Housework and Fibromyalgia

I have recently moved into a home that I have to do the majority of chores and housework and my question is: Does anyone have any advice to make housework even just a little bit less painful? For me the worst places I hurt are my knees, hips, and lower back. Typically I am barefoot because shoes, house shoes, and socks bother my skin on my feet. Any suggestions are welcome and will be appreciated greatly!

Hire a housekeeper! No, my pt had me buy a grabber and I use it a lot. I do un cluttering a little each day.

Running shoes will buy you more time before your back , knees and hips get sore. Also get rid of clutter so it is easy to dust or fake that it is clean. Sit and vacuum… Move to a new spot and sit again… Also when you havenochoice to clean a bunch at once, take a caffeine pill. I used to take adder all and caffeine fir energy but have reduced as much rx as possible. The occasional boost if caffeine to get my through a situation I can’t avoid( hair appt, child’s doc visit, long day away from home etc) is helpful. Over the counter stuff. Vivarin, jet alert, caffeine…if you have probs w anxiety this will make you anxious. It is the equivilant of 2 cups of coffee. If you aren’t used to caffeine though, it can feel yucky. I don’t drink anything w caffeine so I think long and hard about taking one. Took one to clean for Xmas houseguest. Do not take this without checking w your dr!!! It could mess w blood pressure and heart conditions. Even a cup of tea, coffee, energy drink can save you when you HAVE to push through. Caffeine is listed as a natural pain reducer on the internetz but you can’t always believe what you read. I found it helped w my pain. They put it in asprin. Also, lastly try not to obsess over your new level of dirtiness. I am a neat freak and have had to let some things go. That’s hard to do but it just isn’t worth suffering afterwards. Remember… Running shoes… The most important tip I can offer… Hang tough! :wink:

Thank you Teresa! Those are some great suggestions. I am a pretty heavy caffeine user already though and my Dr has mentioned to me more then once that I need to cut down. Although everything else is definitely going to be tried here. Between my boyfriend, our 6 mo. old pit, and myself it seems like cleaning and dishes are a full time job. I’ve already broken the apartment into sections; one night I do the kitchen, next living room, next bathroom, next bedroom, and last night our entryway with a set of stairs (we live in an upstairs apartment of a duplex house). I do dishes every night though to keep the amount I have to wash low. Other than dishes it really is like working a 5 day a week job. It’s amazing how much of a mess to adults and one puppy can make!

Its just two of you and a dog and cleaning is a full time job? You guys must be messy LOL Try picking up after yourselves so theirs no clutter. We have a rule in our house, if youtouch it you put it away when done. If you eat off it youwash it when done. If you wear it you wash it when done. Theres 4 of us livinghere and 3 dogs. All I do is my ownlaundry,dish cook meals and sweep once a day. My house is spotless.

I have started to treat myself with a having a cleaning lady help me I know that it’s money we don’t have but… We have to try to help ourselves and since I always find a way for everything else this I do for me every once in a while. Good luck cat

April,

My boyfriend sitting here says it is not that we are super messy it's that I am a clean freak LOL! Which I would have to agree! There is never clutter in our apartment. I like to live in a spotless home because I grew up in a home so trashed we had 'paths'. My mother worked full time my whole life through her own fibromyalgia and my father is just lazy... plain and simple. I promised myself I would never live like that as an adult when I was probably 5 or 6.... Once I got older, I alone gradually cleaned my parents house to the semi clean home it is now, but I refuse to make that home spotless for them as they couldn't make it spotless for me.

I used to be a neat freak. I’ve given up control as of about two years ago. I have an 11 year old that does do the majority of the work that absolutely have to get done.
My secret? I clean the bathroom while I’m running the tub for a bath, just the toilet, vanity, mirror. The dishes, when I’m cooking. Bedrooms? I hate to admit, but only once every three months or so.
I have containers to catch our clutter in each room, the big, plastic ones. I purge our house, with a friends help once a year, so there is not extra stuff we don’t need/use.
My living room and kitchen are absolute musts to keep clutter free and clean. Why? I sit in the living room and relax. To relax, I cannot look at mess and clutter.
I have supportive friends and family, I know that if I just can’t do ‘deep cleaning’, I will ask for them to do it. The deep cleaning is only done every three months or so.
I suggest that you only do what you must, to maintain a sanitary, clutter free house, and ask your boyfriend to tackle deep cleaning on a day off, every few months.
Life does not equal a clean, spotless house. A clean house is not worth sacrificing your quality of life, meaning, you are in too much pain to enjoy and participate in your life, just to have a clean house.
I know how crazy this sounds, if I would’ve read this three years ago, I wouldn’t take my advice. But, my pain got worse, and I had to make some choices.
I wish you the best of luck Figuring this all out! !!

I find doing a little bit every day helps a lot--dust one set of shelves or vacuum one room. I polish and dust my computer desk and the area around it while sitting in my computer chair. I clean my bathroom mirrors and sink after I brush my teeth. Bit by bit, it adds up to a relatively clean house. If anyone wants it cleaner, they can come over and do the cleaning!!

Kimberly :)

Buy the floor mats for the kitchen that are cushiony, for in front of the stove and dishwasher. The best one I got was from costco, but I have a $12 one from Walmart and it's still better than nothing, makes up a bit for not wearing shoes.

I would say wrap the knees, but most can't handle even gental pressure.

My house is a disaster btw. It's to big for me.

Oh I recently bought a shop vac that was on sale for $50. I've had a lot of fun sucking up stuff, versus bending over and picking up what won't go into the vacumm.

We have that Kitchen Rules sign in our kitchen. Funny!

