Posts Tagged ‘Fibromyalgia Awareness’

Fibro Sucks! But My Friends Don’t!

May 31, 2021

so we have finally reached the 31st of May, the final day of fibromyalgia Awareness Month. I know I’ve been posting a little extra and almost exclusively about fibromyalgia this month but but else would I do? LOL

what I would like to thank all the people in my life who support me. I made masks for those closest to me as well as myself. I would like to thank each and every one who wore these masks & I hope will continue to wear them until we no longer need them.

This lad is on of my guy friends whom I am fairly close to, but I was surprised when he said he wanted a mask. Apparently he knows others (including 2 mutual friends) with Fibromyalgia.

Tony.

The only one I made a mask for who I do behave an image of is my nephew cuz he couldn’t find his (not surprising, cuz his mom’s wearing it!) But my sister, her 2 daughters, and my Mom & Dad. I thank my family for their support

Cassie & Kyah, Wendy, Dad and Mom

My best friends and their partners.. I’ve known both Catherine & Gerry since high school. I’m lucky to have maintained their friendships after 30 years. I thank them & their partners. Cath’s masks read “I wear purple for my BFF” & “I wear purple for ME”.

Catherine & Brett and Sara & Gerry

As many of you know, I’m involved in Scouting & I had some of my fellows outer request masks as they know how much it impacts my daily life.. I worked with Rainbow 13th directly for 2 years in Beavers & she is our outgoing group chair for one group. Raksha 13th has worked with me at Cub level for 3 years now& is out incoming Ng chair. She has seen how it impacts me and the improvements I have made over the last few years. Rainbow 1sy, well.. I’ve only been working in tandem with her since Covid hit & we initially amalgamated the groups, but like the bffs, I’ve known her since highschool and we did Venture Scouts together as youth.

Rainbow 13th (Charlene), Raksha 13th (Jen) & Rainbow 1st.(Jenn)

& I support me. Some days I have to remember that.

i have 4 masks.. 2 that say Fibromyalgia Awareness, but different patterns.. one that states “I wear purple for my BFF” (cuz my bff has fibro too) & “I wear purple for ME”. Mine, I will have in regular rotation – good thing purple is my favourite colour..

4 different days 4different masks.. & Yes, each has been worn several times over the last few weeks. Very rarely was I not in a fibro mask. & If not, I had purple butterflies!

So everyone who supports someone with Fibromyalgia, on their behalf, I thank you. Whether it’s doing our groceries wearing a mask for Fibromyalgia Awareness or just checking in to make sure we’re ok,, we do appreciate you & your support.

Thank You!!

30 Facts!!

May 24, 2021

Originally written for the 25th Anniversary with 25 facts,, this is a list of things you should know, from someone with Fibromyalgia. From someone who experiences it, not just studies it. I have taken the original, modified it and added to it from *my* perspective as my experiences with fibro are not the same as hers. OP info available at the bottom.

