After my self diagnosis, John was hopeful that the doctor would discover nothing was wrong. After visiting the National Fibromyalgia Association website and reading their symptoms, I knew. It was like I was reading a book written specifically about me. I tried to explain to John why I knew.
First I had to admit that I spent a lot of time and energy hiding what was wrong with me. I was ashamed that I was tired all the time and felt lazy. I couldn’t figure out why my motivation had gone dry. Two years ago I’d wake up, clean the house, paint a room, go to gym, go to work, garden, take the dogs for a walk and cook dinner. Where did all of my pep go?
Some of the things I was saying started to make sense. He finally understood why I went up to bed at 8:30 and would be passed out by 10. He found my exhaustion strange and I think he took it personally as well. Like I was avoiding him by falling asleep early.
I asked him if he thought it was strange that I slept on a heating pad every single night since we started dating. He responded that he thought it was comfort to me and that it helped to keep me warm. But what about when we went to Jamaica where it was 80 degrees? The first thing I packed was my HEATING PAD! That statement gave John a moment of Oh.
This brings me to the subject of this post. HEAT! If you haven’t figured it out by now try it. Heat is one of my best friends. It’s helps my aching muscles immensely. I sleep on my heating pad every night – winter or summer. I wrap it around my neck and allow it to run down my shoulder blades (two of my worse areas). I bought a King Size heating pad at Walmart which can cover an area from my neck to my lower back. I always use a heating pad with an automatic shut off since I sleep on mine. You can burn yourself on a heating pad – I have. So be careful.
Another thing heat helps with is the facial pain! I get headaches in the back of my head where it connects to my neck and behind and around my right eye. I have yet to find an over the counter pain reliever that helps this. The only thing that relieves it is heat! If I’m at home, I use my heating pad. I have a second one that I keep downstairs so I don’t have to walk upstairs to get it. If I need to sit on my heating pad in the living room, you can bet I don’t want to go up the stairs to get it. When I’m on the go I used these microwaveable spa things. They’re bead pouches that are small and can be put in the microwave or freezer. I purchased mine at Homegoods.com. They sell all sorts or interesting spa products that I use when I’m on the go. I’ve also heard people suggest hot water bottles which I’m going to look into for long car rides!
John would always tell me that he was shocked at how hot my showers would be. I’ve been taking steaming hot showers for years. I did it unconsciously but the heat and steam from the shower was fantastic for my muscles. Once it dawned on me, I started seeking out other means. Now I go into the steam room at my gym a lot! Before going to yours, make sure you talk to your doctor. These rooms are almost always over 100 degrees and are filled with steam which can make it hard to breath. There are always warning signs posted all over – so heed them. I love my steam room! I lie down and put my legs up the wall and relax. I go in the sauna as well but I find the steam room gives me more relief.
My mother’s often suggested that I must feel better in the summer when things are warmer but I haven’t noticed a difference. I wonder if I lived in a more humid location like Florida or somewhere with extreme heat like Arizona, I’d feel better? I probably wouldn’t really know without spending a considerable amount of time there. For now I’m staying put in PA.
Yours in Health,