Fibromyalgia can overturn a person’s life. Everyday activities are painful. Fatigue makes going to work or the grocery store seem insurmountable. Doctors’ appointments, tests, and medications seem to take over. Perhaps worst of all, no one understands what it’s like. Isolation can set in quickly, exacerbating the stress of dealing with fibromyalgia. However, thanks to online resources, this is changing. Support groups, blogs, and discussion forums are all over the internet, and many of them are specifically geared toward fibromyalgia sufferers.
Each year, Healthline.com chooses the best fibromyalgia blogs. A total of 15 were awarded the “Best Fibromyalgia Blogs of 2014” seal this year. Some are outlets for anger and frustration. Some are sources for information. Some are packed full of tips and tricks, crafts and recipes, and personal anecdotes.
The blog Fightin the Fibro is run by a woman who’s suffered from fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain for more than 20 years.
Entries focus on her struggles, frustrations, and triumphs. The acknowledgement and acceptance of her chronic conditions, while still striving to do what she truly wants to do, make this fibromyalgia blog very inspiring. For example, after describing the dread of extreme fatigue and pain that always accompanies her enjoyment of travel, she writes:
“This may not be anywhere near normal, is hard as hell at times, may be a little odd, but makes our lives richer. It creates a shared history and enables us to have time out in the big, amazing world. No matter. I will take the happy, sad, great, and bad.”
Additionally, Fightin the Fibro is updated often, sometimes every day or two. The entries are short and to the point, which make them quick reading, and the author (who goes by FibroFacialGal) sometimes interacts with commenters.
Another blog that describes the day to day challenges of fibromyalgia and chronic illness is my foggy brain.
This blog is written by Tamiko, who struggles with fibromyalgia, depression, and ADD. The descriptions of her emotions, pain, and frustrations are often blunt and intense, but she always tries to find something to be glad about, too. Her determination to stay positive is clear in every post. She also discusses some of the medications and surgeries she’s had experience with.
Additionally, this blog has tools created by Tamiko to help those with fibromyalgia or other pain conditions, such as a “Wellness Workbook” and pain journals. Also present on the “Tools & Resources” page of the my foggy brain blog are several links to informative sites, organized by topic and often accompanied by short descriptions.
This is an excellent fibromyalgia blog for those looking for information, tips, or suggestions on how to deal with fibromyalgia or other medical issues. In addition to the information in the blog entries and provided in the “Tools & Resources,” Tamiko often interacts with commenters, exchanging tips and encouragement.
For those who want to know the newest information on fibromyalgia, Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia is a great choice.
This fibromyalgia blog is written by Emily, who says in her bio, “I have Fibromyalgia, but it doesn’t have me, at least not anymore!” It’s a serious “knowledge is power” kind of blog and is a mix of the author’s personal thoughts, summaries of fibromyalgia research and studies, and reposted articles about fibromyalgia. The older entries are arranged into categories and subcategories and easily navigated through the toolbar. This way, someone looking for specific information can quickly go to exactly what he or she is interested in.
Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia focuses less on the pain and daily struggles of fibromyalgia than many other blogs. When Emily does post her personal thoughts or feelings, it’s often centered on the topic of fibromyalgia, rather than the experiences of fibromyalgia. For example, in one post she discusses a commercial for a fibromyalgia medication, while in another post she talks about which term best describes a little-known side effect of fibromyalgia.
Emily also takes the time to share the sources for her information in most posts so curious readers can conduct more research. In addition to this, she takes the time to respond to almost every single comment. She sometimes even writes posts based on emails she’s received from readers. This fibromyalgia blog is great for getting information, advice, and encouragement.
In addition to fibromyalgia blogs, there are several online resources and support groups that can help sufferers find friendship, encouragement, and advice.
Several of the top blogs honored by Healthline have Facebook groups and Twitter accounts where people can interact with fellow readers, but these aren’t the only sources of support and resources for those with fibromyalgia. The website Fibromyalgia Network is a wealth of information regarding news, treatments, coping methods, and more. Additionally, the Fibromyalgia Network has a Facebook page. Here, in addition to educational and inspirational posts, there are often questions posted about symptoms and coping methods to encourage discussions between members.
The Fibromyalgia Forum and Support Group website can also be very helpful for those with fibromyalgia. This site has a lot of information, but its main emphasis seems to be encouraging interaction between people. It’s possible to email a question, join discussions on the forum, and even search for local support groups.
Additionally, PainDoctor.com’s Faces of Pain allows people with chronic pain to share their stories. Not only does this provide an outlet for people suffering from fibromyalgia pain, but it’s an effective way to spread awareness of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.
PainDoctor.com also has a very active Facebook group called the Chronic Pain Support Group, which has over 30,000 members. Here, members often reach out when suffering from pain so others can cheer or encourage them. Sometimes a comforting word from someone who truly understands what it’s like to have a chronic pain condition is the best medicine there is.
Have you ever reached out to an online fibromyalgia support group or do you read a fibromyalgia blog?
Image by Martin Voltri via Flickr