I just read an article recently that was a list of the top 10 most painful medical conditions people live with. Amongst that list, I was reading and found myself thinking, “Oh my goodness! I cannot imagine.”
Cancer was on that list. Guess what else was on that list. Yup. Fibromyalgia. It is very painful. I mean, imagine your whole body hurting. Can you even fathom that? Well, sadly, many fibromyalgia patients experience this. It’s called widespread pain.
Why do we hurt all over?
Would you say something like that to a cancer patient? Probably not. So, why would you say it (or think it) to (about) someone who’s suffering with another illness, such as fibromyalgia? The person is sick and this really affects so many aspects of life. Please consider that. Now, if I can have a bit more of your time and I haven’t bored you yet or if you’re really interested in learning or trying to understand a bit more about this illness, allow me to get into the other symptoms and areas of life that it affects.
Let’s visit a day in my life.
I don’t know if, at night, I’ll be able to sleep or not. Insomnia may show up. Or a migraine. Or Restless Leg Syndrome. Or severe nausea. Or high pain levels. Or muscle twitches. If I do happen to rest well, it’s possible I will wake in excruciating pain due to remaining in the same position a long time. I may wake feeling like I’ve done a full workout in my rest. I may wake up feeling more tired than I was before sleeping, not refreshed at all. Most likely, I’ll wake up sore and stiff. Ok. So, I’m up and going. I’m moving slow. Let’s talk about getting ready. That alone can wipe me out. On any given day, I can have a migraine headache, severe nausea, pain anywhere and everywhere, debilitating fatigue, mental and cognitive problems, anxiety that’s elevated, depression that’s harder to manage, feelings of being easily irritable or overwhelmed. Doing things like laundry or vacuuming can seem daunting. It can be hard to focus and concentrate. I have to move slow. And, I may have a very overwhelming and uncontrolled desire to just lay down and nap. That nap may not help me feel better. This can all be while having that pain. I might have difficulty communicating and finding simple everyday words, which can make me feel dumb, in a sense. I may also get tingling, numbness, and weakness at any given moment. It’s very unpredictable.
Only occasionally, do I get a day or two at a time without any symptoms.
Let’s go back to the pain. There’s is pain all over your body, pain that comes and goes, pain that moves all over the place. There’s achiness, deep aching, dull, sharp, burning, tingling, shooting, nerve pain, pain with tender points having pressure put on them, and I’m sure I’m missing some sort of pain. A light rub across your back with a finger can hurt. A poke can hurt. A hug can hurt. Playing with children can hurt. Unfortunately, pain is only one symptom though. To learn more about the symptoms and complications of fibromyalgia, please take a look at the links below.
As you have time, I encourage you to venture around these sites and read more.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Things I found to be very helpful in managing this illness that people have done for me and meant a world of difference, giving me a little more strength to fight, that you could try are:
~Sending them a card or message that says something like,
•When I have bad days, I think of you. I think if you can do this, I surely can fight my battles, because your battle is much tougher than mine. You help me to fight.
•I know it’s tough (hard, difficult, hard to manage)
•You’re doing great!
•I don’t know how you do it, but you are strong.
~If they post things on social media about it, take a moment to ‘like’ it to show you’re thinking of them. Or comment something simple like:
•I’m sorry you’re not feeling well (having a hard time).
•I hope you feel better soon.
KIND WORDS CAN GO A LONG WAY IN HELPING THEM FIGHT THIS. Don’t ever underestimate the length and depth kind words can go.
Responding to such posts on social media and things like this can be very helpful as many chronic illness sufferers feel there is an invisible wall between the healthy and the sick. But, we don’t know how to break this wall down. You can help us to try and do that by showing a little care and compassion. And, it’s really not that hard to do.