Wednesday, February 14, 2007


There are many types of relationships. There are physical and non-physical relationships. There are relationships with friends, family, employers and co-workers. There are even some people that have relationships with their neighbors. I do not have one with my neighbors because I choose not to have one at this time. We all have good and bad relationships.

There are also many styles of relationships. What works best for one person, may not work for another person. The key characteristics which define all successful relationships happen to be respect, encouragement, affirmation, appreciation, forgiveness, shared moments, love, understanding, listening, faithfulness, compromising, endurance and perspective. I am sure there are other characteristics I have missed, however, please remember the main one......respect.

Relationships and respect work both ways. If you want to have friends, you have got be to friendly. If you want to be loved and respected, you must love and respect others. As a person, I strive to be respectable, lovable and always have integrity. I pray that I have displayed this character.

I pray and hope that this post has helped someone today.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Lifestyle Adjustments and Self Monitoring

When I was working as a project manager for an IT company, I had one Director talk to me about balance. Balancing our lives. Which meant trying to balance your time and setting your priorities. Work is not everything. Yes, we have that responsibility of having to work in order to provide for our family. However, we should always keep in check and balance every aspect of our lives. Home, work, community, etc.

When you have been afflicted by Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue it forces you to make those adjustments in our lives. We have to learn to live well with this disease and change or adjust in a way that we can improve our quality of life. The past is the past. Now lets think about the present and the future. Here are some critical adjustments we need to address:

Start Planning and Setting Goals

Setting Priorities
Manage your plan
Learn what is important in your life
Rest and save your energy for your #1 priority
Sleep Well
Eat Well
Make an effort to move/exercise
Pick your battles
Plan on accomplishing a task or activity you enjoy
Schedule appointments with your PCP and Pain Management Doctor

I have found that I have had to simplify my life. I was forced to quit working, and mourned that part of my life for a long time. I tried to understand why I missed the deadlines, stress and work in general. I realized that what I missed was the people. My family is important to me, but work was also important and I enjoyed it. I may have lost my job, but I did not loose who I was or who I am. It is difficult to come to that conclusion immediately. I hope that anyone that has experienced what I have will also learn to understand the different aspects of our lives. Sometimes we need to talk to someone about how we feel or write it down to help us sort out these feelings.

Here is thought for you: It's time to let your life be like the current of a river, and just go with the flow. Just don't forget to adjust your lifestyle and monitor your progress.

Please share your point of view or experience.

I hope and pray that is post has helped someone today. Have a pain free day.

Target Heart Range Monitoring Aerobic Exercise

There are ways to monitor aerobic exercise intensity by taking your heart rate at different times while you exercise (usually before, during and after you exercise). You can determine if your heart rate falls within your target heart rate range.

To calculate your personal target heart rate range is accomplished by taking a percentage of your maximum heart rate based on your fitness level.


A. Locate your pulse two different ways:

1. Radial - thumb on the side of the wrist, palm up
2. Carotid - groove of the neck

B. Count 10 seconds and multiple by 6 OR count 6 seconds and multiply by 6.

220 - Age = N
Minimum Heart Rate
N x .60

Average Heart Rate
N x .70

Heart Rate
N x .80

TIP: If you are able to talk, then you are O.K. When it is difficult to talk, you are moving too much.

Training Considerations and Exercise Modifications

a) Strengthening programs can improve or prolong function in working muscles, especially if your muscles are weak from lack of use.

b) Use only moderate intensity exercise and prevent over fatiguing muscles. Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion.

c) Depending on your present capability and other demands in your life, your exercise and physical activity will vary greatly. Try to be consistent.

Also keep in mind you have to take care of your feet. I have linked this post to the links listed on the right hand side of my posts named "FOOT HEALTH".

