How to support a girlfriend with fibro?

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Pich me!

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Hello. My name is Steven. I don't have fibromyalgia but my girlfriend does. I want know how I can best understand what she is going through and how I can support her and make her feel less pain. This is very new to me. She experiences pain everyday. For those who have fibro is there something that I can do to make her feel more comfortable and not be depressed about not be able to be as active as I am. I just want to do my best at taking care of her so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Steven
 

malloryrose

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Hi Steven,

First of all, you are taking the exact right step: asking questions. Please continue to do so. People often don't know what to say or do when their loved one suffers from chronic pain, so in turn, they do nothing. To the sufferer, that translates into the impression that the other person doesn't care. Keep asking questions and offering help. It shows your deep care and concern.

Be vigilant and deliberate. If your girlfriend is laying on the couch after dinner, go do the dishes. If she is taking a while to get dressed, be patient. If she is depressed, don't get angry. Put yourself in her shoes every day.

Another thing that I like to do with my loved ones is rate my current pain on a scale of 1-10. Ask your girlfriend "How are you feeling today on a scale of 1-10?" If she says a 4, you can suggest an activity! If she says an 8 or 9, suggest that she picks out a movie while you order a pizza for a cozy day-in.

Oh, and foot rubs are rarely rejected ;)
 

MizzDeeDee

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I think the best thing to do, what I would have appreciated, would have been someone listening. Sometimes, people don't listen, or they get tired of hearing it. Trust me, we get tired of it too. We're just living it, so it's hard to not talk about it.

Please, just listen to her with a sympathetic ear. I would also suggest that you google "The Spoon Theory" and read that. The author is talking about Lupus, but the idea behind it applies to fibro as well.
 

Pich me!

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Thank you Malloryrose and MizzDeeDee for your input. That's a good idea about the pain level scale. Often I'm unsure about what activities to suggest. It's hard to tell how much pain she is in because she is very tough. I guess it's as simple as asking then? Ill give that a shot. "Put yourself in her shoes everyday.". That is good advice. Kind of changes how I would approach everything really. I assume she doesn't want to talk much about it but she may not talk too much about it because no one listens to her about it. I'll make sure to get her to talk about how she feels and if she doesn't want to then at least she knows I'm all ears when or if she does. Thank you for the Spoon Theory suggestion I'll definitely guve that a read. I'm always looking to expand my way of thinking now. I've been so narrow minded until this year. Thanks again!
 

IsisRose

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You are a wonderful boyfriend for loving her enough to try to go through this with her. That alone will actually be a huge help to her. Now as to what you are asking:

1. Listen to her and don't always feel the need to reply back and try to fix things. Sometimes a girl really does just need a supportive ear and a hug afterwards.

2. She may go through some mood swings. Nothing like pain to put you in a bad mood and give you a short fuse. Remember this and try not to take things personally and if you find yourself running out of patience it may be best to remove yourself from the situation and let her be.

3. I found that when I went on a low carb diet most of my daily pains went away. I do a blend of Protein Power/Atkins and it really works for me. I still have pains but no where near as bad and I at least sleep most nights where as during a bad flair up I would go about a month without sleep. Now during those I at least sleep 3 hours a night. Trust me 3 hours of sleep a night beats the heck out of a month with none!

Again, keep loving her and keep being a rock. That makes a huge difference!
 

Trellum

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Hi Steven. I'm afraid there isn't much you can do to help her with the pain, but you can do a lot things to make her feel better. She might feel depressed and frustrated often, so try to be understanding and listen to her. There will be times she will complain, and I mean a lot... you can ask her if there is something you do to help her. That will make her feel much better, that, in my opinion, is way better than staying silent and not saying a word. There will be times she will just want you to listen to her, but you should know when is the time for that (You know her). Other than that... there isn't much you can do. Just make her feel loved and supported.
 

Pich me!

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Thanks IsisRose and Trellum for your help. Pretty interesting stuff about the diet change. Thanks for sharing. My Lacie means a lot to me so all the help you all are giving me is really amazing and greatly appreciated. I hate to stereotype but judging from what I've seen people with fibro are really special human beings. :)
 

Trellum

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You're very welcome, Steven :) I guess people with fibro tend to understand others's pain very well because they're very familiar with their own ;) I hope your Lacie feels better soon! As Isis mentioned, a diet change can help your girlfriend, I'm now on a low carb diet as well (cutting sugar and processed foods) as much as possible. That helps a lot with the pain and to improve my mood :) I forgot to add something on my previous post tho... I forgot to tell you that you should really try to investigate and learn more about fibro. That way you will know what questions you should be making when you go with your girlfriend to her doctor appointments :) That way if she forgets to mention something or ask certain question, you can do it instead :D !
 

IsisRose

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Thanks IsisRose and Trellum for your help. Pretty interesting stuff about the diet change. Thanks for sharing. My Lacie means a lot to me so all the help you all are giving me is really amazing and greatly appreciated. I hate to stereotype but judging from what I've seen people with fibro are really special human beings. :)

And those who support us are also very special human beings! Check out the Eades work, especially a chapter in the Protein Power LifePlan book on wheat and how it physically effects the body. A great read and one that has immensely helped me.
 
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