My Fibromyalgia Flares
I'm not sure how long I have been dealing with fibromyalgia, but I received an official diagnosis last year after ruling out other conditions. I had suspected it for years, but I wanted confirmation from a doctor. Over time, I have experienced enough flares to differentiate between fibro pain and arthritis pain, although it can be difficult when dealing with multiple chronic pain conditions.
In late 2021, my symptoms worsened to the point where I sometimes found myself bedridden. I would spend days trying to sleep off the flares, feeling like fibromyalgia was taking over my life. It was during this time that I realized I needed an official diagnosis, so I could give a name to the pain I was experiencing. I informed my rheumatologist, who then referred me to a neurologist to rule out MS.
Fortunately, testing ruled out MS, which led my doctor to agree that it was indeed fibromyalgia. Everyone with fibromyalgia has a unique experience, and this applies to flares and diagnosis stories as well. In my case, my flares typically start with migraines, followed by a burning pain associated with fibro. I would spend days in the dark due to sensitivity to light and noise. Then, I would experience burning forearm and wrist pain, along with shin pain. At its worst, I struggle to hold my phone or type on my computer, and the pain can escalate quickly.
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Although I haven't had migraines associated with my fibromyalgia pain for a while, the forearm pain remains. The shin pain occurs less frequently now. I experience flares a few times a month, lasting a day or two. While this may not seem severe to some, any time spent in pain with chronic conditions feels unbearable.
I have learned how to manage my flares to some extent. I often use a wrist brace on the affected forearm or wrist, sometimes needing one on both arms. Additionally, I find relief from using pain creams on my forearms, even though they may have a strong scent. These measures provide temporary relief, and I have come to accept that my flares could be worse.
When reflecting on my fibro flares, I recognize that they could be much more debilitating. However, it is important to remember that my experience is still valid. I continue to navigate living with fibromyalgia and experiencing flares from time to time. Regardless of how your flares manifest, the pain you endure is real and should be acknowledged. Feel free to join our Fibromyalgia Facebook Group to connect with others in the community.