For Immediate Release
LIVE WELL DESPITE FIBROMYALGIA
Factual books about fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) can be found in every library and bookstore today. But learning the facts is only the beginning for the 4-6 million people who suffer with this devastating illness. What they really need to know is how to live with it! Most physicians aren’t very helpful here; all they know is what they learned in medical school. This kind of practical information is only available from someone who has lived with FMS, learned from it, and devised intelligent ways to work around it.
Because fatigue is one of the most debilitating symptoms of FMS, the patient’s daily focus must be on conserving energy. Limiting the effort required for essential tasks like housekeeping, laundry and shopping frees more energy for the non-essential activities that make life worth living. Modifying work surfaces to a comfortable height, performing most tasks sitting down, transporting things like laundry, groceries, and cleaning supplies in a wheeled cart, and utilizing electric scooters are just a few energy-saving strategies.
The side effects from prescription medications prompt many FMS sufferers to turn to alternative therapies. A little-known but quite effective one is music. Studies have shown that Mozart in the background is a proven aid to reading comprehension. It can also be helpful for overcoming “fibrofog.” A multi-disc CD player can be used to elevate mood by carefully selecting discs. The music on the first disc should match the listener’s current state of mind; the others should be increasingly lively. Theoretically, as the music gets happier, so does the listener. Quiet, soothing music reduces anxiety and improves digestion.
Most physicians recommend warm water exercise for their FMS patients, but few provide the necessary warnings. Even aquatic classes sponsored by respected organizations like the Arthritis Foundation can do more harm than good if they are held in a 90-degree pool and/or consist of repetitious movements. The heat alone can cause overwhelming fatigue. When combined with an hour of repetitive motion, the result can be devastating. For this author, the combination resulted in complete muscle collapse, an ambulance ride in a wet bathing suit, and a frightening hospital stay while being tested for neurological diseases.
By sharing her personal experiences in Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Memoir Filled with Practical Advice, Christine Danella has created a valuable resource for FMS sufferers. Danella has participated in FMS support groups on both the east and west coasts, was trained as a fibromyalgia support group leader by the Arthritis Foundation, and was designated a 2006 Leader Against Pain by the National Fibromyalgia Association.
Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Memoir is available at fmspubs.com or from Amazon.com.