FM humor: A great read for family members!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by munch1958, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    From: Excerpts From Our Book (Taking Charge of Fibromyalgia 2005 Edition) by Julie Kelly, M.S., R.N., and Rosalie Devonshire, B.A., M.S.W., LISW
    Edited by Thomas J. Romano, M.D., Ph.D, FACP, FACR

    Does this sound like your day? If it does, then you need to read this book!

    A day in the life of a person with fibromyalgia.

    After not sleeping half the night, you wake up feeling so stiff you can barely get out of bed. You feel like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. At least he can get his joints oiled! You feel more tired and achy in the morning than before you went to bed the previous night! As you get out of bed, you notice that you feel a little spacey or lightheaded. You may even feel faint.

    You go to the bathroom to brush your teeth and comb your hair. You have trouble lifting your arms to comb your hair, because of the pain and stiffness. You take a long, hot shower because the warm water helps soothe your muscles. You know you are supposed to stretch, but you are in too much pain to stretch, so you don’t do it and feel a little guilty.

    After showering, you must get dressed. You pick the most comfortable and loose-fitting clothes, because if they are too tight, they make your pain worse. So you put on your baggy sweats and maybe you don’t put on a bra, because the straps hurt. Also, you have gained 20 pounds from the medication your doctor put you on, so your old clothes don’t fit. You feel fat. You could throw the carrot sticks you carry around all the time at your doctor every time she mentions that “you should watch what you eat; eat healthy and nutritious foods. You’ll lose the weight,” she says. You don’t even get on the scale anymore, as it hasn’t budged downward no matter what you do. Maybe it’s the constipation causing the weight gain, you think.

    You start down the stairs and feel your hips ache with every step, so you go slowly, for fear of hurting yourself. Your doctor told you the pain does not mean there is damage going on in your muscles, but you continue to worry. How could it be? No damage! This much pain must be causing damage! You don’t really believe what your doctor says. You are sure that every step you take is causing huge tears in your thigh muscles, not to mention what is happening to your knees.

    You go to the kitchen to eat breakfast, but skip the coffee because caffeine is out of the question. Then you realize that you forgot to take your medicine, which is upstairs in the bathroom. I should post a note on my mirror, you say to yourself. I’ll do that when I go back upstairs. Your breakfast consists of one of those supposedly great-tasting shakes that includes all the necessary nutrients in it for FMS people. You doctor it up with yogurt and a banana. It’s not too bad, you think, and it is helping me! You look at all the vitamins in your cabinet and wonder if it is possible to swallow them, as there are so many. Surely, your throat and stomach will not be able to handle all of them. So, you take half of them and hope you won’t get an upset stomach.

    You try reading the newspaper, but have difficulty comprehending what you read, so you give up. You think, Maybe I’ll try to exercise because my doctor told me that will help relieve my symptoms. As you get started, you feel so tired that it is difficult to do even simple exercises. After you perform the required exercises, you feel worse than before you started. What is that doctor talking about anyway? How does she know? She doesn’t have fibromyalgia! So you wonder how exercise can help when it makes you feel so bad.

    Then you have to go to work. You are tired and worn out before the work day has started. You get in your car and hope you remember how to get to your office. Once you manage to find your workplace, you are overwhelmed by the amount of work on your desk. You start feeling a migraine coming on. You search through your desk, looking for the Excedrin migraine medicine. Uh, oh, the bottle is empty. If your job entails computer work, you wonder how your neck, back and arms will feel when the day is over. If you have a job that entails physical labor, such as a grocery checker or factory worker, you know that you will suffer from pain all day long. Your employer does not allow you to take the necessary breaks you need to get control of your pain levels, and you have struggled to make him understand your plight. Your coworkers feel you are just pretending to be sick—because you don’t look sick—and talk about you behind your back.

    At lunch time, you start to feel even more pain and fatigue, and you tell your coworkers that it is going to rain. They have come to know that you are a potent weather predictor. You can tell whenever a storm is coming and feel you could make some money in marketing yourself as a human barometer. You know you are better at predicting the weather than the weatherman on TV. The day goes on, it starts pouring down rain, and you don’t have an umbrella.

