What a typical day looks like for a Fibromyalgia sufferer…
*6am- wakes up stiff with joints feeling like they are on fire… every.single.joint.
*Struggles with brushing teeth and showering, head may have that “far-off” hazy feeling of a pending “Fibro-type” migraine- (only a fellow Fibro sufferer knows what that means).
*The left shoulder may be throbbing, and the brain is trying to recall what could have possibly been done in the days preceding to cause the pain and a heating pad is used to find relief. (Fibro sufferers know the pain runs 24-48 later).
*8am- breakfast is eaten and the long to-do list that was written down when the brain was working (fibro-fog) can’t be located.
*9am- list is found, the pain is now in both feet which hurt with each step taken.
*10am- the pain running down both arms and shoulders from paying bills has caused a lull in that task. Getting up and walking a bit helps and it’s noticed the feet seem to feel less painful, now.
*11am- while trying to remember where the bill paying was left off, the mind goes blank and a rest seems likely. The hazy head feeling seems to be getting worse.
*By noon the shoulder is doing better and suddenly the right knee is not cooperating due to going upstairs for something and going back down is a challenge. Once down, the knee brace is used for the rest of the day.
*2pm- the knee isn’t as bad; however, the far-off migraine jumps from the shelf and lands full-force making every joint scream with the burning pain as the migraine engulfs the entire body. The Ibuprofen that should have been taken when the hazy feeling began is taken now. A cloth over the eyes and a nap to “sleep-it-off” becomes the order of the day…(and, if available, a neck rub by a loved one to help ease the pain that makes you want to curl up and cry). If no one is available, one’s own hand can rub the neck, but the fingers will throb with each motion making the pain even more so.
*3pm- sleeping helped the migraine climb back on the shelf, only threatening to invade again if anything is done to knock it off again.
*4pm- finds slow movements and a pacing to get through the evening hours is needed-all at a pace a snail could win.
Dinner needs made, kiddos to care for, etc. and all the poor sufferers can do is muddle through and do their best…all while smiling through the pain and overwhelming feeling of being overwhelmed. Not to mention trying not to show how the Fibro-fog has set in for the third time that day and the never-ending question of “what is for dinner” becomes another reality.
*6pm- finds the above is done, hopes for help with the cleanup, which seems daunting as the pain is now from neck to waist running down the spine causing a twinge of electric-like pain to jolt the head, hips and ankles, reminiscent of Steve Martin in “The Jerk.”
*7pm- brings a crash and burn that overtakes the entire body and the need to be horizontal is eminent, disappointing those around you who wanted to hang out and have some fun. Polite apologies are made…a shower is considered, but even the thought of the effort that would take is daunting, so it’s skipped.
*8pm- sleep hasn’t come.
*9pm- your body finally falls asleep but awakes again- off and on- as each sleepy turn of the body produces pains that eventually wakes it up again…this continues all night.
*6am- the light awakens the groggy human, and it begins all over again…only this day the troublemakers may be a hip, ankle or the hands where the dexterity is lacking to such a degree that two hands are needed to pour the coffee into the mug…you do the “happy-dance” when nothing spills, only to stop mid dance to the stinging pain that shoots through the entire body from the excited thrill dance, which sets the tone for the rest of the day. Coffee is grabbed and a chair is where most of the morning will be spent…
Good morning to Fibromyalgia, where mind-over-matter AND the most positive of attitudes are the ingredients needed to get through one’s day…
Life goes on. Things need done. Help isn’t always there, and if it were, and we asked for it, we’d sound like a complaining hypochondriac…every.single.day. So…we don’t ask. We keep plugging along with a smiling face doing the best we can, (likely overdoing it) and paying for our choices hours or days later.
Our theme song is “Tears of a Clown”-
It’s a vicious cycle.