I’ve spent most of this week in fibromyalgia flare denial. But the tell-tale roaming muscle aches and spasms, the stabbing take my breath away jabs, the unable to form sentences or the inability to find the words I want to say attacks, and the overwhelming fatigue can’t be denied.
Today, I’m on the downward slope of a five day flare.
I’ve managed to keep my fibro under control for two years, and I’m fairly successful containing it with exercise and diet.
However, I’ve had right foot ailments, sesamoiditis and bursitis, since February, and I’m three weeks out of an orthopedic walking boot. My body is a wreck from walking misaligned for two months. My back is so stiff that a surfer could ride a gnarly wave with it. My left hip, a rusted shut nut and bolt, feels like Tim the Toolman Taylor is ratchet socket wrenching it unsuccessfully and brutally every time I take a step. My foot is mending, thank God, but my altered gait and the accompanying out-of-whack pain is definitely a flare-up offender.
The second offender is the hit to my mobility. Normally, I can walk to keep the fibro pain at bay, but that’s impossible with a swollen big toe and an inflamed bone and fluid sac in the bottom of my foot. I normally average about 11,000 steps a day, but I rarely topped 5,000 during my boot stint–sometimes only hitting the 2,000 step mark. It seems counterintuitive, but the less fibromyalgia sufferers move, the more they hurt. And my body has declared anarchy because its walking rights have been violated. I’m hitting my average again, but the struggle and the pain sidecar has me feeling like I’m taking two steps forward and three steps back literally and figuratively.
Thirdly, my stomach is a disaster because of two rounds of prednisone and sundry anti-inflammatory drugs. Both are hard on tummies anyway, and often fibromyalgia sufferers don’t tolerate medicines well, experiencing side effects from them more strongly than other people do. I am no exception. My body abhorred every single prescription NSAID I swallowed and a couple locked my gut up tighter than Fort Knox. Ultimately, too many meds scalped my digestive track raw. When my stomach gets pissed for longer than a week, I know a fibromyalgia flare is in the future. The medicine has aggravated my IBS, too. As a matter of fact, about 70 percent of fibromyalgia sufferers also have IBS (citation here). A parasitic symbiotic relationship, the two chronic illnesses are inextricable in my case.
To finish, the previous three factors make sleeping challenging, and with fibro, lack of sleep makes everything: So. Much. Worse.
I haven’t had to take a fibro day off from work in years. But twice this week, I didn’t know if I could physically make it to work, but I did. I only sucked it up because we’re in the middle of state testing.
I am feeling more myself today, and eventually all flares end.
Like I’ve said previously, I’m not writing to complain. I’m just writing to vent.
And as always, it only remains invisible if we don’t discuss its existence.