I pray and hope that this post has helped someone today. Have a pain free day.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Experiencing Increased Amount of Pain

Hello Everyone,

I am sorry to report that I have been experiencing an increased amount of pain. Cooler weather and I do not mix well:( My pain seems to flare-up more when it gets cooler. Thank goodness for the creation of the microwave heat-pack that helps those aches and pains! If you do not own one, please consider buying one for yourself. You can find the microwave heat-packs at home and medical supply retail stores.

Have you ever told yourself the following:

* I am in too much pain, so I'll skip doing light activity or exercising,
* It is too cold, too hot, too wet, too much trouble to try anything,
* I do not have time,
* I am having no pain, so why add to it,
* Any excuse not too move.

Come on, admit it....well, guess what....we all do it. If you suffer from both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue the tendency is to not exercise. Physical activity is important for all of us. There are benefits to physical activity and exercise. Moderate exercise can improve general health and fitness. Believe it or not, moderate exercise can decrease tender-point pain, increase fitness and decrease fatigue in patients with FMS. However, patients like myself also have to learn how to "pace" and not over do it or remind ourselves that we have to move! Finding the right type, amount, intensity, and schedule of exercise is important to achieve the maximum benefit of any exercise program. If we do not exercise, the body begins a de-conditioning cycle. Fatigue, muscle weakness, as well as stiffness and increased pain are all part of that cycle. While it is painful for me to move around, I find that as I stretch and move I feel better. When I am experiencing a flare-up, it is difficult to keep myself motivated. This is one reason I have committed to keeping up this blog. To keep me motivated. Believe or not, helping others, motivates me.

Assess your current activity level, consider the times of the day when you have more energy, and avoid strenuous exercise during periods of fatigue or high temperature. My excuse is cold weather. I am working on improving or changing my current excuse for not moving or exercising.

Remember that too much or the wrong kind of exercise may actually intensify the symptoms of fibromyalgia and cause muscle fatigue and damage. It is important to include warm-up, strength and endurance, and cool-down exercises. If you cannot exercise, just stretch.

So here are some keys to success:

* Start slow
* Be consistent
* Set achievable goals


1. Some movement or physical activities that I frequently accomplish are? (fill in the blanks)



2. Some type of movement or exercise I would enjoy doing?



3. What is preventing me from accomplishing these activities?



4. What can I do to keep me on track?



5. Who can I enlist to motivate me or what can I read to remind me? (Maybe reading my post?)



When you first wake up in the morning, try stretching while still in bed. Move slowly and remind yourself that it will help you. Make sure you eat breakfast, what you eat is going to be your fuel, so eat healthy. I was told that every hour you exercise, you add an hour to your life. When you start moving, if your muscles hurt, it is because you do not have enough oxygen in your system. Breathe...breathe....breathe deeply, inhale, exhale, etc.

I hope and pray that this post has helped someone today. Have a pain free day.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Place to find Legal Documents

Here is a place to find legal documents that might be of assistance to you. I know when I tried to figure out how to get disability and other types of forms, is was helpful to find some type of resource.

I will add tips on disability write-ups and where I found tips soon.

I hope and pray this post has helped someone today.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Where else to go for information and support

The internet is a great tool for conducting research and gathering information about your illness. A search from any one of the many Internet search engines will lead you to a number of organizations that represent the needs and concerns of CFS and FM patients and work hard to raise awareness, funding and support for these debilitating diseases. Such organizations include ProHealth's (which I have a link to on my blog).

The CFIDS Association of America, The National Fibromyalgia Partnership, The National Fibromyalgia Association, The National CFIDS Association, and The National Fibromyalgia Research Association, among others.

Establishing a support system is crucial to the overall well-being of fibromyalgia and CFS patients. This can start by sharing your story on my blog, I promise to answer your questions and I do understand what you are going through because I suffer from these diseases.

I will lead you to sources or give you information on how to educate your immediate family and friends. They will need to be educated about the patients debilitating symptoms and significant limitations. I want to start a support group in my area (Austin, TX)and also want to help support others via my blog or just email me personally.

I hope and pray that is post has helped someone today. Praying for a pain free day.

Fibro Viv