Arms, Please

Dear Fibro,

You’ve gotten into my arms a lot so far this week. I was trying to do some light work in my garden & you set off the alarms! From shoulders to fingertips, you were a blaring, raging siren screaming at me to stop. I felt the energy drain from my whole body & my arms began to tremble in resistance to this force of pain pushing from within. I don’t know how to process moments like this–there’s no tidy category in which to file this combination of ache, weakness, and powerlessness. May I please use my arms without quite so much ruckus for the foreseeable future?

Thanks.

~Nicole

Ups and Downs

Dear Fibro,

Our path over the past few weeks has been a lot of ups and downs, and I imagine that it will continue to be this way in some measure for quite a while — maybe forever? Always pain, but some days more difficult than others. Some days more . . . possible. This weekend, you and I worked on a house project that I had really been wanting to do for a while. I know that your participation was somewhat reluctant, and you made that known by kicking up pain the whole way through and other effects afterward, but it’s completed now, and that feels really good.

It’s an “up” & I’ll take it. Is a “down” on the way?

~Nicole

The Changing Room Incident

Dear Fibro,

I just wrote you a note, but I want to send this off to you too, before I forget. Do you remember the other day when I was in the changing room and trying to pull that top on over my head, and you sent so much pain into my arms that I lost my breath and cried out in pain? That feeling of sharp pain and sadness lingered like a cloud for quite a while afterward, and I felt completely drained of awareness of anything other than me and you. What’s up with that? Must you? Really?

~Nicole

Give and Take

Dear Fibro,

Last night, I took you along on an adventure that pushed the limits of your comfort zone. You definitely protested at times–sending stabs of pain ricocheting through my arms and legs or igniting nerve cells to make pressure points at my shoulder blades feel like they were on fire! You seemed to enjoy making me feel fuzzy-headed and like any second with my eyes closed was a welcome relief. But we did it!

Admit it. You made it through OK!

Well, you do seem to still be sulking today, so that’s why I’m writing. I’d prefer if you would get over this and take away this sense of all-over pain I’m feeling, but you know as well as I do that you’re also glad we went, so I’ll take that as my consolation for now.

This is just one example of what I’ve been talking to you about for a while — I really want you to be a willing partner in helping me to continue to learn the balance between when I should push and when I should rest. We’re in this together.

~Nicole