Making Time for Play Is Part of My Fibromyalgia Therapy

Making Time for Play Is Part of My Fibromyalgia Therapy
I had all but forgotten how to play. I even looked it up in the dictionary once. It was defined as “time spent doing something enjoyable or amusing.” Most of my life has been spent being sick or chasing a cure. There was little time for having fun. While the rest of the world was enjoying leisure time, I was struggling with health issues. I was either in pain or lacking energy. When the situation became intolerable, I spent decades being examined and tested to find out what was wrong with me. After I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I devoted my spare time to research and experimentation. I tried to find the right doctor and the right medication. I struggled to care for my family while working full time at a demanding job and attending college at night. There was no time for play. Many years later, my body finally said, “No can do.” The state of my physical and mental health had reached an all-time low and work was no longer an option. I'll never know whether a lack of fun contributed to the decline of my health, but I suspect that it played a role. My first month of unemployment I did little besides sleep. Not that I had a choice. I fell asleep sitting in a chair. Once, I nodded off while standing at the stove. An occasional trip to the grocery store was the only reason I left the house. Of the therapies I’d tried over the years, this period of rest was the most curative. In time, I attempted activities recommended for fibromyalgia patients: swimming in a warm-water pool and yoga. Because it was such an effort, I considered those therapy, not fun. It took nearly two years for me to feel like a human being again. About that time, my disability insurance company decided I was no longer disabled. My doctors and I vehemently disagreed. T
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2 comments

  1. Darlene says:

    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1994. A few years later I started seeing a rheumatologist and have been treated by him for fibromyalgia ever since. Several years ago the doctor tested my flexibility and then told me that the reason I had fibromyalgia was that I’m double-jointed. Another time while my shoes were off he examined my feet and noticed that while I have high arches they collapse when I stand. A few years after that he asked me to demonstrate how stretchy my skin is to a resident that was shadowing him. Finally a year ago when I had an appointment with him his new PA came in to see me. She asked me if I knew that I had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or EDS. No. I had heard of it and read about it and thought it described how I feel but I never mentioned this to the doctor. There are 13 types of EDS. It is a genetic disorder that affects your connective tissue and collagen. One place to get information about this is nih.gov. Type Ehlers-Danlos in the search field and several articles will pop up. Another site is ehlers-danlos.com, an American website. There is info about the disorder and many testimonials or personal stories of people that have it. Symptoms among the types can overlap. Now I’m confused…I don’t know if I have both fibromyalgia and EDS or if I was misdiagnosed. The symptoms of both are very similar.

  2. Marsha A. Rodriguez says:

    Christine,
    You are so right about making time for play. Even prior to fibromyalgia I struggled with fun time versus I should get ?
    done. This was after my kids were all on their own. Now it’s even worse if I’m feeling good I feel obligated to accomplish something constructive which is very very damaging to my mental health. The saying about “being your own worst enemy” fits me to a tee. It’s been on my mind most than ever before in the last year how little time I allow myself for play or fun time.
    Your article is awesome

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