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.