Every day is Awareness Day for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.
Every year May 12th has been designated as “Fibromyalgia Awareness Day” to shine a light on this invisible illness. Most of us who suffer from this chronic condition feel that every day is our awareness day, as we often have to explain what it is to people. Trust me when I say it is more than what you see in the pharmaceutical commercials on TV.
May 12th each year has been designated as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. For most of us suffering with Fibromyalgia Syndrome every day is really awareness day, as explaining this condition to others is part of the game. It is a “silent condition” that it is ill-understood. We don’t always look sick, but we may be exhausted, in pain, and suffering silently from one of the hundreds of symptoms associated with this. Fibrowarriorsmany of us call ourselves, as we just keep on keeping on. People may have heard the term from a drug commercial on TV or from the news of Lady Gaga cancelling part of her tour, but do they really understand it?
My mantra is: “I have fibromyalgia. It does not have me.” Cynthia Baughman
In addition to nutrition and medicine, you need other strategies for coping with the daily pain and major flares that occur.
You have probably experienced something like this before: You go to bed feeling fine….maybe just OK….no worse than usual… And when you wake up in the morning you have some new pain. You roll out of bed. You’re stiff and moving slow. Every step hurts. You think you are never going to straighten up again. And then it hits you that there is some new ache that wasn’t there when you went to bed last night. For some of us, that may just be the aging process. For others, welcome to life with fibromyalgia.
“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” ~ J. K. Rowling
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia seventeen years ago, in September, 2000. In 2001, September was designated as Pain Awareness Month. Pain covers a lot of different conditions and ailments – everything from arthritis or back problems to Fibromyalgia Syndrome or Multiple Sclerosis to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) or Ulcerative Colitis. Often when you have one of these conditions, you have multiple, so the pain is compounded. I suffered with endometriosis for years, then came fibro, TMJ, and now I also have TOS, chronic neck, back, and hip pain/bursitis. Pain – and coping with pain – is a way of life.
For those of us who live with fibromyalgia, we are painfully aware of it everyday. But May 12 has been designated to educate others. The theme this year is “Your Voice Matters” to call attention to the fact that everyone has a say in education, awareness, and making changes to help those who suffer from chronic pain.
What it Is
As I described in an earlier post, extreme fatigue, sleeping issues, and that “I-just-got-run-over-by-a-Mack-truck” feeling are the most prevalent symptoms for me. Other common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
Constant dull ache on both sides of the body and above and below the waist
Sounds great, huh? Lucky me, as I have both! Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2000 and with Osteoporosis in 2015. I know and live with chronic pain, but try my best not to let it get me down or slow me down. And then there are all of the other weird ailments that get lumped in with this condition, for lack of any other explanation. Here’s a list of 100 Symptoms of Fibromyalgia. I have probably had most of them at one point.
So in the spirit of helping with awareness, here are a few other websites and bloggers I follow that write about life with fibromyalgia:
Counting My Spoons where fellow fibro-warrior Julie writes to educate others on many health issues
Dr. Murphree’s site has good information on the condition; listen to one of his conference calls
Read my earlier post of how I cope – healthy lifestyle choices are the best methods for me and I feel it when I make bad eating choices or have high stress levels
My Voice Matters
Hopefully I have provided *a little* awareness on this “invisible” condition. So the next time I seem a little grumpy or am moving slowly, it’s probably because when I crawled out of bed and kicked fibromyalgia in the butt that morning, it kicked back.
Do you have any good resources for fibromyaglia or coping with chronic pain to share?