Finding Balance Between Periods of Fibromyalgia Remission

Finding Balance Between Periods of Fibromyalgia Remission
I’ve often been asked whether fibromyalgia has periods of remission. For me, the answer lies somewhere between yes and no, although closer to yes. To clarify: Sometimes my symptoms are better, to the extent that I might even consider myself to be pain-free. However, a healthy person would likely judge my still-aching hips, neck, and shoulders to be problematic. Other times, my symptoms are significantly more severe. I've had one notable exception. After my husband of 27 years suddenly died of a heart attack at 48, I called my rheumatologist to ask for help with sleeping. He cautioned me to be prepared for a worsening of symptoms given that stress is known to increase pain. The website of the U.K.'s National Health Service even lists "death of a loved one" as a possible fibromyalgia trigger. And so I waited. I even discussed the situation with my employer, hoping to lessen the surprise should I need to be absent from work for a prolonged period. However, instead of worsening, all of my physical symptoms vanished for the next 12 months. When they came flooding back one year later, I had almost forgotten how miserable I had felt. I assumed that my body had been in such a state of shock during that time that it could feel nothing at all. At all other times in my life since early childhood, I’ve had continual fibromyalgia symptoms to one degree or another. That’s the bad news. The good news is that although I have multiple symptoms, I experience only one severely debilitating symptom at a time. For example, if my irrita
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