Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas of the body. It is the second most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis. Over five million people in the U.S. suffer from Fibromyalgia. The cause is unknown, and there is no cure. Research continues.
The pain associated with Fibromyalgia comes in many forms.
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Many who suffer with Fibromyalgia can relate to these pain descriptions. Unfortunately, it is possible… and quite common… to suffer with more than one type of pain at the same time!
Regardless of the type of pain, most sufferers can agree — the degree of pain can vary from annoying to irritating to debilitating to… just-shoot-me-now!
Annoying pain can either be tolerated, or treated with over-the-counter medications.
Irritating pain is distracting and can lead to a break in activity. Heating pads, cold compresses, body stretches, hot tea, meditation/prayer, elevating legs, or a short nap along with prescription medications are some of the things which may bring some relief.
Debilitating pain brings life to a screeching halt.
It hurts to stand.
It hurts to sit.
It hurts to lie down.
It hurts to breathe.
This is when it’s time to reach for THAT medication. The one which says, “May cause drowsiness.”
Talk about an understatement! Moments after taking it, you feel yourself slipping into a heavy, drug-induced stupor. Moments after that… you’re snoring!
Did the pain stop?
Do you care?
You get fifteen or twenty “pain-free” minutes… if you don’t move around while sleeping.
The just-shoot-me-now pain is mind-altering.
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You don’t bother with packs, compresses, teas, or pills.
What’s the point? They will not work.
No, with the just-shoot-me-now pain, you find the most comfortable position your body can take — in a chair or in bed — and you do not move!
You don’t notice the lone tear sliding down your cheek as you wonder, “How did I end up like this?”
Vivid memories of 5K-runs and ruling the dance floor on Saturday nights tease and mock you.
Brain fog is setting in. You think you hear your daughter’s laughter as the two of you crossed the finish line to win first place in the sack races during a PTA field day.
Anger rises from the dark abyss in your mind you visit far too often and joins the pain. Painful, swollen hands become clammy, clenched fists.
You curse yourself for whatever you did to bring this bastard of an illness into your body.
You curse yourself for not being stronger.
You curse family and friends and their flippant remarks of, “You just need to try harder.”
You curse neighbors and Co-workers for their asinine comments of, “Are you really sick?” or “You look fine to me.” or the brain-numbing “Be thankful it isn’t cancer.”
You curse doctors and researchers for dragging their asses in finding a cure — more concerned with whom the latest study will be named after or who gets credited than with the millions of people who deal with the pain each day.
People like the twenty-nine-year-old mother who cries each time she picks up and cradles her baby… because the simple task wracks her body with pain.
People like the fifty-two-year-old woman who retired early to care for her husband who lost his legs to diabetes, and now she must have visiting nurses come in… to care for them both. Fibromyalgia has ravaged her body and weakened her resolve.
People like the thirty-five-year-old wife and mother who’s been a jogger for over twenty years, but now needs a cane to navigate her own home.
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Because your stress level has increased… along with your blood pressure, the just-shoot-me-now pain takes you to new heights of agony…
… and you curse God — for allowing this darkness to rule your body and change your life.
The life you’ve spent trying to love your neighbor, spread kindness and practice compassion.
Where’s the compassion for you?
Where’s the cure?
Because this is no way to live.