Aug 072013
 

How to be a better friend, spouse or relative to someone with FM or a chronic pain condition.

Do you know someone who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FM) or a chronic pain illness?  Perhaps they are disabled from working due to several conditions associated with these illnesses. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to expect of yourself and the person you care about with the chronic illness.  Perhaps the following practical suggestions can help you better support your friend, spouse, or relative who has FM or a chronic pain condition.

Educate Yourself

FM is a pain amplification condition. One’s central nervous system is sensitized to experience a lot more pain than others would under similar conditions. For instance, for someone with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other conditions, those conditions are much more painful for them than for someone who doesn’t have FM. It’s as if the “pain switches of the brain get locked on.” As you educate yourself, you’ll be less likely to blunder into saying things like, “It’s all in your head.” (Medical research has shown, for instance, that there is more Substance P [which facilitates the transmission of pain] in FM patients’ spinal cords. Also, they have significantly reduced dopamine synthesis in multiple brain regions.)

Continue reading on fmcpaware.org

 

Jul 192013
 

goalistics.com – Chronic pain can make it hard to feel connected to others. Pain puts a strain on friendship – whether you have fibromyalgia, headaches, back pain, arthritis, or any other type of chronic pain. You may have found that you see friends less or that you feel disconnected when you do get together. You may have lost touch with some friends who you feel are too active – you may believe you just can’t keep up.

I know it sometimes take real effort on my part to stay connected and reach out to people. What about you? How have stayed connected, or re-connected. Share your experiences and tips in the comments below about what worked. Or what didn’t work.

Blessings, Jacqui