Daily Archives: April 12, 2012
Just got home from my self-help hydrotherapy class. I have to walk to the hospital for the class (takes about 20 minutes); then it’s an hour class, and a walk home. I’ve stretched out all my sore muscles from the Pilates class yesterday – so they feel elongated, unfolded and able to breathe.
But they are also VERY tired.
I was planning to go to yoga tonight. I haven’t ever done yoga before. I was looking forward to the class; and it is part of my free gym pass, so I can test it (before investing any money) before deciding if it is for me.
But I am severely lacking in motivation right now; not to mention that my body would REALLY like to sit (or lie) on the couch.
The description under the gym’s timetable states that the yoga class is: Floor work and stretching exercises, excellent for improving flexibility, balance, breathing, healing specific ailments and enlightening the spirit.
Yoga is a vast collection of spiritual techniques and practices aimed at integrating mind, body and spirit to achieve a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe. What is normally thought of as YOGA in the West is really Hatha Yoga, one of the many paths of yoga. The different paths of yoga emphasize different approaches and techniques, but ultimately lead to the same goal of unification and enlightenment.
This sounds exactly like something I would like to do. It sounds wonderfully inspiring, if slight airy-fairy. But, as you may have noticed, I am open to anything that may return me to the energised little bunny that I used to be.
So, you have an hour to vote, do I go to the class or not?
Was it the melatonin? Was it the Pilates class (and in case you’re wondering, yes! OW again!)? Was it the afternoon meditation session? Was it babysitting Z for a couple of hours? Was it taking my Lyrica earlier? Was it a mixture of CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Eleuthera Root? Was it all my sex and fibromyalgia research? Was it because I had such a bad night’s sleep the night before?
Was it a mixture of all of the above and more?
See? That’s the problem – as FM sufferers, if we hear about something that helps another sufferer, we try it. Nothing wrong with that.*
If we hear about a multitude of things that help, we try them all. Nothing wrong with that.*
The problem arises when we try to work out what actually helps us, and what just happens to be coincidental… You won’t find me having a month in which I take melatonin, then stop to take only the Pilates class for a month, then do a month of Pilates AND melatonin, etc. and recording each result in a methodical and scientific way. I did try this for a short time – but I don’t have the time to waste. I want to feel better NOW!
If something helps some-one, I’m going to try it ASAP – don’t you? If I spent a month trying each ‘remedy’ alone, then a month doing them in pairs, then a month…any-one good at equations?
And, ultimately, it wouldn’t actually help… Somewhere along the line, I would have a night where I slept 10 hours – but this couldn’t be applied to anyone else because, as we all know, everyone’s fibromyalgia experience is different. Lucky us!
My point: don’t give up looking for what might work for you – it might be alternative and wacky, but it might work!
And don’t envy my 10 hours sleep – I woke up still wanting more!
* As long as we consult the appropriate health professional first!
P.S. Can you tell I’m trying to avoid doing the clothes washing? How many posts is that today?
It’s been a long, exhausting day. It’s only 9pm, but you feel like it’s 4 in the morning and you’re ready to fall over. Suddenly your other half looks at you in that way, smiles and strokes your arm, and you know they want to make love, but all you can do is stare at them in shock.
Do you NOT know how I’m feeling?
Decreased sexual interest is not a common characteristic of FM. Nonetheless, a 2003 Brazilian study, involving women in their 40s and 50s, half of whom had FM and half of whom did not, found that the healthy group was likelier to have had a regular sexual relationship in the last six months than those with FM. The FM group members were less satisfied with their sex life, had more pain during intercourse, experienced more fatigue during sexual intimacy, and were less likely to initiate sexual intimacy than healthy women.
We already know that FM is more foe than friend. While many of us are too tired for sex, it is the muscle pain that leads to pressure and a squeezing of the pelvic area and lower back that ultimately result in muscle cramping during sexual intercourse. This naturally causes a great deal of discomfort for an individual with FM, making it difficult to engage in certain sexual behaviours.
Sex eventually becomes something that is no longer pleasurable (I can’t believe I said that!), but a negative experience. One’s natural tendency is to avoid such physically intimate situations, especially given that one is too tired or sore for sex. So, who can be bothered?
Further, taking a toll on one’s sex life are FM medications that decrease libido and a man’s ability to attain or maintain erection. Anti-depressants can also take a toll on one’s sexual functioning. A person living with FM may react negatively to bodily changes, like weight changes and the loss of muscle mass.
As lovers feel less connected in the boudoir, their sexual relationship takes a hit (ie: unless they take steps to stay mentally and spiritually connected while attempting to be physically intimate). It’s important to realise that the release of hormones and endorphins, natural opioids, during sex can help to relieve FM symptoms, like pain and depression, and boosting well-being. This double-sided sword is that while sex can relieve symptoms of FM, like pain and depression, FM itself results in a decreased libido, fatigue and pain that hinder the individual’s desire and ability to engage in sexual intercourse.
Maintaining your sex life is vital to your health and well-being. In order to have a healthy sex life, why not try some of these pointers:
- Practice acceptance. Adapt. Make peace with the fact that you need to deal with this condition, and then allow yourself to reclaim your life in every way.
- Maintain a regiment that helps you to feel good about yourself – not necessarily just grooming. Sometimes you need to treat yourself to feel good. Take yourself off for a hot oil massage or a manicure.
- Stay physically active, preferably with your partner, as much as possible, as another way to feel better about yourself, possibly boosting your sex drive.
- Manage stress with relaxation techniques like meditation.
- Talk to your doctor about how your condition is affecting your sex life, including any medications that may be at play.
- Arm yourself with information. Become educated about your condition and how FM impacts your sexuality and sexual expression. This is a must in talking to your partner about everything that’s taking place. Being informed can also help to alleviate your lover’s concerns, helping both of you to stay emotionally connected.
- Allow your partner to be more active during sex if possible (Absolutely nothing bad about THAT!)
- Plan for sex after luxuriating in a warm bath or using a moist heat application, both of which ease FM pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, and stiffness.
- Experiment with different sexual positions. There are plenty of activities and positions that are ideal for fatigue; and many ways to avoid painful sex. And have fun trying them ALL out!
- Enjoy each other despite flare ups. Part of this is not being so goal-oriented during a love-making session. Allow things to happen as they can.
- Stay physically connected by just cuddling (unless such is not made possible by allondynia, where the brain misinterprets neutral or pleasant stimuli for pain).
Finally? Don’t give up. It might feel like you’re never going to want to have sex ever again – but that’s the fibro talking, not you. Lust strikes at the oddest moment, and people can have sex in a myriad of ways. So have fun exploring what works best for you. and you’ll feel IT again. And when you do, take advantage of it, and enjoy it!
N.B. This whole post (and the research involved) developed from me wanting to tell you about the new thongs/g-strings now available in my shop. However, as I looked into it more, it became increasingly difficult to ask if you were feeling unapologetically naughty. Hmm – obviously, I did anyway.
- Health Benefits of Sex (dudendiva.wordpress.com)