Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What Fibro Feels Like

Most of the time I don't believe my diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I don't have the typical tender points and I can function pretty well if I keep my schedule from getting too crazy. I'm always a little sore somewhere but normally it's nothing I can't handle. Then there are days when I have flare ups. Those are not good days. Those are days full of frustration that I can't do what I want to do because I feel so darn lousy. It's like the day after the worst day of the flu. You're on the mend but you still feel wrung out, still sore and achy, still tired. The frustrating part is I still want to DO things. I WANT to get out of bed and get on with my life, work on my latest project (I always have one project or another going on) or do something fun with the kids, but I can't. I can push through it when I have to but it is so draining, like when you try to walk fast in a pool with the water up to your shoulders. It's like there's a resistance pushing against you; movement is harder than it should be.

And then there's the "fibro fog", which can hit at any time, flare up or not. That's really frustrating. I am usually pretty sharp, but when I get THE FOG, I'm anything but sharp. Dull as a spoon is more like it. I forget things. If I have something important in my hand I might get distracted and put it down without realizing it and forget where I've put it. I've lost some really important papers that way. I get names wrong. I know lots of people do that too, but I manage to do it in spectacular style! As an example, I spent a weekend on a team with a woman I went to Girl Scout Basic Camp Training with. We worked side by side, we participated in a meaningful ceremony together, we sang silly camp songs together, and took pictures together. I KNEW her name as well as my own. I got back and attended an event with this woman and introduced her as someone else on our team and didn't realize it until about a week afterward. (It woke me up in the middle of the night- did I? OMG, YES I DID!!! SHE MUST THINK I AM THE WORLD'S BIGGEST IDIOT!!!) I blame the fibro fog. Yes, it can be that bad. Fog is a very accurate description of how it feels, too. It's like my thinking is clouded over. I hate it.

But on the up side, I don't have fibromyalgia as bad as some people do. I'm not taking any prescription medication for it although I take an Aleve every day. (Which I also take for arthritis.) I'm trying to manage by changing my lifestyle with the weight loss, regular exercise, (although I come home and I'm bed ridden for two hours after my daily walk, but I still do it), and eating properly. I try to get enough sleep but sometimes my body doesn't cooperate. That's the hardest time for me, when I'm in a not-sleeping-well cycle, but I know it is just a cycle and if I don't freak out about it I'll get through it and get back to sleeping well. I'm also trying acupuncture since I met an acupuncturist through my book club. She's away on a long trip right now so I can't see her for this flare up, but things were going well prior to her leaving. I'm experimenting with herbal supplements. Melatonin did NOT work for me. A doctor I worked with once recommended it for a patient as a very mild sleep aid so I figured what the heck. I tried it last week and took a pill before bed one night. I didn't sleep AT ALL that night and not much the next night either- from ONE pill! I don't know if it was the pill's fault that I was unable to sleep; maybe I just got myself so excited that it would be the answer to my sleep problems that I counteracted any good it could have done. (It is supposed to be mild, after all.)

I hate talking about the fibro most of the time. I don't want it to be a big deal, but sometimes it is. Mostly it isn't. It's just that I don't know when it will be a big deal and when I can live like everyone else and forget about it.

No comments: