With fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses, we need to be patient with ourselves. So often, we get frustrated about the things we can’t get done. But we need to learn to say to ourselves, “That’s OK. You’re doing the best you can.”
One of the definitions of patience I like is, “steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.” Before fibromyalgia, I was a very impatient person. I yelled at other drivers, hated to wait in line, and was basically an impulsive, rude person. Fibromyalgia has caused me to slow way down and become more patient, not only with myself but also with my family and friends as they strive to understand my situation.
Fibro made me learn to play the waiting game. Waiting for a doctor’s appointment, waiting to get the results of blood work or X-rays, waiting for my medications, waiting to have enough energy to do anything. The good thing about having to wait is that we learn to be more patient. It’s not fun or ideal, but it’s imperative to a life with chronic illness.
We also need to become more patient with our bodies. They no longer respond to our internal commands. We are awake in the middle of the night instead of sleeping. We leave a half-filled grocery cart in the store because we suddenly feel ill or too tired to finish. We take a shower, and instead of feeling energized, we just feel exhausted. We can no longer stand for long periods of time to cook, so we resort to frozen meals or takeout. We can’t remember what things are called or what a person’s name is. These are all completely frustrating situations, but they are the vehicles by which we learn to be patient.
We have to be patient while waiting for our medications to take effect and then we have to wait for any uncomfortable side effects to subside. We have to be patient with our friends and remind them that although we may not be up to going to coffee with them today, we might tomorrow. We need to implore them to be patient and to not stop inviting us places, even if we’re only able to say yes once or twice.
In which areas are you working on developing patience? Is this a huge struggle for you?
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.