Even though I’m exhausted, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t write a post on Fibromyalgia Awareness Day! I wore a purple shirt to work and a purple ribbon pin on my lab coat (which will stay there permanently). My husband wore the same pin to work to show support too. He said a couple people asked about it and I was so happy to hear that. The more people who know about fibro, the better. I wrote a Facebook status this morning as well:
“Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Some of you may have heard of this illness, but most don’t much about it. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that causes widespread, chronic pain. Other symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbances, anxiety, cognitive difficulties, migraines and light/noise sensitivities. The cause is unknown, it is difficult to diagnose, and unfortunately there is no cure. It is most common in women, but men have it too. Treatment varies depending on the person, but usually medication and some form of exercise are suggested. The treatment does not make the pain go away; it only helps the person function better. There are people, some doctors included, who don’t believe Fibromyalgia is real. It is incredibly frustrating and hurtful to hear. I can tell you that it is not made up. It is all too real.
For those who don’t know, I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia last year, after years of trying to diagnose my pain. I struggle with it every single day. Some days are more tolerable than others, but for me, the pain never goes away. Every day tasks like taking a shower or going to the grocery store can be absolutely draining. I work full-time because I have to make a living, but it is extremely difficult. Stress, weather, and overexertion are things that can make it worse and can cause what are referred to as “flare-ups”. They can last for a day or sometimes for a week, but regardless of the duration, they are debilitating. I hate asking for help, but more times than not, I need it. I am ashamed and embarrassed at times, especially on days I can’t walk. I’m 29 but my body feels like it’s 89.
I’m not saying Fibromyalgia is worse than other illnesses, and I’m NOT looking for sympathy. All we “Fibro Fighters” want is understanding. I talk to others with Fibromyalgia in online support groups and in my blogging community and many wish that the people they interact with on a daily basis would try to understand their difficulties. I’m fortunate to have a husband who is very supportive. No, he can’t feel what I feel, but he has taken the time to listen and learn about this illness. He knows what I can and can’t do. He knows I push myself most days and that rest is valuable and necessary. It can be just as draining mentally as it is physically if someone in pain is not believed or supported by their loved ones. I’ve never spoken about this publicly, and this isn’t easy for me to post, but today is about awareness. Everyone should know what Fibromyalgia is. If you have a family member, friend, or co-worker with Fibromyalgia, do some research. Offer to help. If they want to talk, listen. We don’t need you to relate or expect you to know exactly how we feel. Little things can make a difference. This “invisible illness” needs attention, research and funding. ALL doctors should be educated about Fibromyalgia and more specialists are needed. Millions of people in the United States alone fight this illness every day. Help make Fibromyalgia VISIBLE.”
I was proud of what I wrote. My family and friends don’t know about this blog and many of them don’t even know I have fibromyalgia. I felt it was necessary to put it out there and if I got through to even one person, then I was successful. We need funding for research. We need some medical genius to find a cure. Any day now would be great.
I had a terrible flare-up yesterday and I’m still dealing with it today. I had to call out of work yesterday and I HATE doing that. I always feel like I’m going to lose the respect of my coworkers, not to mention I hate losing money. Today is slightly better but I’m still miserable, especially after being on my feet all day. Work really takes its toll on me. I can never catch a break. My coworkers don’t seem to care about me bending over constantly to get customers’ prescriptions or opening that godforsaken drive thru window that weighs a ton. A customer approaches and suddenly the other technician picks up the phone or goes somewhere else. Every. Time. Part of my job is customer service and of course I accept that. But seriously, it’d be nice to fill prescriptions for like, 10 minutes. There’s less movement involved and it gives my body a rest. One of these days I’m going to lose it.
Ok, now that I had my rant, it’s time to wind down and get some rest. Thanks for reading.