotic, B12, D3, CoQ10, melatonin, and others. They also don’t upset my stomach as some pills do. They get directly into your bloodstream, bypassing the digestive process. As with all supplements, you should discuss with your doctor what supplements are safe and the right choice for you. It also is recommended that you take them with meals so they are more bioavailable.

3. Microwaveable heating pad — The reason I prefer these instead of a hot-water bottle is that they mold to the area you want to heat. They come in various sizes, colors and fabrics. You can heat them up at home, or at work, as well. Heat is the comforting friend of those of us with FM.

4. Soft backpack – For women who carry a purse, a soft backpack can be a more comfortable option, as it carries what you need and distributes the weight evenly. It relieves the strain and pain of carrying a purse on your shoulder or arm. The one I’ve used for years is a soft-quilted microfiber one from Vera Bradley.

5. Soft sheets — I don’t know about you, but I hate rough-feeling sheets, pillowcases and blankets. If it touches my body, I want it to be soft. I use soft flannel sheets in the colder months, and soft microfiber sheets in the warmer months. I also love it when I can find a sheet set that includes four pillowcases because I change them more frequently.

6. Insulated cup — I keep ice water or hot tea next to me wherever I go, so an insulated cup is a must. It also must have a hole large enough to accommodate a straw for when I’m in bed.

7. Head-to-toe cleansing cloths — This is for those days when taking a shower takes more energy than you have, but you want to quickly freshen up. Although these are meant for babies, they are larger and thicker than ordinary baby wipes.

8. Dry shampoo — We all have those days when we’re in a rush to get out of the house. Trust me – dry shampoo will be your new best friend.

9. Stand to hold your tablet or kindle — I have shoulder issues and a lot of arm pain, so this has helped me over the years to read and write more comfortably. This is one of the best investments I’ve made for my fibromyalgia.

10. Caddy for cleaning supplies — This makes cleaning a bit easier if you can carry it from room to room. I used these when I had my housecleaning business about 30 years ago, and I still use one today. You can store and carry it all in one place.

I would love to hear about the items you use to help make life with fibromyalgia easier.

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Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

38 comments

  1. viviane says:

    We will fight so someday our children and grand Children do not suffer anymore from this terrible disease…..

  2. Fibro Warrior says:

    I have a heated back support on my chair at work. It helps calm the muscle spasms. I also keep a foot rest (also known as a box full of paper) under my desk to elevate my feet, a soft blanket, and a fan. This helps keep me comfortable during crazy temperature changes. I keep snacks in my desk drawer to help with the hypoglycemia. At home, I use body pillows, soft sheets, a heating pad, an oscillating fan, comfy clothes, and lamps so I don’t have to use the overhead light. I consistently have water, a notebook, pen and reading material with me. Oh the life of a Fibromite.

  3. open4thot says:

    Many times your recommendations are “no longer available”. I would imagine this is due to the overwhelming need for the products that you include on your website!
    Thank you for sharing your ideas and your life with the world. I cannot tell you how many times I have simply forwarded your article rather than try myself to explain just how difficult it is to live with chronic pain and fibromyalgia.
    Please continue to speak-up for those of us overwhelmed by pain and too weak to defend ourselves.

  4. Denise Bault says:

    Small notebooks with pens attached and post-its are all over my home, along with a set of readers for each room. (Then I don’t have to go look for any!) I also use “bedbuddies” which can be found at most large drug stores. You can use them for heat or cold. They are pliable and can be positioned for any part of your body that’s feeling discomfort. I use a large notebook to keep track of my medications, along with pill organizers. I write down when I take certain ones and also use a check mark system to check off the pills or supplements that I’ve just taken that day. ( It’s also a good way to keep track of what exercise I’ve done.) Lotion is a must for kitchen, bath and bedrooms so it’s within easy reach. An eye mask is a must for daytime napping. Mine is kept right by my bed and so are my eye drops for chronic dry eye.

    • Maria says:

      Denise, thanks for sharing your ideas and helpful tips…I sure understand about the readers for each room. Having lotion in each room is a great idea too. Right now I keep a bottle of saline nasal spray for my chronic sinusitis/congestion on my bed stand and one in my backpack too in spite of using Zyrtec D daily and at night–children’s Benadryl Allergies w/Congestion liquid. Keeping a log of daily neck exercises–stretching is a great idea which I hope to follow…I use the gel cold packs for my neck and rely on physical therapy and massages when approved by my health insurance…I say every little bit helps…

  5. Grace from Australia says:

    Great ideas and some of them I already use as well. The backpack handbag has really made a difference for me. Luckily to are becoming more and more trendy. 🙂 Heat packs are always a must and certainly go with me on holidays. In winter I also use microfiber blankets on top of my under sheet as it gives warmth and softness. These also come with me on holidays as you never know if the mattress is going to be too hard. I am skinny so my hips hurt easily. Too hot in summer though.

  6. Grace from Australia says:

    Robin, it’s just getting colder (that’s 23 degrees for me) and…pain is increasing. As all of you out there probably know. I am so glad that Queensland is not too bad compared too many other places.