  1. Every morning is a tough morning.
  2. I can sleep all day and still feel like I just ran a marathon.
  3. If I went out last night, I need a day or two or three to recover — its okay, it was worth it.
  4. When i’m tired, let me sleep.
  5. Certain foods make me flare up, For me that’s items like Ice cream breaded food products (like fish sticks or chicken fingers), mayo & salad dressing, KD, etc.. Some I know why, others no clue.
  6. When I’m in a flare, leave me alone in a dark room but please check in, even if I don’t answer. It makes me feel cared for & loved .If I am flaring and I am responding, I’m likely asking for a ride to the ER.
  7. Yes, diet matters, but in flare mode, all bets are off.
  8. Yes, my face is swollen. No, I didn’t gain 5 pounds overnight… Well I could have gained, but not on my face.. So, Yes, that is a tell that I am in a flare.
  9. I have many different sizes of clothes in my closet to accommodate flare vs. non-flare days. I currently have clothing from a medium ( very generous medium) to 3x.. I’ve lost weight, so likely only a few items & eventually they will go too.
  10. Fibro Fog sucks. Ya know when you get absent-minded every once in a while? Misplaced your keys? Misread something? Forgot to water the plants? That’s Brain or Fibro Fog. While it happens to everyone at some point, it not the norm. For people with Fibromyalgia this is the norm. Every day. I have even lost my train of thought, mid-sentance. It happens enough that those close to me don’t bat an eyelash when it happens. Some even see it happening & will remind me of what I was saying. The worst, is fogging out when I drive & I love to drive, but have to be super careful to make sure I am clear minded.
  11. Ask before you touch. Some days, I can barely tolerate the feel of clothing or even my hair on my skin. When I’m ok, give gentle hugs please — my skin & muscles may still be tender. But if I give you a bear hug, you can give me one back!
  12. Bright lights, loud noise and too many smells can overload the senses and can cause nauseous (or worse) or kick in a migraine.
  13. Allergies play havoc on my body. Scented products like perfumes & body products are typical culprits Sometimes I don’t even know I’m allergic until I experience it, So it’s a bit of Russian Roulette when I go into public because I can’t control what scents other people wear. Food allergies/sensitivities do not make life any easier either, especially when eating out.
  14. I am a human barometer ( there’s a post around about that.. I can typically tell it’s gonna be too cold, too wet, too hot.
  15. Yes, i am on medications, sometimes even alot of them. I have a decent relationship with the pharmacy staff, and I know exactly what all my medications are, the dosage, and why I’m on it & how it helps.
  16. To me, car rides are joy rides cuz I really love to drive. I need to stop every hour or two to keep my legs from going numb or seizing up. It, for me, is so worth it! But so many with fibro feel differently than I do & equate it to a highly painful roller coaster ride.
  17. Some days it’s OK to let my Fibro win. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  18. I can get moody. You would be too if you were in pain all the time, be patient with me.
  19. Don’t be surprised if I can tell your mood as soon you walk in the room. My Fibro/spidey-senses are tingling.
  20. My day, week and month are carefully planned to accommodate my Fibro. Only important events & people like you are scheduled.
  21. If I cancel my plans with you, don’t be mad.. Remember, I made plans with you, because you are important to me. I am trying and obviously want to hang out with you, so please keep any nasty commentator yourself as I already feel guilty.
  22. Your friend with Fibro that says they have no pain doesn’t make me feel any better. Plus if they have no pain, they may not have fibro cuz *all* Fibromites have *some* level of pain at *all* times Alternatively they could simply lying either about having fibro or about being totally pain-free. Also, just cuz someone says they are “Good” that’s does not mean pain-free
  23. “You should exercise.” ROTFLMAO. Have you considered going to the gym while you are in the middle of the flu with body-wide aches & pain, fatigue? Didn’t think so, so how can you expect me to when I have body-wide aches & pain and fatigue? Yes, I do exercise, but I’m not a hypocrite. Do you know how long it took from me to go from bobbing in the water during aquafit to get to my current level of exercise? Years!! It helps, that I have lost weight. Before you use me as an example of of someone with fibro who is ‘fit’, remember that I started my journey to become healthier & to increase my fitness level in the winter of 2012, almost 9 years ago. And I would not consider myself ‘fit’
  24. Going to the doctor makes me sad & sometimes overwhelmed— it’s a reminder of my condition. And it doesn’t help that I have at minimum a half dozen medical appointments each month – GP, Pain Doc, RMT, Physio/Osteo therapy, Gyn, Neuro, Dental, Psych, mental health support groups, and one offs for tests like bloodwork, ultrasound, x-ray, MRI or CT.
  25. There are zero no-pain days, but my low-pain days are my happy days. So if I’m looking good and acting good and I’m social, I’m better, right? No, just a good *low* pain day. Fibromyalgia is chronic & will not go away
  26. Because of Fibro, the mandated downtime gives me the opportunity to write this blog, and I’m grateful. Unfortunately, some of that downtime does not even permit blog writing because the pain or fatigue is*too* intense, so I have missed posts.
  27. Because of Fibro, some Fibromites get to spend more time with their families than if they were healthy.
  28. if i am being a dick about my health, you will not change my mind. I have to figure it out myself. For those in my life who put up with that for years, I am sorry.
  29. Because of Fibro, I’ve become part of a strong, supportive community that reminds me I’m never alone.
  30. Yes, I have depression. No, it’s not because of my fibro. My depression started at age 16, but fibro, we believe, started from Mono when I was 19-20. So, obvs they started at different times plus I do know the triggering event that started my depression.

