One of the great joys (sic) of dealing with Fibro that I’ve personally found is the energy vampires. Groups of people will often suck the energy out of me and leave me feeling just dead in no time flat, but sometimes it only takes one person. There are certain types of people who seem to suck the life out of me much faster than others; certain personalities.. I call them Energy Vampires. The last few days I’ve been encountering them a LOT.
I get what I call an electrical type energy pain with my Fibro, where it feels like I’ve literally been plugged into an electrical socket. It feels like I’m actually buzzing when this hits and it’s often related to being around people. Without the right meds storms will also really set this particular pain on fire. When this is turned on I also notice that if I get too close to people (any people) it’s as if I feel their energy reaching out and zapping me. In the early days when I didn’t know what it was, I just ended up pissed off a lot, as if for some reason just being around that person or any people pissed me off. I didn’t realize it was actually physical. With the meds (Gabapentin) and knowledge I can control this pretty well. I know when it’s going on and I try to avoid people when I feel it kicking in, so that I don’t get that energy kickback.
The last few days, however, I’ve found a few people who just turn it on regardless…. sales people! Ok, so not all energy vampires are sales people, and not all sales people are energy vampires…. Last week hubby totaled his vehicle. Luckily, he came out without a scratch but we are now having to replace his car, quickly (preferably while the insurance is still covering the rental car). I’ve gone with him a couple of days to look at cars and on at least one day I had to have him take me home early because of the energy vampires. I can only equate them to puppies or maybe rabid dogs; just too overly energetic and eager. If we were buying the car for me, I’d turn things around and be aggressive back, but since it’s not for me I’m taking the backseat, so I don’t have the means to shut them down. Having a sales background I also spot every trick they try to pull and that aggravates me even more. After one particularly aggressive sales person on Saturday, my nerves were just on fire. I was practically shaking and that turned on all the pain, sending me home early.
I went out with him again yesterday and I think I was a little more aware of what they could do to me. We pulled in one car lot and I think we both knew it was going to end bad. The guy just kinda gave us the creeps before we even got out of the car. Then we got out and he went into excited puppy mode and I just stayed 10 feet away from him at all times (preferably 20). We left within 10 minutes but I was back in the car much faster.
I’m learning from this process. It’s important that we get out of the house, but I know that certain places aren’t good for me. I tend to avoid crowds, places that are really noisy, places with lots of kids, and I even keep lunches with friends to small groups. But, it’s also important to just learn to trust your instinct. If you are around someone and you feel that something about them is setting off your nerves, it’s best to distance yourself from them. In Fibro “getting on my nerves” takes on a whole new meaning and becomes a much more physical and real thing, than we ever considered it before. Trust your instincts and protect your nerves.