Tips for Managing Daily Life

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ProHealth, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. deserella

    deserella Member

    I ask someone in my family for help when I need it. Why should I clean my bathtub and pay back for it the next day when someone else can do it in 5 mintues.

    If I go somewhere I have the person driving drop me off at the front so I don't wast energy walking.
  2. Jackie41

    Jackie41 Member

    This is for those who use a cane or walker, or are thinking about it, because of weak or tired legs or poor balance. Leg fog, I call it. I was only 27 when I started having trouble walking, especially long distances, and I was too embarrassed at first to use anything. After a few weeks I gave in and got a cane. After using the cane for a few days, I got a second cane. I needed to ues 2 since both legs were weak and it's hard to support both legs with one cane. I used two canes for several months, but I wanted something that would give me a little more support. The canes were fine around the house or going into a store, but weren't enough that I could go to the mall, for instance. Plus-I know this sounds stupid- I'm a shoes gal and I wanted to be able to wear heels. No, not 4" spikes, just a nice 2" pump. Vanity, I guess! I tried one of those rolling walkers and I hated it. They are so clumsy. They do give more support than the canes and I could go to the mall, but try opening doors in a walker. Steps are nearly impossible and it's very difficult to use a walker on grass or anything else besides a floor or smooth pavement. If you're with a group of friends at a restaurant, do you realize what a pain in the you know what it is to try to get around in a small space in a walker. Then when you sit down at your table, where exactly do you put the stupid thing so that people don't trip over it.

    The answer came from a girlfrieng with MS who had an extra pair of forearm canes she let me try. They were perfect. I still use the regular canes sometimes for short distances, but the walker has been donated to Goodwill, and good riddance. I can walk anywhere in almost any shoes and it's not hard on the arms. Many people think they can't use crutches because of wrist or shoulder problems, but if you can't put any weight on a crutch, then you can't put any weight on a cane or a walker either. It's no different in that way. The difference is that the forearm cane (or crutch) is much more stable than a regular cane because of the forearm cuff. They don't wobble like a cane will if you put any weight on it. The trick to using forearm canes for tired legs or poor balance is to use them just like you would use 2 regular canes. Right foot, left cane, then left foot and right cane etc. As the day wears on and my legs get more tired, I can gradually put more weight on the canes as needed.

    It really is much, much easier to walk with these canes. They are lightweight and easy to use on steps or going through doors. They also come in many colors which is pretty cool. At the store, I use the shopping cart for support and the canes stay attached to my arms and are ready to use when I step away from the cart. It's very handy.

    I would stress that this only applies to these using a walking aid or thinking about it because of weak or tired legs or poor balance or all three. If your main problem walking is leg pain, then there probably isn't a walking aid that will help much, in which case a scooter or wheel chair might be more helpful. But if, like me, your main problem is leg weakness, then the forearm canes are the best choice by far.

    Some might think it's too embarrassing to use these canes. I sympathize since I was only 27 and previously very active. But I was already using 2 regular canes for several months when I got the forearm kind, so it was a pretty easy change to make, emotionally. I really felt like people were staring at me more when I used the walker. I think now, most people just assume I have MS or something like that.

    Hope this helps


    [This Message was Edited on 05/17/2008]
  3. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    I recently purchased an industrial dust pan. It looks like a regular dust-pan but it has a long handle similar to a broom handle. Now, after I sweep, I don't have to bend to gather the dirt & dust from the floor into the dust pan. It's a small thing but a great help!
    God bless, Theresa
  4. JohnThreeSixteen

    JohnThreeSixteen New Member

    I'm new to this, but I have already developed some firm beliefs. Number one, I MUST do pain management or I will waste alot of time in alot of pain. I came to this conclusion one morning when I was resisting taking anything for pain and it was 12 noon (FIVE HOURS LATER!) before I finally gave up the fight. I was full of anxiety and exhausted from fighting it. I tried the fibro stretching video I bought, I tried lying down, I tried distraction...forget it. From now on, I will not be ashamed to take something for pain. For me, 50 mg of Tramadol 1x day is working.

