A Day In The Life Of A Fibromyalgia Warrior

Today is a good day to blog about this topic. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disease that affects the nerves, soft tissue, ligaments, and muscles, causing widespread pain. With me, I hurt every day and I battle with what referred to as, a flare. Some sufferers only have flares and others are somewhere else on the pain spectrum.

I’ve found that most people who don’t suffer from this disease have no clue what it is or what it feels like. I’ve experienced myself and heard from others that family/friends say they’re faking and don’t hurt as bad as they claim. This belittling of our battle only adds to our pain. Still, I wouldn’t ever want anyone them to know how this feels. It saddens me to know that nowadays most people say they know a relative or friend who has Fibromyalgia.

In this post, I’m going to attempt to explain how I feel today. At this very moment, I’m in pain from head to toe. I feel a sharp, gnawing pain between each vertebra in my neck and stiffness, pain in my collar bone, where my shoulders meet its socket, in my biceps, and my fingers as I type this, in my sinuses, my lower back muscles, my sciatic nerves, in my lower stomach muscles, hips, thighs, calves, ankles, insteps, and toes.

Because these areas have been in a pain flare for several days, there is painful swelling in every joint. Due to the pain in my stomach pressing through my ribs, at times it’s a little hard to breathe and difficult to speak. My voice is heavy. I’ve wakened up these last two days with one of the worse migraines I’ve ever had. I have another migraine right now.

All of this going on, which, before this year, would’ve had me confined to the four walls of my bedroom until I could walk again without cringing. Because of this, I am considered disabled and unable to work. Usually, I would call my doctor for something to get me through. He generally calls me in four days worth of a strong dose of Toradol and Zofran. But this year, I’m trying to fight and be braver than ever. So I didn’t call him.

Instead, yesterday I took the box braid out of both girls hair +my 6 and 7-year-old nieces), cooked dinner, did the dishes, mopped the kitchen floor, and cleaned the bottom of the refrigerator. All of which I paid for upon rising this morning. The pain which is still in the same areas is worse and burns in some spots. But I managed to clean the kitchen and wash two loads of clothes, clean up the living room, and go to Play rehearsal tonight.

Through my tears, I’m pushing myself harder than ever. With Fibromyalgia, you have to know your body, listen to your body and adhere to your limits. Tonight, I feel my body screaming for me to stop. After 20 plus years of suffering, I’m finally choosing to become a warrior instead of a victim. In order to do so, I can no longer be complacent. I have come to the realization that I have not been living, but simply existing. I have got to take back control of my life.

Yes, I’m in a lot of pain, yes I’m tired, and yes I’ve cried a tear of agony today. But I am the only one that can change me. So I’m going to take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and try to live a better life through my pain instead of because of it.

I know I need to rest and I will. I know I must take care of myself to stay healthy and out of the hospital.

It’s hard having a disease nobody can see just by looking at you. It’s even harder living with this disease that some doctors still don’t recognize as being real. It’s important to have a few good, dependable people in your corner. People who know your heart, who’s seen you at your worse, and will listen to you without judgment when you just need a shoulder to cry on. I thank God for my few.

The purpose of this blog is not to complain but to shed some light and lend a voice to Fibromyalgia sufferers. This is my attempt to explain how some of us feel during a flare because each case is different. My experience differs from that of my older sister, my uncle, my brother, all who have this awful disease. Perhaps, someone reading this with use empathy next time they see their family member or friend who fights this disease daily.

What I readers to know most is that our lives are racked with pain, filled with depression, fatigue, and a host of other compounded illnesses. And our lives are also filled with the will, strength, love, hope, and the determination of a warrior. Don’t give up on us. We need you, family and friends. My motto in this life is to always be kind and giving because you never know what the next person is going through. Stay blessed.


Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.

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  1. Thank you Valerie! I have many clients who suffer from Fibromyalgia. Sadly, some doctors do not recognize the magnitude of pain endured. My husband has a disease and is in chronic pain. Many often forget the blessing of good health. Your poignant article enlightens.?

  2. Valerie, thank you so much for speaking out. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and server asthma a little over a year ago. It changed my life that’s for sure. I’ve never known the day I couldn’t get up and go full throttle until now. I admire you so for speaking out. This is a cruel disease unrelentingly with pain only someone suffering from it can understand. I take heart in your courage as I am struggling with my own. There are so many days when I wake up in pain, get dressed and put on my lipstick only to find out that the physical pain hits so hard the only thing I can have to offer is a smile to those who have no idea why I’m not the go to person I used to be.

    • Arlene,
      Your response brought tears to my eyes. It saddens me that you too know what it feels to be me. I hate that you too know what it feels like to no longer be who you used to be and may not feel comfortable telling the world why. If only people could see us from the inside out, they would understand a fraction of what we go through. Lastly, you are in my prayers and my heart.

  3. Valerie, I commend all there is about you. On a daily basis, you define courage, strength, inspiration, and leadership. You are a warrior who has won many battles despite suffering pain that would cause (understandably so) others to simply surrender to this disease. As if that were not enough in the short time I have had the pleasure of knowing you it has become abundantly clear what a terrific all-around person you are. This really was a great article that held so much hope and triumph. Your days may be filled with pain but your heart and spirit define you. Thank you, Valerie, for showing us all that is possible.

    • Thank you, Joel! I so appreciate your comments and the fact that you have taken the time to get to know me through my writing. It is wonderful to meet such amazing people through this opportunity. I believe you have suffered so much in your life as well and that’s why you are able to appreciate mine. Thank you! You are an amazing talent and friend.

      • Valerie, I wish I could find the right adjective to describe how your comment meant to me. There has been no shortage of pain and suffering in life. There were tones I did not know how to get through it all. G-d got me through it all even when I did acknowledge his presence.. You seem to be a person who has belief and faith in G-d which I admire and respect. It is a pressure to have you as a friend. Take care and thank you again for the powerfully kind compliment you gave me.

        • You’re welcome and worthy of so much more. I’m very spiritual and have a strong sixth sense about people and can feel some peoples energy. I believe it’s one of Gods gifts. God had gotten me through so much I refuse to deny Him. I appreciate you, my friend!

          • As far as my articles are concerned as just about everybody in this group knows by now in my estimation few of them were any good. As hard as it is to accept sometimes pain in its own way is a gift from G-d as aside from telling us something may be wrong with us health wise it may be that the pain is designed to give us the strength to inspire others. G-d put us together to have somebody in our lives who understands. Thank you!