Dealing with Fibro during traumatic events

I have been diagnosed with Fibro since March and things have been going well. This last week things changed dramatically. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado where we are experiencing a horrific wildfire spreading to our city. I live within blocks of the area that has been burned to the ground. We have been able to go back to our home since being under evacuation twice. I have had many sleepless nights watching the flames creep closer to my home. On top of the worry for my famliy’s home we have been covered in a cloud of smoke. I am having my worst flair to date and feel like I can’t recover. I have two small children so I am not able to rest whenever I need. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

HUGS!!! to you, Natalie for going through fibro during this terrible time, as well as being responsible for two little lives. Little wonder that you are flaring, between the noxious smells, toxins and breath-clogging smoke. And the stress and fear! You have so much responsibility right now while the world around you is falling apart and you don't know when or if it'll return to normal. Living in a state prone to wildfires or tornadoes or earthquakes or hurricanes is nerve-wracking when those events transpire.

Obviously sleep is at a minimum for you. Can you catch any naps during the day? You desperately need sleep.

Are you on meds? Do you need to see your doctor to see if any additional meds are needed to treat the flare and any possible other issues related to the smoke and stress?

Can you stay with anyone else for a few days? Or stay in a hotel for a day or two, to catch up on the sleep? I know you're guarding your house but your health is suffering. I know, horrible catch-22 situation. I'm sorry if my suggestions are incredibly lame. I can see what a tough spot you're in.

If nothing else, can you pick up a light novel and read, in order to relax? Or talk a bath with Epsom salts? Something to de-stress yourself a little bit. If there's no way you can get the sleep, at least try to do something to take your mind off of the wildfire briefly so you can relax. Yeah, I know. As if. But maybe a bath with Epsom salts would relax you enough to sleep a little bit or just feel a bit better.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your community. Please keep us updated on how you're doing out there. I know you must feel pretty alone at the moment, facing something so dangerous and challenging. But we're hear to talk with you when you need it.

Just know it will get better, I know I have felt that hundreds of times. Fybro for me is ever changing, lean to adjust your norm. Have toys or games set aside to bring out when you need to rest while the kids are playing watch from a resting position you don’t have to sleep to rest your body. prepare meals when your feeling good that you can use when your down. Stress is what you need to rid as much, I would say change what you can when your doing good having a plan for bad days. Most of all ask for help. Hang in there a good day is coming.

I have had a traumatic week too but for different reasons and have had terrible pain. Fibromyalgia is caused by the nervous system so when it gets thrown off, the autonomic nervous system can start sending all kinds of signals to mess things up.

So the best thing you can do is get something to calm your nerves. I use natural things like chamomile, valerian root, epsom salt baths with lavender or some other calming essential oil. I also take Shaklee's Stress Relief. I have tried many others and none work like that one. It has ashwaganda and other herbs. I also take Nature's Sunshine Herbal Sleep which has all different herbs and I take it with or alternate it with the Stress Relief. I take it throughout the day every few hours if I'm especially stressed like I am today. It is specifically to calm or soothe the nerves. It doesn't make me sleepy but it helps me calm down so that I can sleep if I want to.

Homeopathic remedies like Ignatia Amara may be helpful. I like Rescue Remedy which is a Flower Remedy. You might try listening to calm music or singing as you go about your business to help too. Try to keep optimistic and think of something that you are looking forward to like a vacation.

Hang in there and I hope and pray that your home will be ok.

Let us know how it works out.

Deb Drake

I felt calmed just by reading your post and hearing about the nice things to use. I hope your post helps Natalie. I would also add a nice smelling bath soap to the list, too.

Mmmmmm, feeling all of those good vibes you sent, Deb!

Dear Natalie,

Oh my, what a terrible worry on you and everyone in CO, firstly I pray the fires will be contained and stopped, and everyone can return or rebuild home. We never know how lucky we are until our home is threatened. Surely the Red Cross is present and helping, but I think a call to the Rheumatologist may be the best thing to do. He/she needs to know what you are up against and how badly you are feeling.

It may be a good idea to get a little further away from the fire and smoke for all of you, if that is possible.

My hopes and prayers are with you all.


Hi Natalie,

I have no other suggestions for you but I wanted you to know that I/we are here for you. I just went through the Tropical Storm, Debby.

It was not fun....I was quite stressed out on Sunday and have had a flare ever since. I like debdrake's post about natural ways to feel better. I hope you do start to feel more calm and can relax even if only for short times here and there.

I am sending you a relaxing and comforting HUG....

You are in my thoughts


Oh Natalie! I am so sorry to hear what is happening to your family and others in Colorado. I have also experienced the effect of severe stress on my fibro symptoms (my mom had a massive stroke last year - a few weeks after I was finally diagnosed - and my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January). Its hard in these situations, but when at all possible you need to focus on self-care. You won't be able to help your family in the long run if you continue to be in a flare. I'm lucky in that I have a great friend who calls me out when I over-do. I don't think you can avoid worrying about your home, but you can try to get more sleep - in part by being consistent in your sleep schedule (if possible). I also take a small dose of melatonin at night which helps. I've also found a white noise machine / wave sound machine helpful (Conair makes an inexpensive one - I picked it up for $15). Finally, when I am in a major flare I sleep with a mattress pad that heats up like an electric blanket and I build a fort around me with pillows.

