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.