    And I also won't hesitate to take a muscle relaxer for sleep instead of lying there twitching and spasming like an idiot and "toughing it out". I lose sleep and get anxious...what's the point of waiting? (For that, I take 10mg Flexeril)

    Another firm belief: I have to keep moving no matter how hard it is. I WILL do cardio 3 x week for 30 minutes and I WILL stretch consistently. A short muscle atrophies and spasms....stretching is good for you. I'll cry through it if I must, but I will continue to do it.

    My last firm belief so far: I have to eat right. I have lived for 45 years eating whatever I want but it's time to stop. I know that whatever illness comes my way, I am better prepared to handle it if I am eating a good diet, weighing a good weight and getting regular cardio exercise and keeping my muscles stretched. I no longer eat sugar or wheat products.

    I'm sure I will come to alot more conclusions (or firm beliefs) as time progresses but at least these habits are causing me to feel as if I have some control. I am not a victim and this illness will not claim my life. AND it is NOT in my head (how I wish it was)!!!
    [This Message was Edited on 06/23/2008]
  5. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    Just back from taking daughter #2 to college orientation so have not been here recently. To say I'm exhausted is to put it mildly.

    Here's some things I find helpful. Probably they have been mentioned already.

    Do laundry daily, before it builds up.

    One big wall calendar in my kitchen, with everyone's stuff posted on it, instead of lot of little sticky notes (for the "brain fog").

    Only have white socks. Eliminates useless pairing. They all match.

    Keep to a schedule. I get up early even on weekends when I don't work. (I work about 30 hours a week right now). If I'm tired and I'm home I take a nap.

    I also use the tray idea for my dogs' dishes.

    Keep things at "point of first use" - suggested in the book "Confessions of an Organized Homemaker" by Denise Schofield (she has some great tips). Keep things close to where you use them, for example I keep my meds in the kitchen and not in bathroom cabinet like most folks.

    Keep cleaning products under every sink.

    Sort the mail over the waste basket. Pitch the junk immediately.

    Shop online.

    I let go of the guilt about family obligations long ago. I have Crohn's in addition to FM. I do what I can do and let the rest go.


  6. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    It's been hard for me to make daily changes in my life but I have to listen to my body. I'm newly diagnosed so I'm still trying to understand everything.
    I've already found that just doing one room a day or maybe 2 small things a day that is if I feel up to it.
    I also take breaks between each activity and sit down and let my body rest or lay on the couch if I'm really tired. Some days I don't get much done but I try to do a little something so I feel productive.
    I'm still trying to help my family understand what I'm dealing with since we don't look sick they tend to forget that we are and I can't be super mom anymore and I need my family to understand that so that I have one less stress to deal with.
  7. dogglady9

    dogglady9 New Member

    I was just wondering what kind of bed is reccomended or what kind of bed anyone has found to be useful.
  8. lrning2cope

    lrning2cope New Member

    I hope I am not duplicating it , but trigger point therapy works , sometimes.

    Here is a link to trigger points and referral pain , along with some other tips and resources :

    This is a great resource . When you can't figure out why something hurts 'here' you can find the source 'there' . In other words the source of the pain may be a trigger point , which is in a different place than the place the pain is.

    Check it out ! It has helped me .


