Fibromyalgia is one of the stronger illnesses I have been diagnosed with. Yet, before posting anything on the website about the disease, I wanted to wait until a flare hit.
The flare has been going up and down for the past few days, but now that it is in full effect, I am ready to give a full description on what it is, what it does and the ever long-lasting effects.
Flares can last 1 day or months there is no general timeframe. It is dependant on how you treat your body and the stress in your life (+ much more).
For me, the first thing I feel when a flare is starting up is my body temperature drastically switches. I am either feeling like I am outside in -40 weather wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Or, I am dying of heat while wearing only a bra and underwear and sweating so much I look like I am playing a full contact sport on the inside of a volcano. Either which way I can’t get my temperature to regulate.
The next thing to go is my feelings (nerves, not emotions). My back/(right) hip is the first joint to act up. It feels as if the joint will snap in half but no matter how much I move it, it doesn’t snap.
While this is happening I have close to a negative nerve function…where basically I don’t feel anything. However, at rare moments I get overly sensitive where a soft touch/wearing clothes/blankets on skin, ends up hurting so much it sends me to tears.
Other pains is joint swelling, sciatica, bending joints (like closing a fist) locks and it hurts to straighten it and muscle cramps.
Sometimes I am lucky to have one type of pain flare…other times they all flare at the same time.
Chronic Fatigue is a KILLER. The best way to explain Chronic Fatigue (explained by a fellow sufferer) is:
<<It feels like you run a marathon, with a major hangover, while suffering from the flu.>>
Sleep. Does it help? If you can manage to get sleep, it can relieve the pain temporarily…but during a flare sleep does not cure the chronic fatigue.
Mental aspects come in next. Some days depression hits. Some days anxiety hits. Other days mood swings hit. And on the real bad days they all hit at the same time.
**The worst for me is the anxiety. Feeling like everyone is mad and hates me and that I am losing those around me. But I know at the same time, I tend to shut people out especially when in pain.
Migraines and vertigo then affect. Unfortunately for me, they tend to hit at the worst possible moments.
An example: right now (May 5th @7:30pm) the migraine is starting and I am sitting in class. I know it will be close when I need to go home. Why haven’t I left now? The vertigo I am getting from the headache starting.
Others happen when I am driving longer than 10 mins. I have had times that I needed to pull over for 20-45 mins just to be able to drive a little further.
Also: My eyesight worsens when a flare hits. I already have astigmatism and have trouble seeing far. When a flare hits, everything is a big unfocused blur.
Also, major photophobia (sensitive to bright lights).
Sugar Levels: I don’t know how many times I was so high off sugar that all I could taste was sugar. And I don’t know how many times I was so low on sugar that I was really close to fainting and not being able to function. I’ve monitored my sugar levels and had results at a 15+ (normal 4-7) and I’ve had lower then a 3. Yet, every time I get blood tests (even had the one to test for diabetes) they come out normal.
Heart Palipitations/Breathing problems. This is especially noticeable when I am at the gym or on the ice. Sometimes in severe cases you can see my chest beating hard and it takes me long minutes to catch my breath.
Also, throwing up constantly. More than someone suffering from morning sickness. I’ve hit levels where I throw up 8-9x a day and had to skip days worth of meals because they wouldn’t stay down.
–this symptom is almost everyday, even during non-flares but grows worse during flare days. (Hydration is key…and even when you throw up, the water makes it hurt less).
Overactive Bladder (peeing 100x a day- even if you went ten minutes earlier). However, I also have an overactive bladder so this symptom is pretty constant…but gets worse during flares.
Now, these are the general symptoms I am feeling during this flare. There are MANY symptoms and not everyone feels the same ones I do. Also they are NOT consistent. Every flare, new ones come and old ones go.
Later on I will post a list of 200+ symptoms for fibromyalgia, a list you can determine if you have the disease…a typical patient has about 75% of them.
I will also post the same list hi-lighting all the ones I have been affected with at least one time due to fibromyalgia.
For now, I am off to recover. Here’s brief summary of how I recover.
-Hydration is key
-Food (even if unable to keep down)
-Exercise (even if it’s only 15 mins).