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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Managing Fatigue and Pain

If you've read my recent posts, you know that I'm enrolled in an online Fibromyalgia self-help course. The course is based on Dr. Bruce Campbell's book, "The Patient's Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia." The premise of the book and course is to develop personal strategies for managing fatigue and pain, pacing ourselves, managing stress, etc. Each week we are given an assignment and have to post our management techniques to the group. Week 2 was Managing Fatigue and Pain. This is my post for that week:

I’m still developing strategies to better my sleep and fight fatigue, despite the fact that I’ve suffered from insomnia and fatigue since I was 16. It seems that something will work one week and not work the next. But this is what I’m working on now:

  • Putting myself on a sleep schedule. I try to go sleep at the same time each night and let my body decide when it’s time to get up. It’s when that schedule is interrupted that I feel the most fatigued.

  • B-complex sublingual liquid, B12 methylcobalomin sublingual tablets, and D-Ribose for energy.

  • Keeping my mind active, even if I can’t keep my body active. I blog and I play sodoku, Scrabble, and mahjongg on a hand-held game system. I also read a lot of books! Anything to keep my mind going.

  • Laughing. I have animated discussion with my online support group, my son, my mom, my best friend. Laughing can release endorphins that relieve pain (so I won’t add it to the next section), and leaves you feeling good, strong, and awake!

  • Limit any shopping to quick trips. I let my son do the major grocery shopping. When I have to do the shopping, I suffer the consequences in terms of pain and fatigue for days.

I am also still developing strategies to manage the pain of Fibromyalgia and my spinal conditions. My current pain management strategies are:

  • Using a TENS unit for back, hip, and leg pain.

  • Water aerobics at the YMCA at least 3 times a week, as well as sitting in their hot tub before and after exercises, to keep my muscles moving.

  • Weekly massage therapy with a licensed Physical/Massage Therapist.

  • Taking medication on a regular schedule and not waiting until I hurt to do so.

  • Pacing myself and being mindful of my limits when it comes to doing any manual tasks.


I have a ton of things around the house that need to get done. I am trying not to focus too much on the little things, though. :)

What: Clean bedroom, bathroom, and do laundry

How much: at least 20-30 minutes a day with resting periods

When: Evenings

How often: 3 days a week

Confidence: 6

Note: That week I did not meet my target because even that was too much. Thus, the low confidence level. The key is pacing and not overdoing it. I'll go into pacing more in my next blog post.

Love and hugs,


1 comment:

  1. Have you noticed anything from B12 and D-ribose? I noticed very quick improvement on both. Sadly, both also pooped out pretty quickly and don't work at all any more. Which is weird because I've tried dozens of other things and nothing else has ever done that...


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