This Is My Life With Fibromyalgia
Today was supposed to be a social day. I had breakfast plans with a couple of girlfriends and afternoon drinks plans with another. I was looking forward to today.
But rather than a social day, today has ended up being a lounge day. This is fibromyalgia. Fibro feels like pain, tiredness, isolation, sadness, confusion, fogginess, limiting, never-ending.
Two nights ago I went to my usual yoga class. I say usual because I had been in a routine of going to this yoga class but, due to, well, life, I hadn’t been in around four weeks. So naturally I was in for some pain.
I woke an hour or so after going to bed that night. My muscles had already started to stiffen. I was tight. All over. Sore.
I had an awful night’s sleep, waking every hour or so every time I tried to roll over. Each time I woke my body was stiffer, tighter, sorer.
My daughter cried in the middle of the night. Her cot is on my side of the bed. All I needed to do was roll over, hand her a dummy and she would fall back asleep. Moving is the last thing I wanted to do. My body was so heavy. I felt weighed down, as though my body was made of stone. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to roll over. Maybe she’d stop on her own. I was so sore. So tired. I had to move.
I wake the following morning and start my usual routine of unfolding my fingers from the ball they had become overnight. I notice my legs much more than I did the day before. Cement. It feels like I’ve been encased in cement from my waist down. So heavy. My butt, my legs. So heavy. I don’t want to move, but of course, I have to.
I swing my body into a seated position on the edge of the bed. Rest. I place my feet on the ground; they unfold underneath me. I stand. Rest. I start to walk. Every fiber of my body is tight, stiff, sore.
The following morning, this morning, is worse. I wake and I lie in bed. The weight of my arm on my legs is too much. Too heavy. I have to move it. My chest feels as though I have been coughing all night. It’s as though I can feel every individual rib against my skin. The blankets are too heavy for my legs but it’s cold so I don’t want to take them off. I try to puff the blankets up, making a cocoon around my body. Tucked in at the sides, high in the middle so as not to touch my legs. I notice my shoulder blades. They ache. My lower back. My butt. My body is too heavy, my poor bottom is taking so much of the weight. But I can’t roll over. I don’t want to move.
My legs. As always, my legs are the worst. The cement feeling is back. Except for some reason I always imagine that if my lower half were encased in cement, it wouldn’t be in pain. Heavy, but not in pain. I am definitely in pain. My hips, my legs. They are definitely in the worst kind of pain.
I don’t want to move but I know I have to. If nothing else, I have to take care of my daughter. I have plans for today. Plans I’ve been looking forward to. Why did I make plans? I don’t want to do anything. Maybe if I get up, move around, warm up my muscles, I’ll feel a little better.
An hour before I’m supposed to be leaving for breakfast I’m still not well. Can I manage the half-hour drive? Can I manage the seats in the cafe? I’ve never been there before so I don’t know the set-up. Will there be room for a pram or will I have to carry my daughter in? She’s so heavy now. How close will I be able to park my car? What will the seats be like? Will my back take the seats? Will my legs?
I move to brush my daughter’s hair away from her eyes. My back. I can’t go. I need today off. I need to stay here. I need to rest. I need to get better.
This is fibro. Pain, tiredness, isolation, sadness, confusion, fogginess, limiting, never-ending.
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Thinkstock photo via ddsign_stock.