How My Dogs Help Me Manage My Fibromyalgia

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I haven’t been feeling well. But trust me when I say this is good news. No, I’m not pregnant. But that would be good news too. No, my not feeling well is good news because it means the new treatment I am trying for my fibromyalgia is working. I will explain this further on. But first, let me tell you about my fibromyalgia and how my dogs have helped me manage the fibromyalgia symptoms.

I was diagnosed about five years ago but have had the symptoms much longer. It started with terrible headaches and stiff sore muscles. Fibromyalgia also caused me to feel excessive fatigue, have difficulty in concentrating, and occasional sleep disruption. Although the symptoms likely came on gradually, it seems they intensified all at once about seven years ago. I didn’t know it was fibromyalgia at that time and I swear there were days when I thought I was dying. None of the doctors could figure out what it was. Many doctors just chalked it up to all being in my head. I actually had one doctor roll her eyes at me!

Once I finally realized what I had, things started getting a little better. I forced myself to eat better and to get more exercise. I started taking Cymbalta. And my boss allowed me to work from home, which took off a lot of stress. (I used to work for an insurance company.)

Pierson and Mr. Monkey Dog Toy

How dogs can help relieve stress.

My Dogs Help Me Relieve Stress

My dog, Sephi (and shortly thereafter Maya) helped me too. Stress can cause fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up. Since I was permitted to work from home, Sephi and Maya were tremendous at providing stress relief. No more annoying co-workers, bosses, arrogant agents, or angry insurance customers to trigger stress. The only stress I was subjected to was the stress of trying to potty train my little trouble-maker puppy Maya. But believe me, dealing with a pooping puppy was a heck of a lot less stressful than dealing with work crap… pun intended.

Pull No More dog harness

Maya helps make sure I get plenty of exercise.

My Dogs Make Sure I Get Plenty of Exercise

I heard another way to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms was to get more exercise. When my symptoms flared up to the point that I felt like I was going to die, the last thing I wanted to do was exercise. But once I learned certain kinds of exercises can help I started forcing myself to work out more. That was good news for Sephi and Maya because I took them on a lot more and longer walks. Thanks to being allowed to work from home, I was able to walk them at any time of the day.

So providing stress relief and giving me an excuse to get more exercise is how my dogs have helped me manage my fibromyalgia. Today, I still have bad days, but nothing compared to what I was feeling seven years ago. Still, I’d like to be done with fibromyalgia. So when I heard of a possible cure, I just had to try it out.

Fibromyalgia Cure?

It is believed by some that a possible cure for fibromyalgia is the GuaiProtocol method. Now this is a controversial treatment and there is some debate about whether it really works or not. But what do I have to lose for trying it? Since the drug is an over-the-counter drug, there is very little risk involved. The only downside is that I know the drug is beginning to work when I start to feel worse. Yes, that’s right, worse. They say you start to feel worse because your body is going through detox. Makes sense.

I’ve been on the drug for nearly a month now. And in the past two weeks my fibromyalgia symptoms have intensified. Even though I feel worse physically, I feel better mentally knowing that I am finally on the road to recovery. Although I’m not starting on the trend to feeling better yet, blogging makes me happy and I have missed it these past couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, my dogs are still helping me. Despite my painful headaches and muscle aches, Maya and Pierson make me laugh and keep me in good spirits. They constantly remind me of the necessity for walks and provide comfort by cuddling with me.

Maya and Pierson Wait in the Hallway

Maya & Pierson are not allowed in the living room. But when they see me bring out the blue sheet for the couch, they eagerly await the special cuddle-time.

Pierson on the Couch

My dog Pierson enjoys sitting with me on the couch for special cuddle-time.

Maya on the Couch

Maya usually tries to sit on my lap when she is allowed on the couch. But this time she is content with laying by my side.

Maya and Pierson may not be official therapy dogs or canine assistants, but they’re doing a pretty darned good job of taking care of me. Does your dog or cat help you deal with health issues?

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15 Responses to “How My Dogs Help Me Manage My Fibromyalgia”

  1. weliveinaflat Says:

    Donna makes me exercise my foot regularly. I fractured it last year and recently completed rehab, but it seems the scarring which results in stiffness will last for up to 2 years. The regular daily walks definitely helped me to recover the mobility I have now ^ ^

  2. The Golden Life Says:

    Hi! I’ve missed you, and your posts! Glad you’ve returned! I’ve had a few issues myself, but not physical ones. I had too much on my plate for a while, and coupled with hubby’s radiation therapy for prostate cancer, I just felt completely overwhelmed. So, I stopped doing almost everything — except taking care of Callie, Shadow, and Ducky — now I’m having a hard time resisting the urge to be completely lazy. :-( But, I’ll get there. I just have to be patient with myself and avoid overwhelming myself again.

    My Aunt Audrey has fibromyalgia, but has learned how to deal with the symptoms/effects of it pretty well over the years. She is still pretty spry for a woman in her late 80’s! (She is the wife of my father’s only surviving sibling. There were 4 of them, and Uncle Robert is the only one still with us.) I’m sure AA feels miserable from time to time, but like most of the folks in her generation, she has learned to deal with it and get on with life without complaining. I guess that comes from growing up during the Great Depression when that was the only way to survive.

    Looking forward to more posts from you! Callie and Shadow are my lifelines! They remind me constantly during the day that there are squirrels to chase and train whistles to howl at. Have you ever heard a female Golden Retriever howl? It’s hysterical! I have to find my video of it and share it one of these days.

    • ILoveDogs Says:

      Thanks! You’re so sweet. :)

      I’ve never heard a Golden Retriever howl. Sounds cute. We have tornado sirens here that test once a month during tornado season. If Pierson is outside when they go off, he howls too. Dogs are so adorable.

      I’ve seen some people who are really bad off with their fibromyalgia and others who seem perfectly fine. A positive attitude helps. When I was working, I tried very hard to keep other people from knowing how bad I felt. I found that voicing my complaints only made me feel worse. Your aunt definitely has the right idea.

  3. The Golden Life Says:

    PS. How is Maya’s “owie”? Has it healed completely yet?

  4. Joanne Says:

    Crossing our fingers and paws that this cure works and you soon feel the benefits. My Dougie’ s paw better too and he is now nursing me who has flu!!

    • ILoveDogs Says:

      I’m so happy Dougie is doing better. Thank goodness it was just a temporary issue and not something permanent like arthritis. I hope you feel better, Joanne! ❤•.✿.•❤

  5. Julianne Victoria Says:

    Animals are definitely wonderful healers!

  6. Jodi Says:

    When I’m having a down day, my guys really make me feel loved. That’s the best feeling.

  7. Donna and the Dogs Says:

    It’s great that the dogs help you keep your stress levels down and your exercise levels up. They are the cutest doctors too, and they don’t charge much. Just some food and love. :-)

    I do hope this treatment you are trying works. It sounds promising!

  8. 2browndawgs Says:

    I sure hope the treatment helps. Dogs are great at helping to reduce stress. :)

  9. Clowie Says:

    I hope the cure works for you.

  10. Lindsay Says:

    I really, really hope the medicine helps you and that you are feeling better already.

    That is a ridiculously cute photo of Pierson on the couch. (Maya too)

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