Hello, my friends! I hope you are all doing well. I have missed you. We are getting ready to sell our home, so I have been busy weeding through the clutter we have accumulated and packing up the important things. This is going to be a huge change for us as we are moving out of state. So long, Arizona! I will do my best to document the journey along the way.
Today though, I wanted to talk (again) about Fibromyalgia and other chronic “invisible” illnesses. So often, those of us who “don’t look sick” are judged based only on what others see and their lack of knowledge and understanding. I recently had an argument with someone close to me about this matter. Sadly, I know they are not the only one who feels this way. They perceive me as someone who is lazy because I cannot work, but they see that I have done other projects around my home. What they don’t see: medication to get through the pain, tears, restless nights, naps, fatigue, and three days of recovery. Try as I might to not let someone’s opinion of me get under my skin, it does. I try to keep in mind, that it is hard to comprehend what it is truly like dealing with chronic illness, until you have been through it yourself. Again, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I thought I would share some images that depict what my days are like with Fibromyalgia.
It’s true, being in constant pain day after day sucks. Living with it for years is exhausting, and yes there are days where I can’t possibly imagine having to live this way for another fifty plus years. Having said this, there are also reasons that I am thankful for the pain.
Pain changes people, but it doesn’t have to all be negative changes. At this moment, I’m choosing to acknowledge the positive ways that pain has changed me.
Pain has made me more patient and understanding when those around me are in pain. Knowing what it feels like and how frustrating it can be to not meet the expectations you have for yourself or that others have for you, I am now more understanding when someone needs to cancel or change plans or simply rest.
I’ve become thankful for the pain in that, while yes it hurts, at least I have all of my body parts. Others are not so fortunate. I am alive another day and able to feel; that is certainly worth thanking God for.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to work, due to pain. While this is financially a burden on my family, it has allowed me to be more present in my children’s lives. It has also allowed me to discover my love for sewing, painting, jewelry making, and writing (my escapes from pain and depression). With any luck, maybe these things will turn into something I can use to contribute financially.
Pain has made me stronger. I have made it through 100% of my bad days and I will make it through the next one. I am also stronger in my faith. Living in constant pain I’ve learned to lean on God more than ever.
Yes, pain sucks, but if you can find the beauty in it, fighting through it might become a little easier. I would love to know, what beauty do you find in your pain?
Pain free days are long gone. I haven’t had one of those in ten years. To be honest, I’ve forgotten what that feels like. The only thing that exists now is a good pain day or a bad pain day. The thing with fibro is that it’s like a rollercoaster; you can feel mild pain one minute and BAM, the next minute you’re struggling to do anything, the pain is so intense. I feel like this is why anyone who doesn’t have fibromyalgia, has a hard time understanding it (I’ll be doing another post on this issue later).
On a good day, maybe only the arms and legs hurt, or the all over pain is mild enough that I can complete all my tasks without being in agony. Most days are not like this. In the event that I do get a day like this, I tend to over-do it, catching up on everything fibro wouldn’t allow me to do the day(s) before. This in turn means that I will spend the next two to three days paying for it. Today is a bad pain day. Everything hurts. I’ve got a headache, my neck is sore, my arms, hands and legs feel as though they will surely break if I move wrong, my ribs feel bruised to the touch, my clothes are irritating my skin. I’m not looking forward to showering because I know that the water hitting my skin and shaving are going to hurt. This is only one of the gifts fibro has to offer. There’s also fibro fog and fatigue, which I will address in another post. Today is the type of day where I want to crawl into bed and stay there for hours, but I can’t. So I will do my best to push through the pain, try to smile when in company, and hope that tomorrow will be better.
Gentle hugs to my fellow fibro warriors. Remember, we’ve made it through our bad days so far and we’ll make it through this one too.