Hidden Pain

Today I am making a left turn from my usual posts to talk about the hidden pain I suffer just like five million other Americans. I don’t have visible cuts, bruises, a rash, nor am I recovering from a painful surgery. I haven’t been in a car wreck that left me with face lacerations nor did I fall down a flight of stairs and suffer a concussion.

We, the five million of us suffering from the autoimmune disease fibromyalgia get along the best we can. We might be fine at 3:30 in the afternoon, but at 3:35, a “fibro flare” as raised its ugly head, and  we have gone directly to bed without passing go. We can’t get out of bed, eat, brush our teeth, or sit in a chair to watch television or read a book. It hurts too much. Nevertheless, we carry on. Sometimes we have to cancel our plans to go to a family gathering as I did this past weekend. The problem is that we look perfectly fine. We think, “I hope they believe I’m sick when we call at the last minute,” or “I wish there was some visible sign of a really sick person.”

Today I’m suffering from “fibro fog,” which partially explains the subject matter of this post. I just can’t think. My toes hurt, my teeth hurt, my rib cage hurts, and the endings of the hair on my head scream when I accidentally touch them. And then there’s the turning over in bed motion, getting out of bed to pee motion, sitting on the toilet motion—these normal day to day functions that become strenuous torture. Plus trying to get back to sleep is exhausting. Think about that one for a moment.

And in maybe one to thirty days–a month or few months later–we wake up and feel terrific! Just like that! As instantly as it shrouded us in pain, it now lifts us up into the sunbeam of wellness.

There’s no explaining fibro.

The bottom line?

  • If you know someone who tells you they have fibromyalgia, please don’t think to yourself, “Well she doesn’t look sick.”
  • If someone you work with has fibromyalgia, and they’re a little slow some days, please don’t ask, “Why can’t you keep up?”
  • If your spouse suffers from this sometimes debilitating illness, take them in your arms and say, “It’s okay. I know you can’t do very much. I’m happy to pick up the slack.”
  • For the sufferer, make the very most of each day, take one moment at a time, imagine yourself being swathed by God while he holds you in his arms. Finally, let his presence in your life comfort you in sickness and in health.

Thanks for listening.

Until next time …

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