10 Things We Would Like Our Pain-free Friends to Know About Us

10 Things We Would Like Our Pain-free Friends to Know About Us

This is an open letter to all of our pain-free friends and family. These are things we would like you to know about, that we go through and how we would like to be treated.

1. Looking Good On the Outside, Feeling Lousy On The Inside

Just because we look fine on the outside doesn’t mean we feel good on the inside. You wouldn’t believe how much energy it takes to put on a good public face. We may smile or laugh at your jokes but often it hurts to laugh. Please understand how much energy and effort it takes us to get out of bed in the morning, let alone get ready to go somewhere outside our home. We miss our past social life and yearn for the time we could do “spur of the moment” activities. Don’t make us feel worse about ourselves by pushing us to “do just one more thing.” We have to plan our social life and required activities by making sure we are well rested and properly medicated.

2. No Medical Advice Please

Please, no medical advice unless you’re a health care professional who really understands what fibromyalgia and other chronic pain illnesses are. Please don’t push remedies on us that you got off the internet or from your herbalist. We have researched and read till our eyes are tired looking for the optimal therapy for our type of chronic pain. We do welcome all the sincere empathy you have to give us.

3. Just Because We look Fine Doesn’t Mean We are Fine

Even though we may not look sick and are fully clothed doesn’t mean we don’t hurt on the inside. It can be tiring to look good and be out and about. You may not see us go home after being out for an hour and collapsing in our beds or recliners exhausted from the time in public. First looks can be deceiving. If you see us in a motorized cart at the store don’t judge. It may be the only way to can do our shopping.

4. It Is Not In Our Heads

We’ll in some cases it might be. Some chronic pain illnesses such as Fibromyalgia is an illness of the brain and spinal cord and the whole CNS. But other chronic pains originate from other areas of the body.

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4. Regardless of how long we are afflicted with chronic pain, it still hurts. Some chronic pain illnesses like fibromyalgia will be with us forever.

5. Various Energy Levels

Chronic pain sucks up your energy no matter who you are. But it is even worse if you have chronic pain. We just don’t have the energy we once had.

6. We Are Not Lazy!

Lacking energy and being lazy may look a lot alike, but they are two very different things. We are not lazy, because that is reflective of an attitude. We lack physical energy which is disabling and can affect whether or not we have a job.

7. We have Good Days And Bad Days

Sometimes each day feels like the one before. Other times we have a great day, which is almost a curse because when we do have a good day we tend to overdo it. If we overdue it, we pay for the consequences of overdoing it by being extra sick for a day or two or three. Even though most days run into each other they are typically not good days, but every so often we had really bad days, sometimes they are so bad we call it a flare up.

8. Please No Personal Opinions Unless We Ask You

Not to be rude, but if we want your opinion we will ask for it. Until we do, please keep opinions, good or bad to yourself.

9. Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged

Don’t judge what you don’t know. Even in chronic pain circles, because chronic pain illnesses can vary so much we are thoughtful to not judge others because painful maladies vary greatly from one patient to another.

10. We Are Not Drug Seekers

We are pain relief seekers. Sometimes our medical treatment does require the use of opioids and other controlled substances to keep the pain under control and help us resume to as close to a normal life as we can. We just take it like any other medication. We dislike the side effects just like any other medication.

If you know someone with a chronic pain illness tell them you understand, and mean it. Is there anything else we should tell our friends without chronic pain?

Troy Wagstaff ©

Eight Tips For Dealing with Fibro Stress and Depression

Eight Tips For Dealing with Fibro Stress and Depression

Stress can be a major trigger when you have fibromyalgia or other chronic invisible illnesses. Since you cannot always control when you’ll be in a stressful situation you cannot always control flare ups. So it is a good idea to learn to control stressful situations as much as possible to have some degree of control over your chronic invisible illness.

This article is a suggestion of eight types of stressful triggers and a comment on each item to give you some idea of what to think about in regards to managing the stress that comes into your life.

1. Avoid stressful situations when at all possible.

2. Wisely say no when needed, and don’t feel guilty.

3. Do the hardest things in the morning and take proper rest or naps in the afternoon.

4. Schedule something each day that is enjoyable.

5. Take time to exercise.

6. Read ten or twenty minutes each day from the Holy Scriptures

7. Start your day with prayer, end your day with prayer and say all the prayers you need from your heart throughout the day.

8. Set reasonable goals and prioritize them, but don’t obsess about them.

8_tips_avoid_stress_depressionBy virtue of living, each of us has some idea of thinking or activities that cause stress in our lives. Make a list of those known stressors and do all that you can to avoid them. However, don’t go overboard and create a stressful situation by obsessing on avoiding stress.

Learn how to say “no” and not feel guilty about it. Saying “no” for many people is as stressful as the activity they are saying “no” too. So it doesn’t do much good just to say “no” if you’re going to stress over it.

Sick or not, life goes on and there are things that have to get done. Make a list of those things and then rank them according to how important they really are. Start with the op of the list. This way, if you can only do two things one day, at least they’ll be the most important.

Being sick with chronic pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms is, in itself, stressful. To combat that problem, you need to plan in your day, happy, relaxing or soothing activities.

Exercise is a subject that stands on its own, but exercise, when done correctly, can help manage some of the daily stress.

Read from the Holy Scriptures or if you’re not a religious person read from some text that is inspirational and positive to you. Do this every day.

Take time to pray every day, especially morning and evenings and whenever the need arises, say a prayer in your heart. No religious? Try some meditation or positive affirmations.

Keep goals as a big part of your life without obsessing over them. They can serve as a reminder, but don’t let them serve as inspiration for a guilt trip.

There is a lot more to say about these items, but everyone’s situation is different and these ideas are designed as a starting point for you to help you avoid depression and stress.

What have you tried and how has it worked for you?

Troy Wagstaff ©

This article or list is not medical advice. It is private opinion to help you get started thinking and figuring out what is best for your situations.

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