7 Things to Be Aware of Regarding Fibro and CFS

16 May

May is fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue awareness month. I have both these diagnoses and here are a few things I’d like to make people “aware” about them:

  1. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are real.
  2. Fibromyalgia is way more than just “all over pain” and chronic fatigue syndrome is way more than just being really tired all the time. My symptoms include: joint pain, muscle aches, pain standing on my feet, pain when being touched, fatigue, brain fog, stuttering and slurred speech, blurred vision, sensitivity to loud noises, digestive problems, depression, anxiety, night sweats, dizziness. I don’t have all these symptoms all the time, and their intensity varies, but yes, there’s *always something* with me.
  3. I like a firm handshake. Don’t squeeze my hand. That’s uncalled for, and it hurts.
  4. These conditions are different for everyone. Let’s not talk better or worse, because it’s not a competition. Just understand that what your sister experiences with her fibromyalgia is different than what I experience.
  5. How we feel often changes from one day to the next, and we usually can’t predict how that’s going to be, so that’s why it’s hard for us to make plans or keep plans, or why we seem like we’re fine one day and the next can’t lift the heavy thing again.
  6. We don’t want to be this way. We’re not staying sick for the attention.
  7. Fibro and CFS suck.
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