    As you muddle through the rest of your day, you wonder how you will make it through the day. You mange to muddle on and can’t wait for 5 o’clock.

    Back in your car, you start thinking about all the household chores you have and all the running around your family wants you to do. You think to yourself, How will I ever get these tasks accomplished? If you are lucky, your family is supportive and helpful. Often, you hate to ask for help and try to do everything, anyway. Maybe you just give up and decide to live in a dirty house. What’s wrong with a few dust bunnies? If you are the man of the house, you feel guilty because you haven’t been able to do all the carpentry chores around the house, due to the pain. Every time you try to fix things in the house, you are laid up for days afterwards. You don’t feel much like a man anymore.

    After dinner, you collapse on the couch and use one of those electric massaging devices which heats up. You want to use it for hours because it does seem to help. Your family may think you are just being lazy and become critical of you. You try to explain how you feel to them, and you may even give them an article on FMS you found on the Internet. They don’t read it. You may begin to doubt yourself and think that maybe those who say, “You’re just crazy,” are right! You go into your kitchen and see the bag of candy in the cupboard, and even though you know you shouldn’t eat it, you reach for one and it tastes so good, you eat five candy bars! Then you feel guilty. Maybe you should turn into a purger, you think.

    When you go to take your nightly warm bath, which does help, you notice your morning medication lying on your bathroom counter. You can’t believe you forgot to take it. So now, you wonder, do I take both morning and night medication at the same time? If I do that, what will happen to me? Your doctor didn’t explain that to you and you try to call the office. You get the answering service and feel bad about bothering your doctor, so you hang up. You don’t think the medications are helping anyway and wonder if your doctor really knows what she is doing. You wonder if you can’t think clearly because of the medications, or is it the fibromyalgia? Your doctor seems to be in such a hurry during your appointment time that you never get to ask her all the questions you had written down. It makes you angry. Maybe you will look for another doctor, but you’ve already seen five. So, being afraid to take too much medicine, you take your evening dose and leave out the morning dose to take tomorrow.

    You get into bed and lie down on the magnetic pad you paid a small fortune for, which the manufacturer guarantees will make you feel better. When your spouse gets into bed, you realize you have stopped having sex, because you haven’t felt sexual in a long time (due to side-effects of your medication) and it is painful when you do try to engage in intimate relations. You both feel lonely.

    Your spouse falls asleep in two minutes and you lie there, wide awake, tossing and turning due to pain. You start to worry because you can’t fall asleep and may be afraid to take the sleeping medication your doctor prescribed for you, because you are concerned you will become addicted to it. Your legs are jerking around, and you can’t keep them still. You forgot to tell your doctor about this symptom. You get up to write a note to yourself to remember to tell the doctor. Oh, but you forgot to put a notepad next to your bed, and you don’t have the energy to get one. You finally fall asleep at 2:00 A.M., but wake up often, sometimes to go to the bathroom, other times for no reason. You want to sleep. It’s now 4:00 A.M. and you know you have to get up in two hours to go to work. You know you will feel bad when you do wake up and think that maybe you will try that sleeping medication tomorrow night. You can’t wait for the weekend so you can sleep in.

    A new day! You wonder when you will feel better, if ever. You worry about the FMS getting progressively worse and worry how you will manage. Will you have to quit your job? Will your family leave you? Maybe your friends have already stopped calling you. Why did this happen to me? Maybe you worry that you have been a bad person and God is punishing you. Will there ever be a cure? Will this be with you for the rest of your life? Will you end up in a wheelchair like the one other person who attended your local support group meeting last month? No wonder you feel depressed. Maybe you should go to see a psychiatrist. Maybe it is all in your head.

    If you can recognize yourself in any parts of this, then you may find this book helpful. Our book has been helping fibromyalgia patients take charge of their illness for over a decade. Julie and I know how you feel, because we used to feel like this, too.

    [This Message was Edited on 02/05/2007]
  2. kmoss55

    kmoss55 New Member

    I liked reading this. You made it sound so funny!!!! I know that it isn't, but I still liked it.


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