I woke up so stiff and exhausted and in mad pain, the first question I asked myself was “what happened to all the unwinding I did yesterday!?” (I was out of Accra with the fam, and it was very relaxing). The long weekend was over, and the day’s to-do list stared at me. I ate something real quick, took my meds, and laid back down for a bit, nothing. It felt like my muscles were being sawed open, I was so dizzy, and soon it felt like my sawed off muscles sagged in my skin, leaving my skin so sensitive to touch.
Nope, meds did nothing, but I still managed to drag myself out of the house, and the heat almost made me cry, as it added to all the discomfort. I was glad to finally settle in one place, with air conditioning (thank God!). It wasn’t till after two that I was able to eat a bit again, why? because…nausea. I had wanted some jollof rice, but that is sold all the way upstairs, and the thought of that journey threatened my spoons, so I settled for fried yams, which was right down there, a 20m walk. Thankfully, the migraine subsided, the sawing reduced to lesser stabs, leaving the stiffness (I’m stiff down to my toes), and fatigue. It was not till early evening that it hit me what was happening! A premenstrual flare up! Learning to journal specifically for fibromyalgia, has helped me keep track of my symptoms, one by one, noting all the triggers, so I can avoid flare ups as best as I can. In doing so, I soon identified my periods as flare-up triggers; flare ups that come 3 or 4 days to my period, and stays throughout my period. Every month, it keeps me home and unable to function at all, for at least one day. The rest of the days, I look like a druggie in need of emergency detoxification and rehab right after.
The balancing act of identifying triggers, avoiding them, and then finding things that bring symptomatic relief (like long healing hugs 😉 to whom it may concern) and making such a regular, is crucial. I’ve been trying hard to avoid stress by worrying less or not worrying at all, pacing my physical activities, eating well and healthy, doing breathing exercises, a few stretches, offloading my plate, laughing more, loving more, and taking things a day at a time. BUT. HOW. DO. I. AVOID. MY. PERIOD!? Please, don’t tell me to go get pregnant, let’s be serious! (fix appropriate emoji here) you think pregnancy is a joke? More so, you think pregnancy with fibromyalgia is a joke? Hmph!
People with fibromyalgia have 3 times the amount of Substance P in their bodies than do normal people. Substance P is the vehicle that carries pain stimuli to the brain. The brain may also interpret the pain improperly and respond inappropriately. What might be experienced as a “tickle”, itch or annoyance normally – is often experienced as pain in those who suffer with FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome). There are often more pain receptors in FMSers, therefore pain is magnified.
Also, PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is known to increase a woman’s stress levels, and we all know what kind of combo stress and fibromyalgia is, so really, this period period (no, that’s not an error), is a very someway distin (not an error either), and one must to avoid it! (not an error again…relax, I’m not having cognitive challenges).
If a regular girl wishes with all her heart she could avoid periods, detach her uterus during that time of the month, fall in a coma (lol, trust me) during her period, because PMS and dysmenorrhea are real, then…
nah chale, the end. gotta psyche myself for the journey home.