Thank you everyone for the great suggestions!!! I'm a bit in awe by the amount of replies! I actually get a mandatory 2-3 weeks off from housework because I fractured the knuckle that connects my middle toe to my foot. Yay for the break from housework... boo for the agony while this heals and the extra pain caused by using crutches... unfortunately this fracture cannot be casted and all they did was wrap my foot which I couldn't handle because of what you just said gimpyKat the pressure was too much. I was surprised I wasn't given any vicoden or even Tylenol 3 because I would consider this a time where I would absolutely need to use some, this is pretty agonizing. I didn't realize I had fractured it last night at about 6 PM so I just splinted my toe to the next one and continued about my normal chores. Apparently, according to the Dr this was a mistake because of where the fracture was splinting serves no purpose and actually made the fracture worse being on my feet so much. Once I got to the ER at about 8:30am this morning I couldn't bear weight on it at all. The dr said with the pain I normally deal with I most likely didn't recognize the pain for what it really was until it was so bad I couldn't mistake it for 'okay pain'

On top of all this I get to be on crutches while recovering from having my gull bladder removed on Monday, which I know is totally a minor operation if all goes well, but on crutches I am not looking forward to the healing process of both together... It's all good though... Or at least it will be once I'm all healed from both.

My suggestion is to change your definition of "clean" and "acceptable"

Okay now the tough questions why didn’t you ask for pain meds? I mean a fracture and gall bladder and no pain meds? My hats off to you! I use pain meds everyday Percocet otherwise I might as well use a straight jacket in a padded room! I mean the pain is so overwhelming and I have a high threshold for pain, before all this I didn’t even have a headache! Hugs to you get well cat

A lot of doctors will not give pain meds unless you ask for them. I think they figure you are better off in the long run if you can survive without them. They worry about addiction.

I think the distinction is not addiction but quality of life! Everyone worries about addiction because they read about the drug addicts who are looking for a high. But being able to wash your hair or go to your child’s play with some meds that’s what they’re there for. It’s called chronic pain. Cat

Have you tried natural fiber socks? Cotton or wool? Going barefoot (I tell my daughter this all the time as she chases her babies around) can cause all kinds of foot problems, and like Teresa said, back, knees and hips...even neck. And flip flops are not good either. They cause tripping and worse. We grab with our toes and they can cause plantar fasciatis and serious foot problems, unless they have good arch support and are secure on our feet.

Mopping hurts me like crazy. I got an O Cedar squirt mop the other day for $29 at Walgreens. No bucket, no wringing, and no rusty thingy-ma-bob. I used it yesterday for the first time and I like it. The microfiber pad is attached with velcro so you can pull it off and rinse it out when your done. It was the easiest floor cleaning i've ever done.

If I'm pushing to get ready for overnight company, I have a young neighbor woman come help me out for a couple of hours. It's hard to change sheets. I haven't found any other way around that one. It's worth the $10 an hour. She helps with things that I find it too hard to tackle. Like cleaning out kitchen cupboards and that kind of thing.

I dont think theres another definition for clean or acceptable. Except lowering your standards which for most people is unacceptable because who wants to live in a dirty cluttered house. Its not healthy physically or mentally to lower your standards of living in a home you spend all day in. For me its all about not being messy. When I touch something I clean it up or put it away before I do anything else. This rule applies to my husband and both sons who know if they make or leave a mess they lose TV for a week. Theres just no exceptions here. Our home is not the town landfill LOL Everyone understands and while theres an occasionally slip of laziness, on my part too, we are quick to get back on track because it can get messy and dirty fast in here and overwhelm me so gentle reminder once, hey go pick up after yourself please. Second time its No TV. That gets my boys attention. My husband feels sorry for me so he wont make a mess in here. Does his own laundry and dish when done eating. We keep a supply of paper plates bowls and cups in the pantry in case someone has to eat in a hurry and wont have time to wash their plate/silverware ect. All I have to do is pick up after myself. Sweep once a day,do my own laundry.Once a week I mop but thats not hard for me, I go slowly and take my time. No rush. Its much easier to keep your house clean in the first place then try to pick up after others. That stress makes my pain worse cause Im seething inside. This agreement we have to all be tidy makes for a happy Mom. My sons wash their own laundry, they dont fold and put it away, they leave it in their clean laundry baskets but that works for them and Im not bothering them about it . My house is immaculate. And I barely do anything.

quote: "A clean house is not worth sacrificing your quality of life"

blueeyedgirl, But you ARE sacrificing your quality of life by living in a dirty cluttered house. It is unhealthy and an eyesore. You have wayy too much stuff if you have to go around sucking things up in a shopvac. Whose putting all that stuff on your floors? Train your kids, stop being a martyr to them. YOUR the parent. Teach them to be tidy. They will catch on,it doesnt take long. If they make the mess, they clean it. Not you. Youve got it backwards. So sad hearing so m,any moms who pick up after everyone and are angry,sad,upset and suffering. Why do you allow your family to treat your home/apartment that way? Most of your money goes to paying for a place to live, it should be your proudest investment and a place you love,respect and feel respected in. Teach your kids respect.My house is immaculate and I live with all guys. They have messy bedrooms but wouldnt dare mess up the house.Its disrespectful and unkind to the others who live here and to my husband and I who pay for our beautiful home that we enjoy. Teach your kids to be respectful and kind to you. Its your home. Ladies, just step up the teaching a bit. They will get it if you remind them untill it sinks in and they figure out your serious. Moms who say dont bother haveing a perfectly clean uncluttered house are ones who try to do it all themselves and clean up after everyone. They give up eventually out of pain and exhaustion and say lower your standards. The thing they dont get is their standards were already low, thats why everyone has no problem trashing their home. I say Raise your standards. It wont take long till everyones on board if you dont yell but patiently explain and remind have consequences and then watch your home become immaculate like mine with little physical effort on your part :) It works.