Staying active with FMS

Dear Bloggers,

Staying active when living with fibromyalgia is a necessary challenge. If you rest, you rust, like the old saying goes. And I think that's true when it comes to fibromyalgia. Something is off-the hook in our central nervous system, and that produces exagerrated responses to things that would otherwise not be painful to a person without fibromyalgia. Sometimes, there's nothing to respond to, the pain is just there and nobody knows how it was caused. Sitting still is the logical response, intelluctually speaking. If I just don't exercise, maybe I won't cause any pain and I'll feel better. But the exact opposite is true. If you do not stay active, you will be in even worse pain. Believe me, I have done both, and it's far better to stay active than it is to become immobilized. This following section is devoted to a once-active man with fibromyalgia who wanted to get back to his active live. Who is still active but may be having trouble modifying his lifestyle to accommodate fibromyalgia's impact.

Each fibromate has to learn his own energy “accounting system”. This will take a few weeks or months or even years for you to establish, but once it’s established it is possible to keep the balance stabilized, and even to make a deposit once in a while. I’m deliberately trying to explain it the easy way. But it’s very simple really, to understand it. Think of it as a cash drawer, or a jar of coins.

You have 24 hours, but less than 24 cents or Euros. Eight hours are devoted to sleep, so that leaves 16 waking hours, but less than 16 Euros/cents. Assuming you’re working full-time, that’s another eight hours, which will use up more than eight currency chips. Why will working eight hours use up more than eight chips? Because, with fibromyalgia any mental or physical exertion, and any work-related stress, uses energy faster than that expended by a person without fibromyalgia. And you still have to take a shower, get ready for work, take care of the kids, fit in some exercise, eat right, work on a hobby, grocery shop, clean, cook…

No longer can you “do it all” like you once could. Those days are gone. Give them a bittersweet goodbye, it’s time to style a new life. Grab hold of your new chapter, this is a positive change. Fibromyalgia is not a death sentence, it can be one of the most positive things that ever happened to you. It’s just possible that you are “doing too much”, and fibromyalgia has forced you to slow down. That’s what happened to me, and it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened in my life. So, please, don’t let it get you down. Learn to live with it, work with it and grab life with both hands and enjoy everything you can do. This is what life is about: Even it looks like a dead end street, but if you look right you will find the small alley in it for a new way into life. I truly believe fibromyalgia was a just certain sign to stop me from running all the time. Before I had fibromyalgia, I was running around, never tired, overmotivated, and hyperinspired. I was given the gift of an invisible illness that was incredibly hard to diagnose. So that I could share my experience with others and find out more and more about myself.

So, what needs an active man to do? Why because rest rusts, I need to stay active, of course! Everything in moderation, though. And I need to keep track of those pennies. It makes cents.

Just Say "No"
With just saying no, although it is not easy in the beginning you will keep better track of your energy.
The danger always is there and when you have a "good" day, you have to take extra care.
I’ve always admired a friend of mine who isn’t afraid to say no, and isn’t afraid to insist on what she wants. I would think to myself, “I want to be her.” We all need to learn to be true to ourselves and not be afraid of what people may think if we excuse ourselves as we know what we want and need. Most of us fibromyalgics are not that easy to live with. As we are not want to ask for help eventhough we need it. Smiling as we do not accept yet another “assignment” from a neighbor, friend, co-worker, relative who is laying the lazy speech on us. No, actually, it’s not fair, because I have a chronic, invisible illness. I’m sick every day of my life, every minute of every day. It’s just that the assigner of the project can’t see that, or maybe even doesn’t know.

Maybe it is better for me to learn what my friend does. Take an invisible, deep breath, sit or stand nice and tall, adjust your posture, make direct eye contact, and just say "No."

The Old Sailor,


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