Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Conquering the Pain

A zuni bear bracelet and matching earrings
Pain is quite a formidable foe.  It demands our constant attention, saps us of our energy, destroys our quality of life, turns us into grumpy people that no one wants to be around, and robs us of our life.  People with fibromyalgia have a daunting task to cope with pain that expresses itself as pins and needles, burning pain, sharp, shooting and stabbing pain, throbbing pain, body aches, dull aching pain, cramping pain, muscle pain, focal or global headache pain, pressure pain . . . have I described this accurately?  If you have fibromyalgia I'm sure you have additions to this list.  To sum it up it's total misery and fibromyalgia pain can prevent us from participating in activities that we enjoyed prior to the onset of this illness.  But never underestimate the power of the human mind.

Bead embroidery: a work in progress
The human mind has the capacity to overcome many obstacles regardless of how impossible those obstacles may seem.  The joy of learning is a key component for overcoming moderately severe or even severe pain.  This may sound too simple to be true, but it is.  People with fibromyalgia tend to be Type A personalities and that can actually work in our favor.  Challenges and learning something new exercises the brain and improves cognition to lessen the confusion, brain fog, and disorientation.  Learning when cognitive impairment is present requires a great deal of patience and determination, but as the brain engages in learning, cognition does improve.  Another component to overcoming fibromyalgia pain is fortitude.

My friend, Lori's, bead embroidery
A good friend of mine that has fibromyalgia and other chronic illness reminded me of how to overcome the pain and misery of fibromyalgia by introducing me to the world of beading.  I have found that beading gives me a creative outlet, provides me with social time each week with beading friends, and lessens my pain by engaging my brain with a new found passion.  I just love to look at all the beautiful beads and dream about what I can make with my beads.  The biggest problem with having a passion is having the sense to know when I need some rest.  Balancing activity with rest is the most important and beneficial tool that we can have in our fibromyalgia toolbox and it's a fine line between the two.  If we get too much rest we go downhill physically; if we get too much activity we go downhill physically.  It's quite a dilema and requires an astute balancing act, but with practice it becomes easier to know where that line is drawn. Balancing activity and rest is different for everyone and changes from day to day so no wonder this is a difficult task.

A set that I just finished this morning
If you want to lessen your pain and increase your activity, find your passion and balance your passion with other responsibilities and intentional rest periods.  You will feel better both physically and emotionally, you will increase your energy, and there will be more joy in your life.  Please send me comments about your passion and how that has helped you overcome the pain and other symptomatology related to fibromyalgia.  You may sleep better too!  Take good care and blessings to you as you face each day with fortitude, determination, and lots of patience
while you are discovering your passion!
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