Fibromyalgia is Real

It’s not in your head, and you’re not overreacting!

When the pain (not easily described) became intense and widespread, I finally mentioned it to my doctor. Through process of elimination, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (FM). Blood tests ruled out rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid issues.

Blood tests have also shown that my platelet count has been rising over the years which, as it turns out, is also associated with fibromyalgia.

Thinking back as long as I can remember, I wonder if I’ve grown up with it. I used to get pain deep in my left leg and sometimes my ankles. My grandma told me it was growing pains. If that was the the case, why didn’t I feel it throughout my entire body? For years thought it may have been attributed to a healed broken left leg when I was a toddler.

I’ve also always been hypersensitive to touch and smells, and I’m sensitive to prescription pain medications. Vicodin for a back injury really messed me up. I only took it for two days before never touching it again.

I remember doubling over on the floor when I was 4 or 5 years old with stomach pain, which I later realized was a symptom of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Yeah, that’s an annoyance that can leave forever and never come back! I consider myself fortunate to not have this to the debilitating degree as others, though. Knock on wood it stays that way!

Fibromyalgia has been stigmatized for years. As the medical profession learns more about it the stigma lessens, but it will probably always be there. It’s the main reason I don’t talk about it myself. I don’t want people to think I’m some weirdo or hypochondriac or just a whiner.

Some of the many symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM).

Above are just some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Something odd that I could never figure out why it happened is that when I ascend stairs, I sometimes miss a step. Somewhere in the action of stepping up, my brain and leg seem to lack communication so my leg isn’t sure where it’s supposed to go. For fear of falling, the involuntary reaction is to not step down at that moment but rather to lift higher and choose the next stair to step down on. I know! Strange! But it happens a lot. I always shout out “Missed a step!” when it happens. This could be attributed to FM. Who’d-a-thunk it?

Yesterday, I felt a little aching in my left leg. This morning, I woke up with pain deep in my legs, hips, forearms, hands, and back from my shoulders to the middle of my back. No amount of stretching, tightening, or consciously trying to relax made any difference. Staying in bed was only making it worse.

I can only describe it as radiating from my bones. Medical reports describe it as being nerve stimuli causing pain originating in the tissues of the body. They call it nociceptive (say: no-see-SEP-tiv) pain as opposed to neuropathic pain. It’s not the same as muscle soreness. It’s deeper and sharper than that. Flexing and stretching provides a little relief …. until I stop flexing and stretching.

Sitting still is one step away from excruciating during flare ups. I hardly ever really sit still anyway. I’m constantly fidgeting and moving and readjusting everything when I sit.

Some good, not-so-long reads on FM:

What is Fibromyalgia?
What is the Difference Between Nociceptive and Neuropathic Pain?
22 Signs You Grew up with Fibromyalgia
Breaking Down the Stigma Attached to Fibromyalgia

A much longer read:

Fibromyalgia and the Brain: New Insights and Rationale for Treatment

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia is Real

  1. Thank you for liking my blog at Shell’s Ink. I, too, have fibromyalgia. I deal with the pain by exercising at least one hour a day, but if I skip a day, I’m in a lot of pain. I feel like a slave of the gym! Very insightful article! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By the time I’m done with my four 10-hour work days, all I want to do is collapse and then sleep until the very last minute the next morning. I’ve thought of going back to a five 8-hour day schedule, but I love having three full days off. Having a weekday off for errands without crowds is a luxury I don’t want to give up yet. I do need to exercise more, though. Thanks for your thoughts!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s