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The Clothespin Challenge- Do you know someone with Fibromyalgia? Take the challenge

  Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition. It is not classified as a disease because no one can figure out just what causes it.Instead, it is listed as a "syndrome" because there are so many varied symptoms, many of which don't seem to have anything to do with any of the other symptoms.The main symptoms, accepted by the medical community, are widespread pain, fatigue, memory lapses and lack of concentration(also referred to as brain fog or fibro-fog).Other common symptoms are Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Restless Leg Syndrome, dry eyes, dry mouth, itchy skin, mitral valve prolapse(where one of the valves in the heart doesn't work properly),chemical sensitivity, and about 2 more pages of stuff that would take forever for me to type out. Probably the most widely used way to describe what it's like is that it's like a case of the flu that never goes away.Most people have had the flu at some point, and can understand this analogy.But, many still don't get it that it NEVER goes away.  I have fibromyalgia, and let me tell ya, it aint a picnic in the park. Many doctors still mistakenly believe that it's purely psychological- which it is not. Some even believe that it's brought on by depression, even though many worldwide studies have proven that there is no more depression involved in FM than there is with any other chronic illness-and it's usually brought on by the condition- not the other way around. It's often referred to as an invisible illness, because sufferers look normal, so a lot of the people around us refuse to believe there's anything wrong.You don't know how psychologically disturbing it is to be called "lazy", or have someone flat out call you a liar, because they can't see the pain, so they don't believe it can possibly be real.  That's where the clothespin challenge comes in. If you know someone who has been diagnosed with FM, and you don't understand how they can say they hurt all the time, or you just want to gain a better understanding of what it's like- just take the challenge. Get 5 clothespins-good ones- the ones that clip nice and tight.Clip them to the tips of your fingers.Set a timer for half an hour, and see how long you can stand it. Many people don't make it 10 minutes without having to yank them off. It isn't an excruciating pain, but an insidious one- one that doesn't let up.Once you've done the challenge, imagine what it feels like to have bodywide pain like that- day after day- for months, years, decades,the rest of your life.  Whether or not you take the challenge, please, if you know someone who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, educate yourself about it.No one is asking for pity, but understanding. Those of us with it have sometimes had to give up jobs, stop doing things we once loved to do, and lost friends over it because they just didn't understand, and didn't want to try. 

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Thank you for replying, Dawnette. That's why I started this discussion in the first place- so many of us don't know where to turn, where to find someone who understands. Regardless of who we are, what we beleive, or anything else, those of us with chronic pain, in ANY form, have to stick together. Sometimes it feels like WE are the only ones who understand each other,even when family doesn't.

And thanks to this discussion, I've started a group here, http://www.paganspace.net/group/pagansinpain/forum .Feel free to join us, there, we are quickly becoming like family, even though the group is so new.
Most everyone I know with FM has episodes(hope you don't mind-I like that, and think I'll use it, sounds so much better than "attacks") like that. I cna't sit in one position more than about 20 minutes without at least moving a bit. And when I must sit still, I KNOW it's going to mean muscle spasms and pain.

As for the Lyrica, if it's helping you, by all means, stick with it, Just be aware of the side effects, and if you begin showing any of them, report it to your doc, ASAP.

And Lady Cullen, I have a feeling I know why we have it.Most of us who do have it used to be going non-stop. We didn't know how to handle life unless we were going and doing- TypeA Personalities all the way.I firmly believe that FM is one way of forcing us to slow down, before we burn out.We have to look inward, to our creativity, to do the things we used to just rush in to do.The pain sucks royally, but the side effects of learning how to slow down and really SEE the world around us may be a decent trade-off- at least sometimes.

I'm not going to put cloths pegs on my fingertips for half an hour because some one on the internet has FM.

Man, the stuff I read on here.

I hope anyone who suffers with chronic pain, disease, syndromes, or have had their feeling hurt, gets some relief. I hope they are treated with compassion by those they are familiar with, and I will strive to project compassion when I encounter the less fortunate, but I'm never ever going to hurt myself to better understand what some one else is enduring.

Using this logic where would one stop? Slamming yourself with a hammer when you see some one with a broken finger?

Sticking pins in your arm if you see someone with a bee sting?

Eat twenty two hot dogs when you encounter a person with indigestion?

Walk a mile in another man's shoes is figurative, not literal.

I'm not going to put cloths pegs on my fingertips for half an hour because some one on the internet has FM.

Man, the stuff I read on here.

I hope anyone who suffers with chronic pain, disease, syndromes, or have had their feeling hurt, gets some relief. I hope they are treated with compassion by those they are familiar with, and I will strive to project compassion when I encounter the less fortunate, but I'm never ever going to hurt myself to better understand what some one else is enduring.

Using this logic where would one stop? Slamming yourself with a hammer when you see some one with a broken finger?

Sticking pins in your arm if you see someone with a bee sting?

Eat twenty two hot dogs when you encounter a person with indigestion?

Walk a mile in another man's shoes is figurative, not literal.

What the Bunny said.

Just joined this site, learning my way around, haven't got a pic up yet... but noticed this topic and want to reply.

 

Fibromyalgia is suspected by some innovative doctors to be related to hormones. Notice nearly all who have it are women. Often onset correlates with a pregnancy or menopause. Treatment can involved dietary changes similar to those for diabetes, or hormone therapy.

 

Disclaimer: I'm male, and not a doctor. I am interested in this because I have a cousin with it and it is making her nuts. She has a disabled child to care for, runs herself ragged, I think is running on autopilot half the time. I'm looking for ways to help her. She is about to contact the doctor who addresses the hormone issue... I could let you know in here how that goes if you're interested.

 

Me, I'm very interested in reconnecting my/our pagan lives with the earth. These were the paths of people for whom interaction with spiritual forces, magick, etc., was crucial to survival. I am trying to crawl off the concrete and touch the earth, and actually live on the earth. Ok, that's another whole speech, but pertinent to this, I'm looking to make herbal products, especially from wild plants, to find sacred spots, to know where all the trees are locally... and one thing I'm trying to develop is a lotion/creme which will alleviate joint pain and fibromyalgia pain. Expecting the main ingredient will be mugwort. Any herbal knowledge relative to fibromyalgia pain, I'd love to hear about.

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