In order to really effectively deal with any chronic condition including fibromyalgia, the individual with the condition has to take an active role in educating him/herself about the condition, learn coping strategies, and learn how to participate in self care strategies so that lifestyle changes can be made to improve your life and allow you to be happier living it.
Self care can involve learning how to effectively administer medications, monitor progress made while on medications, and administer at-home treatments such as the CPAP machine if the individual suffers from sleep apnea as one of the other conditions common to those with fibromyalgia. It is important for those with fibromyalgia to learn how to look at the body as a whole and to see how each part interacts with the other parts.
Self care may involve taking part in a regular exercise program or learning how to cook and eat healthier. Self care will most certainly involve learning how to monitor, record and report your symptoms. Maintaining a supportive relationship with every member of your medical team is important.
You need your medical team members and they need you to be responsive and to give adequate data regarding your symptoms and your response to treatment so that they can help you to improve your health and reduce your fibromyalgia symptoms.
Self care also involves creating a home and work life that is conducive to managing your fibromyalgia this includes reducing stress (physical, emotional and mental), getting enough restful sleep, exercising on a regular basis, pacing your activities, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes eating the right foods, limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake and doing something each day that brings you pleasure.
Self care activities that you do at home or work (if you still can enjoy working) also including learning how to cope with the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia and seeking out support systems including education, support from co-workers, family members and friends that will uplift your efforts for self care.
Your doctor can help you to design a self care program to follow that will touch upon all the above topics involved in self care. A good support system including a fibromyalgia support group will also have suggestions for ways of adding to your self care program.
Your self care program like your treatment program will change to follow your changing symptoms and will be an ongoing part of your life. The better you are at designing and implementing a self care program the more improvements you will see in how you feel and how you relate to yourself and others.
Being able to manage your fibromyalgia and realize that your life is changing for the better can boost your self-esteem, make you feel good about yourself and lead to an improved lifestyle.
Doctors and therapist can only take you to a certain point when managing your condition. They can prescribe medications and treatments but cant force you to take them or to participate in the treatments. You are the only one who can make a difference in your life by taking the steps necessary to develop good self care habits.
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