Time for another post about Fibromaygia for Awareness month.
Fibromyalgia is more than widespread pain
Primary symptoms are the areas used to diagnose someone with Fibromyalgia because they happen to a degree in all of us.
Chronic widespread pain
Yes, there is chronic widespread pain. It is often the symptom people think of. Yes, we have pain. All the time. And we can flare up with a lot more than our baseline pain as well. And there are more types of pain than people think. See Fibromyalgia Pains, which includes the tortuous burning of allodynia
The fatigue can be as relentless as the pain. No napping will ever get rid of this intense exhaustion. You feel beaten down, lethargic, tired soon after we do things, and just no energy to spare when we want to do something.
With fibromyalgia, we have some major issues with quality of sleep. Due to our brains, we do not get as much deep, restorative sleep, so when we wake up we do not feel refreshed. We are very prone to delayed onset insomnia, where we struggle just to get to sleep. As well as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
We have what is often referred to as Fibro Fog. It is intense brain fog that affects our memory, short-term memory, working memory, focus, and concentration. We can sometimes lose our train of thought. Forget the words to things. Or use the wrong word in conversation.
We often get a lot of comorbids. From migraines to IBS. I gained hypothyroidism and peripheral neuropathy along with the chronic migraines and IBS-D. And they compound the chronic pain and chronic illness of Fibromyalgia. Decreasing our quality of life.
Other than the primary categories I just listed we have a lot of other symptoms in the mix. I have sensitivities to chemicals and have to be careful about detergents and cleaning products. I can’t wear make-up or use perfume. I also have low blood pressure, get night sweats, and get palpitations… all symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
All this can be life-altering. I can’t work certain jobs that require a lot of standing, lifting, or repetitive movements. Repetitive movements and lifting aggravate the chest wall pain called Costochondritis to an insane degree. And standing for long periods causes immense pain and sometimes once I do sit down I can’t get back up, the pain in my knees causes them to collapse. So we are limited in that sense on what job we can take. But then is the fibro fog there to make any job complicated beyond measure.
It is variable. I can walk an hour one day, with pain, but not extreme pain. The next week I walk 15 minutes and it is extreme pain.
Every single thing we do hurts. Everything has a cost and a consequence to it.