I get asked that more than I can remember. Or maybe I only hear it in my mind. Who knows... But, you're here and reading this now, so let's discuss how fibrofuckingmyalgia feels. And I know that's what I whine about on this blog a lot. But in a general sense, how does this stupid thing feel...
I've compared it to being thrown from a horse, hit by a truck (I've never actually been hit by a truck, except when I was in another vehicle, which isn't the same thing), and more often than not, I compare the overall feeling of pain and tightness to that of a heavy workout. Like, you know when you work out after not working out? And the next day, your muscles are tired and they're sore? But it feels good, sort of. In an accomplished way. Fibro is a lot like that, without the accomplishment.
Last week, I was forced to change my description. I had a product gig (in case you don't know, I take product photos for a local clothing designer, for their website/catalog). And I had twelve products to shoot (this time, sandals). Twelve sandals, six photos each (front, back, side, side, three-quarter front, and top). And for each photo, I had to adjust the sandal... straps, buckles... And these sandals are NICE. The leather is so soft that it doesn't stand up on its own for a photo. I have to use tricks and things to prop up bits here and there.
So, there I was, standing, then sitting to take the photo, then standing, then sitting, then standing, then sitting (I have a folding table that I take my product photos on, about the height of a card table, but half as wide). For more than seventy-two photos (because I kept seventy-two, I probably took 80 or more). Later that evening, every time I moved, my thigh muscles screamed out in pain.
It felt GOOD. The pain was that post-workout pain and it really did feel good. I poked at my thigh. Ouch. Ha! Poke... poke... I'd flex my leg muscles just to make that pain happen. It felt that good.
The next morning? Oh, here we are... back to the fibro pain. And yet, that pain in my thighs still felt like post-workout pain. (I really do miss working out). So, fibrofuckingmyalgia feels nothing like workout pain. And it doesn't feel like: "...an all-over feeling of tightness..." that the TV drug ads tell us it feels like as the physically fit woman reaches over and gently squeezes her shoulder.
Yes, there is tightness. But it isn't mild. It feels as though your muscles are being pulled apart. Pulled slowly away from the joints. A steady, slow, agonizing tightly-pulled feeling. And you know that feeling you get after you, say, hold your two-year-old toddler too long? You're standing, he's bored, you pick him up but then end up holding him for too long? That tired-muscle feeling... happens all the time. Every day. That's what I felt just now when I paused in my typing to pick up a six pound Chihuahua who wanted some attention because that's what six pound Chis do (want attention). Six pounds and I felt like I'd been holding a toddler while waiting in a slow line at the DMV.
The pain isn't just all-over and tight. There are "hot spots". I've mentioned a few of mine before. My hip muscle. It used to be my right one. Now the left one hurts, but not the right one. And my foot and ankle. I spent almost six months with a pain in my ankle and into my foot that felt like a severe sprain. Every day. My hands from time to time cause me a lot of pain. My shoulder joint- right side. I have tendinitis in my shoulders, so it usually feels like a terrible tendinitis flareup.
And, of course, the skin. Itchy, itchy skin. But not a normal itch, more like a "oh, I've burst into flames after stumbling into an itchy convention" kind of itch. Under the skin, painful, feels hot. I've wanted to drag a vegetable peeler across my skin. How much worse could it feel?
Today was about a six or seven on the pain scale. I managed not to fall asleep for no reason, so that's good. But gravity has been especially harsh lately and because the weather is changing (again, still, I can't keep track), I'm treated to the fire skin.
That's what it feels like. Sometimes. Other times, it is much worse. And even other times, it is much better. But mostly, fibrofuckingmyalgia is full of suck and it has nothing good and fun. Well, except me... because I'm awesome.