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|The Mysterious Fibro Flare|
|Written by naddya819|
|06 July 2010|
Fibro flares can often seem mysterious to those new to the condition. A flare can seemingly strike at any time, for any reason, and it seems that there's nothing that can be done for them. One of the biggest questions, especially from people whose conditions are not yet managed well, is how can I tell a flare from my "normal"? Well, during a flare you are likely to feel more fatigued than your usual normal. You may become quiet and withdrawn, or even hostile to your loved ones. It's only because your body is in more pain than it's used to, and is trying to get you to stop and relax, to try and eliminate the pain. If your "normal" is general aches and pains, your flare may cause you to have throbbing pains, like an out-of-control toothache, pains that pulse every time your heart beats. You may get pains that shoot down your nerve endings, as if you could see the electrical impulse traveling down your nerves. You may feel depressed and not interested in your normal hobbies or activities. Maybe even your pets can't cheer you up.
But have faith! For most people (and I'm exluding most of those with other conditions that may exacerbate their fibro.), flare-ups will eventually become flare-downs, and you will find the relief you so desperately need. Others, who have other medical conditions that complicate their fibro, may flare up and never come down.
What causes our flares? It could be anything, from additional stress in our lives, moving, traveling, having another injury that "lights up" all our other pain receptors, not getting enough sleep, being low in vitamins, you name it. So how can we help to prevent them? First thing's first: we need to learn to pace ourselves. When we wake up and are having a good day, then look around and see the mess our house has become, we tend to overdo ourselves in getting things caught up, because another good day may not come for a while. So, instead of cleaning the whole house at once, set an egg timer for yourself, say for 15 or 20 minutes, and when the timer goes off, SIT DOWN AND REST! Do one load of laundry at a time, instead of all of it at once. Vacuum only one room and then rest. We must learn to take care of ourselves, and whenever possible, DELEGATE the choresS
Not being able to completely prevent all fibro flares, we need some coping techniques to help us through them. Soaking in a hot bath with epsom salts, if you're able to, is a good theraputic treatment. Epsom salts are mostly magnesium sulfate, the magnesium in a highly-absorbable form that can pass easily through our skin and target our muscles, where it's needed. You can even get epsom salts with added essential oils, for aromatherapy as well as for the added benefit of that oil. For example, chamomile is a good relaxant, smells good, and is good for your skin as well. Having a heating pad, rice sock, or heated mattress pad is also a good idea. Paraffin wax baths can be beneficial for hands, feet, and elbows, and is also good for the skin. Resting often during a flare is essential. Take naps whenever you can, or just sit and relax with some soothing music or a favorite movie.
Overcoming our flares can be difficult, but with learning more about them, pacing ourselves, and sticking around our support group, we CAN get through them. That's what we're all here for!
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