Fibromyalgia: How to live when everything hurts
Chronic pain, fatigue, sleep problems, muscle stiffness, anxiety, depression. Anything else ?: Yes, learn to live with her
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disease that is difficult to diagnose because it presents with simultaneous and apparently unconnected symptoms but due to its lack of remission comes the day when the pieces of the puzzle fit together and the sum of the whole makes sense.
In early stages it can be confused with other diseases such as hypothyroidism, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome or other types of conditions that involve a certain degree of pain.
By then he has gone through a journey of doctors and specialists, tests without conclusive results, and during the process many days have been “horrible”, and has even meant not being able to get out of bed.
The FM is a syndrome caused by various symptoms although the most significant and recognizable is the widespread pain, hence the “it hurts everything” and does not give rise to the truce because it is continuous.
To this pain are added other symptoms such as fatigue, problems and deficit of sleep and muscle stiffness when getting up. As if that were not enough, symptoms that are considered secondary such as headaches, painful rules, numbness, spasms and psychological problems such as anxiety and depression also appear on a regular basis.
Indeed, the diagnosis always arrives late because it is confirmed when all these symptoms have already been “stabilized”, by the fact of not remitting and, because sometimes, they have aggravated or added new ailments.
One of the reasons for the delay is that its causes are unknown but the reality is that there is some resistance, although there are signs of suspicion, to make an early diagnosis because it is considered a typical disease of women between 20-50 years and the fact is that, indeed, it is .
In this sense, Dr. Javier Rivera , an expert in Fibromyalgia at the General University Hospital Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, affirms that ” the most important advance that has taken place in the last 20 years is that it is a disease that is seen and recognized , whereas 20 years ago, patients were branded as crazy, hysterical, unbalanced. “
The data confirm it, FM is a female disease: it affects 20 women for every man although it is not known exactly why. Perhaps the most logical explanation would be to relate it to a hormonal issue, but at the moment there are no conclusive scientific results.
4 keys to live with her
The first lesson to learn to live with fibromyalgia, according to specialists, is to accept that it is a chronic disease that, inevitably, will condition some aspects of our life.
Despite the limitations that can cause, there are strategies that help cope with the disease to achieve the best quality of life and learn to live with it:
- Access to the necessary medical care is fundamental, but also as the patient’s involvement in the correct monitoring of the treatment to ensure the control of the symptoms. Complementarily, it is necessary to acquire a healthy lifestyle , which includes a healthy and balanced diet, avoid tobacco and alcohol and, although it may seem contraindicated, to perform soft physical activity on a regular basis because it has great benefits on the general condition of the woman.
- Having the support of family and friends and their understanding is a key part of the process although it is very difficult for them to measure the extent of the disease. One of the recommendations made by the specialists is that close relatives go with the patient to medical check-ups to have a direct knowledge of the disease and its consequences.
- Engaging in a patient association is one of the aspects that is most motivating from the psychological point of view because it is proven that sharing the experience with people who have gone through it provides relief. The loneliness and isolation are not good traveling companions and feel that one is not alone in this comforting. The associations also have counseling services on legal and assistance issues and organize activities to encourage participation: organization of conferences and conferences, therapeutic groups, training workshops, etc.
- Receiving psychological attention is essential because the psychological impact of the disease is high. The anxiety and depression are the most frequent pathologies. The abandonment of activities and the tendency to negative thoughts cause greater discomfort that affects both the pain and the other symptoms of the disease.
All women with fibromyalgia say that ” there is a before and after of fibromyalgia” because they were active and did everything.
Unexpectedly, they are immersed in a new way of living and have the feeling of feeling deprived of the best of themselves. They can not do even half and everything costs more than double, sometimes it is not achieved.
It is understood that learning to live with pain requires enormous strength of will and strength considering that, precisely, what fails us are the forces . You have to try it every day and do not throw in the towel.
Life, despite fibromyalgia, continues and holds good things for us if we intend to preserve the ability to see them and struggle to get out of the traffic jam.