10 Things You Should Know About Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is real, and there’s even a blood test to verify it now.
2. Every fibromyalgia experience is different
Fibromylagia is no different than any other illness. Each person experiences it differently. There are symptoms that overlap but overall the combination of symptoms and how each person experiences them is different.
Every person with Fibromyalgia experiences Fibromyalgia differently.
The pain may be in different places, the fatigue may be higher for some than others. Some people have most of their pain in their lower body, while others have it mostly in their upper body.
Some may have found relief to the point that they can live a mostly normal life, while others still struggle to get out of bed.
Do not assume that just because you know one person with fibromyalgia that you understand what another person with fibromyalgia is going through.Every person experiences #fibromyalgia differently. Just because your experience is different doesn't make it less (or more) valid. #fibromyalgia Click To Tweet
3. Every day with fibromyalgia is different
This is one of the hardest things to understand about Fibromyalgia, even for those of us who live with it. Each day is unique.
Just because one day we feel so bad that we can’t get out of bed, doesn’t mean that the next we might not feel like we can clean the house (we may pay for it later, but that’s another issue). And, just because we are able to go out and enjoy life today doesn’t mean that we can do it again tomorrow.
I remember during the worst of my illness I had one good month, I did a lot of cleaning in that month, I worked out, I felt pretty good. But, it was just a month and then I was back to feeling awful again. No explanation, it just was.
Even today, though I’ve largely recovered, how I feel varies greatly from day to day.
4. Relief that works for one may not work for someone else
Despite what the commercials may lead us to believe, there is no magic pill that will help us all live normal lives again.
There are drugs that have helped friends of mine greatly, but they either did nothing for me, or left me feeling worse and unable to function at all.
Diet change has been the best thing for me and giving up gluten has been so worthwhile FOR ME, but that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.
5. Fibromyalgia is not the same as depression
However, fibromyalgia pain has been linked to decreased serotonin levels in the blood. This is why anti-depressants are often a first line of treatment for Fibromyalgia. It’s not because “it’s just depression” but rather because the same problem that causes depression can also cause Fibromyalgia.
6. People with Fibromyalgia tend to be overly-sensitive (in every way)
Hyper-sensitivity is common with Fibromyalgia.
While taking classes, I was sitting in a room with about 7 people and I could hear all the talk coming from nearby classrooms. It seemed so loud that I could barely pay attention to what was going on right there in front of me.
After about 10 minutes of this I finally had to just leave and go somewhere quiet. I couldn’t take the noise.
7. Fibromyalgia can wreak havoc on relationships
Whether it’s a marriage or a friendship, Fibromyalgia can breed resentment in both directions. The person who is sick feels resentful at not being able to do what others can do, and the healthy person often resents that their loved one is no longer there when their needed (because they are sick).
Family members get tired of being caregivers. Friends get tired of inviting the sick person out only to have them say no, and then the sick person gets frustrated because people stop inviting them. It’s a vicious circle.
Too often the person who is ill pushes those they love away thinking they are protecting them.
8. Fibromyalgia is so much more than just pain
While widespread chronic body pain is the hallmark symptom of Fibromyalgia, it is so much more than that. Key players in Fibromyalgia also include sleep issues (insomnia, disturbed sleep, etc), fatigue, migraine, and irritable bowel syndrome.
9. Not every doctor can or will treat Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a tough illness to treat. Few doctors understand it. Even fewer doctors are up to date on the various treatments available.
While it’s tempting to just take whatever medication is handed to you by the first doctor who finally diagnoses you with fibromyalgia, it’s important to do your research and find out what the options are.
Find a doctor who really understands the illness and knows the many options there are for treating it.
10. The best tool for treating fibromyalgia is pacing
As difficult as it is, you have to learn to listen to your body and stop when it’s time to stop.
It’s tempting to push through or to convince yourself that you have to do everything, but the truth is that you don’t. You can stop.
By stopping today when your body says stop, or at least slowing down you’ll get more done when you do feel good, and you’ll do it better. By pushing through you’ll accomplish less and what you do accomplish will not be to your best ability.10 things you should know about living with fibromyalgia. #fibromyalgia #fibrolife Click To Tweet
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