Written By Anum Opel
Fibromyalgia, also labelled as the Invisible Disease by some, is a neurological lifelong disability, with no cure. It’s a chronic nerve pain problem, and affects more women, as opposed to men. The symptoms range from nerve pains to prolonged migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS, muscle spasms, joint aches, back aches, burning sensations, pins and needles, and widespread pain all over the body.
However, the condition is rarely understood, and uncompleted research is proving to be of no use to those suffering this disease. With uncountable nerves in the human body, medical science is not sure concerning where the pain is coming from, and henceforth, treating it is not an option so far; one reads a new theory every other week. However, we do know that one traumatic experience after another leads to this perpetual nerves damage. The pains are invisible, and patients look well, whereas they are not.
For those associated with people with Fibromyalgia, I say, give them a break. They are constantly fighting a battle. They sleep in pain, wake up in pain, and it will continue. In most cases, sufferers complain concerning how their illnesses cannot be comprehended. Nonetheless, here are 30 things you need to know about chronic pain warriors.
1. The muscle spasms and nerve pains are consistent. You’d be cross too, had this been your condition.
2. Domestic violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse, and unswerving labeling from close ones add to why a person has Fibromyalgia. It is not a solitary incident. In most cases, it is not one negative person, event or experience. It is a series of lifelong trauma and abuse of sorts.
3. Enough rest is not enough. The fatigue is chronic.
4. Plans cannot be made in advance. We don’t know how the next day will be. We will wake up with a migraine, excruciating muscle spasms, tingling nerves, achy legs, or burning skin. We are never going to wake up well, and this is our daily routine. However, we have learned to make our way to success. Respect that, or let us be.
5. Perky lights and loud noises contribute to the pains.
6. Fibro patients are scheduled individuals. This is essential for us. Hence, you cannot say 4PM, and show up at 7PM. We don’t know how we will be in the subsequent three hours. Headaches could exacerbate. Muscular pains could aggravate.
7. Some of us work. We know what we will do at 9AM, 13PM, or 18PM. We have to program ourselves, so as to manage both career life, and our conditions.
8. Every morning is a battle. Every evening is a combat. There is no room for more drama, trauma, arguments, chaos, or anything destructive.
9. Some of us are strong enough to accomplish our work life, but after that, we are too drained to socialize. If we had easier options, or disability facilities as per the law, we would stay home. That would be choice number one for all.
10. In case we do socialize, we are extra weary. Therefore, if we do meet up, it can only be over the weekends, not that we can promise this, considering every day is a battle.
11. Know that it necessitates a whole lot of exertion for us to do anything at all. Taking a shower is a task, and so is making a meal. Henceforth, if we do make that effort for you, we don’t want to hear, “You never meet up,” or, “You’re evil and selfish.” Seriously, shut up, and if that’s what you think, we’d rather not know you.
12. If plans are postponed, understand.
13. Car rides are not for us. By the time we are home, our bodies are finished.
14. Sunlight, laptop light, or any bright lights – we cannot stand them.
15. We can stay in bed all day, and still feel exhausted.
16. For most, don’t blame us for our attitude. Ask yourselves why we behave a certain way with you. The past experiences damaged our nerves – maybe you played a part in this lifelong disability.
17. It takes a lot out of us to get up, go to work, and smile all day. We are stronger than you could ever be. You can throw us in a war zone, and we would come out alive.
18. It’s our brain power that helps us shine. Had we not been intelligent, we would have not been dealing with this with grace and silence.
19. We are moody, as we are hurting all the time. One wrong sentence, and you will get a reaction.
20. Some of us do not reach stage four sleep. Hence, we feel like we’ve slept for eight minutes, though the sleep could be for eight hours. With this feeling, we still manage to get up, look our best, and shine in our careers/personal life/whatever it may be. At times, we wake up in the midst of sleep, due to too many aches, and yet, we are alive and laughing.
21. We do not require your pity. However, we do expect you to be mature and understanding. On the retrospect, maybe our expectations are too high.
22. It is hard for some of us to lift heavy objects, and, the kettle is weighty for us. Opening the doorknob takes an effort, too.
23. A few Fibro patients are empaths. We know agony. We live with it. Thus, we can sense the pains of other beings, be it humans or animals.
24. Everything for us is story fabric. We see the world differently, as we feel it differently.
25. We have seen a lot in life. Therefore, we have no patience for more nonsense.
26. In the midst of texting, we may disappear. We may not pick up your calls at times. We may cancel movie or dinner plans. Why? The first four to six hours of being awake are our peak timings.
27. Not all Fibro patients have depression or anxiety. We are immune to our pains, and have learned to live with them. Some of us manage ourselves, due to our strength and capacities. We laugh, get dressed, and have fun. We can inspire you, if anything.
28. We have a real and raw understanding about the world. What you will comprehend when you’re seventy and sick, we have understood at a young age.
29. We are warriors. We fight with a smile on our faces, and we often wonder what you would do, had you been in our place. Managing daily tasks is not easy, and yet, we are able to dazzle. However, we do not have the capacity for further trauma. Give us peace, or leave.
30. You are nobody to judge us, not unless you have lived through our every painful second, and every agonizing night, and that too, for years.