Original published by Puja Rios on May 11, 2007 at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/25-facts-for-fibromyalgia-awareness-day_b_59148663e4b01ad573dac1c2

I Got my Shot

May 14, 2021

Recently, I received an email from Sobey’s Grocery stores in response to my request to be waitlisted for the vaccine.. They said, I was eligible for the COVID vaccine, for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Finally!!

AZ Vacvine

I went & signed up. It turns out the closest location for the shot was in the city a Gerrard & Vic Park. I’m sure there’s not a lot of you familiar with the geography of Toronto but from my home it is approximately 50 km or just over 30 miles ( just under an hour away) to that specific grocery store for my shot. But I was going to be going into Scarborough (East Toronto) anyways because of Lilly’s surgery. I figured I’d would kill two birds with one stone.

My Shot, Thursday

So my appointment was on Thursday, at 11:30am. It was super quick. By the time my brain registered the sensation of the needle, she was already putting it syringe into the sharps bin.So, even if you don’t like needles, it’s not that bad. I stayed the required 15 minutes. No reaction initially other than some moderate nausea.

Waiting n the cubical for the pharmacist to give me my shot

The nausea stayed with me for the day. I was a little tired afterwards & had a short nap which helped me feel a little better. Even went for walk with my sister in the evening.

My Reactions – That Night

By 2:00am the nausea was worse, so much so that I had an empty bucket beside my bed, just in case.

Shortly after that I noticed I was cold. I was eventually shivering despite pj’s and warm bedding. My temperature at this time was 38 & change in Celcius .

My arm was sore, but most people have that reaction. My fibro was triggered and my pain was climbing everywhere. At worst I’d say 5/10.

By 5:00 this morning my body had switched from shivering to sweating. I was also having a headache kick in. I took some Tylenol with codeine and was finally able to get back to sleep.

My Reactions – Next Day, Friday

I was abruptly woken up by my Mom at 10:30am for a temperature check. It was 36.8, completely normal. After checking Lilly & giving her meds (see her surgical post if you are interested), I went back to bed. Fortunately in the morning, the body wide pain had taken a step back and no more shivering or sweating. I did still have the headache, and the nausea but it was not as bad.

As the day wore on I’d flip from chills to overheating, but no temperature. The nausea kept up and I did rush to the bathroom with dry heaves. The body-wide aches went back up by bedtime.

My Reactions – Day 2 Post Vaccine, Saturday

Still has ongoing flipping between chills & hot flashes. Left arm still sore.. Ongoing body aches all during the day.. Still nauseous, but not actually vomiting..sent alot of my time resting.

My Reactions – Day 3 Vaccine, Sunday.

Chills & hot flashes completely abated by the evening and the nausea aswell. Still had body-wide aches & pains.

My Reactions – Day 4 & 5, Monday & Tuesday.

I think by this point I was completely finished reacting to the actual vaccine, whoever my fibromyalgia decided to react to the vaccine reaction. Oh so fun. So by the time I woke up on Monday I was in a lovely little fibro flare that has lasted several days. Only thing I accomplished was the opening & closing of my Tuesday Night Cub meeting.

So, by this point my actual immunoreaction to the medication in the vaccine was done, but not the end of this saga of my vaccine.. Read here for more on this story.

New Diagnostic Criteria 2016

May 13, 2021

As of 2016, new criteria for the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia were determined. The previous test was a trigger point test of 11-18 points reacting gave a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia when not other condition explains it. This is no longer considered a valid marker for Fibro though many doctors still use this outdated model.

