I have debated on writing something about this for a while… thinking to myself, “no one cares!” However, after a recent conversation with a friend, and then an article my mom posted on my Facebook page, I decided, “why not!”
I suffer from a condition known as Fibromyalgia. Most people, maybe you at this moment, roll their eyes when they hear me say this. I have heard people say things like, “that’s a made up disease” and “that’s just something that people say they have when they are lazy and want an excuse not to do stuff.” I have heard it all. At the time doctors don’t know the exact cause of Fibro, but many have varied ideas… including some who think Fibro is just “in your head.”
For me, Fibro presents in a couple of different ways. Sometimes, as random, sharp shooting pains that last for about 20 seconds each. Sometimes, I have a burning sensation in some muscles, and some days, my joints and muscles ache like I have the flu. Fibro makes me tired. It is a sheer exhaustion that I cannot explain or overcome.
Some days I wake up and it is a struggle just to get myself going and out the door. Most days I can brush the pain away, power through, and keep going. But, there are some days that it take a literal concentration to “mind over matter” it and get through my day. On these days, my brain becomes foggy and I don’t accomplish much, because I am working so hard to manage my pain.
I don’t say anything to people on most days, because I don’t want to hear from people how “I’m always sick” or whatever else they might say. I don’t want to seem like a complainer. People don’t understand fibromyalgia. They simply do not. The only people who can even begin to understand what I am dealing with are people who themselves have dealt with this… I have only met one other person, by the way.
I don’t suffer from fibro pain every day. I would say that maybe as an average one day a week. During a bad time, it can be an entire week where every single day is spent fighting this. It is worse in the cold. People who know me think that I am a big fat baby when it comes to cold… but the reality is that for me, it physically hurts me to be in the cold. It’s much worse when I am up on my feet a lot. When I am on my feet for long periods, my feet begin to ache so badly that I want to cry.
It’s worse when I am stressed. It’s worse when I am sick. For me, the common cold feels like the flu – my entire body aches, to the point that even wearing clothing hurts my skin.
You might be wondering why I am writing this… or asking if I am just looking for attention or sympathy. I am not. I am simply writing this in the hopes that someone will read it and understand. I am writing it to say to someone else, if you deal with this, I get it. I am writing this to say, if you see me and I don’t seem thrilled to be speaking with you – it’s probably not you. It is most like that I am having a bad pain day.
My mom posted an article on my Facebook page today that was a bit encouraging and provided a little hope that someone out there might be closer to finding a cause – which means a treatment might be closer also. For now, I manage my Fibro with diet changes and things like deep breathing (to clear my mind), and rest.
As always, I recommend your questions and comments.