I wake up, but I’m not awake, or at least I wish I wasn’t. I should have known it would hit me again soon. PAIN!!! I can’t think! I need painkillers, but I can’t move. I can’t even work out where they are! (even though I always keep a supply of a variety of different painkillers and a full bottle of water right beside my pillow) PAIN!! My head, I can’t move it. I can’t lift my hand to cover my eyes so I can risk opening them…. Maybe if I lie still it will go away….
I have been going through this thought cycle every half an hour since dawn… It’s not working…. I HAVE to take some painkillers, I have to move! If I sit up I will be able to work out which ones to take…. Migraine definitely, and my neck… Ibuprofen 400mg at least… Come on… Sit up, take the tablets… Do I have to drive today? No… Ok Tramadol too…ok lie down… They will work soon….
Thank God for painkillers, now I can move my arms, curl up, massage my neck, breathe again. Drink some water… Maybe get up? Hot hot shower will help. Still feel like I’ve been bashed up and have the flu… But I can think slowly without it hurting, and I can move!
Today I will be just surviving. Today I will only be doing what is utterly essential. Dinner will be pasta! Shopping will be bread, driving only if I have to. No noise, no music, no talking.
How did I ever get through a day teaching feeling like this? Painkillers yes, but driving was hell. Thank you my HP for getting me up and back the 50 mile round trip on the M25 every day for 2 years. Thank you also that I didn’t cause any accidents! I don’t know how I managed it. There were days I worried I wouldn’t.
And then there were normal days. Days without pain. Days without utter exhaustion. Days when I could come home from work & enjoy the girls singing along to some music on the iPod. Days when I could plan dinners & buy the ingredients on the way home.
With my new medication, the good days are becoming ‘the norm’, what I expect to feel when I wake up… That elusive word to Fibromyalgia sufferers… Rested!! I don’t need 14 hour sleeps every weekend just to recover from the weeks work. I don’t collapse into bed one night midweek at 6pm & sleep till the following morning & wake up feeling as if I’ve been up all night.
But I still get bad days. Days there to remind me that I still have fibromyalgia, that I still have to pace myself, although it goes completely against the grain. Days that I simply have to write off.
That day will not be today. If I had woken up how I have just described this morning, I would not have been able to write this. I would struggle to add 7 and 6, or check my change. I would forget any appointments, unless I had written them in more than one place (the calendar I have found doesn’t work unless you look at it!) Even if I remembered an appointment I would struggle to be on time for it. My head when the fibromyalgia fog descends can’t read the time and can’t work out how long it takes to get places. It can’t even make coherent lists! I have to rewrite to-do lists again once I recover from an attack! They barely make sense.
I am so glad I now have medication that has massively reduced my exhaustion, and has considerably improved my quality of life in the last year. I just wish it would go completely, so I could trust my energy levels again, rather than always feeling I have to hold something back just in case I run out!
UK Fibromyalgia support groups: