Do you ever wonder if your cold/flu is made worse by your Fibromyalgia?
Many people find colds and flus worse with Fibromyalgia. Due to the fact that we deal with an exaggerated pain response, any normal aches & pains seems to be amplified.
As I opened Facebook this morning, I found my ‘memories’ post from a year ago at the top of my home feed. Guess what? I was sick at exactly this time last year (even the same day!). So, since I seem to have a similar bug this year, I thought I would run the post again. This time though, I will throw in 4 tips to help ease the way if like me, you are feeling a little under the weather.
If an axiom of Spring is, ‘April showers bring May flowers’, what can we say of winter? ‘January’s chill doth good health kill’, or ‘Winter Solstice’s freeze, ushers the season of endless sneeze’? However you say it, there’s a lot of us hacking up lungs, and feeling generally crappy right about now. Crank up the floor heaters, and break out the Vicks!
I caught the crud Saturday night. My chest tightened up, my mood levels hit the floor, and my pain level hit the roof. Pain to one degree or another is a part of everyday life with FMS, but when my immune system crashes, it becomes a ‘tender point’ free for all. I usually keep it together pretty well, but by Sunday night I was making loud exclamations every time I moved. Several areas of my back felt like I’d been in a punch fight (I lost), and my hips were re-enacting Mel’s final scene in ‘Braveheart’, only they capitulated, “Mercy!” instead. Here’s a picture titled, ‘If Fibromyalgia Were Visible This Is What It Would Look Like’:
It’s the ‘Double Whammy’! You’re already dealing with all the symptoms of a FMS or CFS flare-up, and sure enough, you can feel the ol’ familiar signs of an oncoming virus/cold/flu ect. Post nasal drip aggravates the back of your throat, additional aches and pains attack your already weakened joints, and your eyes start to look as if you’ve been watching ‘P.S. I Love You’ for the first time. Yep. You’ve caught the same thing that’s being passed around to everyone else. But, unlike everyone else, your immune system is already damaged. In fact, if you had to sum up FMS/CFS it would be, ‘compromised immune system’.
Now, we both know there is no ‘magic bullet’ cure that will completely alleviate the cold/flu/virus that’s plaguing you, and causing worse than average FMS/CFS symptoms. What we DO KNOW, is that boosting your immune system’s effectiveness will allow your body to recover faster, and hopefully stave off any secondary infections or illnesses that seek to piggyback onto the sickness you already have.
Are Colds And Flus Worse With Fibromyalgia?~4 Simple Steps To Ease The Pain
(spoiler alert: NOT ONE of these will suggest you ‘eat more vegetables’, or ‘take up Yoga’!)
GO OUTSIDE: If you are not living in an area where it’s 40 below with gale force winds blowing; take a blanket, a tasty beverage, and go sit in the sunshine for 15-20 min. Our fiery star is the best source that exists to supply the body’s Vitamin D requirements. No tanning or burning, just a relaxing ‘warm up’. Make sure to take Vitamin D3 supplements if sunshine is unavailable where you live (and maybe think about moving).
WASH YOUR FILTHY MITTS!: Since the ‘masses’ are running amok with the ‘creeping crud’, it’s vital to make an extra effort to wash your hands as often as possible. Especially if you have to go ‘out there’ where throngs of people are hand wiping their noses, and projectile sneezing onto every surface in sight!
LISTEN TO THE MELLOW SOUNDS: What type of music does it for you? Find whatever tunes give you that ‘feel good in your bones’ sensation, put on your headphones, and groove your endorphins into stimulation~
LAUGH YOUR BUTT OFF: Here’s what a good belly laugh does for your body: *decreases stress hormones ~ *increases immune cells and infection fighting antibodies ~ *increases feel good chemicals in the brain. So, grab a book that makes you laugh (anything by Jenny Lawson does it for me), que your favorite Netflix comedy, or spend some time with the person you can have a good giggle with.