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Enduring an Invisible Illness


There are still many unanswered questions with regard to Fibromyalgia syndrome. Researchers are working on issues such as:

* Can FMS be prevented or cured?
* What is the association of FMS and other conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Immune Syndrome?
* Why is FMS so difficult to diagnose?
* In what ways might various health promotion behaviors alter one’s response to FMS?

Women with FMS can experience a variety of symptoms at different times. However, many women with FMS experience common symptoms such as disturbed sleep, memory, fatigue, pain, anxiety and depression. These symptoms are listed below:

Symptoms Listed below:

Muscular pain
Joint pains
Restless legs
Paresthesias: A skin sensation, such as burning, prickling, itching, or tingling, with no apparent physical cause.
Impaired memory
Leg cramps
Impaired concentration
Major depression caused by having to deal with the fatigue and pain on a daily basis.

I know there are additional symptoms because I have experienced them. Please keep this in mind.

There are some things that some people and doctors do not understand. Those afflicted by Chronic Fatigue Immune Syndrome know that that it is not relieved with bed rest and often worsens with physical or mental activity. These are additional symptoms without percentages:

General weakness
Eyes sensitive to light
Sensitivity to noise
Feeling closed in, uncomfortable around crowds
Personal bubble (your space feels invaded or shortness of breath)
Tender lymph nodes, Sore throat
Trouble sleeping or not feeling refreshed after sleep
Muscle aches
Joint pain without swelling or redness
Pain on the bottom of your feet
Trouble waking up
Sleeping for over 18-20 hours (due to lack of deep sleep)
Trouble with short-term memory or concentration
Forgetfulness or confusion
Irritability, anxiety, mood swings, or depression
Low grade fever, hot flashes, or night sweats
Prolonged fatigue lasting after minimal exercise and light activities
Chest pain or shortness of breath

There are many other symptoms you will experience if you also have IBS and other physical problems. I personally have experienced all the symptoms listed above. I have not experienced them all at once! Thank goodness. However, all of these symptoms will be experienced at one time or another with these illnesses and many during a bad flare.

Your state of health is affected by how you live, love, work, relate, and believe. I believe that you can maximize your wellness by having a positive, responsible attitude toward your health and by practicing behaviors that promote wellness. I know, I know…..sometimes it is difficult to think positive when you hurt so badly and are so fatigue. Believe me, I have been there many times. I have to shake it off and cry, pray and sometimes literally just go to sleep during this process. It is O.K. to take time for yourself and cry, pray, do whatever it takes to help you shake the bad attitude. There are days I tell my family I do not feel well, feel cranky and need to spend time alone in my room. It is best to just be honest and let them know you feel badly and cranky. When you are frank and honest about how you feel, your friends and family understand. If they do not understand, just pray for them. They will come around. I know that all of our days are bad, some worse. However, we need to be strong enough to fight this battle and try to remain positive. I have yet to experience a remission, but have faith that someday I will be in remission. Have confidence in yourself to have the ability to remain strong and it will enable you to have a different view of your quality of life. Believe me, I only have a few hours in a day and sometimes no hours that I feel well enough to visit with family and friends. I cherish those hours and feel blessed to have that time.

Please share your story with me and others by sharing your personal experience and knowledge. It would be sincerely appreciated.

I pray and hope this post has helped someone today.