Many people have experienced being tired, exhausted even. But chronic fatigue is more than being tired. It is waking up after a full night of sleep and feeling like you never slept at all. There is no escape, no quick fix, you are in a fatigued state, always. Often you may not be able to sleep a full night through. Sleep disturbances are a big part of Fibromyalgia Syndrome. You get crowned with both, fibro and fatigue.
Then you go for the coffee and have cup after cup until you become thoroughly agitated. Then you probably will go into a full-blown panic attack. You will shake, sweat and cry and find it very hard to breathe. You are confident you will die. I will choose to feel the awful fatigue of fibromyalgia over having a horrific panic attack any day.
Then there is the daily pain. It is either through the roof (you’d be having a fibro flare which is an increase in pain and fatigue) or pain gnawing at your very core and just – will – not – stop. What does it feel like to have fibromyalgia pain?
-Ever ran track? It feels like the second day after the first practice of the season.
-Ever played basketball? It feels like the second day after the first practice of the season.
-Ever had the flu and been in bed an entire day, getting up only to throw-up? Your body aches! It feels like the flu.
Then we get ready for those fibro fog days, this is when you experience a literal dysfunction in your brain. You cannot connect the dots. We, that have experienced this, have learned our tricks but we still look and sound drunk to others … that can’t be helped. We try to stay isolated, and we depend on our lists that tell us what to do, where things go and in what order we complete a task. We use notebooks, journals, post-it notes, and they become our memory on how to make it through one single day or for as many days as the fog lasts. We can’t remember words. Completing sentences and regular everyday tasks; like showering and getting dressed, is often confusing and cannot be accomplished without notes.
I will leave you with some good news about fibromyalgia. If you don’t have it … this day is over now, and you can go back to your life. My days with fibromyalgia will continue until a cure is found.