Why I Need to Stay Away From the Internet During Pain Flares

I should know better than to get involved in an online debate about something I’m passionate about when I’m mid-chronic pain flare.

I say this to myself every time it happens and yet somehow the fibro fog, or my short-term memory, or whatever else you want to lay blame on, makes me forget, and next pain flare comes and I find myself mid-debate yet again.

Here’s the problem: when I try and get involved in a discussion or debate when my pain flares, the pain takes over. My brain is on fight mode rather than flight mode, or even calm and rational mode. I end up getting defensive, my points become aggressive and instead of being the activist I know I am, I become a monster.


During a chronic pain flare, I’m not really in charge of the way my brain is functioning. I mean, I think I am being calm and patient, but I’m more likely to be loud and blunt. I don’t process responses from others in the way I normally would, and I take everything in through a red haze that distorts not only my vision, but sounds, tastes, smells, emotions, the weight of my body, the feel of even air molecules and I’m not at my best.

These are the days when I know I should turn off my internet access and breathe. I should focus on other things. But – and here’s the rub – these are the days when picking up anything bigger than my iPhone causes me to cry out in agony. And there’s only so much Angry Birds one can play before wanting to throw a phone across the room.

The internet is an amazing tool. But perhaps on the days like today, when my endometriosis, my arthritis and my fibromyalgia collude to cause me no end of discomfort, tears and brain fires, I should use it to watch kittens on YouTube, catch up on Netflix and avoid getting involved in debates with strangers.

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Thinkstock photo via YekoPhotoStudio.

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