It’s been ten years or so

since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (fms). What have I learned?
1. You aren’t dying. You just wish you were, drat it.
2. It’s possible to go five days without sleep before you start hallucinating. The hallucinations are usually of the hideous variety (melting walls, etc.) not fun ones (everything is candy). If you want fun hallucinations, take a few benadryl. With vodka.
3. You are allergic to everything, including, sometimes, yourself. However, if your throat closes up, don’t panic. You don’t actually need air for at least a minute and the spasms usually pass before that happens. However, if you have one of these attacks in front of your husband, get up and run from the room or he will call 911. The EMTs are never as cute in real life as they are on tv.
4. No one remembers you have fms. Probably because the whole scar tissue, oozing lesions, crippled look is so 1008.
5. You will never be on time because just when you thought you were ready, you have to run to the bathroom. Because your hair hurts and you need to try a different barrette. Be prepared to explain over and over that you can’t get there by 7 am. You will NEVER get there at 7 am. Since the person you are meeting will never remember that fact, be prepared to lie after you remind them the third or fourth time or they will think you are a whining loser. You have to come up with some whoppers: a tree fell on your house, you were struck by lightning, an alien stole your shoes, etc. The crazier the lies, the more amusement potential for you which will give you a reason to get out of bed.
6. Never talk about fms. Strangely, people think your illness is all in your head. Oh wait, it is!!! Central Nervous System disorder! W00t!
7. Everyone else is just as sick/miserable as you are. Or more so. Yeah, that means if you wake up and suddenly realize that Oh, today I can’t put on any rings because of water retention, don’t mention it. Because your neighbor couldn’t even squeeze on a pair of pants and you really didn’t need to see that just so you could bitch about your puffy fingers. If your feet hurt, theirs hurt worse, probably because of a dog bite. Or cancer. If your skin feels like it’s on fire they will tell you all about how their last sunburn was insane. Insane! Those two weeks in Daytona Beach were torture! Seriously, just Keep Your Mouth Shut. No one needs to know that you fell down when you got out of bed today.
8. Keep going. There is really no point to staying in bed because you will be neither sleeping nor having sex there anytime soon. Because of the nausea. It’s always better to drag one’s doughy ass out of bed and start the day. If you stay in bed you will feel worse in two hours than you thought possible. It’s like having the flu and morning sickness! At the same time! Thankfully, fms does not result in infants (but sex might so it’s just as well the fms prevents that).
9. Exercise. Every rational human being grows up with a healthy aversion to exercise (nerdy bookworms FTW!). However, doctor’s say that exercise is the single most important part of managing fms. Why? Because if you force yourself to suffer through just one excruciating hour of exercise, the pain is sometimes less than it would be otherwise (see point 8 above about lazing around). Or maybe just concentrating the pain all at once into a single session makes the rest of the day’s pain feel less awful? *scratches head* Okay, not sure about this one.
10. You may only blog about fibromyalgia once every ten years. Why? Because if you start writing about it, you will NEVER STOP. Language diarrhea. And do you really need yet another bizarre disorder with an unpronounceable name?
(Yeah, this is what I did for the last hour while I was supposed to be writing today’s NaPoWriMo poem. I am such a whining loser.)

9 thoughts on “It’s been ten years or so

  1. Hey Christine, as you know, I've got FM too. I was recently diagnosed, also, with psuedogout (a deposition disease in which calcium crystals are deposited in the joints and sometimes, as in my case, in the skin, which is what allowed for the diagnosis). I'm taking a medication that dissolves those crystals, and a lot of my joint pain is disappearing.Take care of yourself. And feel free to vent, anytime, in my direction.

  2. Hey, sweetie, I was diagnosed around ten years ago too–or a'possible' diagnosis, cause as you know…it could be all in my head-d'oh.Big hug, keep dancing.(Acupuncture helps, and the best is a form of non popping chiro. called Network Spinal Analysis.)

  3. Wendy, omg, psuedogout? That's ridiculous and totally unfair. I'm really happy to hear that the medication is helping. Hang in there! You can drop me a line, too, anytime!Nic, :-)Ivy, double :-)Whit, yes, it's all in all of our heads, lol! Hugs backatcha!You are all awesome and I feel so much better. Writing helps. Friends help more.

  4. Chrissie, I will triple those hugs. You my dear friend inspire me. I think perhaps you should break one of your rules-the one about writing about it–as your words make people smile and think–and increase understanding for all who suffer with these disease. Much love:) bebe

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