Dr. John Regan
For most people who don’t live with chronic pain conditions, a shower in the morning helps them feel refreshed, fully awake and ready for the day. Unfortunately, this isn’t the experience that many fibromyalgia sufferers have. It seems like such a small thing, but when you’re living with this condition, even taking a morning shower can be exhausting.
A shower can be very physically demanding for someone struggling with fibromyalgia, causing pain, fatigue and making it difficult to do anything else but recover for the rest of the day.
Physical Exertion: People with fibromyalgia struggle with nearly constant fatigue and even the simplest physical activities can be extremely taking. Showering involves more physical exertion than most people would assume. Think about it: you’re standing, stretching, bending, reaching and so on. For someone with fibromyalgia, it can be very difficult.
Relaxation: A hot shower can be relaxing, but if you’re fighting fatigue and having a hard time waking up in the first place, relaxation may be exactly what you don’t need.
Temperature Sensitivity: Temperature sensitivity is a common symptom of fibromyalgia and getting into a hot shower could throw off your temperature balance and make it hard to cool back down, leaving you sweating and exhausted afterwards.
Vertigo: Dizziness is another frequent problem for people with fibro and moving around in the shower combined with the hot water can make it very hard to keep your balance. No one wants to have a dizzy spell or take a fall when they’re in the shower, which can be a truly frightening experience.
Sensitive Nerves: If you have an overactive nervous system (which you do, if you have fibro), the sensation of water hitting you in the shower could be painful in itself or cause you to be especially sensitive for the rest of the day, leading to pain all over your body.
When your pain and exhaustion are just too much and you can’t face the prospect of showering, you can freshen up with wipes. You can find wipes especially for your face; unscented baby wipes are great for the rest of you. It’s not something you want to rely on every day, but when you’re having a really bad day and just getting out of bed is enough of a struggle, this can be a lifesaver. I’ve also gotten hooked on the Mary Kay Dry Oil Mist that just came out. It sprays on, has a pleasant scent and is dry not greasy. What I like about it is that it can make you feel smooth and soft and smell gorgeous even when you feel lousy. Getting cleaned up can make you feel a little better about yourself and give you the pick me up you need to fight through another day with the chronic symptoms of fibromyalgia.