I’m sorry about all the crud going on right now. Please remember to take care of yourself.

Its a off topic but I always have to remind my volunteer coordinator about springing things on me. When she changes things and switches them around on me I can automatically tell my continuous flare that’s been going on since 2008 is going to get worse. However I have been trying to give myself permission to let things roll off my back.

Anyways, please take care of yourself.

Gentle hugs…

Sorry to hear this, Gemm! My mom and son are down in Florida and dealt with it too. But they didn't get the brunt of it. Another horrible storm! I couldn't believe the levels of flooding. I hope your home and area weren't affected by the wind and rain. The hurricane season is very stressful...

What a terrible time you must be going through. I can't even imagine how worried you must be. Hopefully, these dreadful fires will subside and your home will be spared. En-hailing that smoke must be just horrible. Maybe a mask would help so you don't get the smoke in your body. The only thing I could think of is maybe staying with a family member for awhile, since hotels are expensive. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and to all the other people who have lost everything from the fires there in Colorado.

I agree with Punkin - I have been consciously working to let things roll off my back since December (luckily before my Dad's diagnosis hit) and it has helped tremendously. It helps that I have memory issues - its hard to worry about things you can't remember! But seriously, I've taken a behavior modification approach to learning to let things go. It likely won't help Natalie in the short-run, but for others this might help.

I am in so much pain I don’t know if I can offer you any advice, but I am with you. I had to call the pain clinic today to get something stronger for my pain, and you are looking at loosing your home. Sorry but I am disconnected. Take care of yourself.

My thoughts are with you, too, tricky. I hope your pain clinic can link you up with something stronger for your pain ASAP. I hope you can at least sleep so you can get some short-term relief from it. Wish I had more to offer on that front but, alas, I don't. Just take care. Warm thoughts blown your way.

Hi Natalie,

I'm not sure I can give you any advice other than what's already been said. I just wanted to add my prayers that you and your family will come through this terrible ordeal okay. Keep us posted on how you're doing. I can relate (we just survived two back-to-back tropical storms) and the stress really does make everything worse. Flare ups are hard to deal with but when you're also worrying about your home and kids it is overwhelming. Remember that we're all here and thinking and praying for you. I hope some of the ideas offered will give you some relief. Try to sleep as best you can. Hugs.

Nancy (in Florida)

Thanks.i am in a fog

try to relax. Getting stressed out will make it worse and I am sure you know this. The suckie thing about us fibro patients is that we have to control our emotions and feelings and all that jazz n a some what abnormal way in order to function our normal painful ways during tragedies. . .we cannot do like regular ppl do and that keeps us trying to work harder to stay calm when we just need to stay calm. . ..don't try too hard, don't over think it. You are safe now and that is what matters. Think positive, think that you will remain safe, you and your family and just do as you said, keep a watch on the smoke/fire reasonably but get some rest. If you feel like you need to be awake put yourself on a "check the fire" schedule. . sleep for a few hours, set an alarm, wake up, check things out, drink some water, eat a cookie, do some yoga, go back to sleep.

When my mother passed last November I did not know what to do with myself. Still don't but I stayed calm. I had to or i would have collapsed under the physical and mental pain. . staying calm sounds so easy but in the middle of a tragedy it is not I assure I understand but you must take care of yourself. If you let this flare up get worse, then it will be harder to come out of it but you will come out of it, it is just a flare up, nothing you cannot deall with. Keep a positive mind, drink some soothing tea. . . .relax . . .relax. . .relax. . .

I hope you find ways to get better : ) and that you and your family remain safe from the fires.

We are all pulling for you Natalie, for your safety, your family, and the safety of your home. God's speed!


Hi, so sorry your are having to deal with the stress of these wildfires. It is dreadful it is happening. My prayers go out to those that have lost their home and possibly their lives.

I don't know what I would do, myself if this was happening to me. But, I always have that "escape" mechanism in my brain. I always think the "grass is greener on the other side," mindset. So, I would pack up some things for myself and my children and leave my home and stay with friends or family.

That's what would be (my escape route), to protect my children & myself. I would try to read to them, play the color game, some types of game we could play to get their minds off the fires, and yours too. Maybe, pick up a book for yourself, and some healthy snacks for yourself and your children.

With Fibro we are no good to ourselves or anyone else without rest. We require a lot of it. Do your children still go down for nap time? If so, you go down too. These are only my suggestions, mind you.

Your stress levels (anxiety) which is normal, makes your fibromylgia worse. I'm sure your home and contents are insured. They can all be replaced.

Keep us updated. Sending you prayers for safe keeping.

- Teresa

Hi Natalie, I am so sorry for this traumatic ordeal. I saw this on the news the other day and my heart and prayers are with you all. Please talk to your drs. and lean on your faith to help you through this especially for your children. Your breathing of this stuff is very crucial to your health; when 9/11 hit us in NYC I went through some issues with breathing, since I lived so close by the site. Now when things happen in my life, I have a flare up, and I take extra meds if I need to, then I pray. I also sleep whenever I can b /c sometimes I cannot sleep at nite, so I get in the zzzs anytime I can. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers. Plz reach out anytime; we are here for you.