The word "grief" is usually used in connection to losing a loved one in death. However, grief can occur as the result of other unfortunate events such as the end of a relationship, the loss of a pet, loss of hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. To persons living with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, loss is a way of life. It's more than accepting the diagnosis and the loss that we experience initially, but the losses that follow throughout our lifetime. We may find ourselves grieving repeatedly.
Although responses to loss are as diverse as the people experiencing it, certain stages are common. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross identified and named the Five Stages of Grief. Knowing these five stages can sometimes help through the grieving process, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Most people may experience all five stages, but they may not experience them with the same duration, in the same order, or with the same intensity.
Denial is generally the first stage in the grief process. It can be experienced as numbness or avoidance or isolation or direct denial. It is a stage in which we just cannot believe that the loss is true. We may tell ourselves that it did not really happen. It does not seem real. We may label ourselves with a different illness with a better prognosis, or we may feel that we can take a miracle pill, and it will all go away. Some may even go as far as trying to "cure" their fibromyalgia by buying up herbs and vitamins and convincing ourselves that this will make it go away. Have you experienced Stage One?
The second stage of grief is anger. At this point, we have gotten past some or all of the denial, but now we are angry about the loss. We may want to take it out on something or someone, or we may just express our anger in ways that are familiar to us. We are angry because.... --We loss our job. --We loss our financial stability. --We loss our spouse or family/friend? --We loss body function And the list goes on.
In the bargaining stage, we are trying to come up with ways to get back what we lost or just find someone or something to blame. Common thoughts include "If only I had just ." or "I wish we could have ." or "Maybe if I do this ." "If only I had just...decided to stay home. I wouldn't have been hit by that car, and I wouldn't have gotten fibromyalgia. "I wish I could have...controlled my stress levels, then I wouldn't have stressed myself out to the point of developing fibromyalgia. "Maybe if I ...had hidden my FMS or CFS/ME better, I wouldn't have lost my job."
The third state, depression, is just what it is-a feeling of sadness. You may experience... --feelings of helplessness because of the losses and the failed attempts to try to counteract them. --feelings of hopelessness after failed efforts to relieve pain and other symptoms or the emergence of new symptoms. --feelings of sadness expressed by crying, withdrawal, numbness, and maybe thoughts of suicide.
The final stage is acceptance. You have to accept the loss, not just try to bear it quietly. We come to the realization that our former self is gone, and that it's not our fault that we got sick, and that we didn't do this to ourselves. Seeking the good that can come out of the pain of loss will lead to finding comfort and healing.
We may have gone through all of the above stages and in many cases once before getting to acceptance. We may even experience these stages after every loss that we have while living with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome. Even when we reach the acceptance stage, it does not mean that we no longer get sad about our losses from time to time, but the sadness no longer overshadows us and does not keep us from functioning normally most of the time. Over time, the intensity of the sadness generally diminishes, and we learn how to cope.
I know this is last minute but i just recieved this info from my local FM support group in case anyone is interested.....
The New Face of Fibromyalgia Tuesday, March 10th - 7:00pm EST
Please join us on Tuesday, March 10th, at 7 pm (EST) for a one hour online live interactive webinar, The New Face of Fibromyalgia, with Kim Dupree Jones PhD, Associate Professor in the Schools of Nursing and Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.
Space is limited so please click here to register today.
Dr. Jones will be providing the latest guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Fibromyalgia. She will focus on a comprehensive treatment program including information about other diseases and conditions that often accompany it.
NOTE: After you receive conference details, please run the System Test (link is included in registration email) to make sure your computer is ready. We're sorry that our program will not support Macs until later this year; you may register and participate by phone only and we will post the PowerPoint presentation on our website the day before the webinar so that you can follow the presentation.
Cant make it this time? Dont worry! We will archive this webinar on the APF website.
you can also use beans instead of rice in those homeade packs (when I worked right after I hurt my back, they made me some and we nuked them and it helped with sitting a little (mines for the back but still same idea) just be careful to NOT heat to long.
Thanx Judi for all the Fibro info...and Jo for the homemade idea...I had been waiting to buy some, but I don't know why I didn't think of making them...I can't wait till my mom gets up and I can call her to see if she'd sew them for me
Very helpful info. Thank you for posting. Instead of gel packs, try rice buddies. They keep the heat a lot longer and don't concentrate it all on one spot like the gel packs. My granddaughter made me a bunch of them and I heat them all in the microwave and just about swim in them. You can make them yourself real easy. Just get some soft material (we used brushed cotton), cut 2 squares or any other shape you want, sew 3 sides together, fill about 2/3 of the way with rice and I also throw in a cinnamon stick for a nice smell, then sew the other end together and you have a rice buddy. I got big ones for my back and small ones for my hands and long ones for my legs, etc. They work great for fibro. Microwave anywhere from 2 - 5 minutes depending on the size and how hot you want them. Can be used over and over.
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Educational DVD on Fibromyalgia February 06, 2008 7:34 PM
When my Fibro is really bugging me or my back and legs hurt,I take the gel packs and warm them up in my microwave and put them all over me.It helps alot.Just don't get them too hot and burn yourself.Sometimes we can't feel things like "normal folks",so be careful.
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