The day came and went without me even knowing it.
Apparently Fibromyalgia Awareness Day was earlier this week. Whoops!
At this point in my journey, I'm ready for life to just be more than Fibro. I don't want the pain and fatigue that I face every moment of every day to define me. So I just honestly don't keep tabs on that info much anymore. But I still do have things to say about it sometimes (though, seriously, isn't just looking at my baby... er, toddler... way cuter and more fun?!?! ;)).
And though I certainly wish I wasn't facing this all the time, I have truly learned to be thankful for it. Beyond what I could ever really put into words. It's changed me, grown my ability to be more compassionate toward the pain of others, and it has strengthened me in places I didn't know existed.
Fibromyalgia, in case you aren't aware, is all over body pain and fatigue. Constantly. It doesn't come and go in waves. It's not there one moment and gone the next. People who have Fibromyalgia deal with unimaginable pain. If you don't have it, you can't even begin to fully comprehend the level of suffering we endure daily.
Day in and day out. All over. Constant.
We hurt. We ache. We fall apart. We can barely stand because the utter fatigue weighs us down and threatens to knock us onto our backs regularly. We want to scream because it hurts so much.
Then there are the flare-ups. Ohhh. Such pain and debilitating fatigue. It's like nothing I can explain. So we try not to push too hard, to overdue it, to say yes to too much, to get stuck in situations that we can't get out of, or to over-commit. It taxes our bodies far beyond what a normal body would feel by overdoing it.
But because our pain isn't seen, it's often thought of even still as just IN OUR HEADS.
This is so ridiculous and it just gives us great stress. Which ironically makes us feel 100x worse than we already did.
Not only does Fibro come with pain and fatigue, it also comes with a host of other symptoms, which vary from person-to-person since Fibro is such an individualized syndrome/illness:
- irritable bowel syndrome
- acid reflux
- brain fog
- insomnia or sleep disturbances
- numbness or tingling in hands, arms, legs, and feet
- balance/coordination problems
- muscle spasms
- sensitivities to touch, smells, and lights
- intensely painful menstrual cramps
- restless legs syndrome
- impaired memory and concentration
- dry eyes and mouth
- ringing in the ears
- vision problems
[not an all-inclusive list -- taken from various websites]
So yeah. You don't wake up and wish you had this. But when you have it, you fight. You get up, you keep going (not every day, but most days).
You find inner resolve and strength. You find people like you. And you try to help others understand and become more aware so that we feel less isolated and more cared about.
Fibromyalgia. It can be a killer of your joy, but only if you let it.