  7. Stephanie McKnight says:

    I found having hand sanitizer at my bathroom sink at all time necessary for me. I can’t wait for water to get hot, it hurts to stand that long. I also have one with me at all times. I like to wash my hands a lot. Just discovered you, and I appreciate all these wonderful suggestions. I love hearing from my Fibro Warrior Sisters! Thank you.

  8. Grace from Australia says:

    Btw, that is 23 degrees Celsius. 🙂 But after a summer of mostly over 35 degrees and sometimes even over 40 degrees Celsius it feels cold. 🙂

  9. Gary says:

    In addition to everything mentioned we find the Blu Emu (I have tried others that have Blu Emu in the concoction, but they were not helpful. Blu Emu brand works. Emu oil is derived from the fat of Emu. It supposedly, has many health benefits. ). Our family uses Blu Emu for muscle pain from fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic fatigue, sciatica, degenerative disk disease, muscle spasms, especially back spasms, and general overall chronic pain. Blu Emu is not cheap. Costs about $20. for the ointment or the spray. You should be able to buy it at almost every pharmacy. Try it, I think you will like it.

  10. Gary says:

    Oops forgot something. In addition to the Blu Emu, we also find that T. E. N. S. machine is useful for muscle spasms. You can get a script from your doctor, or OTC. I tried both. They work.

  11. open4thot says:

    I hope you will be sure to try these concoctions before recommending them Robin. There is very little recognition that Blu Emu oil does anymore than empty your wallet and moisturize as well as any other oil. I can recall years ago that turtle oil was the miracle oil for all that ails you. . .and before that – snake oil!
    I am all for whatever works – including merely the placebo effect! But there should be some science behind the promotion. Especially when we are all suffering from enough pain, misery and empty wallets!

  12. DEBORAH S FOWLER says:

    I agree with all of the above; I cherish the large hand held electric massager that has two heads on the top. It gets into the deep tissues and I get a lot of problems in my hips and lower back and sciatica also. It can reach your back, and anywhere on your body and has a sliding bar for speed increase. I also found that the recipe of coconut milk before bed really helps! Recipe is: coconut milk, tumeric, cinnamon, coconut oil, ginger (raw or unsulphered), a little pepper and stevia. Mix it all up and cook to a boil and as soon as it starts boiling, turn stove to simmer, cover for 5 to 7 minutes and enjoy. You may find the recipe with measurements online but I just used about a teaspoon of each and about 3 cups of coconut milk but go easy on the peppercorns or pepper about a 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. It is delicious, not kidding and I could feel a bit of change right away. Best wishes

    • Grace from Australia says:

      Deborah, do you have more info. I used to have a hand massager that was really good but…much too heavy. I could certainly not reach my back as it was so heavy. It broke down and I would like to know which one you have.

  13. Cynthia Manca says:

    These are great ideas. I have one more that I recently find helpful, lists of things to do. With brain fog a major problem, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with things I need to do. Keeping a list helps prioritize & remind me of things I may forget.

  14. Becki says:

    The best item I bought in the last couple of years is a robot Hoover. It wasn’t expensive and saves me from exhausting the little energy I have on pushing around nd carrying a Hoover but I also don’t feel guilty about my house looking unclean. I highly recommend buying one.

  15. carol james says:

    re: bedding etc, I noticed once how much easier I could turn over in bed when wearing a satin nightgown, hearing this my daughter went one better and said combine that with satin sheets & you might even fly!! That was 20 odd years ago, and it is the single most helpful thing Ive ever hit on. To turn over without it ending my sleep for that particular night has saved my sanity! blessings!

  16. Marita says:

    Robin, I have no new ideas, but reading this column helped me so much. Not just because of your great ideas, but because you somehow validated the crazy symptoms. Where I live Fibro is still an anomaly, and you made me feel normal. Thank you

  17. Nia from Australia says:

    Hi there, I use a Snoozle slide sheet every night to help me roll over, and a metal bed handle to hang on to whilst doing so. That way I do not have to use my back or hip muscles. The sheets are great and fold away to virtually nothing so you can take them with you on holiday. They are much safer than fully satin sheets.

  18. There are a couple of things I do to make life easier. I keep a small pretty box on my coffee table containing all the little things I might need if I am in the living room. It contains tissues,pen and paper,cough drops, eye glass wipes,my favorite little prayer cards among other things. When I am up and about around the house I have a small cross the shoulder bag that I wear that contains my cell phone,house phone,tissues, my reading glasses and hand cream. This makes everything right there when I get a text or a call. This is for me and my family! I started doing this after I fainted a while back when I was sick so my kids don’t panic if I don’t answer the phone when they know I should be home.

  19. Annie Reeve says:

    Does a gag for your husband count? 😁 Seriously though, I have a hard time with noises in addition to physical discomfort. Sometimes I just need quiet time. Also, there are these new places where you float in pods for 60 to 90 minutes, in hundreds of pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in body temp water. You can have quiet spa music or none and dim light or none. When my pain is really bad, I go float…it does WONDERS!!!! Just found your blog and cant wait to read more!

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