I am having a spasm-y sensation along the outside of my arms and legs as well as the bottoms of my feet. It creates such an annoying sensation that it is hard to direct my attention to other things, outside of wanting to pull out my hair. Atop that, my fingertips are pruney as if I had them soaking in water for an hour.
It is a beautiful day, aside from the humidity, which has caused the onset of heightened symptoms. Sigh.
For the past three days, I had hoped to feel up to planting flowers. This is the same amount of time since I last read emails — chalk up to yet another day that this won’t happen. Great!
My bank informed me of three unauthorized transactions from my debit card. Fantastic! I received an email that a much-loved singer will be performing at a nearby arena. Naturally, the initial excitement is overshadowed by the fact that with the weather patterns this year, there is a 50-50 chance — make that 70-30 — the event may be for naught. This illness interferes with everything!
I just want to share some aspects of life that my friends get to enjoy, especially this time of year with warm weather, beach vacations, backyard BBQs, and days at the park. ARGH!
Stop… and take a deep breath.
Sometimes I find myself asking for a bear hug from my husband instead of taking the time to express my frustrations and angst. Sometimes it doesn’t feel necessary to revisit the event or risk the chance that I may have difficulty finding words and only upset myself more. A cuddly, loving hug is a better way of explaining that I am having a difficult time and need a source of comfort. This is always easier said than done, especially when there is no way of stepping back from the stressful situation or when you don’t have someone, a pet, or a stuffed animal from which to acquire that soft, gentle hug.
What is most important to focus on is your health. Subjecting your body to an exorbitant amount of stress hormones is like adding fuel to the fire. We already suffer from an illness that has heightened and exaggerated responses to pain. Added adrenaline can affect other bodily systems that could possibly produce stronger, harsher forms of pain, shortness of breath, and elevated blood pressure and heart rate.
Because I am somewhat high-strung and emotional anyway, it took years to fully realize that while the initial adrenaline rush may have been helpful for the moment, in the long run, it took hours for my body to settle from the effects.
Since we do not live in a bubble, we are forced to deal with many of the same stressors that we would have encountered regardless of our health, especially if we live with others who have a more normalized lifestyle. Since I am not one of those amazing people who thrive under pressure, and unfortunately I did not have any role models growing up who used effective coping strategies, I was already hardwired to not handle stress well.
Working with medical professionals throughout my career provided me the support I needed to learn how to sort through the events and try to keep the stress at lower levels whenever possible. That’s not to say that I am devoid of getting angry or feeling overwhelmed, especially when fibromyalgia creates a cascading effect of issues and problems that do not always offer solutions.
I am just learning to recognize what type of day I am having and how much I can handle at the time. When I am overwhelmed (physically or mentally), I walk away from it. Sometimes I lie down and come back to the problem later. Most importantly, I try to recognize that the world is not crashing around my feet. When I am feeling better, I can look at the situation with a calmer demeanor and a different perspective.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.