The Seven Dwarfs of Fibromyalgia

Grumpy – lack of sleep can turn the brightest ray of sunshine into little more than a damp squib. A cocktail of drugs aimed at making your life more tolerable can also scarily change the way you interact with others. Whether its the withdrawal symptoms of coming off a medication, side effects of starting new tablets or just the spaced out demeanor associated with strong pain killers. Medications can have a massive effect on mood, sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse.

Sleepy– days of disruptive sleep often turn into weeks thus leaving fibro sufferers in a semi zombie-like state. Like zombies we walk slowly and groan and desperately need brains as ours are often on holiday (not to eat like a normal zombie.) We may also look pale and withdrawn, I can assure you if there is rotting flesh falling from us – this is when you worry. The best way to describe fibro fatigue is to imagine a plug being pulled out mid charge. The energy depletes quickly so you need to recharge, but the plug is pulled out again. The ‘charge’ never gets to 100%. For me my body is never working on more than about 60%, more often than not though, it’s less than 15%. Like a phone with a low battery we have to decide how to use this power. Do we use 5% on a getting dressed video? Or 2% on walking around the house? Do we have time for a half an hour nap to charge back up to 30% before going out and completely draining the battery?

Painful – This speaks for itself. The main complaint with fibromyalgia and many other chronic and/or invisible illnesses is pain. Pain all day, every day. Relentless, ever lasting pain. It’s there the moment I wake up to the moment I drift off to sleep. For many people with a chronic condition, including myself, the only certainty in our lives is pain. Although it’s often different day to day, the one thing that can be relied on is that it will be there, in some way, shape or form.

Worry – I live my life in a constant state of worry. I worry about everything and everyone. I worry about people I’ve never met. My brain concocts the most obscure situations and I then have to worry about them. The odds of the dinosaurs coming back and chasing me down the streets are pretty non existent but my brain has figured out what I would do if the situation ever arises.

Shakey & Dizzy – they’re twins they often come hand in hand. Although they sound like a dodgy DJ duo headlining mid week in the local club, they are no fun. They also use the same track. They cause the floor to mimic an earthquake, however I’m the only one to feel it. My body is in a permanent shiver but I’m not cold. I feel like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole. Everything is spinning and twirling around me. The floor arcs and bellows beneath my feet and I have to try and stop myself from falling. I wibble and wobble around not unlike jelly. Dealing with shakes and dizziness often reminds me of walking on a boat. The floor moves and it’s unstable but I have to try and ignore this and balance myself despite everything I perceive to be happening around me.

Dopey– fibro fog makes it seem like I have the IQ of a particularly stupid dung beetle. I’ve had stupid ideas, forgotten what has happened during the day and I’ve even forgotten how to spell my name. I’ve forgotten to brush my teeth before leaving the house. I am often unable to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time so simple tasks take hours. Writing this post for example has taken nearly 2 hours. I loose track of the plot in the Rugrats movie! Fibro fog has turned my brain into a lumpy mush.

Doc – this is a bonus and I think it’s pretty obvious. This represents the numerous doctors, hospital, physio, Chiropractic appointments and any other medical appointments we’ve all had to attend.

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