The 7th Stage of Fibromyalgia.

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I found an article that was written in 2014 by a woman named A. Wise. She talked about there being 6 stages of fibromyalgia. I read through them and was a bit stunned when I reached the final and 6th, stage. Let me do my best, to sum up, Ms. Wise’s 6 stages.

  1. You notice something is wrong. You hurt and are tired. You may begin to research to find out what is wrong with you.
  2. You are in a lot of pain and are taking some sort of medication for it. You are exhausted every day.
  3. You are in constant pain and constantly fatigued. You go to work, come home and sleep.
  4. Unrelenting pain and fatigue. You call into work more than you are physically there. You spend most of your days in bed. At this time people beginning to doubt your illness because you could do things in stages 1 – 3 that you can no longer do.
  5. You have just quit or have been let go from your job, you are struggling to make ends meet. You are applying for long-term disability.
  6. You can no longer hold down any kind of job. Simple tasks you took for granted now drain all of your precious energy. Now you are not only dealing with pain, fatigue, and medications but the side effects as well. You probably now know more about fibromyalgia than your doctor. You find you are without hope.

This is a pretty abbreviated version of the six steps but the highlighted points that are in the article make up my outline. But stage number 6 pretty much ends with you being in constant pain and without hope. I absolutely disagree. There has to be the 7th stage because Β I am not being left in stage 6 with no hope!

So stage seven for fibromyalgia sufferers would be acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. It means facing your illness with a new perspective. You find peace with that acceptance. Anger, fear, hopelessness all but disappear. You stop feeling like you are a worthless human being and you find some purpose to your life.

Let me be clear, finding a purpose in your life doesn’t mean getting back into the 9-5 daily grind, keeping your house spotless, cooking meals every day, and running errands on top of it all. That part of you is gone. GONE. Fibromyalgia took that away. The purpose you must find is a balance between welcoming the new you and the desire to keep learning about your illness. You must become your own encyclopedia. You must find new things in life that interest you and can be done with your limitations. Find a balance. That balance creates peace and leads you to your new purpose in life.

Finally, these stages Ms. Wise talks about are very real! People with fibromyalgia move through these painful stages. I just simply refuse to stop at stage 6. I have moved into stage 7, acceptance. I did not want fibromyalgia, I did not invite it into my life, but it is now mine and it is here to stay. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition. I will accept it, make peace with myself, and I will find purpose.

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Live your best life!

IMG_3180~Kim

61 comments

  1. This is such an informative post Kim and beautifully presented. Acceptance can’t be easy but definitely worthwhile! I love that last quote too.. accept that things will never go back to how they used to be.. Yep – we must move forward not back! xx

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  2. I am working on a new post, on Monday, “Acceptance? Get your Ticket!” will be on my blog. I have a different perspective on how to obtain acceptance. I no longer think of it as on-going, it is attainable. I hope you get a chance to read it!

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  3. Serendipitously came across this blog! Adored it so much that shared it with my support group “Fibromyalgia & Me SG” over on MDJunction.com. Though you were not treated fairly there which upsets me greatly- have made your post a Sticky- The 7th Stage Of Fibromyalgia post- link to your article here- so that everyone in the group can still see just how awesome You are as well as discover your fabulous blog here!! My co group leaders and I secretly hope you return to us, yet, we honour whatever you decide. Yet, know this- whomever treated you in the outrageous way that they did- karma will sort them out as karma is a boomerang ;-)! Hoping to find who it was too so can give them a piece of my mind – really would love this! Small minded people never like dynamic spirits such as yours or mine, yet, we must not dim our lights, or ever let the bullies win!! We stand tall together. Keep being You and keep shinging your beautiful bright wonderful light! Warmest wishes plus angel blessings to You, love Clara

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        1. Hello Kim, Have sent you a soul mail- hope you receive it soon- please let me know as soon as you get it please. Also, did you receive the email sent to You with a recent picture of me- taken Xmas 2016? Roy sent me a strange message saying it was a technical glitch yet replied to him saying would believe this if it happened only the 1 time yet twice seems unlikely so please investigate this further- hope he does. Needed to make a point out of principle. Am such a warrior me ;-)! Hope the weather is warmer your way than here. Right now in Devon it is just 1Celsius yet it feels colder than that!! Am in much pains yet trying my best to distract self! Love your dogs- they are so cute!! Look forward to hearing from You soon :-)! Hugs, Clara πŸ™‚

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        2. I did not get your Xmas picture?!?! I will let you know when you letter comes. I hope you get some answers from Roy for your piece of mind. Yes, there is s Warrior in you! Please feel free to email me. I think I got my email address to you. And you may want to check out my latest post. The Theory of Fibrofog. Looking forward to your letter Clara!

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        3. Kim,Have sent it again with email-hope it will be with you soon?! Yes, want answers for not so much peace of mind yet want justice as well as want to not let this kind of thing happen again! Will check out your latest post soon- sorry been busy with other things ;-)! From one warrior to another, big gentle hugs ,namaste Clara

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    1. Thank you for such tenacity to find me again and not only repost my blog but bring it to your group! I do believe in Karma. You and the other GL’s on MDJ have given me the gift of a new found voracity to continue writing my blog and the task of responsibly bringing information to readers with the hope of bringing knowledge while living in our everyday world with hope and the desire to take charge of what we can and let the rest go. Please take care of yourself and your group first. I do not want anyone flaring over this nonsense. It is not necessary, your health is number one and the welfare of the group you lead is second. I am fine, I have been inspired! So no hurt feelings or ill-will on my part. My goal was to let you know I was not deserting you! And that being accomplished, I thank you for reaching out and hope I can continue to write a great blog that is worth your time to follow. I will check up on you, I can read your posts, I just can’t sign in and respond. To thine own self be true! Warm wishes. ~Kim

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      1. Kim,Pleased you have been inspired, yet, this is not the end of the story. Want justice for You as well as for our group! That some bitter/twisted invididual can just go against the clear rules we have as group leaders and just block you as they either do not like you personally or do not like teh group or some group leaders in a specific group is not acceptable in my book!! Kim, am taking caring of self as well as group ,yet, will not rest easy until find out who this is plus our group is made safe from individuals like this!! Also, you did not deserve this! It saddens me deeply as when you joined already was thinking of all the great words of wisdom you would share with the group plus knew you would just love my co group leaders(they are all sound can assure you)! You will continue writing a great blog- of that have no doubt! You have already inspired me greatly!! It just pisses me off- excuse my language- that a bad person drives out someone really good just because they have much darkness in them and they should have never been a group leader in first place as they are ego driven instead of actually caring for others plus seeing everyone as equals!! Karma will sort out this person!! Hope will get the chance to to ;-)! Also, totally respect you and your decision yet still wish this had not happened!! Maybe you will become stronger as a writer and me more determined to keep my flock safe ;-)! Will continue to check on you too! Soon will write a pen pal letter to a special someone also ;-)! My dalmatian Sebster sends you all his love, by the way! Warmest wishes, Clara πŸ™‚

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  4. I found this post so informative. I never really thought before that when you have Fibromyalgia you go through different stages but, it does make a lot of sense. These are all steps I have gone through myself and I am trying my best to now accept that I have changed which has ultimately changed the way I live my life. Acceptance can be very difficult as these changed were never welcomed or chosen. You are forced to embrace your situation and it leads you to appreciate the little things just as much as the big ones. I have and still do struggle to find my purpose since leaving work. I completely agree that your purpose does not have to be working full time and all of the other things that we were once able to do without a second thought. Fibromyalgia changes all of us and it is normal to mourn our old selves but, it gives us the opportunity to step back and re evaluate so that we can focus on what it is important to us.
    Thank You for posting πŸ™‚ I will be sharing this with my Fibromyalgia group

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  5. This was a great post! Like you, I’m in Stage 7 – I absolutely refuse to give up hope that I can live well, even with the challenges fibromyalgia presents. Things may not ever be the way “they used to be,” but we definitely can learn to live well in our new normal.

