There are basically two ways to deal with Fibromyalgia: accept it or resist it. We start out fighting against it. We push ourselves. We resist. Eventually, we realize resistance is only creating more suffering for ourselves.
We begin to accept things are different now. Our life has changed. Fibromyalgia is not going away. We have to look at our situation realistically. Our old life is being replaced by a new life full of limitations.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 10 years ago. At first, I could not accept that my life would have to change. I kept trying to do everything the same way I always have. Pushing and pushing myself to get things done. Working, taking care of my grandchildren, housework. I’m sure you can guess what happened -I crashed.
I spent three years barely functioning. I was taking at least 9 medications for various fibromyalgia symptoms. I couldn’t think straight. I had no energy. I lived in a daze. Couldn’t even call it living. I was existing.
Eventually, I had to accept that life had changed. I accepted fibromyalgia. I had to create a new life. One that was worth living. For the most part, I am happy with my new life. I never took time for myself before. I do now. I appreciate the little things more. I write which is something I have always wanted to do. My life is peaceful and quiet which is what I prefer.
I was sure that I had fully accepted this chronic illness. I was sure that I had stopped resisting. But, I haven’t, not completely. I have been practicing mindfulness/meditation and am becoming more aware of my pain-related thoughts and my true feelings about pain. I am noticing how they increase muscle tension, anxiety, and pain. I realized there is one symptom in particular that causes me the most stress.
Resistance creates suffering.
Stress happens when your mind resists what is.
The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life, as it unfolds.
Fibro Fog. Instead of giving myself a break, I push myself. In doing so, I make myself feel worse. Stressed out and frustrated. Brain fog is the one symptom that scares the h*** out of me, especially memory loss. I don’t want to accept it.
Fibro fog is not something I experience, at least not at this level unless I am also fatigued. It’s been a long time since I have suffered this level of fatigue and brain fog. I have been doing so well, it’s just so frustrating to backslide. I have to keep telling myself this too shall pass. It’s just a bump in the road.
I haven’t felt well since Oct. 5th. That was the day I lost my 14-year-old poodle, Nyka. If you read my post: Chronic Illness in Pets, you might remember she had congestive heart failure. I had been preparing myself for this day for at least a year. Her bad day’s way outnumbered the good, especially in September, and I knew it wouldn’t be much longer. I was focused on taking care of her and not myself so much.
Within 2 days after Nyka passed, I was in so much pain, I was back to using my cane. But this time, instead of lying in bed, I stayed active. I had to or the grief was overwhelming. I felt lost. I didn’t realize how much time I spent taking care of Nyka. Giving her medications on time. Cooking for her. Hand-feeding her so she would eat. Taking her out frequently. Cleaning up messes, when she didn’t make it out in time.
I got the pain back under control by using my foam roller and stretching 3-4 times a day instead of my usual once or twice a day. I also cleaned every room in my house from top to bottom. Little by little, each day.
You would think the fatigue would have come from all the cleaning. But it came a few weeks later. Now, I can’t seem to shake it. Of course, it brought brain fog along for the ride. I know it is probably due to stress and grief. Another factor may be that I ran out of CoQ10. Since CoQ10 is a supplement that helps the mitochondria make energy, that may explain why I have none.
Acceptance is not submission; it is an acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then decide what you’re going to do about it.
– Kathleen Casey Theisen
I started taking CoQ10 again a few days ago. And I am going to rest. I am not going to expect more out of my brain than it is capable of right now. No to-do list. And I am not going to feel guilty for saying “NO”.
Well, there you have it. Brain fog is the fibromyalgia symptom I resist the most. What symptoms do you resist?
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