Living with fibromyalgia can really hamper your life. Just attending social gatherings can be difficult. Recently I was invited to a friend’s house for a BBQ and I was really looking forward to it. I hadn’t spent time with this couple in a long while and I really enjoy both of them. However, when the day came, I was having a Fibro Flare. It was affecting my legs, my hips, my lower back and was causing my stomach to be upset.
At first I thought I would skip it. That’s something I have done a lot of since Fibromyalgia came into my life, but I didn’t want to stay home. It wasn’t about disappointing my friends, my husband or even myself. It was about which would bring me more joy.
Now, I often coach people that it’s okay to say; “No.” I do firmly believe that you need to set boundaries and not feel guilty if you need to avoid a situation which can cause you more discomfort.
At the same time, if you know you can say, “No,” and you still want to participate, then it’s time to prepare and plan for what will help you make it through with the least amount of downtime later.
In my case, I knew we would be sitting a lot and I knew that I would be a horrible person to sit next to. When my muscles and nerves are acting up like they were, I squirm and fidget a lot. I have to constantly move my legs in order to avoid cramping and honestly, I couldn’t stop myself even if I wanted to. So I packed a travel chair that I had bought just for these occasions. It’s not your average folding chair and is very comfortable.
Because I was already experiencing pain, I also packed a pillow for my back and a heating pad. In addition, I brought essential oils I use to calm nerves and manage pain.
At the gathering, I simply explained to the few people I didn’t know that this was my way of managing my symptoms and that was that. In fact, one of the people there was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and she was impressed by my set up. She had to leave early due to her symptoms, but told me she was going to follow my example next time.
The point is, you need to know your boundaries, but you also can’t let them limit you. With just a bit of ingenuity and pre-planning, you can still enjoy many activities you might think you have to avoid.
As you look at where you are now and where you want to go, just know that it’s possible. If I can do it, you can too. If you want my support, post on my Facebook page, send me a message, email email@example.com, or schedule an appointment for a FREE Discovery Session to determine if group or individual coaching is right for you. Just know that it’s possible to feel better and be a more confident, functional you and you don’t have to do it alone.
Do you have tips and tricks you can share on managing symptoms? Share your experience and insights in the comments below and help others reach their goals.