LIVING WITH FIBROMYALGIA
by Mian Bond-Carvin
Ten years ago, Margaret was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a chronic neurological disorder. She had, for most of her life, been a vibrant, active, social being. Now, when she’s not at work, Margaret is at home, quite often sleeping. Margaret is currently experiencing what is called a fibro flare. These are caused by triggers such as weather changes, allergies, over-stimulation, not sleeping well, travel, socializing, over-extending herself, eating certain foods. The list is lengthy. Being in a flare also means her memories and thoughts are fuzzier than usual, her pain is at higher levels, and she needs more sleep, quiet and calm. Flares can last anywhere from hours to months.
It is necessary for Margaret to manage her illness every day, flare or not. Ways in which she does this is to make and eat gluten-free foods, relax in a hot bath of Epsom salts, meditate, stretch, gently exercise, read up on ways to keep symptoms at bay, take her medications and always get a good night’s sleep.
Today, my mind feels swampy, murky. It’s thick, like Jello. There are so many limitations; it makes my life boring.
The silver lining is that having this condition forced me to slow down, allowing me to appreciate the intense beauty of the world around me.