Monday, June 27, 2011


Anyone who has a chronic connective tissue disorder like Fibromyalgia (or other similar disorders) certainly will understand this post experientially. If you're lucky not to be beset with a condition that features flares or episodes, then hopefully this post will be informative.

I seem to be in the grips of one of my frequent flares. This time around my body is attacking its own tendons. In the course of the past 7 - 10 days, the pain and inflammation has targeted my lefty knee, then my left elbow and now my right wrist just below the pinkie finger. This latest afflicted body part makes typing a bit difficult and far more painful than usual.

As is not atypical, it snuck up on me rather innocently. I woke up one day with the slightest soreness in my left knee. Over the course of 24 hours, it went from a slight annoyance to massive pain. It got to the point that I was icing it almost every hour and had to use my cane to get around.

Was this a new flare or had I injured myself somehow? It is a question I ask myself frequently. Flare-ups don't announce themselves with any fanfare. There is no neon sign in the background flashing the words, "Flare-up in progress." Many of my episodes begin so gradually that I don't realize I am having a flare-up until it blows up.

In addition, each flare-up is different. The symptoms I experience are all over the map. The pain and inflammation can strike ligaments, muscles or tendons. Sometimes it is accompanied by overarching fatigue -- I can sleep for 10 - 16 hours in a day. At other times, I suffer terrible insomnia and can go for days with little more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep every 24 hours. I have experienced extreme light sensitivity which can get so bad that I wear sunglasses indoors at night. And the list of weird sensations and maladies goes on and on.

So, when my knee began to feel like it was broken, my initial reaction was that I must have injured myself. It only dawned on me that there was no injury -- instead this was my next flare -- when, 2 days after hobbling around with a cane, I awoke one morning and the pain in my knee had dissipated greatly and had now migrated to my left elbow.

It remained in my elbow for only about 18 hours before shifting to my right wrist -- where it has stayed for the better part of two and one-half days. Who knows how long it will remain there and where it will move to next! I have no way of knowing if this flare will be of a relatively short duration OR if this will be one of those that hangs on for weeks...or months. Ugh.

While I refuse to allow Fibromyalgia and the accompanying pain to define my life, there is no question that it provides a framework that I must operate within. Some days the framework is more forgiving; at other times, the framework is very, very confining.


  1. I wish you could find a qigong teacher in your area. Qigong practice is being shown to be helpful for this condition. Have you broached this (as possible alternative therapy) with any of your health care providers? It may make your "framework" less confining.

  2. Baroness,
    I have looked high and low. Thus far, I've come up with a big goose egg. :-(

  3. I feel your pain,bro.



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