My Quest for a Pain-Free Life

My Quest for a Pain-Free Life

finding balance

It feels like I spent most of 2017 trying to find ways to deal with fibromyalgia. I began the year in significant pain, feeling hopeless and scared. I honestly didn’t want to end the year the same way.

Getting relief from the pain isn’t easy. I’ve tried a lot of different things this year, and I have made some real progress. Following are the top five things that helped me the most in my quest for a pain-free life.

1. Mild exercise

Yes, exercise and movement are good for us warriors, but it isn’t easy. Starting slow is important. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it. My physical therapist recommended heated pool therapy. I was skeptical at first, but found I was able to move without pain while underwater. It was a great way to start exercising again without hurting myself. After a few months, I was able to exercise outside of the pool.

 2. CBD oil

I’m fairly new to CBD oil, but so far it has been very helpful for withdrawal from gabapentin and in controlling anxiety. It takes time, 30 days or so, to build it up in your system. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work right away. Start with small doses and work your way up gradually. After two weeks of using it three times a day, I noticed a reduction in muscle pain and stiffness, fewer headaches, and more energy. Make sure to buy only from reputable companies and don’t fall for scams. There are a lot out there. is a great source for everything CBD oil.

3. Chiropractic care

I stayed away from this for way too long. I haven’t seen my chiropractor in five weeks and I can really tell it’s time for an adjustment. I started off with two adjustments a week, and now after six months, I’m going once every two or three weeks. I love how it makes me feel. I get instant relief. Initially, I suffered from flares after the adjustments, but they became less severe over time and eventually stopped altogether.

4. Sleep

This is so basic, but so hard to do. Getting a good night’s sleep is almost impossible with FM. Whether it’s restless legs, pain, night sweats, worry, stress, or some other ailment, there are way too many things keeping us from getting those very important Zzz’s. I worked with my primary care physician and nutritionist to find ways to get more restorative sleep. I still have a way to go, but I’m doing significantly better. No more naps, per both my resources. I found that helped immensely. If I skipped my nap, I was able to get seven hours of sleep without waking up a million times in the middle of the night. Since I work full-time outside of the house, I can’t be up all night long. I thought I couldn’t live without naps, but found I actually couldn’t live with them.

5. Diet/Lifestyle change

No more added sugars or alcohol for me. I went sugar-free six months ago and have lost 50 pounds. My pain has decreased significantly. No more brain fog. I have interest in things that used to give me great joy, but had given up due to fibro, such as dancing and going out with friends. Over Thanksgiving, I drove for eight hours, including three hours straight without stopping to get out and stretch. I haven’t been able to do that in years. I was a little stiff the next day, but I made it and I was able to enjoy my visit with family I haven’t seen in more than 10 years.

What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, I was dreading Christmas and felt hopeless about my future. Not this year! Now I truly have hope. I honestly never thought I would feel like this again.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season! Gentle hugs to all of you fabulous warriors. I wish you health, happiness, and hope for a pain-free future!


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.


  1. Mandy says:

    What an inspirational journey you’ve been on this past year Carrie! I’ve been following your articles with great interest, because I have been trying to manage my symptoms the same way—through exercise, dietary changes, and alternative medical techniques that didn’t involve prescription drugs. The things that have worked for me are: chiro and massage, heat therapy, walking and stretching, CBD oil, serrapeptase etc. Thank you so much for posting your stories and sharing your struggles and successes, because it really is motivating to know there are others out there with FM who embrace the alternatives and want to get away from the traditional “drug therapy” mentality. I am not pain-free by any stretch and I still don’t sleep through the night, but it’s manageable and if I start to hurt I go for a walk—and feel much better! No more brain fog and fewer flares (except at the onset of low pressure systems, or if I overdo it), and much more energy 😁 I’ve even completed a 20km hike this past summer! It took a few days to recover from, but I am proud of myself! Keep it up Carrie and enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Happy Christmas to you and yours 🎄

    • Loraine says:

      Glad to see others are trying the “drug free” life. I was just diagnosed in March at the age of 71. I told my doctor that I would do anything but take drugs. She told me diet (gluten, sugar, dairy, caffeine free) which I follow pretty closely, exercise (gentle stretching, yoga, and walking), and massage (medical massage therapist every other week). I’m not pain free by any means but am able to do most of the things I enjoy in retirement and only need Tylenol or Advil to manage my pain. Merry Christmas and keep up your path.