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  6. I shared your blog on my New Facebook page ‘FIBRO WARRIOR, My New Normal’, where I promote Fibromyalgia Awareness, with our weekly podcast, my biweekly blog, and our monthly vlog.
    I love your article, because I feel I’m where you are in this journey with Fibro. Thank you for sharing πŸ’œπŸ’‹

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        1. β˜„ β˜„ Hello my Fibro Warriors! β˜„ β˜„
          Here is Episode: #7 – “Our Gratitude”
          (πŸŽ‚My birthday episode πŸŽ‚)

          We talk about a wonderful blog I came across after writing my own (“Your Wishes”, http://wp.me/p8peGW-L), and hers is called “The 7th Stage of Fibromyalgia”, by ‘I tripped over a stone.’ It has a positive message, and that is why I decided to post it on our FWmnn page, as well as read it on our podcast for today. We mention my birthday, I’m 48yrs old now… oh my! And most importantly, we also express our gratitude for all of your support! Thank you!!!

          As usual we don’t edit any of my mistakes out, as to stay in line with “Keeping it real”, so you’ll hear me missuse, mispronounce, stutter, and stumble over words. Brain fog is something else, as many of you are aware!
          We thank you for listening, liking, and sharing our weekly podcast, biweekly blog, and monthly vlog! Always remember…
          You are not alone! Love you all πŸ’œπŸ’‹ MJ
          #FibromyalgiaAwareness

          *Each week I will either read/share a fellow warriors journey (anonymously if needed), or have a guest/call-in guest. If you would like to to submit your story for me to share, or would like to be a guest/call-in guest, please comment below or feel free to private message me. We really want people to share their journeys, it will make you feel good and it will help our listeners feel even more connected. Thank you πŸ’‹MJ

          Listen to Fibrowarrior Episode #7- “Our Gratitude” by FibroWarrior-My New Normal #np on #SoundCloud

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  7. I think emotionally we must grieve for our old selves. Getting fibromyalgia, or any chronic invisible illness literally means the death of our old self and the rebirth of a chronically ill person, so to speak. If you look at A. Wise’s outline, she relies mainly on the physical things that may happen. There is always a catalyst for Fibro. Always. Wether it be an illness, accident, or an inherited gene there is a catalyst to this traumatic condition. I invite you to read my post “acceptance? here’s your ticket”. I talk about the emotional trauma one goes through. Anger is grief. Refusing to believe your diagnosis is grief. I am glad you are going to share this. Acceptance does not mean giving in to your situation. It just means you decide to use a different approach. Anyway, thank you for your thoughts on stage 7. I definitely see I need to write a follow up post on my blog. I thank you for your candor. -Kim

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    1. Justice? I am blown away! You knocked it outta the park. I would love to see some of your paintings. I absolutely appreciated you talking about trying to look good on the outside opposed to how you felt on the inside. Having a preplanned Birthday no longer applies to those of us with Fibro. I am also very glad you decided not to -edit- yes words may come but mostly they go when we search for them. It was your 7th podcast about the 7th stage on your 48th birthday! We should get a numerologist to check this out! Enjoy your sushi and have a very happy birthday with those that mean love, only love. Congrats on a great podcast. I have to listen to it again!!! -πŸ’œKim

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  8. I love this post. I agree with you about a 7th step. I believe I’ve stumble into it myself. Learning to accept it. I don’t know what my future will bring, or even tomorrow for that matter, but I feel that by accepting my fibromyalgia illness and learning to live with it that I can fight stronger to have a better life rather than just letting it win.

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    1. That is so true, accepting your diagnosis definitely allows you to fight stronger! Once you are fighting stronger, you’ve gained the knowledge to fight smarter and you are so far ahead. You find what works and you implement it, then fight smart and strong and implement again and again. This is a chronic condition that we have. The optimal statement being ‘we have’ never allowing it to have us! Keep up the strong fight Lady Fibro Warrior! -Kim

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  9. I am a Fibro newbie, a few months in and it’s the worst at times. I some good days (minimal pain) and some not so good days (extreme pain). We’ve been trying to work on pain management but even though the meds help the pain is still there so it seems the meds minimize the pain temporarily. It hasnt stopped me from doing the things (well trying to anyways) that I do daily but at the end of the day most days im exhausted! Knowing there is no cure is scary but I will fight until the very end and enjoy life in the process. Thanks for this and I will def reblog it!

