So we all get questions from time to time about what our illness is all about and these are the ones I get most often with Fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?
To be honest, this is the number one question because most people have no idea what it is. I tell them it is a form of chronic pain where the brains pain processing center is malfunctioning such that I always get the pain signal where there is no injury present, more pain for something that doesn’t cause much pain and flares of pain when I do little. And I usually add that it is a syndrome with a lot of symptoms including fatigue, sleep dysfunction and cognitive dysfunction.
What is the cause of it?
Ah, well, so as to that one, who really knows. It is a nervous system malfunction for sure. That goes haywire. But why? They do not know.
Is there a cure?
That is a big fat nope. Some people have been known to go into remission. But there is no cure. Barely treatment really.
Will it kill you?
No, but it feels like it is. Actually the number one cause of death related to FM is suicide.
How painful is it?
This is a hard one. I tell people that it varies from person to person. Some people are on disability because they have it severely. Some people can function with it well. I tell them mine is moderate. I say the pain is widespread throughout the body, in a general baseline aching pain. Then certain areas will hurt more than that. Sharper, deeper pains. And that can change from day to day, or week to week. And then there are Flares where the all over pain is severe and it is hard to get around. But we can also have severe skin pain like allodynia.
No one ever asks about the other symptoms. And how bad the fatigue is. The fibro fog. Those things. No one knows enough to. But obviously those other symptoms affect us a great deal. That is why the number one questions is ‘what is it?’ they just have this vague notion of what it is, or none at all.