Thriving with Fibromyalgia: Tips from the Girl Next Door


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When Michielle Atherton learned she had fibromyalgia she researched everything she could about the insidious, invisible disorder that was causing her chronic muscle pain, disabling fatigue, cognitive problems and numerous secondary symptoms.

She recognized the stress, havoc and depression fibromyalgia had brought to her once-active life. She also saw the effects—the confusion and turmoil— her illness had caused those who loved her as they tried to cope with the dramatic changes in her life.

What she couldn’t find was help and hope for her future…and she got mad. She was determined that fibromyalgia would not beat her—she was going to thrive in spite of her illness! So she continued to research. She tried all kinds of therapies and alternative medical treatments. She found products to help every aspect of her life.

Then she decided to help others by telling everyone what she learned.In her warm,witty and sassy style, Michielle’s Thriving with Fibromyalgia: Tips from the Girl Next Door tells:

* how to put yourself first—without guilt
* organize your home
* what products help with household chores
* tips to make child-raising easier
* alternative treatments that are safe, affordable and effective
*    and much more so you too can thrive in spite of fibromyalgia

About the author

Table of Contents



About the Author


About the Author
MICHIELLE ATHERTON was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1997. She was a Behavioral Science Specialist in the Army, but is now an instructor for the Department of Justice. Michielle lives in Central Florida. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, bicycling, canoing, and experiencing good food and wine



Oh great, another book about fibromyalgia. Aren’t there enough already?

Yes, I know there are a lot of books out there. I have read many of them. Some books discuss all the medical jargon while others insist the pain is all in our head. Still others have a miracle cure that is going to make us all better.

Like many of you, I have spent endless hours online. I have read numerous newsletters. I have tried most of the therapies out there. I wouldn’t say this gathering of information was a waste of time, because I learned different things from each book. I have a good understanding of fibromyalgia now, and through trial and error I’ve found a lot of things that don’t work and other things that do work.

I am writing this book because I want to be able to help those of you who are suffering but do not have the time, money or energy that I have invested in this research. I am writing this book as though it were to a girlfriend. Yes, I know there are men who have fibromyalgia, and most of these concepts will work for a man also. It was just more fun for me to write like I was talking to a girlfriend.

I will tell you right up front: I am not a medical professional. I am just a person with fibromyalgia who wants to give you something that I didn’t have when I was first diagnosed, a compilation of information from someone who has been there and tried it all. I will not get into all the medical jargon because that information is out there in other books. There have been several good books written about fibromyalgia and more are being written, but I find it tedious at times to weed through all the jargon. And I will not get into all the symptoms, because you already know what those are or you would not be reading this book.

This book does not claim to have a miracle cure for fibromyalgia. From everything I have read, there is no real cure, but the things that I am doing now are making my life much more manageable. I am doing much more than just surviving. I am thriving! And you can too.


“A straightforward, easy-to-read, yet entertaining look at fibromyalgia written by one of our own.”
—Marilyn Gleason, fibromyalgia sufferer

“Michielle’s research has helped me treat my fibromyalgia patients more thoroughly and with better results.”
—Christopher L. Cheshire, DOM, Doctor of Oriental Medicine

“Michielle’s book has given me a better understanding of fibromyalgia that has enabled me to offer my fibromyalgia clients ideas for a more balanced and more dynamic lifestyle. This book is a must read for any fibromyalgia sufferers.”
—Marci Austin, massage therapist

“I have lived with fibromyalgia for 10 years, not as a victim of the disease but as the wife of a fibromyalgia sufferer. Michielle’s book clearly describes the physical effects of thids disease, but more important to me, it shows how the spirit is affected. Every fibromyalgia sufferer should read this book. It will help them not only to survive fibromyalgia, but also to reach peace in their spirit.”
—Janice Kenney, wife of a fibromyalgia sufferer

Table of Contents



1. So, You Just Found Out You Have Fibromyalgia
2. You Want Me to Do WHAT
3. Put Yourself First
4. Chill Out, Woman!
5. Brief Therapy
6. Organize This!
7. Fat and Sassy Versus Fit and Frisky
8. Work—My Home Away From Home
9. Alien Invasion
10. I Miss My Mind and Sex Drive
11. Keep Fighting