Don’t let flare-ups be a pain!

Contributed by: Sandy
Reviewed by: Wendy Williams, BSN, M.Ed., August 2012

Sandy says: “I am an author, a wife, mother of three, grandmother of four, at the beck and call to one dog and two cats, friend, author, wellness & lifestyle coach, facilitator for a wellness support group, collector of frogs, maker of chocolate candy, knitter for charity, volunteer, puzzle and game lover, poet, singer and retired.  I live in Cleveland, OH and I am 64 years young.”

For me, flare-ups used to come on suddenly and could last for days and sometimes weeks. I have fibromyalgia. After many of these incidents I realized that a flare up was just my body telling me something. I just needed to listen.

Before, when a flare-up would hit me, I would, of course, complain and moan and lay around and complain some more. And the more I would lie around, the more awful I would feel and round and round it went.

Now, I listen to my body. When a flare-up begins, I listen. What is my body telling me? Do I need to watch my nutrition? Have I been eating the wrong foods? Too much sugar lately? Too much fast food and sweets? Not enough fresh fruits and veggies? And then, have I been getting enough sleep? Restful sleep? Am I getting enough exercise? Maybe I need to move more. My body is telling me to stretch my muscles. They’re getting stiff and sore and achy.

Am I letting too many things and too many people stress me out? I need to relax and meditate. Breathe. Get outside in nature. See the beauty around me.

This is what I do now when I feel a flare-up coming on. I don’t just sit around and do nothing but complain about it. No more ‘Poor Me’. I call it, ‘Reclaiming My Power’. My pain no longer controls me. I can control and manage my pain and I believe others can do this as well. It means taking responsibility for your pain. You bring it on yourself. No one gave you this pain. And you can take steps to relieve it.

Just listen to your body.

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