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Staying Calm Through the Storm of My Fibromyalgia Symptoms

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I had an appointment to get my teeth cleaned. The appointment had already been rescheduled once, so this time I had to go. Appointments can be a big issue when you have fibromyalgia because you just never know how bad you’re going to feel any given day (or hour).

Worrying about keeping appointments only adds to the misery I might already be experiencing. I did not want to go have my teeth cleaned (even though the hygienist is one of the nicest people I know). I felt bad. Once I got there, I told her some weeks are composed of bad days and worse days. She asked what day this was, and I responded with, “Bad, so lets get this over with.”

She has other patients with fibromyalgia, so she understands it’s no joke trying to live with it. It seems that most providers or technicians now know someone who is struggling with all the symptoms of this strange disease. It’s really a fear factor of feelings that swell into panic about chest pains, fatigue, dizziness, rashes, sores, forgetfulness, and joint aches. Am I having a heart attack, a stroke, have I torn a ligament, do I have the flu? The symptoms are so many, and some are vague while others can be truly intense. It’s no wonder our heads spin with trying to determine what we can get done in a day’s time.

I try not to worry myself into a frenzy, although sometimes I just cant help it. The longer I experience this disease, the more I realize the symptoms will pass if I am just patient. So I try to relax and stay as calm as I can. I’ll even resort to sleeping it off if it’s too hard to deal with. Getting over the guilt of that wasn’t easy either, but at some point I had to accept my own reactions and rely on a better judgment. Pushing through some hard days is not always the best answer. Overactive nerves need to rest to quell the pain they cause.

Don’t riddle yourself with guilt about being unable to commit or to schedule chores or worry way in advance about things. Do what you need to calm your body down. You’re still here, you’re still valuable, and it takes some serious training to achieve a balance with this disease. The more people voice their issues with it, the more others will understand the challenge it brings.

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Thinkstock image by Ryan McVay

Originally published: April 26, 2017
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