According to this, my WPI is 10 & my SSS is 8. That’s one criteria down. Symptoms have been around for decades. Dr Bested did a full panel of tests, needing 2 separate visits cuz of how much blood they required for the tests. All it found was that my vitamin D was a little low, but normal and vitamin B12 was lower than normal – but I knew that already.

So by this criteria, guess what!?!? I have Fibromyalgia!! Surprise!!

May 12th, Awareness Day

May 12, 2021
International Awareness Day for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Today, May 12 is International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.. also known a Fibro, FM & FMS, the rigging for today is Purple.

Today, May 12 is International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Awareness Day. Also known at CFS, CFS/ME, ME/CFS & ME, the ribbon for today is Blue.

Today, May 12 is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Day. Also known as MCS, the ribbon for today is Green..

CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia & MCS Awareness Ribbons for May 12th

Fibromite?

May 10, 2021

i’m sure you’ve seen it floating around.. I’ve been using the term forever & an not really sure of the origin. My first use of the word in this blog is in 2009..

A Fibromite, simply put, is a person with the medical condition of Fibromyalgia.

By extension, Fibromites are people with Fibromyalgia.

A Letter from Fibromyalgia

May 6, 2021
A Letter from Fibromyalgia

Hii!! My Name is Fibromyalgia, and I’m an Invisible Chronic Illness.

I am now velcroed to you for life.

Others around you can’t see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.

I can attack you anywhere and anyhow I please.

I can cause severe pain or, if I’m in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.

Remember when you and Energy ran around together and had fun?

I took Energy from you, and gave you Exhaustion. Try to have fun now! I also took Good Sleep from you and, in its place, gave you Brain Fog.

I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.

Oh, yeah, I can make you feel anxious or depressed, too.

If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away, too.

You didn’t ask for me. I chose you for various reasons: That virus you had that you never recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma. Well, anyway, I’m here to stay!

I hear you’re going to see a doctor who can get rid of me. I’m rolling on the floor, laughing. Just try. 

You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.

Pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, anti-anxiety pills

You will be put on pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, anti-anxiety pills, antidepressants, anti-epileptic or anti-convulsant pills. You will be told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given a TENs unit, get massaged. You will be told that if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away, told to think positively. You will be poked and prodded. MOST OF ALL, you will not taken as seriously as you feel when you cry to the doctor how debilitating it is to live your life, every single day.

Your family, friends will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and that I’m a debilitating disease.

Some of they will say things like “Oh, you are just having a bad day” or”Well, remember, you can’t do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago”, not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago. Some will just start talking behind your back, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially when you are in the middle of a conversation with a “Normal” person, and can’t remember what you were going to say next!

In closing, (I was hoping that I kept this part a secret), but I guess you already found out… the ONLY place you will get any support and understanding in dealing with me is with Other People With Fibromyalgia.

Be Cognizant of Your Behaviour.

May 3, 2021

I’ve mentioned this before and some may not be clear with what I mean. I’m not talking about being rude or nasty, but that is unacceptable aswell. I’m talking about the things you are not subconsciously aware of.

Touch.

Casual touch can be excruciating..

This is probably the biggest issue. People touch people. It happen. Even when sometimes you are trying not to. Like on a crowded buss or subway car, especially during rush hour. There’s also touching that you may not be aware of. An intended gentle affectionate touch like a hand on the shoulder could easily cause excruciating pain. While you can’t help the contact on a transit system, you can be aware of how you express affection to someone with Fibromyalgia or any other chronic pain condition. The easiest way to know is to simply ask.

There are times when you will forget. My mom forgets and I’ve had fibromyalgia for over 20 years & chronic pain for another 10 before that.. So if you forget, if you remember as your doing it or right after, apologize. If they mention it to you later, apologize. If they don’t accept your heartfelt apology, then they are just being jerks. But if they don’t comment, then either you likely had very little impact, or they just don’t feel comfortable to discuss it with you. Only you’d be able to tell.

Scent.

There are many scents people react to. Anything from expensive perfumes to little Jimmy’s upturned stomach. Many people with Fibromyalgia, Fibromites, do react to various smells may of them synthetic. As a result we generally can not be around the source of a scent.

