(This article was reprinted by request.)
Okay, so let’s talk about the realities of having Fibromyalgia or another chronic pain disease. Few websites or blogs will touch on this subject. I will do my best to do so. See, I am a daily Fibromyalgia warrior. I fight the battle of pain every day and it is a very real issue for me. I want you to know you are not alone.
Fibros already know that just waking up in the morning can be overwhelming. That is when the positive thoughts need to kick in. You know what I mean…But how about when you cannot remember what day it is, what you have to do that day, or what you even did yesterday? Not the best way to start the day, but it does happen.
So, now your awake and you begin to move. After the grunts and groans and the electric-like shocks stop flowing in like the tide, you need to tell your brain to begin those ever-needed positive thoughts that say…”Get up”.
Once you determine in your mind you need to get up, you begin the process. Now you are sitting up at the edge of your bed. More pain. Places that should never feel pain, has pain. You say to yourself that is too early to feel this way. You pause and look out the window, willing the day to just float you through it. Then your feet touch the floor. (If you are like me, this is a painful morning occurrence. On go the flip-flops, Crocs or slippers.)
Now that you have your barrings, you paddle your way to the bathroom. Here is where no one actually discusses how hard it is to pee sitting down mainly because they know how hard it is going to be to get back up and “potty talk” is not discussed openly on most blogs. (This is assuming most of my readers are female. I am a sit-down female and I would not want to assume what a male with Fibro goes through at this point. Just saying.)
All Fibros, both male and female do know the deep-seeded feelings of painful joints and mornings are the WORST. We do not take toilet usage for granted! No.
Okay, so that part is over and we move on to regular morning rituals like teeth brushing, hair brushing, (and wiping out the sink that is laden with your once beautifully attached hair of only moments ago), makeup if you wear it, donning sunscreen liberally on all exposed areas, and (if your arms can handle it) you braid or pull your hair up in a ponytail or bun. Forget the curling iron…You then breathe a sigh as the pain in your shoulder joints begin to wind down their screaming. You turn to look at the reflection in the mirror and ask yourself “Why me?” (Please do not go there. I fight this, too, but to keep on keeping on, you MUST have a positive outlook. Just turn off the light and smile as you walk out.)
(If you are blessed with Lupus as well as Fibromyalgia and you have a butterfly rash across your cheeks, tell yourself you are beautiful and walk out of the bathroom. Besides, you are beautiful! This is the life that the Lord Jesus himself has allowed you to have-We must make the most out of it and beauty is found within, anyway, right?)
Did I say having a positive outlook would be easy? No, I did not.
So, how about getting dressed? God forbid the clothes we put on the first time don’t fit right or your brain suddenly kicks in and you remember that you had an appointment today so a different outfit is needed. Getting dressed once can be a challenge, but twice? Here comes more pain…
Sidebar: I began Physical Therapy by way of the pool last summer. Besides the fact that it did not help but actually added to my daily pain; the challenge wasn’t in the exercise, but the changing into and out of the swimsuit and back into the clothes each session. It was like showering 2x a day and that, my friend, is a challenge all its own. End of Sidebar.
So now we are dressed and ready to begin our day. (Is the coffee made yet???)
In my home I have several children of various ages that are being home educated by me, myself and I.
I love being a stay-at-home mom!
However, since my Fibromyalgia began in 2015, I have had to make some major adjustments!
Breakfasts and lunches have been simplified to allow for me to move a bit more slowly through the morning routine. Did I just say routine? Ha! The word routine got lost the day I was diagnosed!
Fortunately for me, my children are beginning to see that my condition does in fact affect our life and can make our days a variable.
This once routined (there’s that word again) Mother has now resorted to lists and Post-it-Notes to stay on track. It is a whole new way of life. (Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks???)
Does standing bother you? How about sitting? How about driving? How about walking? For me, it is all of the above. Some days I need to rest-A LOT-other days I can make it through without that nap I so desperately needed the day before.
We know cooking is a chore for the most healthy person, but with Fibro it presents a larger challenge to one’s day. If I use all my energy in the morning on the evening meal, it’s a bust day for me! Easy meals are a must! I have one word for you where cooking is concerned…
No, that is not the word. The word is…
One word. Huge challenge. But it can be done.
Moment by moment, it can be done.
Now your day is over and you are exhausted. Maybe you got to rest, maybe you did not. Maybe you had to drive or maybe you stayed home. Regardless, it’s now time for bed.
You made yourself shower in the hopes the heat will help alleviate the pain. Your children are asleep and you look over at your husband, smile and sigh.
(Here is the next thing most Fibro blogs tip-toe around.)
You want to be intimate with your husband like you used to. Full of energy and abandon and joint pain-free. You can, but not until you get to “that point” when you forget the joint pain. It’s a beautiful thing to “forget” the pain, but getting there is a painful thing indeed, just moving all those joints! (If your husband is compassionate to the new physical you, like mine, then praise the Lord and ask for more energy!! haha If he is not, my heart hurts for you. Let him read this blog to get a better understanding that you are not alone and that this is a REAL condition!-and pray. Seriously, pray.)
The intimacy between you and your spouse is never to be left behind-pain or no pain.
It is what makes a marriage strong.
It is what makes a marriage whole.
It is what makes a marriage complete.
Perhaps you can’t be intimate as often as you used to. (Hey, we don’t stay 25 forever…) Or maybe you are 25. (Well, I cannot relate since I’m in my 40’s, but Fibro-pain is Fibro-pain no matter how old you are.) Just keep at the intimacy! When it is all over and the pain comes roaring back, (which it always does), you will have the wonderful memory of the connection between you and your husband to fill your mind with positive thoughts to fall asleep on.
Once sleep arrives (for some it takes longer than others), my prayer for you is that you will sleep well and wake up with renewed thoughts for a positive outlook on your day as the cycle begins again tomorrow.
And…24-48 hours later when you can hardly walk and are too stiff and sore to function, always remember that wonderful night with your husband and be thankful for the 24-48 hours earlier…
It is a vicious cycle of unrelenting pain. Yes, it is. The cycle is called life. The cycle is called living.