Supporting a Friend With Fibromyalgia

The following article was originally posted at JamieChasesButterflies.com on April 5, 2017.

I have been thinking about writing a post about Fibromyalgia because I have a niece-in-law and several friends who combat this disease. I have heard them talk about their pain, their anxiety, and the skin issues they suffer and the horrendous affects some of the medications they must take to combat this monster. It’s scary. I cannot imagine hurting so much that functioning well is a challenge. That is why I am aiming to write this post with as much grace, love, kindness, and respect as I can. I believe it when my best friend tells me she is in serious pain and I believe it when my niece-in-law has complained about her pain. My heart goes out to both of them.

When my best friend a couple of weeks told me that she had Fibromyalgia I wasn’t exactly sure what it was and how it affects her. I have read blogs and I do follow Chronic Babe and watch her awesome videos and read her articles. She is an awesome advocate for those who fight to be well with Fibromyalgia. I still didn’t know much about it. I aimed to go on a medical research project so that I am accurate with my information. I also wanted to speak life into my friend and everyone that I encounter with Fibromyalgia.

Here is what I found out about Fibromyalgia:

  • Fibromyalgia affects 2 to 4 percent of the people in the USA. It is shown that it affects more women than men. But men do get it too.
  • Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune or inflammation based illness. Research says that this illness is in the nervous system.
  • Getting a fibromyalgia diagnosis now are based on relevant feelings in their body, along with having certain pressure points.
  • There are no tests to detect if someone has Fibromyalgia. Although, there will be lab tests and x-rays done to rule out other issues.
  • Currently there is no cure for someone who has Fibromyalgia. There are however, some medications that can reduce the symptoms on some patients.
  • Some patients start feeling better when they start doing proper self-care, such as getting enough sleep and moving their bodies.
  • Fibromyalgia is a neurological illness that causes widespread pain and tenderness that tends to come and go. It also moves around the body.
  • Fatigue and sleep issues are some of the biggest issues for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.

Whoa! From my research, self-care with eating well, getting enough sleep, and moving your body is key in helping someone on their wellness journey. I feel this is the same for every single illness. I know it is true for me and mine. I’m grateful that the people I know who have this neurological illness are aware of this and are actively pursuing better self-care. I am thankful that my best friend is allowing me to go on her journey of self-care and wellness with her. We are weekly sharing our food journals with each other. I believe from reading some awesome blogs from Fibromyalgia Warriors that support and having an understanding community is key in their wellness too. I think it is key to any illness warrior.

Here is how I plan on supporting my friends with Fibromyalgia:

  • Listen! I believe just the act of listening without planning on commenting will help them feel heard and understood.
  • Look beyond your own understanding of their pain. Since I do not have Fibromyalgia I made the choice to research it. I looked at blogs and credible websites that don’t promise false cures.
  • Don’t try to fix their illness. It isn’t your job. I know that you may want to help them find a cure. The truth this is their journey and their own discovery. If they ask you that is different.

This is how I plan on being a supportive friend.

Here are some links I want to share with you:

JamieHollowayJamie Holloway lives in the Portland, Oregon area. Since October 2011 she has been sharing her Journey Toward Health and Wellness with Vasculitis through her blog at JamieChasesButterflies.com. As most of her articles will be about Men’s Health, Jamie intends to write her articles as though she was sharing important information with her brother, nephews and friends. We hope you are as inspired as we are with the raw candor Jamie uses in her writing.

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Join Wellness Works NW, US Cellular and Forever Fit Gym for this fun, family friendly event!

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