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Hi everyone....I'm new here☺

Jul 07, 2015 3:24 PM

Hi all...I'm new here...looking forward to chatting with all of you. I was diagnosed with fibro in 2012 after 2 shoulder surgeries in 2 months. I along have chronic fatigue syndrome, restless leg syndrome, Sjogrens syndrome as well as migranes and degenerative discs in my lower back. Now I'm being tested for diabetes. does it ever end? . I enjoy reading, movies, tv, and spending time with my family and dogs. I work full time as a nurse which is stressful and draining for a non fibro person but for those of us with fibro it is a struggle. I do it because I love helping others , it takes my mind off my problems and I'm afraid if I stop moving I won't be able to move again. I used to be so hiking, climbing . . now...I'm lucky to get up every day. Hope you are all feeling good and look forward to chatting

Jul 07, 2015 3:58 PM

I relate. I am a teacher. It is rewarding and stressful at the same time. I feel if I stop I will never move again! I also got diagnosed in 2012. I can no longer exercise or enjoy the physical activities I used to love. Hope your day is going well. Thank you for sharing.

Jul 07, 2015 5:50 PM

Welcome Susan and Ellen. I hope you will both find a lot of support in our community.

Some time ago, one of the pain experts in our team told me that teachers and nurses are more likely to develop chronic pain (including fibromyalgia). The theory behind it is the following: As a nurse and teacher there is a huge pressure to be there for your pupils/patients everyday. This means whenever you are tired or you are having a bad day you are not supposed to show it - you can't lean back, you still have to perform on a high level. You will probably make sacrifices for others on a regular basis. This is very exhausting for your body and your mind. At some point in time your body will develop symptoms to prevent you from "harming" yourself (which means performing your job). There are other jobs like taking care of your family where the same theory applies. This doesn't mean that those who don't develop chronic pain do not care about their family or others. Several other factors (e.g. genetic predisposition) need to be present and then your type of job can be the trigger which starts and nurtures your chronic pain condition.

Well, the big question is, what can you do except for quitting your job? ;-)
The pain expert gave me the following pieces of advice:
- Your usage of the word "no" needs to increase significantly. You are heroes on a daily basis. You take care of patients and the future of this planet (pupils). You have the right to say no and protect yourself. It's not that easy, I know. But your co-workers, your family, your patients/pupils, your friends and even your boss need to hear the word "no" more often. There's that saying "everybody's darling is everybody's fool"... it applies to chronic pain too.
- Treat yourself well. Be the king/queen of your world for at least a couple of hours each week. Think of the last month, how many times have you had a couple of hours in which you did something just for the sake of your personal wellbeing and joy (e.g. a relaxing bath, listening to you favourite music while nobody is disturbing you)? If there have been no or only very few such moments, that's yummy nurture for your pain condition.
- Reduce the amount of work if necessary but don't stop working entirely (of course there are exceptions to this advice - talk to your doctor about it). Pain experts say that waiting for your body to heal and then going back and doing the same workload is not likely to work because your brain/body will remember the harmful work and it will try to protect you as soon as you start working again. This warning mechanism is the reason why mankind still exists after thousands of years (fire hurts, avoid it. A lion's teeth hurt, avoid it). You can't trick this mechanism. But you can teach your body/mind that your job is no longer harmful. For this to happen you need to apply significant changes: reduce workload, say "no" more often, make adaptions to your work place (comfortable chair, go for short walks during breaks, etc.). This takes time, creativity and patience. Once your pain goes away, you can slowly increase your workload. I've personally gone through all of this. I stopped working entirely for a couple of weeks and even months, but every time I tried working again, the pain came back almost instantly. My doctor convinced me to talk to my employer at that time being and to ask him whether I could work part time. Luckily I was allowed to do that. I still suffered from pain during work but it wasn't that bad and I was able to rest in between. Slowly but steadily my pain decreased and I was able to increase my workload. I am not pain free today but it is much better than before. I have to say that I changed a lot of other things in my life too (e.g. regular exercise, healthy diet, therapy and meds). The combination of all those things probably helped me to get out of the vicious circle called chronic pain.

Does that make any sense? Let me know what you think about it and if it applies to you.
Kind regards,
Daniel

Jul 07, 2015 8:19 PM

Thank you so much for sharing this! I will definitely take your advise. I am starting to learn how to say no. That has helped so much this summer. I am also moving in 24 days and I have to paint classroom next week. My husband is so sweet and is letting me hire people to help me clean and pack. My boss got a bunch of people to help me paint. It is nice to have people who care. I am divorced with 3 children who are all almost adults. Last one turns 18 in December. My last husband was not caring or understanding what so ever and he was abusive. So life is moving in a positive direction. This illness disease syndrome whatever you want to call it does sucks and I wish we didn't have to go through it but for some reason we all do. I know on days when I try my hardest to stay positive I do feel a little better. I cannot work part time or I would lose my job but I do teach in a private school so I do not have the same kinds of stresses I had in public education. Anyway have a goodnight all! Sorry I rambled on...lol

Jul 07, 2015 8:20 PM

Please excuse my grammar and punctuation mistakes...I am on summer break..lol

Jul 07, 2015 9:41 PM

Welcome Susan516 & EllenQuirk! Daniel's advice is totally on point. Unfortunately for me I had to stop work due to a different medical problem (benign tumor, 5 surgeries in one), and I'm getting new issues compounding the others every few months. I'm heading to Mayo clinic soon for undiagnosed tremors that came on in February. At this time I don't think I'll ever return to work, but I sure wish I could. I feel like my body has agreed 15-20 years, I feel old at 53. But I try to stay positive and I know I'm blessed.

Having found this community is a blessing in itself. I was at my lowest when I came across it, looking for a way to track my pain. Everyone here is so supportive and compassionate, willing to make suggestions or point you in the right direction. And being able to cry, complain, of give praise and upbeat comments without being judged... That's true empathy and friendship! I hope you both find it as much help as I have. ((Hugs)) & prayers for you both, for strength to continue working with as little pain as possible and as long as possible! 🙏🌼

Jul 08, 2015 12:56 PM

Susan516, first I'd like to say welcome to our group. Second, I'd like to say, thank you so much for what you do. I can't imagine living with the pain that the illnesses you have cause and still take care of patients. Nurses are on the front lines. Doctors come in and out and it's up to the nurses to make sure the patients are taken care of and comfortable, that they get the right meds and get everything else they need. I give you major kudos!! I'm sure you are kind, gentle, compassionate and that you are so a bit more understanding to your patients who are in pain as you are. I feel better coming here knowing that I'm possibly helping someone else than focussing on myself. Hope you have a peaceful day and less pain. You'll be in my prayers. 💕🙏🏻🌺

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