“Never let the things you can’t do, stop you from doing what you can.”
Fibromyalgia Awareness Day was yesterday, but it’s also recognized for the entire month of May. Fibromyalgia Syndrome is marked by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and sleeping problems. The result of this is often that those of us with it are a shell of our former selves, too fatigued or in pain to carry on the life we once led.
While running marathons may no longer be in our wheelhouse, let’s not forget there are still plenty of things we can do and enjoy in life. We may have to adapt or take things in moderation, but that doesn’t mean we have to live a life of loneliness and isolation.
“Never let the things you can’t do stop you from doing what you can.”
Just like Ferris Bueller says at the end of the movie, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” So my fellow fibrowarriors, my hope for you is that you find something you can do so you can enjoy the life you have.
May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month and May 12th is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, so this post is meant to do just that. Raise awareness. Give readers a little glimpse into what it is like to have this daily companion in your life.
While some may not understand what it is when you explain it, they can probably relate to the occasional sleepless nights or aches and pains. Fibrowarriors have these symptoms on most days.
One recent, restless night when I was experiencing a lot of pain and couldn’t sleep, so I jotted a few things down to describe Fibromyalgia. I couldn’t stand the sheets to touch me. My mind was racing. Sleep was evading me. I tried essential oils and pain relievers. After maybe 2 hours of sleep, I got up and went to work the next morning.
This is my life with fibromyalgia.
Never easy. Never predictable. Never fun.
F Fatigue, flare, forgetfulness
B Brain fog, brain won’t stop racing
R Restlessness, Radiating pains
O Overactive, firing nerves
M Myofascial pain, Morning stiffness
Y Yearning to be pain-free and be my old self
L Leg cramps, restlessness, and pain
G Gastro problems – IBS, nausea, diarrhea, constipation
A Aching everywhere – bones, joints, and muscles
They say you never really understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. So if you encounter someone with Fibromyalgia and you think they don’t look sick… Think back to the last time you had the flu and your body ached all over, or the last time you couldn’t sleep but still had to go to work the next day, or perhaps even when you forgot where you left your keys. And then imagine what it would be like to experience that some days, most days, or even every day.
Now you’re starting to get a glimpse of Fibromyalgia.
P.S. I don’t often like to take pictures of myself. These days I am usually tired and don’t feel “picture ready.” But since it’s also Mother’s Day today, I wanted to share some pictures of me with my mom and my kids. This is the face of Fibromyalgia.
I would prefer my “F” words include Fabulous, Fearless, and Fun.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2000 and have said/thought many a curse word since that time. Fibromyalgia. Fibro. Fibro-flare. Flare. FMS. Fatigue. Fog. Frustration. Failure. All of these have become the other “F” words to me. I try to live by the power of positive thinking (hence, the name of my blog), but until you live a day in my shoes it may be hard to understand why even sometimes it is easier to smile and put on a happy face rather than truly answer the question of “How are you?” Because trust me, you don’t want to hear about how I am tired, hurt all over, didn’t sleep last night, and oftentimes feel like a failure because I can’t do the things I want to do.
Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic pain disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness.
I often refer to the fact that I have fibromyalgia in my posts, but many of you might have found your way here through some of my other musings, so I thought I should introduce some of you to this condition.
If you know me or have read my posts, you know that I avoid drugs and prefer natural approaches and lifestyle choices to cope with my fibromyalgia and chronic back pain. That is not to say I don’t use any drugs, it’s just that I minimize what I take due to my heightened sensitivity to side effects.
There has been a lot written about CBD oil the past few years, especially as more states begin legalizing marijuana. It’s even made its way onto the pages of my beauty magazines. But since I am reluctant to use drugs (legal or otherwise), and I work for the government, I have never considered this as an option until recently.
Pain takes all forms, affects all people, and does not discriminate.
I started writing this post long before Lena Dunham announced she wanted to be the “face of fibromyalgia.” Knowing little about her other than what I read in this article, I don’t really have a connection to her and don’t view her as my advocate. There are many other faces of fibromyalgia and forms of pain that deserve attention as well.
Pain takes all forms, affects all people, and does not discriminate between male or female, young or old, rich or poor, famous or not-so-famous. It can affect anyone. And everyone.
These days I feel people associate pain or chronic pain with the “opioid epidemic” we hear so much about in our daily news. It has reached such a pinnacle that Michael Bloomberg announced a $50 million donation to help fight it. But let’s not stereotype all of those suffering in pain with a drug problem that is gripping the nation. Continue reading “The Many Forms of Pain”
“Doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together.”
That question is like the proverbial, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” because there is not yet a definitive answer as to the cause of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). And without knowing the root cause, you cannot solve the problem; you are merely treating the symptoms.
What They Know
Doctors can agree on how to diagnose it, what the symptoms are, and a variety of treatments. But not every patient responds the same to treatment. And the cause of fibromyalgia still eludes the medical community.