Or Trying To Live Life With Your Fibro Flaring Up…
Trying to explain a fibro flare to a normal person is nearly impossible. They don’t get it. They can’t wrap their minds around it. I’ve had flares so bad that I literally could not get out of bed. I had to crawl to the bathroom. Luckily, those are rare.
When I explain that, lately, I feel worse than I have in over a decade, my friends are shocked but still don’t quite get it. I explain that I feel like I have their worse knock down drag out flu. The kind that confined them to a bed for days. Only mine doesn’t end. Some days I feel a bit better and some days I feel even worse. Then throw in fun random nerve pain, brain fog, that lovely pins and needles feeling, and a constant headache and you’ve got my daily life.
And for years I pushed on through this. I asked my doctors for enough painkillers so I can get through the day, but not so much that it will affect my ability to function. I also have muscle relaxers for the constant muscle spasms in my back. I would grit my teeth and smile through my day, pretending to be fine. I worked as hard or harder than everyone to prove I could do it. That my chronic pain was not going to hold me back.
I push too hard and for too long. My body just couldn’t handle it and, after warning me a few times and me ignoring the warnings, gave out on me. I, of course was in complete denial at first. I thought a little rest and I’d be right as rain…but I wasn’t getting better.
I needed to make serious changes to my life. The first was coming out to everyone as a chronically ill person. I know that people don’t like being labelled and blah blah blah but not admitting it was seriously hurting my relationships. They knew but they didn’t know the extent of my illness. Now they know. I started educating the people around me about my illnesses so there would be an open dialog about it. I wanted them to come to me with any questions so there would be no confusion or resentments or anything. It actually brought us all closer together.
I took the shame and the guilt out of being sick. I removed the stigma. Though I still feel like a burden at times, I know my family and friends don’t feel that way about me because we are so open in our communication. It’s not easy letting yourself be that vulnerable and you might get hurt, but I guarantee you will find who really loves you and who you can rely on when you open up like that. It makes me feel blessed…even if I am achy.