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What It's Like Sitting Through a High School Class With Fibromyalgia

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It feels like there’s a person constantly beating, but no one can help me because that person is invisible.

I dreaded even showing up because I was so nervous of being “stuck there.”

I couldn’t get help from anyone because my words weren’t believable.

I can’t sit down without being in discomfort or on the verge of crying because at any moment the uncontrollable pain could change or become worse, making me unable to be in a room with other people. I can’t explain to them what’s going on because I don’t even know.

My hands would randomly swell up and even bleed. There was nothing I could do to stop it from happening, so I wore gloves or kept my hands in my pockets to hide the bloody black and blue mess.

It felt like someone was hitting my knees with a hammer, punching me in the rib cage, and just beating my whole body and it never stopped.

I try to fight the urge to roll my ankles and wrists, crack my fingers, stretch my arms or move in anyway due to the possibility that the number of times I have to do it will become noticeable to others.

Heat rushes through my body making me feel like the room temperature is getting hotter, but I look around at everyone else and realize it’s just me getting nervous. I can feel my hand start to throb more and I look down to see that it’s swelling.

I try to pick up my pencil and write, but I can’t. My heart is beating as if I’m running and I can’t see clearly.

I tap my fingers, touch my face, my hair, my eyes hoping to distract myself from every part of my body that was in pain.

Through all of this, I could hear bits and pieces of my teachers voice talking about important test dates, homework assignments, and information I should be obtaining but I can’t concentrate because at this moment the only thing I’m worried about is if I was going to make it through without having to explain why I needed to leave.

I thought that if I just sit there very still without moving or talking I’d be able to control it and no one would notice.

I glance at the clock about a million times just to make sure it’s still ticking, because in my mind, I feel as if it has stopped.

I have to calm myself down by telling myself I only have 45 mins, 20 mins, two mins, 30 seconds. Then finally, I stand up in relief and quickly go to the nurse.

One class down, seven more to go.

Fibromyalgia is real.

Getty image by jacoblund

Originally published: February 27, 2018
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