May 12th was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. I’ve been away from my computer for a few days because my son was visiting, but Fibromyalgia Awareness was on my mind, and I kept thinking about how difficult it can be for those who love us, and how being aware of what’s going on with us could help not only us, but them.
Fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from person to person, no definitive cause has been established (though there are new theories seemingly every day), and there is no cure. Even some of the medications the professionals seem to think are best for treating it don’t seem to help a lot of people. We don’t know what the heck is going on with our own bodies — no wonder our family and friends don’t…..
I am extremely fortunate. My family and friends are very supportive and for that I’m grateful. I know that not everyone has that kind of support. I also know that it can be hard for the people who live with those of us who have chronic pain, and sometimes, it’s hard to know how to help us.
Here are a few things I want my family and friends to know:
- My fibromyalgia is not who I am. Sometimes it seems as if it completely takes over and controls my days, but I am still the same person I’ve always been. I can’t do all the same things, but I still love to laugh, spend time with people, and enjoy life.
- I want to be treated like a “normal” person as much as possible. I don’t want your first thought of me to be about my fibro. If you want to call, call. If you want to go do something, ask. If I don’t feel up to it, I’ll tell you.
- I may seem to be “fine” one day, and confined to the house the next. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong; it’s just the nature of the “beast.” By the next day I may be fine again.
- I like to spend time with you, but I run out of energy quickly, so I may not be able to do long outings. Even if I can’t go along for all of the fun, I can meet you for part of it, and of course, shorter excursions are always great.
- You don’t need to worry about me. I know life with someone with fibromyalgia can be concerning when you see how much pain they’re in, but as far as I can tell, it’s not life-threatening, and you really don’t need to spend any time worrying about me.
- Last, but definitely not least, I appreciate you! Having supportive people in my life means more than you’ll ever know. A support system is an amazing thing, and I am so thankful for mine!
Obviously, I can only speak for myself, so I’d love to hear what you would want your family and friends to know.