Longing Perfume. My very first non-allergy reaction to a synthetic substance.

Perfume, even the expensive stuff is an excellent example. While you may think you are smelling like the bee’s knees, but in fact you could be harming someone else’s quality of life. Other examples include moisturizers, bath products, tobacco smoke and laundry soaps/fabric softeners. Reactions are similar to an allergic reaction and while not anaphylactic it can cause anxiety which could result into a panic attack. So if you must make yourself smell ‘pretty’, Please use a light hand cuz the person with fibro who rides up on the elevator with you at work, would very much appreciate it.

There are some more natural scents that tend to both us as well. I am fortunate that I don’t react poor to natural scents, except onions but that may have more to do with my aversion to onions.. 😆

Sight & Sound.

While not as much you can do about this, just be aware that many of those with fibro also have sensitivites to bright lights & loud noises. So no going into their room to wake them up with opening the blind & the window with a 20 piece band. That could severely thaumatize them – I know it would for me.

Taste.

Well there’s not a lot you can do suits you are not actually feeding them or forcing food down the throat.. lol.. You can simply be aware and take into consideration food sensitivities if you are aware of them. The last thing anybody wants is for someone to spend the evening in the bathroom, stinking it up.

General rule of thumb for me, the more natural, the better.

Welcome to May!

May 1, 2021

Welcome to Fibromyalgia Awareness Month!

Wear Purple for Fibromyalgia Awareness Month

What is Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. The current theory behind why is that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and non-painful signals.

Why is Awareness Important? Because there are many incorrect assumptions and false facts about this disease & the people who have it. People need to know that just because you can’t easily see my pain on my fatigue or digestive issues or cognitive issues or.. etc.. that does not mean it is not there.

Why May? Initially, Fibromyalgia Awareness Day started exclusively on May 12 – the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Why her? Not only is she the mother of modern nursing, it is believed that she has Fibromyalgia…After returning home from the Crimean War in 1856, her diary entries are suggestive of the classic pain and fatigue condition that we have all experienced. So May 12th became the date for Awareness for Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, & MCS.. But why or how did they get that extended to the whole month? I have no clue tbh. .

Why should you care? Approximately 2 to 4% of the population has fibromyalgia. In the US, that’s about 6 to 12 million people, In the UK that’s about 1⅓ to 2⅔ million people. In Canada that’s about 750,000 to 1.5 million people. That is alot of people. So, if that is the stat for the entire world, that means there are 153 to almost 307 million people worldwide with fibro..That is A LOT of people.

So what? That’s still not me. So why should you care, even with those stats? Well, anyone can have Fibromyalgia. So your son, your daughter, your sister, your brother, your cousin, your friend, your mother, your partner. Anyone of these people could get fibromyalgia.. That also means if you know 100 people, 2-4 of them will have Fibromyalgia. So, you *do* know someone with Fibromyalgia.

How? Simple. Ask questions. Do some research to find out a little bit of fact (not fiction) on fibro. Be cognizant of your behaviour. Support those in your life with this condition – off help & let them know you believe them. Wear a purple ribbon to show your support Wear purple!!

Masks for May

April 29, 2021

May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month

May 12th is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.

My niece is in her final year of a specializes Illustration BA program. I asked her for some design ideas for masks to celebrate.. or.. acknowledge.. Spread Awareness! For Fibromyalgia.. She is still working on her final projects,so she’s been super busy & has not had a chance, but will shortly. Below are some ideas I stole that I think would work or something similar. Thoughts?

Purple Ribbons with “Fibromyalgia Awareness”

Purple Ribbons with Butterfly

I wear purple for… My Sister.. My Friend… My Mom.. My Aunt.. My Daughter.. My BFF,.. My Wife.. My Brother.. My Neice.. etc..

Stylized Ribbons.. I also have the online alias of NeonRose, so the rose on the left is totally appropriate for me.. 😉

Ribbons & Miscellaneous Text

I also have a black shirt that says “This Shirt Turns Black When I’m in Pain”. While I wasn’t planning on having black masks I was considering the dark purple and this would work on that as well.

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions?