Friday, August 13, 2010

Common Enemy

Everybody knows somebody,

and somebody’s always got advice:

foods to eat,

drugs to take,

lifestyle changes we need to make.

Well, I’m doing all I should be,

I’m doing everything right,

so where’s that



you promised me?

Pretty soon frustration takes over

and I

walk away;

it’s easier to medicate myself anyway.

So I do, and then there’s poetry

and chocolate and sunsets and sleeping in,

blaring music through the headphones

loud enough to make me forget

everything for a little while.

I hide back here behind my coping skills

and mild rebellion,

watching as my friends fall apart

in the same way I am,

watching as we all



in different directions

from our only common enemy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pepsi and Trazodone

I survive on Pepsi and Trazodone,

and perseverance that tells me I can do anything

even when my body says I can’t.

I have legs that can still walk, and

hands that have both learned to write

because failure isn’t an option.

And we don’t complain –

we’ll never complain.

So I just put on a sweater to hide the fact

that I’m still freezing in August,

and a hat to hide the hair

that falls out sometimes on those days

when I forget to breathe.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Empathy Pain

     Mandy and I have been empathetic all of our lives.  As a baby, Mandy would be sleeping until a commercial came on with a crying baby.  She would wake up and cry her "pain" cry.  When the commercial ended, she would stop crying and fall back to sleep.  She never outgrew her empathetic connections.
     We feel the same connections for fictional characters.  When a character in a movie can't breathe, I have an asthma attack and have to leave the room.  When someone is hit in the head, I get a migraine.  A heartbreak?  Chest pain.    I have anxiety attacks when I leave book characters "stuck" in a suspenseful scene by closing the book.  I have to keep reading until they get to a "safe" spot to rest.  Mandy can't read suspenseful books because she suffers along with the characters.

     We feel pain for people we love, even when they aren't with us.  My sister-in-law needs surgery for enlarged cysts.  All week I have had random moments doubled over in pain in the same area.  When I check up on her, she says her pain was bad that day.  Mandy felt horrible all week and couldn't figure out why.  She found out her cousin had been vey sick with the same symptoms.  Once the antibiotics started working for her cousin, Mandy's pain went away.

     We feel each other's pain constantly even when we aren't aware of it.  Later when we see each other and talk about our days, one of us will mention a pain and the other will have had that same pain.  I will mention that I had a strange pain in my neck and shoulder and she will laugh and say she pulled a muscle playing on the trampoline.  She will mention a pain in her back and say, "I don't know why it hurts.  I didn't fall or anything."  I will say, "No, but I fell at work today."  It has become so common we joke about it.  "Mandy, I have a pain in my jaw.  Do you know why?"

     We always thought we were unique that way and shared a quirky ability.  Tonight some of my fibro friends were talking about having the same abilities.  We were all shocked that the others had the same experiences.  However, my non-Fibro friends give me strange looks when I try to explain it to them. 

     I have no idea what this means and can't find any research on it.  It may be another strange symptom that Fibromites have and doctors will say it has nothing to do with Fibromyalgia.  It may lead to new understandings about the disease.  It may be Karma.  For now, I am sending out love and healing thoughts to the universe knowing that I will share them with you.    

It IS all in our heads!

     We have been called hypochondriacs, overly sensitive, in need of a hobby, and attention seekers. "The pain is in your head." Little did they know how right they were.

     In the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism there is a study showing people with Fibromyalgia have more connections in parts of the brain that feel pain. The study used a MRI to see the brains of 36 women. 18 had Fibromyalgia and 18 did not.  Click the title of this post to see more information on the study.

     It will take time and more studies to truly understand the extent these connections have on Fibromyalgia. It may lead to a cure, a new way of treating the disease, or a way to diagnose it. For now the reseach shows it IS all in our heads and we can live with that.