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    1. My dear Fibro Newbie! So glad you found the 7th stage! There is one! There are also 6 crummy stages that you must go through first. But every stage allows you to be prepared for the next and the next… you will get smarter, stronger, and control to the best of your ability – your – Fibro. You have this, it does not have you. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself time to grieve for the old you, welcome the new you and find out what she has to offer. You just might amaze yourself! If there is anything I can do to further help you along on your process, please let me know. But I think, you got this! ~Kim

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      1. Good morning and thank you so much. I was look at the 6th stage I believe where it said you’re unable to work or got layed off and its really scary. I’m still in the first couple stages and pray i dont get the the lata. I’m in pain every day but have really good days where im so busy i dont think about being in pain but some days are aweful but most of all, im thankful to wake up every day. You have a great day and thanks again for blogging this. I’ve written a few blogs myself, feel free to check (Im new to blogging as well) πŸ˜‰

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        1. The one thing I can say for sure, the stages are different in intensity for all Fibro Warriors! Yes, you are a Fibro Warrior! And some stages you will pass easily through and others maybe not so much. Fibro is scary and you have every right to feel this way! It does get better, it may feel terrible at times, but as you learn a few tricks, find the meds that work for you and support groups that you like, all of the scary will deflate! ~Kim

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    1. Wow Kelley, thank you so much! I absolutely adore your blog! Sincere thanks, so very thoughtful! Do I need to respond to the directions that are under the award??? Or do I wait? I don’t know how to do these things! Haha ~Kim

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  10. I found this book very helpful in living with my intractable migraines and misc. issues. It sounds like you might not need it, but there may be a trick or 2 that can help. I’m going to reread it now that it’s back in the forefront of my mind and see how I’m doing! https://www.amazon.com/Flourish-Visionary-Understanding-Happiness-Well-being/dp/1439190763/ref=sr_1_29?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497575936&sr=1-29&keywords=positive+psychology

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  11. Kim,

    I agree with you. I recently wrote an article about the upside of giving up because I had the hardest time getting people to understand that accepting the incurable nature of illness and learning to live a meaningful life within it’s confines was far more valuable to me than looking for a cure.

    So, here’s to the 7th stage. May we reach it together.

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    1. I hear you! I can’t tell you the wild reactions I got to the “acceptance” stage. I even wrote a book, The Shadow Boxers, Fighting Fibromyalgia, (your personal journal) in hopes that folks could learn to live WITH their disease and live a good life at that! To the 7th stage Misty! ~Kim

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  12. I have had Fibromyalgia going on 20 years now! When I first became ill doctors at that time knew very little of the illness, in fact it was called a syndrom.I saw many doctors none of them knew what to do so the called in a phych consolation.
    Now I am at the stage 7 but am still fighting I want to work again&have 4 children I care for by myself.this is my QUESTION what do I do for pain control? I lost my family doctor 2years ago due to him relocating out of my state of Missouri.He has me on oxi 30mg extended release and 7.5 Hydros for. Break through.this was the only combo that worked after trying everthing! Now I can’t even find a family that will put me back on my meds.
    They keep referring me to pain clinics,but the problem I have found with that is .That pain clinics will get your pain under control(those that write for narcs,very few do) than a family Dr must take over filling your meds.No one will do this for me!
    Everyone around my “self medicates” I choose not to. Any ideas? Please help?

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    1. Hi Crysti! Shoot. Your are in the thick of it. Pain relief can be managed in various ways. Meditation, TENs unit, medication, supplements. My answer to your question is keep searching for a doctor that will care for a chronic pain patient! My primary has always taken care of my medication needs, even those for breakthrough pain. I am sorry you find yourself in this situation! Just keep searching and asking if the doctor will take on a patient with Fibro. You must advocate for yourself, even if that takes you to a doctor an hour away. I wish I could help you further! I will be thinking of you!!! ~Kim

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