Working Around Fibromyalgia
Ruth Smeltzer* says, “If I understand my body I can control it. I have a problem with dentists, with fillings. My dentist thinks I’m nuts. I can’t wear metal fillings; composite doesn’t last. Porcelain cracks and is very expensive, but there’s no question. I can’t handle metals.
He put a metal filling in and I said, ‘No, you have to take it out.’ When he opened the metal filling, I felt relief, felt my whole body relaxing. I made the connection that metal fillings are a problem. Once he put in a crown. It took me some time until I understood my body and got in tune with myself. I began to understand that the metal crown caused me to tense up. I had days of pain because another time, he tried a bridge.
If I Skip a Few Days of Exercise, I Turn into a Bagel.
My fibromyalgia doesn’t keep me from going where I want to go. In fact, my diet is more restrictive than my fibromyalgia. I’m lucky. I can’t wear certain hats, but I don’t get depressed and don’t have sleep disturbances. The weather doesn’t bother me too much as long as I keep warm. I think on many levels I am getting better, even in spite of having a very stressful life, though multitasking gets harder with stress. If I skip a few days of exercise, I turn into a bagel. I get an attack. So, if I have a cold, if I feel terrible, do I go for a run anyway?”
Can She Go Into The Army?
The first step is acceptance, the second step is taking baby steps toward self help says Sara Halevi, MA, MFCC, a therapist with experience in treating fibromyalgia patients. “Right now, I am treating a teenage girl who is suffering terribly. All of her friends have gone off to serve in the army while she lies on the couch and lives at home. We had to spend several weeks talking about how she can’t go serve in the army, because it’s not realistic. In cognitive therapy we have to process the feelings.
Now, she’s looking at the possibility of pursuing a craft on a modest level and creating a little boutique business. This, in and of itself, will increase her sense of self worth, just by her earning a bit of money.
As for prioritizing, it’s a necessity for fibromyalgia patients to make schedules.
Each day, things that are of the highest priority must be put into the schedule. For instance, exercise is crucial.”
*Not her real name.