For many who live day to day with a Fibromyalgia diagnoses, the course of treatment can be complex and become overwhelming.
Fibromyalgia differs from other conditions in that its cause is still debated within the medical community, and the course of treatment incorporates many components to help manage the various symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia.
Now that we have covered what Fibromyalgia is and the different courses of treatment, we can further organize the steps towards the better management of Fibromyalgia through Function Centered Management.
Function Centered Management (FCM) focuses on the goal of being able to function in the various aspects of life, despite a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. FCM puts a special emphysis on the active role a patient will take in the management of their condition. When the ability to function is put in place of the idea of a cure, patients are given the tools they need to play an active role in their care and treatment. Fibromyalgia patients who take a more hands-on approach to their care have been shown to reap more favorable results, have a more positive outlook, and an overall better quality of life.
With a diagnosis as complex as Fibromyalgia, it is common for patients to look toward professionals or specialists to manage their symptoms. While physicians , physiotherapists and other professionals are excellent resources, the key player in managing Fibromyalgia is the patient themselves.
There are different areas in which we should maintain our ability to function in order to achieve better mental, emotional and physical health. This holds very true, particularly for Fibromyalgia patients.
The symptoms of Fibromylagia can impact every aspect of daily life. It can affect how and when we socialize and how we interact with the world around us.
It can dictate the physical activities that a patient can and can’t do, it can change eating and sleeping patterns and it can cause us to lose our sense of self and Independence.
Fibromyalgia can change life as we know it, but only if we let it.
When patients take charge of their condition to prevent the advancement of Fibromylagia related symptoms, not only do they see the physical benefits, they will also maintain their life roles, their independence, and continue to contribute in their personal lives.
Chronic pain can force us inward. It can cause us to withdraw from society on some levels. It can leave an individual living with daily pain feeling isolated, misunderstood, and utterly alone. This seclusion acts as fuel to the pain, amplifying and exacerbating the symptoms. Eventually with time, the feeling of isolation can become the norm, and the one in pain can be left no longer prioritizes their social and interpersonal relationships.
This can lead to several subsequent conditions such as changes in mood, increased intensity and frequency of pain, poor sleep, poor appetite, and further deterioration of health.
By making a conscience effort to engage and participate socially despite a Fibromyalgia diagnosis, we are able to maintain our active social lives, continue to build on new and existing relationships, and function at work, and at home. Mindful practices are an excellent way to train the mind to accept the diagnosis for what it is. Mindfulness allows the Fibromylagia patient how to see life from moment to moment. The foundation that life can still be rewarding and fulfilling even after a Fibromyalgia diagnosis should be the primary mindset of Fibromyalgia patients. Mindful practices such as meditation can help facilitate this thought process. Mindfulness skills take practice, and require dedication, consistency and much practice. Although difficult to achieve, Mindfulness allows the patient to regain control over their condition and builds on strengthening the mind and gaining a new perspective on life after Fibromylagia.
Our home is where we generally feel most like our true selves. It is where we have established roles, the daily routines that we are familiar with, and where friends and family gather to celebrate their relationships. When we lose the ability to function at home, we can lose so much more. This is the beginning of losing our identity.
The chores that we once dreaded doing, are now no longer ours to do, and we can be left feeling lost, and unsure of how we can contribute in our homes.
The symptoms of Fibromyalgia can easily become the only identity we have left if we are not careful to maintain our ability to function in our homes and in our personal relationships .
Participating within the home despite the pain, chronic fatigue and mental fog can be challenging. Functioning and playing an active role within the home takes consistency and effort. It is difficult to train our minds to view life around the Fibromyalgia diagnosis. The symptoms can easily take the spotlight. Making a point to continue to function within the home and in society takes the power from the diagnosis, allows for an overall better quality of life, and helps to manage and control symptoms associated with Fribromylagia.
Maintaining an active lifestyle may seem like something out of your control after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. After all, the physical pain alone can make certain movements feel impossible. Combined with feeling tired all of the time, the idea of maintaining a physically active lifestyle can seem overwhelming.
Chronic fatigue can also draw the Fibromyalgia patient towards opportunities to rest versus opportunities for physical activity several times throughout the day. However, decreasing the amount of physical activity can actually increase the severity of pain and muscle stiffness. Over time, this can lead to limitations in the ability to use various muscles of the body.
By setting physical goals each and everyday for yourself, and continuing to maintain your level of physical activity, you can change the focus from the limitations in activity that Fibromyalgia can have on the body, and rather focus on the accomplishments achieved by your body while living with Fibromyalgia. Specific movements, stretches and excerse routines have been shown to benefit Fibromylagia patients. Physical activity promotes blood flow to the muscle to encourage repair, promotes blood flow to the brain to help counter difficulty with memory associated with Fibromyalgia, and regular activity helps to loosen tight muscles and painful adhesions.
Functioning in day to day life after a diagnosis of Fibromylagia is no easy feat. It takes effort, determination, consistency and lots of practice.
Part of the reason for this is that after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, we can fixate on the loss of the life we had and ultimately, we can lose sight of how involved we are in maintaining our ability to function day to day.
This is often because accepting a new life with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis can sometimes fell like a defeat.
The reality is quite the opposite. Taking back the power from the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and living a fulfilling life despite it, is one of the most challenging, yet one of the most rewarding hurdles you can jump as a Fibromyalgia patient.