It’s time that I come clean and stop tiptoeing around the subject. I mean, if I had an employer, I couldn’t keep silent about my absences. So, I feel that it is only fair that I do the same on my blog. I have to fess up and talk directly about a subject that is always on my mind but I pretend to ignore. It’s the reason that it has taken me days to write this post. It’s the reason that I can’t write here as often as I’d like–can’t enjoy many of the things that I love.
I am referring to fibromyalgia. I’ve referred to it in a number of posts but only as some phantom visitor who stays for a while and leaves to return again at some later date. Unfortunately for me, that is not how it works. Over the last six years, fibromyalgia is the visitor who I can’t kick out or order to leave. This is the visitor who quickly over stays his welcome, and creates havoc and still refuses to leave, no matter what I do. He is a visitor that should he come knocking on your door, you should bar your windows and doors, and under no circumstance allow him entry, because once he is in, only the fates know when he will leave.
What is fibromyalgia? This is where things get complicated. First of all, fibromyalgia is not a disease, it is a syndrome.
Fibromyalgia (pronounced fy-bro-my-AL-ja) is a common and complex chronic pain disorder that affects people physically, mentally and socially. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease. Unlike a disease, which is a medical condition with a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms, a syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause.http://j.mp/g0UGc4
Fibromyalgia, which has also been referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome, fibromyositis and fibrositis, is characterized by chronic widespread pain, multiple tender points, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbances, fatigue and often psychological distress. For those with severe symptoms, fibromyalgia can be extremely debilitating and interfere with basic daily activities.http://j.mp/g0UGc4
The syndrome differs from one person to another, but for me, the last phrase of the definition is particularly accurate. Because of the pain from fibromyalgia, I reluctantly resigned my position as an active litigation attorney and remain on “inactive” status with the state bar.
The debilitating fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, insomnia, as well as sleep apnea, and psychological distress, are child’s play, compared to the pain. For the past week and a half, I have been wracked with pain that changes location like a feather in the wind. Muscles seize, throb, sear, and radiate pain from head to toe, until they exhaust themselves; not even my implanted pain pump can stop the steady assault as it moves across my body. During these times, I wish that I could say that I am stoic throughout, but I’d be lying. I take the useless pain medications, apply ice (I have about 10 ice packs), thrash, toss, turn and fervently pray to God, mostly to put me out of my misery. (This last one, I quickly take back lest God answer that prayer.) Since I was raised Catholic, I also start calling on the guardian angels, dead relatives (I get desperate.) and saints. In case you didn’t know, there is a saint for whatever ails you. For example, St. Dennis for headaches, St. Germaine Cousins for the disabled and my personal favorite St. Michael, whom I call upon for everything.
Over the years, I’ve tried massage, acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese medicine, herbal remedies, energy medicine, heat therapy, cold therapy, chiropractics, homeopathic medicine, flower essences, essential oils, yoga, steroid injections, pain pump implant, meditation, prescription medication, cranio-sacral therapy, physical therapy, vitamin supplements , trigger point therapy, and over-the-counter medication– anything that sounds remotely promising, I’ll try it. As I’ve discovered, the passage of time is the only sure and potent remedy. Afterwards, I am grateful for my mind’s defense mechanism that allows me to forget the ferocity of these episodes. Mercifully, I remember pain–just not the depth and breadth of the pain.
When I first began this blog, I wanted to gloss over this topic because I do not want pity or to be thought of solely as “that woman with fibromyalgia.” I am so much more. As I stated then:
“Over the years, I’ve held many roles, namely, mother, wife, daughter, sister, g’mom, attorney, friend and countless others. In addition to the typical roles, I have chronic pain due to both fibromyalgia, http://j.mp/bsS10S, and migraines, http://j.mp/8ZZnOC. This blog is not about my health issues per se, but given their huge impact on my life, denying them is akin to denying my skin or eye color. Besides, there is no doubt that they, like every other challenge that I have met and conquered in life, have no small part in forming the woman that I am today.” http://goo.gl/KtXtk
I just want others to know that fibromyalgia is a disorder that I have, it is not what or who I am.
Blessings and peace, lydia marie
Hi Lydia:I hear you. Thanks for writing this. My fibro does rule a lot of my life, limiting my ability to go places, do things. I had symptoms for decades before anybody knew how to diagnose it. I am determined to find some relief, or some way to re-tune my immune system. That's what keeps me going.
Dear Anya,You have a handle on your fibro far better than I do at this point in my life. I know all that you do and I am amazed that you do it all in spite of fibro. You and others like you are my inspiration. Keep on giving me hope, and thank you so much for taking time out of your busy life to read my blog. I appreciate it. Blessings and happy holidays.
I have just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia on December 5, 2016. I had the symptoms for a long time and it became unbearable. I am a Head Start preschool teacher and my attitude changed, short tempered. It was time for me to retire. I am tired all the time and all I want to do is sleep. I don’t sleep well at night. I stopped taking naps because I am able to sleep the whole night. I know that I have to take one day at a time. This is not a mind over matter in this situation. I had support from my doctors, family and friends. i looked further for an alternative treatments, and then a friend of mine told me about Health Herbal Clinic in Johannesburg who sell herbal formula for diseases including FIBROMYALGIA disease, I contacted the herbal clinic via their website and purchased the fibromyalgia herbal remedy. I received the herbal remedy through DHL couriers within 8 days and i immediately commenced usage as prescribed, i used the herbal remedy for about a month and 1 week, my condition has greatly improved, all my symptoms including Chronic muscle pain, Abdominal pain, nausea, I am fibromyalgia free! contact Health Herbal Clinic via their email healthherbalclinic@ gmail. com
Your comment is so timely. For weeks, I have been in horrendous pain and I am very down. The idea of getting rid of fibromyalgia and the physical, mental and emotional symptoms is almost too good to be true. I will check out the website immediately and pray that they ship to the U.S. I’ve been living with fibromyalgia for 20 years and it would be a blessing to be cured. Blessings and thanks, Lydia