A Letter To My Friends

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kimkane, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. kimkane

    kimkane New Member

    I am looking for an article/letter called, A Letter To My Friends, if any one knows where i might find this me leave a message, it is very , very ,important to me. thx kim
  2. kimkane

    kimkane New Member

    I am looking for an article/letter called, A Letter To My Friends, if any one knows where i might find this me leave a message, it is very , very ,important to me. thx kim
  3. JaciBart

    JaciBart Member

    I think that is on fmaware dot com, or if I am wrong someone else will correct me.

  4. JaciBart

    JaciBart Member

    Dear CFIDS/FM Friends - Advice from Eunice Beck
    by Eunice Beck, RN


    Dear Friends,
    Good days and bad days. We all have some of each. Most of us have more bad days than good. Maybe that's why, when we have a good day, we over-do things to the max. I know I did that this week, and I paid for it.

    I used to be a machine knitter. I always enjoyed hand knitting, until it became too painful because of arthritis (or early, unrecognized FM?). In any case, I pretty much had to give up any type of needlework until I discovered machine knitting. I've always been too warm natured to wear sweaters, except outside on the coldest days. But I loved the feel and texture of the yarns, and the combinations of yarns. I loved the creativity, and machine knitting enabled me to have that feeling again.

    Well, this week I sold the machines and all the yarn. And the person who bought them wanted to come to get it all just two days after he called with the offer to buy it. So my spouse and I had to get everything gathered up and ready. A bittersweet experience. But I knew that I no longer had the physical endurance, energy, or strength the use the machines. It is pretty hard work, using primarily arms, shoulders and upper back, one of my real problem areas.

    So, good day or not, there were things that needed to be done. I pushed myself, too hard and for too long. I needed extra pain medication to get comfortable that night. The following day, I went to physical therapy (PT) in the morning. When the therapist asked how I was doing, I indicated that is was not a good day. When he asked why, my answer was "I had a good day yesterday." His response, from caring for many FM patients was "And you over did it, right!" I guess we must be that predictable.

    I've been going to PT for about a month now, and it is helping with flexibility. The PT I go to is part of a fitness center, that also has a sauna, Jacuzzi and a pool. I have been making use of all three. While I'm usually not able to walk very far without back pain. I am able to walk quite a distance in the pool and I'm up to 400 yards now. But I had to cut that back the day after my "good day" because I was just too exhausted.

    We have our good days and bad days for lots of reasons, many of them unpredictable, and out of our control. What we need to figure out is what is within our control, and what we can do to have more good days. We need to find the things that help, things we can do for ourselves.

    I asked to go to Physical Therapy, not knowing if it would help. It has, but it will be up to me to keep up some form of exercise, at least the stretches when my PT is finished. I may need to go back for a few weeks here and there. We all know that some exercise is helpful but I think it is important to have the guidance of a therapist so we don't do things which might make us worse, or injure ourselves. I think the pool is the best answer for me.

    Another thing that I find is helpful is massage. Did you know that Medicare will pay for massage if it is done in a doctor's office? At least that is what my Rheumatologist told me, and he has a massage therapist who works in his office. I'm not on Medicare yet, but when I am, I will use her services. It might be worth checking into for those of you who have Medicare coverage.

    I think one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is learn self-control! I certainly need to learn this lesson. I mean, self-control in relation to our good days. We all learn very rapidly what we have to do on bad days. But on good days, we try to do so much to make up for the bad days that I wonder if we don't make make things worse for ourselves. Maybe, if we could learn to moderate activity when we are feeling better, we might have more OK days, and maybe more good days.

    Can I learn to do this? I don't know, but I am going to try. Because I want to enjoy my good days without knowing I will pay for my enjoyment with increased pain and fatigue. Recognizing the results of doing more than I should is definitely encouragement to learn my limits, and to express those limits to those around me. So many of us have learned to hide our pain from our loved ones, and that encourages us to over do activities.

    When someone asks you how you are what do you say? The usual response is "fine", although I suspect that is rarely true for any of us. We don't want to be complainers, but we need to learn to stop when our body says stop. Whether or not we have completed a task is not important. Whatever we are doing will be there tomorrow. If it is something that must be completed now, ask for help. Your family probably won't know you are having pain, or are too tired to finish unless you tell them.

    Only we understand our needs and our bodies well enough to assist in increasing the number of good days. If you have things that have worked for you, please write to me. I will share the ideas. We are starting a new section in Coping Corner soon to share mail, and my responses, with all of our readers. If I want to use your ideas or problem, I'll write to ask permission. And I will alter your letters so you are not identified. We can all learn from each other. Hope to hear from you soon. Take care and be well.

    Yours in health,


    -------------------------------------------------- My articles and email responses are not being offered as those of a health care provider. The information and opinions included are intended to give you some information about your disease. It is very important that you empower yourself with knowledge and participate in your own search for care. Any advice given is not intended to take the place of advice of your physician or mental health care provider. Always follow your physician's advice, even if contradicted by something written here. You and your physician know your situation far better than I do. Thank you and be well. Eunice