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.
This past week has seen some weather extremes across the country. Despite the Polar vortex that gripped parts of the country, Punxsutawney Phil came out of his hole, did not see his shadow, thereby predicting an early spring. I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually believe the Groundhog Day tradition for my weather reports. (And Phil IS usually wrong!)
“Doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together.”
Here are some ugly truths: Women and men experience pain differently. Doctors are less likely to treat women’s pain. Health issues that disproportionately affect women are not studied as much as those affecting men. It can take women multiple visits and sometimes years to diagnose their medical issues and chronic illnesses. And when painful conditions like Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia don’t have a simple test for diagnosing, those visits and months and years can prove both emotionally and physically draining when you’re already in pain and still having to fight for a diagnosis.
Practicing medicine is just that, practicing. Sometimes you have to fight for a diagnosis.
This post is long overdue, but I just couldn’t write it until I felt I had a positive update. As someone who lives with chronic pain from neck and back issues, alongside my fatigue and pain from fibromyalgia, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate a new pain from the same old aches and pains.
“Sometimes the curiosity can kill the soul but leave the pain.” ~Alice in Wonderland
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”
Airport travel is challenging enough, but the challenges multiply when traveling with a chronic condition.
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
I love traveling. Or at least the part where you actually get somewhere and you can relax, sightsee, visit with friends or family, or whatever is on the agenda. The actual part where you’re sitting in an airport, on a plane, or in a car isn’t always the most pleasant or comfortable these days.
I can’t remember the last time I had an entire trip that had “smooth sailing” when flying with our airlines. Flight delays due to weather or mechanical issues, crew changes, dumping fuel, refueling, scheduling and logistics issues all wreak havoc on your ability to get somewhere on time. Three times this past year I have been rerouted to another city because one of these things. And now I am preparing to head to Florida just days after Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall with storms expected at home when I leave.
Airport travel is challenging enough between allotting enough time to get through security and arriving before your actual scheduled flight time. Add to that an illness, injury, a chronic condition, or fibromyalgia, and the challenges multiply. Will I be having a flare? Will my back or leg pain act up? So how does one manage travel delays and stressful times when you have a chronic condition?
On this last day of Pain Awareness Month, I wanted to end with some final thoughts. Pain may not be our choice, but how we deal with the pain in our life and how we respond to our pain is our choice. Attitude matters.
I am not my pain. I choose not to let it define me.