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To celebrate Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, I have put together 3 proven tips for blogging with a disability that personally aided me.
Today is the day for those of us with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in early 2015 after a bad bout of a lung disease suspected to be Tonsillitis and a few months later they called it Fibromyalgia. It has been a nightmare psychologically, physically, and personally. And what can be one of the most difficult parts of having a diagnosis of “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” or “Fibromyalgia” is that it is not an actual disease but a “syndrome”.
Definition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A medical condition of unknown cause, with fever, aching, and prolonged tiredness and depression, typically occurring after a viral infection.
Definition of Fibromyalgia
A chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The main symptom — fatigue for at least 6 months.
Other common symptoms include:
Pain in the joints or muscles, fatigue, inability to exercise, confusion, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, excess sleepiness, sleep disturbances, anxiety or apprehension, depression, headache, muscle weakness, sensitivity to pain, and sore throat.
The list is wide and I was diagnosed with CFS in 2015 because I’d had that bad lung disease in 2014 followed by overwhelming fatigue that overcame me suddenly.
Other symptoms from the list above I exhibited were: pain, fatigue, confusion, lack of concentration, excess sleepiness, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, migraines, sensitivity to touch, sore throat.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Widespread muscular pain and tenderness is the main symptom.
Other symptoms include:
Chronic pain in the muscles, abdomen, back, or neck; fatigue; feeling tired; muscle tenderness, delayed onset muscle soreness, or muscle spasms; constipation, nausea, or passing excessive amounts of gas; anxiety, mood swings, or nervousness; forgetfulness or lack of concentration; sensation of coldness or tingling; pins and needles or sensitivity to pain; difficulty falling asleep or sleep disturbances; depression, flare, headache, irritability, joint stiffness, painful menstruation, sensitivity to cold, or tingling feet.
My doctors still have Fibromyalgia listed on my charts due to the following list of symptoms:
Widespread pain and tenderness, fatigue, spasms, constipation, gas (:O), anxiety, mood swings, lack of concentration, the sensation of coldness, pins, and needles, difficulty sleeping, depression, migraines, irritability, stiffness, painful menstruation, sensitivity to cold (and heat), tingling feet and fingers.
How to Blog with Fibromyalgia/CFS
It is difficult to give specific tips since everyone suffers so differently. For instance, I have difficulties using my hands and another friend with Fibromyalgia can knit with her hands. So these are general broad tips that have helped me. I hope they serve to aid you too.
Tip for Blogging with a Disability – Write in Bursts.
You will never know when you’ll have the energy to write (or even stay awake). So when you are strong enough, take time to pull out your laptop and jot down a couple of posts that you can schedule in advance.
Tip for Blogging with a Disability – Don’t Be Afraid of Using Aids.
When you first become disabled, you don’t want to be caught with a walker or using a wheelchair out in public. The same goes for home too. Who wants to admit that they have to use a combination of aids to use their computer for blogging purposes. However, without those aids, we would not be able to function. And even with the aids, I cannot function enough to work.
TWO of my favorite aids
#1. Arthritis Gloves – I have a collection of 5 gloves I rotate in and out (so I can wash them daily for cleanliness). With my gloves, it is amazing what I can accomplish versus when I am not wearing them. Thanks to hand therapy and the gloves, I am able to peck with my fingers on the keyboard without too much pain. It took a lot of practice and patience to develop a method for how I used the keyboard but now I am able to exercise my skills at blogging.
I have previously bought these gloves: Pnrskter and Duerer (with their pink and purple colored gloves) that deal well with the washing machine (I air dry them).
#2. Laptop Table – Thanks to my laptop desk, I have a place to rest my wrists and elbows. Since I cannot sit normally at a standard desk, I am able to recline with my legs elevated [pain] and use the lap desk to rest my wrists and elbows while typing at a much more comfortable position.
I bought my laptop table from TJMaxx locally but a similar one is the Honey-Can-Do portable laptop lap desk on Amazon.
Tips for Blogging with a Disability – Use Blogging Tools.
With the use of blogging tools, I am able to spend less time promoting my blog and can focus my efforts on completing blogs. While some of these tools have a price tag, they pay their weight in gold by how they help me.
2 favorite tools I use for blogging
Grammarly (Free) – When you have hand and arm pain and have difficulty typing (even with the above-mentioned aids, it is very helpful to add the Grammarly extension to your browser. It checks for spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Tailwind (Free Month Trial) – Do you know Pinterest is a search engine? It is crucial to use Pinterest to promote your business and/or blog. With Tailwind you can pre-schedule your pins so you don’t have to stress about getting online to pin when you’re having a bad hour or day.
There are also Tailwind Tribes to help you promote your best posts to likeminded Tailwind users. Do yourself a favor and try Tailwind for a month and see how it benefits your blog or business!
I hope these have been helpful tips and suggestions. And remember to take those much-needed breaks when fatigue overwhelms you and/or your hands start spasming and throbbing.
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What would make blogging more user-friendly for you?