There’s no doubt that living with fibromyalgia can be incredibly painful and frustrating. Between the chronic pain, fatigue, “fibro fog” and mood swings, the illness has a way of affecting just about every aspect of a person’s life. It can be exhausting – physically and emotionally – to cope with all the symptoms on a daily basis.
Although there isn’t a cure for fibromyalgia, some people have developed tricks to help manage symptoms and reduce everyday frustrations. We asked our Mighty community to share some of the “hacks” they use to make life with fibromyalgia a bit easier. Maybe some of these ideas might help you live a little more comfortably, too.
Here’s what our community told us:
1. “I keep my ‘toolbox’ close by. Basic medications like ibuprofen and tylenol, my prescription medications, my ice pack and my hot water bottle. I also keep a pair of fuzzy socks within two feet of me at all times. This takes much of the overwhelming feeling down to a minimum.”
2. “Turn on the electric blanket 30 minutes before you crawl into bed so the sheets are already warm.”
3. “Instead of ‘to do’ lists that are disheartening for me when stuff does not get done, I make an ‘I’ve done’ list to count my accomplishments.”
4. “I get my hair washed at Hair Cuttery or Super Cuts for $5 when I’m feeling really crappy so I don’t have to do it myself.”
5. “I have a leg pillow that elevates my legs to help with circulation. Great investment.”
6. “Find something you really enjoy doing. I create art, and I know at times I am extremely limited, but I attempt to do some work every day. I always tell people it’s my therapy. It allows my mind to focus on a task I enjoy, and for a while I forget about the pain I am in. When I start to hurt or get frustrated I have learned that’s my body saying enough.”
7. “Paper plates and bowls! I don’t have a dishwasher, and I try to make my life as easy as possible.”
8. “My hack for bad days is to just stay warm. Have a hot bath with Epsom salts then cuddle up on the couch with my cat, blanket and heat pack. Rest when you need to.”
9. “Brushing my teeth in the shower. It helps me from bending over.”
10. “I’ve learned to take a lot of breaks when trying to accomplish tasks. On a good day breaks can be short, on bad considerably longer. But taking breaks instead of pushing myself too hard helps me to make the most of what little energy I have.”
11. “Undershirts that have a built-in bra with padding! It helps me to feel secure while still not having to wear a bra that can be very painful for my shoulders.”
12. “My body needs strict routine. It may be dull to live by such a schedule every single day but it’s the only way I can manage right now.”
13. “I turn any clothes, jammers and socks inside out so seams don’t rub or indent my skin!”