    FenDog likes this.
  9. Texashen

    Texashen New Member

    I have talked to many people including pro's about lack of sleep and also the fact that my sweetie hubby SNORES....even my doc's wife sleeps in the other bedroom( according to my physician) as he too snores. I do go into the other bedroom(sometimes with guilt) but my husband has learned not to take it personally.
  10. carolannwestern

    carolannwestern New Member

    I know how you feel. People always say that to me also. I sleep with an electric blanket on my bed. I turn on my side and snuggle up. We have central air so it is usually cold in the house. The heat seems to help me sleep along with the elavil that I take at bedtime.
  11. carolannwestern

    carolannwestern New Member

    i did the same thing. I worked for as long as I could. I had a few friends that understood when I finally told them. Of course there will always be someone that doubts you and your pain. Just don't let he stress you out because that makes things worse. The ones that aact like that where never your true friends. I have one friend and her husband that helps us out. She helps me clean the house and her husband helps mine with you yard tuff that I can't do. I do alot of praying and worshipping the lord. Thing could always be worse.
  12. Sunspot

    Sunspot New Member

    Some things that have helped me:

    - Using a cushion behind the middle of my back when I'm sitting in a chair. It props me up so my muscles don't have to work as hard to stay upright, so they're less likely to go into spasm. This works well when you need to sit up but are feeling especially tired.

    - Doing the yoga pose called 'Legs up the Wall' once or twice a day. You lie on the floor with your legs going straight up the wall. It helps blood go to your brain and organs, and is deeply relaxing. I also find it rejuvenating. I put a night-mask or eye pillow over my eyes, and sometimes even fall asleep for a few minutes.

    - Keeping warm saves my energy and makes me more comfortable and happier. In winter I wear silk long underwear, which isn't bulky but makes a big difference in comfort.

    - Circulation socks for diabetics can help improve circulation and warm up cold feet.

    - I take ear plugs with my in my purse wherever I go. One pair is cut in half so it only blocks some of the noise. It really helps my nerves when I'm in a noisy environment to be able to insert one or two earplugs and enjoy the peace...

    - Most mornings I inhale some warm saline water to cleanse my sinuses. It helps decrease my allergy reactions and cleans out the mucous and bacteria so I'm less likely to get sinus infections, and it's soothing to the sinuses. Use about 1/4 teaspoon salt to 1/2 cup of warm (not too hot or cold) water. You can snuff it from the palm of your hand or the edge of the cup and keep inhaling till it's starting to come into your mouth, but spit it out rather than swallowing it. (Don't force it if your sinuses are blocked, though.)

    - If my sinuses are blocked at night I use plain saline nose drops (you can buy them at the pharmacy) rather than decongestant nose drops, which are addictive. Saline nose drops moisten dry, swollen sinus tissues so they can still work.

    - Palming eyes is deeply relaxing for the whole body, and very beneficial for the eyes, especially if you can do it for at least 15 or 20 minutes. Cup the palms over the eyes, resting the heels of the hands on the bones under the eyes. Try to block out all the light, and imagine you're looking at black velvet or black fur. It's easiest to do it either sitting at a desk or table with your elbows propped on the table and face resting on hands, or lying in bed on your side with the upper arm resting on a pillow or body pillow beside you. (I think it helps me to really relax and go to sleep...)

    All the best to you all!
    [This Message was Edited on 08/25/2008]
  13. Sunspot

    Sunspot New Member

    - I'm single, and when I'm having a bad few days the dishes can pile up (I don't have a dishwasher). What helps is not to wait until I have the energy to wash them all at once, but just to do as many as I can. Often I'll just fill one pot or bowl with soapy water, then wash and rinse a few things and set them in the dish drainer to dry.

    - I use a radial appliance several times a week. It costs about $250, but should last for years. I lie down while using it, for at least half an hour, but usually an hour or more. Sometimes I get that drifty feeling while I'm using it that you often get during an acupuncture session. I find I rest more deeply than if I was just lying down, and feel more refreshed after using it. I also feel happier (although they say you shouldn't use it if you're angry or feeling negative, so I make an effort to think positive thoughts or listen to something spiritual while I'm using it.) It's something that's been around since the early 1900s, that Edgar Cayce said would benefit anyone.

    - homeopathy has helped give me more energy at times.

