I was first alerted to Fibromyawesome a self-help guide by MelanieO'Shea via UKFibromyalgia Magazine (July 2019 issue), when I looked into buying myself a copy.
However, at he time I felt that at only 140 pages the £16.95 price tag seemed a little steep. Neverthless, whilst I'm a huge fan of real books, the Kindle version is, admittedly, a third of this price.
It was only recently, therefore, that I decided to buy myself a copy and I have not been disappointed.
Melanie O'Shea's style is chatty, informal, no nonsense and frank. She gives positive affirmations to support each chapter point she makes with personal context, as a framework for her decision to play a more active role in managing her own Fibromyalgia. The first chapter does spend a lot of time discussing the author's epiphany regarding symptom management, which she refers to as her 'AC day' -Attitude Change Day. Nevetheless, Ms.O'Shea emphasises the importance of the need for us all to research our own concerns and triggers for ourselves.
The author discusses her reasons for writing the book and her views on medication and other therapies and approaches in relation to her own medical background and experience. She is firmly on the side of taking control of one's own health care with support and guidance from the best healthcare providers we can find.
I was heartened by the fact that she shares my approach to the lifestyle medicine part of the condition; without which, as she points out, no real progress can be made by any of us!
In other words: if we are not prepared to embrace these aspects of our self care, we can't expect to make any real difference to our symptoms.
I have noticed that when other people don't always share our views on Fibromyalgia self-care, but appear to be making better progress with their symptoms; we may feel sceptical, dissenting, defensive or oversensitive to their advice. At some stage in our own journey, however, we may become more circumspect, allowing us to recall the advice, when we are ready, to help support us on our own road to better health. Indeed, it is also very helpful when authors share strategies and approaches that we may not have considered for ourselves.
Melanie O'Shea makes some very valid points regarding what helps us succeed and what leads to crushing failure - Keeping up a momentum without overdoing it.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand why, as Fibro convalescents, we all ultimately need to make lifestyle changes to effect real change in our symptoms.
Of course, it's still up to us all to actually apply this general advice in a way that suits our own, individual circumstances: physical, emotional and medical needs, with the support of our health care professionals. To find ways to enjoy the challenge of living as close to a normal life, as we may expect, post-fibro.
Perhaps you have found your own Fibromy-Awesome?
If so, what has worked for you?