Sunday, March 14, 2010



A day without outrageous humidity. There was a slight breeze, sunshine and warm,moderate temperatures. It felt so good to turn my face to the sun. It's been a real long time since I've been able to feel the warmth. 

Pain is a constant in my life and I'm fine with that. What I'm not fine with is the fetal position, crying and pain-medications-don't-really-work-but-just-kind-of-take-the-edge-off kind of pain. The pain that I've been in for that last few months. 

Almost every day.

Brings you to your knees kind of pain.


There is a truism in all of this. You can't appreciate good days without experiencing the bad ones. It's true, I never realized how grateful I could be for a day like today until the excruciating pain stopped. I'm not naive. I'm not going to believe that this flare is behind me. There are too many symptoms associated with this illness; symptoms that appear without warning out of the blue. I'm also aware that the daily stress I experience can also exacerbate every single one of them.

It's interesting that people think we have a low tolerance for pain. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I can tolerate pain and I tolerate it on a daily basis. The levels make all the difference but the pain is never truly gone. Not to pat myself on the back but it takes a strong person to tolerate the deep down severe aches and pains on a daily basis. Most of the people I've talked to feel the same way. We're not wimps. So it comes down to the difference between pain tolerance and pain thresholds. I have a very low pain threshold but my tolerance is very high. 

Pain tolerance is about the levels of pain that a person can take before breaking down physically or emotionally. 

Pain threshold is the point that the stimulus is perceived as pain. 

What this has also done is set me upon a path of self awareness. There are things maybe I knew and just didn't want to acknowledge and maybe there were issues that I just really didn't know I had but I do know some of those proverbial cans of worms I wish I'd never opened. Pain is pain whether it's emotional or physical and I know this is all about management. I've never been good at the emotional part and it's a daily struggle. There are so many things about myself that I never realized until  I encountered the pain associated with Fibromyalgia.  It gives you time to think about yourself and how you got to this point in your life. Some of it's fun, some of it isn't. Maybe I just had a severe flare and maybe I'm just getting introspective in my old age. 

When you get up in pain and go to sleep in pain it messes with your head. It robs you of your joy and it tries to rob you of your life. It permeates your whole being and wants to engulf you in it's darkness. It likes to remind you that at any given moment it has the capacity to steal your happiness and once again plunge you into the depths of despair. You can't afford to relax and let your guard down because it will try to take you by surprise. Pain will try anything. If it can't beat you physically it will try to beat you emotionally. It's power is to surround you and isolate from your friends and family you so that you have no choice but to live in it's world. It's real easy to take that step.

No one likes pain. I don't like it either but out of the two, I'll take the physical pain. It's tangible and concrete. Emotional pain is subjective and sneaky and I've tried real hard my whole life to keep it at bay. There are too many issues and I'm not in the mood to tackle all of them.  I'm much more comfortable with the physical pain; if that makes any sense. I know there are still things I need to deal with and, truthfully; right now,  I'd just rather keep a lid on it. 


  1. Hi Rose,
    Wow what an awesome post! You're a good writer. I'm glad to have found your blog. I read two posts, loved both of them.
    I also love the fish flying out of the bowl. Reminds me of being in 4th grade (nothing to do with fibro)- my teacher asked us to write what we would do if we were a fish in a bowl. Well, I was the only student who didn't start writing immediately and in fact I never wrote anything. I think it was my first public anxiety attack (pretty sure I'd had those as a baby according to Mom)- but I imagined being the fish in a bowl and my tummy got tight inside. I did not want to be that. I couldn't figure out anything to do. I think I finally had to write something like swim. I mean what else could a fish in a bowl do? Well, now I know. Jump out!
    I'm interested in why you chose the pic. What it means to you. Also, some great icons/images I like to use are from IconDoIt on wordpress. She is a talented artist who also fights illness. I don't know how to make it a link for you.
    Again, I loved the posts. Makes me think of coming out of the closet.
    I like the way you compare pain tolerance to the pain threshold. So true!
    Also, I have noticed that on rainy days my pain seems worse and in the summer here in NC, well, I cannot tolerate it at all. I have to stay inside 'til late in the day when it is cooler. I hate that!!! I used to leave each summer and go camping. Last time I tried that I seriously considered ending my life. I was in sooo much pain. Then I started taking pain medication so I'm still here, obviously.
    I wish I could do it again -- go to my favorite place where it never gets hot up on the mountain and camp. The only way I could do it is to find a strong person to be with me. I would very much like to have a partner. I'm kind of hoping this will happen for me. I'm 46 and kind of never wanted this before, not since I was married at a young age and then widowed as well. All these years I just wanted freedom. Now I am chained by fibromyalgia! And the Chronic Fatigue -- well that is a beast on it's own, feels like a living entity that consumes me and leaves me for the dogs. At least the dogs are sweet, kind and loving to me. They are the only ones who want to be around me when my brain has fogged so much I can barely get out a clear word, or shower, and holding the toothbrush feels like someone put lead in it the night before. I hate the fatigue. At least the pain pills do help the pain. I can't take the medication for fatigue. It is like speed and I took a little bitty slice of one when it was prescribed several years ago. I was up and going alright! For like three days. They told me to take two pills. I can't imagine what would have happened. Provigil is the name. It also gave me nerve pain. I still have the bottle. I don't know why other than in the back of my mind, I think, well maybe one day I'll pinch off a little piece of the pill so I can clean my house or go to a function or drive to visit family -- and be able to drive home.
    Sorry for the long comment. Your blog is awesome!

  2. Thanks so much for your comment! I don't care if it's was very interesting. I love to hear others feelings about this illness. Being chained by Fibromyalgia is about right. Wanting freedom and then to be chained by this? Me too. Weird, isn't it? Are you a Type A personality also? I chose the fishbowl because I felt like I was in an emotional fishbowl because of the pain and I had to jump out, knowing the cost of jumping out might be disastrous to my emotional well being. Sometimes I think there are issues that are better left dead and buried. I know what it's like about the toothbrush feeling like it's been filled with lead. My daughter had to literally hold it for me because I couldn't lift it. I think we all have the same issues. The bottom line of this is that it sucks. The writing helps me deal with all of this and even then there are times I don't do real well. Hang in there because we all need each other!


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