A Look Into My Life With Fibromyalgia
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Health and Wellness

A Look Into My Life With Fibromyalgia

Invisible illnesses are terrible, especially when you lie to yourself and pretend you do not have them.

A Look Into My Life With Fibromyalgia

For some time, I have debated writing this article. I am often a private person when it comes to my medical history, as it is long and difficult for most to understand and because, as a 20 year old, I try to live my life as normally as possible. The thing about normal is, my normal is far different than most of yours. My normal involves daily pain, where a good day, a day that is almost pain free, is a rarity. Your days might just be the opposite, and while most days I wish I had rare pain and a plethora of good days, today I am grateful for my fibromyalgia. Today is a day that I can shed some light on what living with an invisible illness feels like.

My usual pain level is at a dull ache. I can spend my day, for the most part, as though there was nothing wrong. While I am used to this daily ache now, it took time to get used to doing daily activities at a different pace. I have to reserve my energy for the activities that most require it. I am usally exhausted, for my nights are far from restful, but, with the help of a nap, I can make it to late night activities with little complaint. Everyday, regardless of pain level, I need to go at a slower pace or do fewer things, because if I don't I will be in more pain the next day. (Below is my body whispering to me before I move.)

I will nap. A lot. Please, do not treat me as though I am lazy or I want to sleep my days away. If I am napping, I probably feel sapped and drained. I already feel like I am walking through quick sand on some of my best days, so the more I do the more sleep I need. If you want me at my best, with a smile on and with little wincing, I need rest. I do not nap to avoid anyone, but to make my days a little easier. Most days, I feel as though all my senses are overloaded, so when I nap I get to slow some of that down. Sometimes I just need that quiet with the lights off to rest my eyes and ears. It sucks to feel like everylight is a bright pinprick out to get you and that every sound is echoing in a cave inside your head. Sometimes I just need that shut off, so I sleep in the hopes that when I open my eyes and I see lights, it will hurt a bit less.

Now I am going to inform you about the days when my fibromyalgia really rears its head. These are my flare up days. These are the days when my pain reaches past the scale level of 6-7. If it gets really bad, I might need help getting out of bed. I always ask my family when I'm at home to help me, but when I am in school I won't ask my friends for it. In my 20 year old mind, it's embarrassing to ask your friends to help you move. That is why I set my alarm earlier than I need to to test my mobility. If the day seems pretty easy on pain and movement, than I get to go back to sleep. If it seems like it will take time, effort, and, maybe, some medication than I have to get up early. Some days, it has taken me two hours to get myself up. Here at the London house, I live on the second floor which is really the third, so I then have to work up the courage to make my way down the stairs.

This has been my life for the past few years, and lately it seems to get worse. Maybe it is because I am stressed out more, which triggers some of my flare ups, or maybe it is because I am studying abroad in a colder climate. Whatever the reason, exploring a new city with new people is can be difficult when everyone wants to do it all and to all hours, but I know that I cannot do that. I know my limits. I have pushed my limits too far this semester already, and have wound up a crying mess with excruciating pain while I try to pull myself out of bed.

I know that in these situations, pride seems to be my biggest problem. My mom is always telling me that a true friend will help me on my bad days. I just do not want to be the friend that needs to be taken care of. I do not want to be the 20 year old that walks like an old lady. I do not want to be the person that is in pain but is hungry, so she orders in food rather than struggling to walk to an open take-out place, and rather than asking someone to get me food. I do not want to have to explain myself when people look at me like I'm just lazy. Most of the time, I just let them think it. But today I decided that I needed to inform others that I have this invisible illness and you cannot judge someone without truly knowing what they go through on a daily basis.

(Above is me lying to myself in the mirror before I go to breakfast).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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