There are a lot of people who haven’t heard of fibromyalgia and those who have don’t always fully understand it; there are even those who think it isn’t real. A lot of people who are aware and do try to understand it make the mistake of thinking it’s all about pain. Although chronic pain is one of the main symptoms, there are many others that are less widely known, and symptoms can range greatly from person to person. Some of my symptoms include the following:
1. Fibro fog
Having fibro fog makes it hard to think clearly, it can make it hard to follow conversations and to formulate what you would like to say. It can be struggling to explain what you mean, finding it hard to comprehend what you would normally find easy to understand, and being unable to find the words among many other things.
2. Dizziness and shakiness
When I’m having a flare I can feel very dizzy and lightheaded, at times even disorientated. It’s a regular occurrence for me to experience shakiness, particularly in my hands.
This can be sensitivity to touch, so that things that wouldn’t usually hurt are very painful. I also struggle with sensitivity to noise and light when I’m having a bad flare, which can be very uncomfortable.
4. Temperature regulation problems
Regardless of outside temperature, I can sometimes feel way too hot or way too cold, ranging from having hot flashes to shivering and having goosebumps.
I can experience tingling sensations in my limbs, hands and feet during a flare. This can be mild or more severe.
6. Loss of feeling
I experience loss of feeling in my legs and feet. Sometimes this can be accompanied by pins and needles but often it comes on its own which affects my mobility greatly.
Having IBS is one of the least known symptoms of fibromyalgia, but it is a delightful addition, including diarrhea, constipation and stomach cramps.
I tend to have a headache every day but they range in strength, and usually don’t respond to painkillers if they are related to my fibromyalgia.
9. Non-restorative sleep
Being unable to sleep deeply because of pain or many of these other symptoms results in non-restorative sleep, meaning I don’t feel refreshed in the morning and can often be as tired when I wake up as I was when I went to bed.
This is one of the most debilitating symptoms for me. Fatigue can range from mild, which impacts my ability to function somewhat but I can fight through it, to severe, with which I cannot keep my eyes open or function at all.
All of these symptoms make it very hard to function daily, but I am a fundamentally positive, determined person and I will not give up. I am determined to find ways to move around these obstacles, to live my life as I want to, even if sometimes it takes longer or has to be slower than I would like. Maintaining a positive attitude is the best way I know to keep going, and I will continue to do so no matter what daily battles I face.