I don’t know if any of you know it or not but I have arthritis and fibromyalgia. I’ve known about arthritis signs and symptoms since I was a little girl. Every one of the women in my Mother’s family had some form of an auto-immune disorder. Most of my Aunts had arthritis. I never knew of one of them having fibromyalgia or at least any of them speaking of it.
When I tested positive for my form of arthritis, I was given a FULL work up and physical at the rheumatologist. She determined that I had fibro too. I think all my fibromyalgia pain points lit up for her. After I found out what the symptoms were of fibro, I understood why they thought that I had the disease. The symptoms include widespread pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties. I had been experiencing all of these, please consider, this was 1998 for me. Fast forward to 2018.
I’ve learned to deal with the fatigue, pain, swelling and fibro fog. Sometimes the pain is so intense that I just don’t know that I can make it out of bed to get Gracie to school. Some days, I can’t wear a bra. That is how bad my shoulders hurt. I can’t stand for the straps to touch my shoulder. Right now, I can’t handle carrying my purse. I just carry my debit card in my phone and that’s it. Still, it’s hard to describe fibromyalgia pain because it is different almost every day.
I had help with Gracie (taking her to school) up until her Dad passed away but after he died, my support system also was gone. I have remarried but my husband doesn’t understand arthritis symptoms or fibromyalgia at all. I couldn’t survive without Gracie. I will tell you though, Gracie has tested positive for my form of arthritis. She has a long road ahead of her. It also makes me wonder how long I had fibromyalgia and arthritis before I was really diagnosed.
I keep a heating pad close for my shoulders and my lower back. I also use it on my lower legs. I also use a neck massager on my lower legs, it really helps but it leaves little bruises. I seem to bruise really easy. I keep pillows handy for support on my back. Gracie and Michael both will both bring me something to drink so that once I’m comfortable, I don’t have to move.
I take a ton of medication, literally a ton. I won’t go into them all, but I take steroids A LOT. They are hard on my system. In fact, I just finished a dose pack today that my general practitioner gave me to hold me over until I could get to my rheumatologist. They make me HOT and HUNGRY. They do help though.
I think the hardest thing for my husband to understand is the hard time I have coming up with words, the fibro fog. It would be simple words, I know what I want to say and I can see the object and word floating around in my head, I just can’t say it. He either thinks I’m done talking or just gets frustrated waiting on me to finish talking.
I’ve barely touched the surface on what I go through during a flare up but there is more, much more. I’d love to know if any of you have fibro. Can you tell me how you deal with it or what you are going through?