This article is to help us as human beings learn a little bit about something we may not already know and educate people as we go. I hope you follow this journey into the world of Fibromyalgia and learn some more I did. Fibromyalgia also known as Fibro is a medical disorder were people suffer from chronic pain. Its cause however is unknown and there is no cure.
Granted before researching and writing this article I did not know about Fibro and how the people who had it suffered. I was like many of you reading this article and how I discovered what it was, was unconventional it was through my friend Audrey who I met on Twitter. I decided that the best way to learn about Fibro was through research and learning what it was like to suffer from the disease through an interview.
Yes and Audrey was definitely the best person to help us learn a little bit more about Fibro and how it affected people’s lives, I hope you enjoy our interview and perhaps learn a little something
How long have you suffered from fibro?
I have been suffering from fibro Since February 11th 2010, the time has passed quickly but not without its difficulties everyday has been a challenge.
What are your symptoms?
I have many symptoms which can range in pain levels and location, although I am always in pain the pain moves. The main places I suffer with pains in the head, eyes, neck, shoulders, arms, fingers, stomach, back. The condition is difficult as you cannot predict were the pains are going to be next. Fibro can be frustrating as one moment you can be happy and laughing and the next moment excruciating pain that can ruin happy moments which others can take for granted.
One of my symptoms is chronic fatigue which can lower my physical and intellectual performances which leaves it difficult for me to focus due to the level of pain I am in. As a result I can sometimes lose patience which can be frustrating. Suffering from Fibro caused me to be depressed for several months after my diagnosis the depression increased my anxiety.
I can sometimes struggle to breath during the night. As well as this I don’t breathe enough because of the pains which affects the muscles of my bronchial tube.
Also my body struggles to tolerate foods and drinks that it once had no problem with previously this can surprise me as it can be hugely unexpected.
Other symptoms include, chest pains, trembling, pins and needles and loss of strength
As a result of my Fibro pains my humour can change depending on the level of pain which can cause frustrations as mood changes can be unpredictable.
Do the changes in weather affect you health?
I suffer from Reynaud syndrome in cold climates as my blood does not circulate well which leaves the fingers and feet white and paralyzed. This restricts my movement further as well as this I have trouble with coordination specifically with hand gestures.
I also have restricted movement for example moving up and down stairs which the weather also affects due to cold climates making joints stiffer.
I also have hyper sensibility from noises, light, as well as temperature changes which the weather can also contribute too.
How does it affect your day?
As a Fibro sufferer you never know how your day will be, even the next minute is unpredictable. I never have two days which are the same which can make things difficult to plan. Planning things such as holidays and day trips can be difficult because the pain is very unpredictable.
Fibro has made me clumsier and I often feel faint or nauseous from the pain I am in. Also unfortunately something as simple as being hugged can leave a bruise.
It has also affected my confidence and self esteem as it is like you are not the person you were before, and you don’t know yourself. This makes life difficult as you have to learn to be you again but from this I have learnt a lot about me I can adapt and it has shown how much strength as a person I have to survive and I know what and who are important to me .
Does Fibro affect your ability to work?
Yes it has affected me greatly because I have had to stop my job because of it. My job was working as a Specialized Veterinary Assistant in which I worked for three years however Fibro made this two physically demanding which makes me very upset and is very frustrating as animals are my passion.
Are there any jobs you could do?
They are jobs I can do but not without difficulties finding companies to accommodate the illness is difficult as you can know in advance that you are going to need extra support with your work or possibly a day off that you had not planned.
Also knowing you are going to be able to do a job is very difficult and not something you can predict so finding work is extremely difficult.
An option that some sufferers can take is for them to work at home. Although this can be difficult as it depends not only the skills you have but there is the issue that we are not all the same, so maybe on fibromyalgia can do a job another can not necessarily do this same job. I have a friend who also suffers from Fibro she is a nurse but she had to stop due to the severity of pain she was in.
Does stress trigger your symptoms?
Stress can be a factor in my pains several months ago I was very worried for someone who was in a very bad period of their life. I was there each day for this person trying to support them as best as I could. This took a lot of energy physically and emotionally although I do not regret supporting this person my pains were severely increased due to the stressful period.
Has anything changed in your life since suffering from the disease?
Everything in my life has changed the relationship with my partner even if he is very helpful and he understands the disease very well. Every day is not easy for me and him.
I like to say that since I have Fibro, I think it would be better to me to live alone as the disease does not just not affect you but those around you.
I hate to complain, I don’t always say when I have big pains because I don’t want to annoy anyone with it, also complaining does not help the spirit. BUT, sometimes you need to complain to release the tension. Sometimes you need to be quiet and be alone you just need these moments without having to explain this.
What would you say to people who are suffering with fibro?
To those suffering with Fibro be brave! This is hell yes but we have to keep fighting for those who have suffered and committed suicide due to the unbearable pain.
We must fight to raise awareness to a society which is not aware of the disease until Fibro gets the recognition it should.
I have been lucky enough to have found awesome people who make me smile and bring happiness and this helps me a lot and every day. When you are happy and live great moments you can live with your pains better. Keep the fight, keep smiling even if it’s not easy each we have to fight together to give this disease recognition.
Don’t lose hope, never.
What would you like to say to those who don’t know about fibro?
I think when a person does not live with a disorder like Fibro, they can’t really understand what it is and even people who live with you can’t imagine it.
Also it can be difficult as people do not very understand when you complain and you can annoy people. It is also difficult for them to understand that you can be happy but this does not mean you are not constantly suffering now and consequently do not trust you as for a moment you are happy and you are coping with the pain they think it is fake and that you are exaggerating the pain you are in.
I am constantly in pain and I am trying to live my life please do not judge me and recognise I am a person just like you and I am trying to survive as best as I can and I thank you for understanding this.
Is there any advice you would like to give to people coping with fibro?
For those suffering from Fibro try things to see what can help you even for a little while such as acupuncture, yoga, meditation, swimming or see a psychologist to help you cope with your pain. It’s hard to move, but we need as its worse for the body not too. Try to find a new passion if you can’t continue the one you did before, new occupations, new reasons to live and continue to advance and be who you are.
Fibro has made me adapt my life I may be in pain but I am doing my best to life the best life possible you can too.
Thank you Audrey for participating in this interview and sharing part of your life as a Fibro suffer.
Hopefully this will help Fibro sufferers and people understand the disorder it has certainly educated me.
Fibromyalgia Day 2012 is May the 12th join us in support by wearing purple or a purple ribbon in support.
This article is personal opinions of Fibromyalgia for more information please seek medical advice.