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Mandy, Thank you for sharing what works for you! I love hearing from others who seek out natural ways to control their FM. I’ve never heard of serrapeptase. I need to check into that a little further. Wow! Congrats on completing a 20km hike! That is amazing! I’m proud of you. You keep you the great work Mandy! I hope you and yours have a wonderful and pain-free holiday!

      • Mandy says:

        Thanks Carrie! I found out about Serrapeptase when I went to the health food store looking for magnesium supplements and started talking to the knowledgeable staff. The other thing that was suggested to me was infrared sauna treatments which I am going to try as well since I do respond favourably to heat. Plus, I found heat wraps that last for up to 16 hours that I can use on my lower back and hips which are great. Not everyone benefits from heat therapy, but I find it relieves my pain better than any drug ever could!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Hi Sharon, Right now, I’m using Bluebird Classic and Laro Farms 1000 mg. I use the Bluebird in the morning and afternoon and the Laro before bed. I use about 5 mg in the am at afternoon and 25 to 50 mg before bed depending on how I feel. You should start out with a lower dose and work your way up. It took about a month before I really started to feel the benefits of the hemp oil. I noticed a decrease in my anxiety almost immediately though. It’s been a lifesaver while going off Gabapentin.

  2. So pleased to see you’ve made a dent in pain levels using these tools. In NZ we still can’t use CBD oil so it’s a little sad when we hear others who have such benefit from it. Sugar free must have been so tricky! Thanks so much for sharing.