    - acupuncture and Chinese herbs have helped.
  14. Sunspot

    Sunspot New Member

    - I have an epsom salts bath once or twice a week, with one or two cups of epsom salts. (I try to buy a really big bag of epsom salts at a feed store, as it's much cheaper than the little bags from the drugstore.)

    - I drink 6 to 8 cups of clear water a day, and herbal teas.

    - I eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains, mostly organic, and I avoid processed foods and snack foods like cookies and chips.

    - I avoid perfume and perfumed products, which are quite toxic (unless the fragrance is from essential oils).

    - I try for at least a very short walk each day, gradually increasing the length over time. If I have a relapse and don't walk for awhile, I start at the beginning again. I don't want to become more deconditioned than I already am.

    - For that reason, I also try to do some strength-building exercises. I try to do a few push-ups one day, a few sit-ups the next. The following day I do a few slow stand-ups from sitting on the edge of a chair (good for leg muscles). Then start over again. My goal is to eventually be strong enough to go to a gym twice a week for a light workout. I do keep falling off, but as long as I keep re-starting again I figure I'm heading in the right direction!

    [This Message was Edited on 08/25/2008]
  15. Sunspot

    Sunspot New Member

    - I've been doing a light sesame oil massage called abhyanga, an Ayurvedic technique, and I think it is helping the quality of my sleep. You can read all about how to do it in Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra. I do it about every other day. It's supposed to calm the nervous system and improve sleep. For me it took a few days before I noticed a difference.

    - I like to lie on my back for awhile when I first go to bed, or if I'm lying down for a nap. For that I have my head on a buckwheat-filled pillow, which I can shape to give my head and neck the right support. I find my neck relaxes more with a buckwheat pillow than an ordinary squishy pillow. I also have a small towel rolled up underneath my waist, and a pillow under my knees. This really helps my back and neck relax.

    - To sleep I have a body pillow beside me to rest my top knee and arm on. It helps prevent waking up with painful joints. I have a normal pillow on the other side for the same reason.
    I can lean back on the body pillow from my side and be quite supported, or sometimes if I can't sleep I like to lie on my front. Then I put the body pillow under half of my body so I'm lifted up a bit and it's easier on my neck to lie there (no pillow under my head then).

    - I met a couple who had both had ME/CFS. They said the single thing that helped them the most (and they were both doing well) was to start going to bed by 10 p.m. Apparently it's really true that the hours before midnight are worth two after! I'm a night owl and always have been, but I'm methodically trying to work my way to earlier bedtimes. Once when my circadian rhythm really got out of whack (I was going to bed around 4 a.m.)I deliberately went to bed later and later until I was getting up in the early morning and going to bed early at night. I really liked it. But it just takes one or two sleepless nights and I'm out of whack again, so now I think a slow and steady change will help me reset my internal clock if that's possible...
  16. Sunspot

    Sunspot New Member

    - I start the day by drinking at least two cups of hot water. If I'm constipated I just keep drinking them until something happens, but it usually doesn't take more than three.

    - See a naturopath that does muscle testing or vega testing. The first time I went to see mine I brought the 3 bags of supplements I was taking. She muscle-tested me for each of them and told me half of them were not good for me, based on the testing (apparently I was reacting to something in them). I stopped taking them and my digestion immediately improved. I think I was buying supplements because they seemed like a good idea, or because I was afraid I might miss out on some benefit if I wasn't taking them...It was an eye-opener to see that they could actually harm my digestion, as well as being a big waste of money.

    - I take digestive enzymes. This can make a big difference. Also drinking ginger tea before a meal can stimulate better digestion.

    - I had an acupuncture session and was prescribed some Chinese herbs. She said I had spleen deficiency and discouraged me from eating raw foods, even fruits. (This made sense to me as sometimes they would pass through me within a few hours looking completely undigested.) The herbal pills are really helping my digestion and I'm feeling a bit more energetic as well.
  17. Sunspot

    Sunspot New Member

    - Homeopathy has been very helpful for healing longstanding emotions or for habitual attitudes.

    - EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is AMAZING for dealing with emotions, and also many physical problems. Some people even claim they've cured their FM or CFS with daily use of EFT. It's a tapping technique based on energy meridians, and it's easy to learn. You can learn it for free at, and there are also lots of archived case histories of using it successfully for weight loss, pain, allergies, etc. All kinds of things. I find it extremely helpful when my feelings get trampled and I'm very hurt or angry or depressed, etc. I've also been able to tap away some of my fatigue. Try it! (If it doesn't work on the first thing you try, don't give up -- try some other things.)

    - Jin Shin Jyutsu is an energy healing technique similar to acupressure. The following are finger-holds that can help ease difficult emotions very quickly. This information is from a great book called The Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister.

    She says to think of the holding hand or fingers as ‘jumper cables’ which will channel the universal life energy to where it’s needed. There’s no need for strength or massage or rubbing, just hold the finger with normal pressure, either with just the thumb and index finger of the other hand, or by wrapping all the fingers around it. Apply the hold for a few minutes, or until you can feel an even, rhythmic pulsation.

    These finger-holds can help when you’re feeling difficult emotions. It helps with the emotions fairly quickly, but the finger-holds can also be used over time to help with other health problems. The author says daily application over time will achieve results. But even if you just use it for the emotions, they can be a real help.

    Hold the finger with either with just the thumb and index finger of the other hand, or by wrapping all the fingers around it (that's what I usually do). Apply the hold for a few minutes, or until you can feel an even, rhythmic pulsation. You can do it for awhile while you're watching TV or when you go to bed at night. The thumb and the middle finger are both mentioned for insomnia, so you might want to try them when you wake up at night. The index finger calms the adrenals, which can also play a role in insomnia.

    - Hold the thumb for worry or obsessive thoughts. The thumb can also help with the digestive system, insomnia, breathing, colds and flus (so does the ring finger) and the immune system (so does the ring finger).

    - Hold the index finger for fear. It’s also helpful for depression (also hold the middle finger), back pain, bladder problems, circulation (also hold the ring finger), the brain, and fatigue.

    - Hold the middle finger for anger and frustration. It’s also helpful for depression (along with the index finger), arthritis (along with the ring finger), sinuses, insomnia, the reproductive system, the knees, and the nervous system.

    - Hold the ring finger for grief. It’s also good for hiccups, asthma, the thyroid, circulation (along with the index finger), the immune system and colds and flus (along with the thumb), the lungs, large intestine, bronchitis, and arthritis (along with the middle finger).

    - Hold the little finger for self-esteem. It’s also good for anxiety, the heart, and the small intestine; and for helping to stop ‘trying’ and just be; letting go of pretense.

    - Holding the palm is considered the ‘total harmonizer’, which harmonizes body, mind and spirit with each other and with the universe. It nourishes all of the organs, supports the diaphragm and umbilicus and provides vitality to the entire being. You can press both palms together, or put the thumb of one hand on the palm of the other, and the index finger or several fingers on the back of the hand.

    There’s also an acupressure point in the middle between the upper lip and the bottom of the nose that can calm someone who is feeling panicky. (I do this while I’m waiting for the dentist!)

  18. gennief

    gennief New Member

    My tip is using the crock-pot for daily cooking. Just throw the food in on low and easy clean up.
  19. mrsgrizel

    mrsgrizel New Member

    Another thing that could help is a air purifier. I hated it the first couple nites. Now I can not sleep without one running. Plus there is the cleaner air.
    White noise is a good aid for anyone that has problems
    sleeping however.
    One tip when useing one. DO NOT sit it close to a wall that is not washable. You will be surpised how dirty the wall will get in a short time.
  20. jenn_c

    jenn_c New Member

    I sleep with a fan year round. And if I sleep on the couch, I use the ceiling fan ( quiter than I also stay up late freqyuently to get some alone "me" time. It does leave me tired, but "me" time is worth it.