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Pain: Fibromyalgia and the stress and strain of even the good times.
Since the holidays are coming up, it seemed a fitting time to repost
some issues that those of us with FM face, even when the event is a
say that pleasure can create pain, but it is true. In this case, the
pleasure was a family visit a few years ago. This missive is NOT to
complain about them, as my resultant state had nothing to do with the family themselves
… but rather to explain and hopefully prepare any readers who have FM
for the events which likely will happen to them, due to otherwise good
or pleasant events.
My pleasant event … I had my immediate family here for a week for the
holidays ( as well as a few drop in’s by
near by relatives ) Now, this meant trips out to do things
making meals for large numbers, total changes in sleep times, life
cycles, etc. All for very nice reasons, and I enjoyed having them all
around for the week … however FM makes NO distinction between body and
mental stress brought on by good times.. or bad, which is my point
In a word, I am paying for the visit in pain, just as I
would if I had been through any other stressful demanding set of
events. And given as I was already IN a flare state due to
minor surgery … I was double dipping into the stress pool. However,
that fact is almost to my benefit. As the body was already maxed out
with a flare, so that adding a few more events, did not seem quite as
there were issues the surgery did not create, that the family visit …
did. What are these reactions and why do they matter ?
Known VS unknown
This one is a combination of factors. When we are out and about, we
lack control over the environment, temperature, light levels, exposure
to chemicals, pollens, and more. This creates a large stress loop
feedback to the body, that by and large we have NO control over. And
with a family visit you are more likely to engage in such events. ( Known Vs unknown
on site link )
I was able to bow out of one of the planned activities and
canceled another, so things were not as hard as they could have been.
But as we with FM know any trip out for any reason, can be
In the normal course of our days, we can eat when we want, how we want
etc. ( or rather we can to the extent our Gut permits us to eat ) If
you have a
houseful of guests however, their needs become paramount, which almost
always means a change in your diet. If for no other reason than the
time of day that you eat, will tend to change. Which creates:
Which due to the diet changes and general stress, kicks off with
abdominal cramping and pain. Diarrhea and/or constipation with
attendant flatulence …which with a room full of guests, can be a
problem. :( As well as, bloating, abdominal distention and
nausea. ( IBS on site link )
Since you are acting as the host, even with family, you will tend to
push yourself to keep up with the obligations that go with that state (
this is true, even if you do manage to bow out of some of the
activities as I said above. (
Push Crash on site link )
If any of the guests stay in the house with you, then your
sleep wake pattern can and likely will be disrupted. ( In fact, this is
likely to be true, even if they sleep elsewhere, as their “day” will
start sooner than yours over all, which will force you to cut your
sleep hours short to accommodate them ) This creates sleep deprivation
in either case. ( Sleep issues and FM on site link )
problems like so:
muscles, blurred vision, depression, drowsiness, decreased mental
activity/concentration dizziness, fainting, confusion, hand tremors
( my dominate hand had the shakes so bad, I could barely hold
glass at one point ) Headache ( that is an understatement, rather say Migraine on site
link ) hyperactivity, hypertension, irritability, memory lapses or
loss and nausea.
Just to name a few
Which is where all issues above, pain etc, intensify. And to top it all
off, I got a grand case of Laryngitis from talking so much.
of the above and more are true.. even IF the family over all does
understand what the term FM means. They really have NO understanding on
how it affects you day by day. In fact, unless they live with
you, and sometimes not even then, none of them are going to be able to
adjust their actions or moderate the demands their presence makes on
you to any real degree. As it takes more than just “understanding"
what FM is. What it takes is understanding how they are likely
need to change how they behave and what demands they make on you.
And, even if they "get it " the extra demands, started before they even showed up. With extra shopping
trips for food stuffs etc, more cleaning activities and the like, just
to prepare for their visit.
Now, would I change a thing about
any of it ? No, totally enjoyed it and would do it again in a heartbeat
🙂 But a word to the wise, even pleasant activities have a price, if
you have FM and it is best to be prepared for the flare and other
issues that it will create.