52 year old Rhona Shriner* of Hartford, Connecticut has been suffering from fibromyalgia since she was 18. “I had terrible pain when I would raise my arm, but at the time there was no such thing as fibromyalgia, or at least, no one had heard of it. The doctor diagnosed my pain as busistis. He also gave me some wise advice, which I didn’t follow; he told me to hold a stick and raise it above my head, a kind of stretching exercise. He warned me that if I didn’t stretch, I’d lose movement in that arm. I should have listened to him, and all these years later, I’m still trying to regain movement in that arm. Meantime, the pain was so bad that if I moved the wrong way in my sleep, it would wake me up in the middle of the night.
Like a lot of fibromyalgia patients, it was discovered I had hypoglycemia. This was ten years ago. It was suggested I try to find a massage therapist. I was very, very stiff at this time with a heavy feeling, and a lot of pain. I had ‘brain fog’ but when the hypoglycemia was diagnosed I started to keep a very serious diet. This was a year before I was diagnosed. I do not deviate from my diet. I have not touched white sugar, white flour or coffee in ten years. I eat organic, I don’t eat at night. It is so related to the fibromyalgia. The difference was really dramatic.
Diet and Exercise Make All the Difference in the Fibromyalgia
The exercise really makes a difference in my health. I exercise seriously. Exercise stabilizes sugar levels. These two things, the diet and the exercise make all the difference in the fibromyalgia. It’s a fight. I run 6 days a week for 50 minutes and I stretch 20 minutes before I run. If you move one thing the wrong way you set off something else. In the morning, your body is so stiff, like a wooden puppet that doesn’t work well. It took a long time to get to this point. A physical therapist helped.
Lose the Brain Fog with Exercise and Proper Diet
I feel fibromyalgia mostly in my neck, back, and shoulders, but even my toes can get tight. I stretch my fingers when I run, it looks bad and embarrassed my children, but that’s the way I lose the brain fog; exercise and eating right. And I roll right in to see the chiropractor when I get an attack.”
*Not her real name.