    I’m so upset!! I lost my first heart filled letter to you by hitting something wrong on my phone! I have spasms in my body and bad in my hands, especially when I’m using them like this!!
    I’m not re writing it, it was long.
    I’m a FM patient and my Chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS is so bad. Its about as worse as my pain. Sometimes it’s worse. I have no life, i spend most of my time on my couch or in my bed. I hate my life, i hear people who say they fight their way into exercising or walking!! I do good to get out of bed or get a bath or use the toilet!! I’m serious about this!! I’ve got no energy!! Maybe 1 day a week or 2 wks i can get out and i need help with dr visit and getting groceries cause i live 30 miles away from my dr. I’m in pain management and my pain is bad at times!! I’ve done so much crying and lost my 2nd husband i love so much and always will!! Even though he walked out and never looked back and i was in a town with no friends, no help!! People around here don’t help people anymore that gets down or sick anymore!! Their afraid to b friends with me cause their afraid I’ll need help!! My aunt who has cancer has been blessed with friends to help her, i have to beg or pay people and I’m on disability and get 250 from my ex every month. So i don’t have much to live on every month!! If it wasn’t for my daughter in law i would have starved!! I’d ask for help but no one wanted to help and the only person i could find to help get my meds i had to pay. Which is fine but i can’t pay for everything i need!!
    After 3 half years i found a high school friend i graduated with 32 years later and he’s so good to me, however, he has heart disease and disabled also but can do more than me and can work certain jobs.
    I told him i was afraid to start a relationship with anyone cause i knew he would walk out on me also!!He has helped me so much and loves me, I’M just afraid he’ll get tired of me also! My heart can’t take no more cause I’ve been through the shadow of death and i can’t take no more!! I’m a fraigle person now and i was a strong woman once. My family doesn’t understand my FM and CFS and I’ve lost alot of my family cause they don’t believe my pain and the exhaustion i stay in 24/7 everyday of my life and I’m not blowing my FM out cause I’m not!! My FM is bad!! I take strong pain meds and anxiety meds and for depression. Also i have dementia i take meds for cause i would have sun downers if u know what that means.
    At age 46, i was diag. with Brian atrophy!! So i take meds for that also!! I’m on alot of meds. With my FM so bad which CBD oil would u recommend for me? I wrote down what u take and where but i want to know if its strong enough for me. I’d love to come off my level of pain meds and have a life.
    I read good story’s about people living better life’s like you and other’s I’ve read about. I want to be a good story also for people who have FM and CFS as bad as i do!! I get judged so harsh by my family cause i have to take narcotics. And alot of other meds. If i could come off any of my meds it would b a blessing from God!! And i do pray to God, I’m a Christian. Even though i have my thoughts about people who call themselves Christians? Even 15 years ago i can remember people that helped one another, what happened to most people now days who don’t want to b friends with a FM person!! I was so lonely before Tony came back into my life. I stayed so depressed cause no one wanted to have anything to do with me? It hurts my feelings so much that people have gotten so cold. I worked 50 to 55 hrs a week and still helped my grandparents when they were alive!! On both sides also!! People have no drive about themselves anymore!! I’d love to b able to help people and if this CBD oil does help me with God’s love i will b helping other people to show people especially the one’s i know that u can b disabled and help someone else what you can. I have a tender heart and i guess that’s why my heart hurts cause friends, i thought was my friends really aren’t and family also!! Far as I’m concerned FM and CFS is a harmful disease as bad as cancer cause either way when the disease progresses YOU HAVE NO LIFE AND UR LAYING AROUND DYING EVERYDAY BY WATCHING UR LIFE GO BY AND ALL ALONE!! IT LEAST CANCER PATIENTS GET RECOGNIZED BETTER THAN FM PATIENTS. ALSO I’M NOT DOWNING CANCER I’VE LOST DEAR FAMILY TO CANCER. It just seems they get better care and people want to help and do for them and FM patients as bad as me can’t get no help or even find a friend who will stick by you!! I’ve had so called Christains treat me very ugly. And i hardly ever asked for anything but maybe once a week when i needed groceries. My family lives in another state an 1 half to 2 hrs away and they all worked at the time i lived that far from them. I couldn’t find any other help but this one mother and daughter and they stayed mad at me cause i needed help. If i called them everyday or 2 or more times a week for groceries I’d understand but i didn’t. Then the mother says to me, u expect us to b there everytime u ask. No i did not, and I’m so sorry they felt that way. I’d pay the daughter and give her an few extra dollar’s when i could. The mother wouldn’t take anything from me! I’ve been moved from them a 1 and a half and it still hurts they felt thst way cause i tried so hard not to bother them. I texted the mother a year later and asked about them. She texted back. I texted back and talked about what they had been doing and the daughter graduating. I asks for their street address cause i new the rest of it cause they were down the road neighbors of mine. I never heard back so i just leave them alone. It hurts, it hurts bad but i try to take 1 day at a time and talk to God my friend and my boyfriend now that’s so good to me.
    Anyway, i wanted you to know more avout me and understand only a little of what I’ve been through. So u could recommend a CBD oil that would b strong enough for me!! I understand meds take time to build up in ur system so i want to get started on it asap!! So any help or information you can give me would b greatly appreciated!!
    Thanks for taking time to read my text. And can give me an idea what CBD oil to start on and how to move up on it, i would be so gladly appreciated by your help and my boyfriend also. He’s part of this now and i don’t want to loose him like i lost my husband. Thanks again,
    Sherry Dean Roebuck

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Sherry, My heart breaks for you! I’m so sorry you suffer so much but I am thankful that you have Tony with you. I think your best bet is to check out this website: Aaron really breaks it down in a very easy to understand way. He has more experience with this than I do and I think his blog would really help you. He also reviews a number of brands and discusses a number of different health issues that can be treated with CBD oil.

      I have heard very good things about Lazarus and CW (Charlotte’s Web) but I haven’t tried either of them yet. Both are high quality and have high potency oils. Same with Bluebird (which is my main go-to oil right now). I know that some of these companies offer discounts or reduced prices to disabled and lower income people so please check with the company you decide to go with to see what they offer.

      I hope this info helps and I pray CBD Oil helps you get the relief you so desperately need and deserve. Please keep me posted and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Best of luck to you and Tony!

  4. Zach Black says:

    Dealing with fibromyalgia is perhaps one of the most difficult things that someone can go through. It’s an area where I’ve tried to reach out to as many sufferers as possible to gain further insight into what people are doing to manage their pain. If you’re about to give up on CBD oil, please don’t. If you’ve found something that works, then please connect with me. I’d love to take the time to hear your personal story. Without a story, I wouldn’t have been able to help people via publishing my research such as the various benefits and a guide to getting started with CBD oil on If you haven’t shared your story with the world, please do. We want to hear what you have to say.

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