You wake up, groggy and in pain, not wanting to put your feet on the cold wood floor knowing that you’ll feel tiny pins and needles shoot through your foot up to your ankle. You finally muster up the courage to hop into the shower; and when I say hop I mean you slowly lift up one leg and then the other. After fiddling with the temperature to make it exactly right, because too hot or too cold is just a half a degree away, you never want to get out so you sit down and let the water run over you. Your spouse reminds you that you’ve been in there for over 20 minutes and you need to get ready for work or you’ll be late. Begrudgingly you grab the towel and start shivering and can’t stop. You make your way to the bedroom and throw on your robe in which you realized needs to be washed because there’s a tiny, hard blotch of food on it that is repeatedly scratching you. Hair, possibly makeup, gets done in a slow manner as your arms are not quite awake yet and your eyes aren’t fully adjusted from sleep. The worst part of the morning: picking out clothes that 1. Appropriate for work 2. Clean, and most importantly 3. Something that you will feel comfortable in all day, which is a chore. You finally pick out your clothes and put them on realizing even the most comfortable garments in your wardrobe are still uncomfortable in their own way.
Fast forward 2 hours.
You’re at work and you feel like you’re going to fall asleep at your desk. Grabbing a coffee is out of the question because coffee makes you sweat, jittery, and causes unpleasant crashes after the fantastic high. You want to get up and walk around but that does not sound like a good idea. Your feet feel tingly for no reason causing you not to want to get up. You give in to a small amount of caffeine, hot tea, but the tea makes you overly warm and you start sweating. Feeling the sweat you squeeze your arms together tighter but it’s cold and wet and causing you to sweat more. Then your mind thinks of every annoyance. Why is my shirt scratchy? Were my pants this tight this morning? I just went to the bathroom why do I have to go again? These shoes have a weird zipper that is scratching my heel. Why am I feeling everything at once? If I scream, will I feel better?
What do you want to eat? Something healthy, no my body responds negatively to healthy foods so that’s out of the question. Grilled cheese? Sure, but have fun with the gluten crash in the afternoon! After deciding on cereal with almond milk, an apple, and a couple of cookies you’re full. Maybe? What if I get hungry in the afternoon? I should bring a snack. But no, I want to relax on my lunch. After relaxing on your lunch you have to convince yourself that you need to work and cannot nap the rest of the day. Grunting, sighing, and rolling your eyes you slowly get up and get yourself together to go back to work. It’s raining and cold, freezing to you; it feels like ice is angrily falling from the sky as you tighten your jacket and get into your car.
Back to work.
30min after returning to work you feel as though your eyelids weigh 50 pounds and your head is in a fog [in the fibro world we call this brain fog]. This is the point where you wish you lived in Japan and NOT napping 20 min is frowned upon as it looks like you’re not working so hard that you need a nap. Coffee? No. Tea? No, I’m still sweaty from this morning but now it’s a cold, uncomfortable sweat. Chocolate. Yes, sugar.
30 min later.
A crash. Another flipping crash. But this time it’s a sugar crash and your stomach hurts from the chocolate. It’s hard to focus between the brain fog, stomachache, and the new headache that has formed from the last person who came in your office talking in an ungodly loud noise. Have you ever wanted to smack someone for talking too loud? Every day. Why do people feel the need to shout when they are right next to you? Has it ever been so loud that it felt like your brain was vibrating and your eyes felt as if they were going to bug out of their sockets? Does everyone feel this way? What’s wrong with me?
Time to go home.
What has felt like an eternity is finally over. You drive home with just enough energy to not fall asleep at the wheel and die in a fiery wreck. Once you get home you quickly change out of those horribly uncomfortable garments that other people call clothes and get into your most comfy sweats. Even though it’s just after 5pm you want to sleep, lay down, relax, anything… but you have to make dinner. For yourself, spouse, children, whatever. Everyone in the house has to eat. The dishes can’t just sit there, the fur off of the floor needs to be vacuumed, and the kids need bed time stories. 8pm rolls around and you have 1 hour to yourself [if you go to bed at a reasonable time] if you can make it to 9pm. 1 hour. To do what? You’re not going to run a marathon. You love to crochet but after just 3 rows your hands are cramped from the creeping arthritis and you’re sitting uncomfortably. Nothing ever seems comfortable. You’re always twitching, changing positions, some may call your behavior ADHD. You remember that you were supposed to meet up with a friend tonight and had to cancel at the last minute like usual. Your friend secretly thinks you’re a flake. A hypochondriac. Paranoid. Liar. Whatever people want to call it. But you know how you feel and you cannot explain this type of invisible illness and expect everyone to believe you. Heck, even some doctors don’t believe fibromyalgia is real.
You don’t brush your teeth before bedtime, it makes you incredibly thirsty and you don’t want to risk drinking too much water and having to interrupt the precious sleep that you will manage to get. You say your prayers and hope tomorrow is a brighter day.
Because you get to do it all over again.