Whether or not it’s the weather?

Whether or not it’s the weather?

Does the Weather Affect Fibromyalgia Symptoms?      HECK YA!

How can people not see how it affects everyone not just the Fibromites?

Every article you read – gives totally different replies.  Does the weather affect moods? Health? Pain? Of course they do.

There are so many studies that prove that temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, precipitation and wind affect Fibromyalgia symptoms. Studies do show that Fibromites tend to have more symptoms flare during December and January due to cold temperature & low barometric pressure.

Barometric Pressure: Sunny days create a high barometric pressure while storms result in a sudden drop. These changes can trigger muscle aches in FM patients.

Humidity: Humidity is associated with headaches, stiffness and widespread pain flare-ups in FM patients.

Precipitation: associated with a change in barometric pressure. This can result in increased pain and fatigue in FM patients

Temperature: especially rapid changes in temperature and cold tend to irritate while warm temperatures are less troublesome.

Wind: In general, wind usually causes a decrease in barometric pressure regardless of its force and therefore can trigger fatigue, headache, and muscle pain in FM patients.

One of my diagnosis is Seasonal Affective Disorder.

It is directly related or even caused by too little sunlight, which causes the body’s time clock to go out of sync, upsetting the body’s routine, and may even affect certain hormonal levels.

The symptoms of SAD are depression, sadness, lethargy, fatigue, excessive sleeping, difficulty getting up in the morning, loss of appetite or increased eating of carbohydrates, thus increase in weight, decreased activity and socialization, apathy, irritability.

Your body operates using an internal clock known as the circadian rhythm. Changes in seasons and the amount of light that your body receives can throw off your circadian rhythm, causing you to feel fatigued and more achy then usual.

I read this in one study – But I am not going to pretend to understand it.  If you do – please comment on it for me.  The study said “There does appear to be a relationship between low temperature levels and an increase in the number of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body. These cytokines appear to be related to pain intensity.”

 So what can we do to combat the effects of weather?

We know that sleep cycles change during times of extreme temperature – either too hot or too cold.  I know that we need longer deep and restful sleep.

I go to bed same time every night.  I added a heated mattress pad, lavender spray for pillows, a body pillow and ice too.

Cold temperatures are usually worse so they say to dress in layers on the chilly days.

Ok – sure and what do you do when you have allydonia along with it. Dress warm when you need to wear tank tops.

Try to increase the amount of light you have inside of your house. Purchase halogen bulbs or a special light box to help improve your mood.

Ok – here we go again~How do we do this when not only the sun streaming through the windows are too much to handle & we start wearing sunglasses indoors.

I do have the special light bulbs next to my chair in the living room (thanks to my Mom) and a light box on my desk at work.

What do we know about the weather and Fibromyalgia?

Cold temperatures and low barometric pressures are not our friend!!!!

Find what makes you feel better – whether it’s like me and go for a swim.  I will go lay in the tanning bed for a quick warm up. (No lectures on Cancer – I’m killing myself slowly with all these pills – at least let me be warm and relaxed).   I really haven’t learned how to make my own sunshine. But I am trying. I usually will open the blinds (and wear shades in my house), light candles, put out some fresh flowers, open up the windows and let in some fresh air.

Wishing you a sun-filled day!!!   (and it’s hip to wear shades)

I am a Fibro Warrior ~ Living Life!

warrior

Alone in a Crowd

Originally Posted; Published on 3/6/2013

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Part I

I am in day 3 of a Flare.  It started on Sunday afternoon with my sciatic shooting pain down my right leg followed by my leg deciding to run a mile without me.  I was able to alternate walking and sitting, applied heat and some meds to get through Sunday.

On Monday, when everyone was watching the weather trying to determine whether it was going to hit us or not – I would simply reply – “We are getting some kind of strong weather – trust me”.  My body was already forecasting the weather to come.  The body aches were increasing.  I could feel the myofascial trigger points increasing in both my low back and between my shoulder blades.  I forced myself to go to the pool before work which did help immensely in being able to walk easier.   Note:  I still don’t need a cane or other walking assistance – I just walk like I am 100 years old when I have these days.  I worked a full day with an even fuller night being Mom chauffeur.

On Tuesday a.m. I awoke to the phone ringing telling us there would be no school due to the snow we had received over night.   I would have been calling in sick which I rarely do but the fact that my driveway and roads were not plowed gave me one more reason to stay home.

My body was rebelling the snow outside.  I kept the blinds pulled all day and yet still had a migraine and was wearing dark shades.  I took a long hot bath followed by ice on the back a warm blanket some meds and a NAP.    I woke with hoping to feel better.  There was a short time during the day when pain was lessened.  Then when fixing my family dinner – my body reminded me that it was still there.

It’s Wednesday now,  I woke with the same morning stiffness and aches that I always endure.  But as I continued to get ready for work the pain continued to increase.  Grateful to have only a headache and not a migraine with the rest of my body in high pain, jeans killing me as they touch my thighs.

I dropped our Daughter off at school and then the tears started to come.  I have a 25 minute drive to work which I never stopped crying.  I talked to my husband briefly; when hanging up he said I hope you feel better soon.  He was trying to say something to help but when you have a hysterical pain filled crying woman on the phone what can you say?

Part II – So Alone

As I was driving to work I thought who can I call.  I needed to talk to someone.  I love my Family and Friends but as I thought of each of them I knew they were not what I needed.  What could they do?  I know my Mom would have succeeded in calming me down but all it would have done was to stop the crying.  I needed more than that.  The same thing goes with my friends – I would have most likely calmed myself down until I hung up.

What did I need?  I needed a Fibromite friend.  I needed someone who would 100% know how I was feeling.  We say all the time that unless you have really experienced a Fibro Flare you can’t get it.  How can we make others really understand without going through it.

I think I will print out the following recipe to share with non-fibromites.

recipe cardRecipe for a Fibro Flare

  • Stay up for 3 or 4 days to get the proper feeling of exhaustion
  • Dress in clothing made of rough burlap material
  • Get the flu bug to add fever & body aches
  • Go out and drink way too much – this should give you the migraine, poor balance and queasy stomach
  • Ask someone to take a bat and beat you from head to toe
  • Spend too much time in the sun – giving you the worst sunburn you have ever experienced
  • Use your arms as a pin cushion
  • Add a good dose of memory loss
  • Top it off with someone stabbing you between the shoulder blades once in a while with a good sharp knife
  • Turn on bright spotlights and loud music several times throughout the day
  • Repeat all of the above for at least 3 days

I don’t know if this will help but it’s worth a try.

I continued thinking – how alone this pain makes us feel.

I keep think is that I have family, friends, online support groups and my page where I work so hard to keep a positive outlook for others and yet why do I feel like I am all alone?

How many of us have only have an online support group that we can post our bad days and get some sympathy; and maybe some advice, and really have no-one we can call.

So many times when on some of these sites what happens is we get others who chime in on how bad their day has been too.

Don’t get me wrong I find a big need for these support groups. Heck, I even have my own small one.  I believe in them.  There should be a place where you feel safe to express the pain, anger, etc and hopefully get some positive uplifting support with maybe a few new things to try.

I have a handful of people I have met on these support groups that have become what I would call my Friends.  These are people who I hope in my lifetime to meet and wish we lived in driving distance of each other.  However except for one I have never had any contact with any of these people except for online.

I began to wonder – is there a Hotline for Fibromites?  If not, how hard would it be to start one.  What if I started one? A way for others to have someone to text or call when they are in real need of someone who “has been there” and really can understand where we are coming from when we are in day 3 of a flare.

We use the closed online groups to keep our anonymity; what happens when we open up to others via text, online chat or a real phone conversation?

How can we be surrounded by so many people who care and love us and yet we still feel like we are all alone?sometime we all need a shoulder to cry on

I know that personally when I hit a flare I may start out by voicing it but the longer and stronger they become the more withdrawn I become.

I just want to lock myself up in my room and just be left alone.

This is exactly what I tell people not to do.  I know what I need to do.  I need to make myself go to the pool tomorrow, have my hot baths, keep moving as much as I can.

Tonight; I am going to lie low.  Tomorrow, I will find my inner fight and beat this thing.

I will put this out there to any Fibromites who are reading this – until I figure out the solution to the Fibro hotline – if you are feeling in pain and alone know that I have an ear, a shoulder and sometimes some ideas to share.

We are all Fibro Warriors ~ Living Life

warrior