For anyone suffering with this potentially debilitating disease, you surely appreciate making the best of the days where the pain is minimal and you are functional.
I was initially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 7 years ago. It interfered with sleep and interrupted sleep, as you know, interferes with many other significant aspects of day to day health, wealth, and living. The initial diagnosis came accidentally while I was being treated for a back injury. After pinpointing several areas on my body that hurt daily, my PT presented the, “you might want to talk to your doctor about this” case. Sure enough, I was diagnosed.
My first line treatment was an antidepressant that literally shut down my gastrointestinal business. Try being lethargic, constipated, and in pain. Life was not good.
The second line of treatment was pain medication and sleeping pills. Both being controlled substances with high risk for growing dependent upon them, I decided pain was better than a drug problem. I stuck with high doses of over the counter sleep and pain meds to make the pain tolerable. I also slept on a heating pad like a rotisserie chicken for my increasing hip pain.
The last line of treatment was cold turkey, gluten free living. Yes, the pain went away, and I went from 130 to 110 lbs too. Eating became a means to live, as I had to give up all of my favorite foods.
During the 7 years of changing treatments, I continued to workout, but that too came with a high cost. There were many times after lifting I could barely walk or use my arms. Weight lifting would take 4-5 days to recover before I could lift weights again. For anyone seeking body transformation, it takes more than 1-2 days per week in the gym to see a change. Many days, I wanted to give up and accept that I would be subject to this pain and sit on the couch until I succumbed to some other disease brought about by poor diet and exercise habits. After all, I had an excuse right? I was battling the F word.
I don’t give up that easily. In June, I hired an online fitness coach to help me get back into shape after suffering a cervical injury in a car wreck. My life has completely changed. I lift weights 5 times per week. Everything I have ever read says if you have Fibromyalgia, you should not lift heavy weights. FALSE! Not only do I lift, but I lift the heaviest weight I can push or pull. In addition to the weight lifting, I have changed my diet, yet again. This time, I eat what I want, as long as it fits into my macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat. I still eat as clean as I can focusing on healthy fats, meats, and whole grains and minimizing processed foods. I reintroduced gluten.
While I have introduced gluten, I DO NOT eat processed, bleached flour. The few pieces of pizza and hamburger buns on vacation proved to me that those are most likely responsible for my pain. In addition, I now consume higher amounts of protein, BCAAs, and creatine for muscle recovery.
I don’t know if it is the lack of flour, the supplements, the sleep, or all of the above that has changed, but I am virtually pain free. I have not had pain medication in 3 days; I sleep like a baby; I am stronger than I have ever been; and I have my life back……..every day matters, everyday counts, like its my last.