What is fibrobotics, you ask?
To answer that, we must first assess how the term “fibrobot” came to be.
It is a long standing joke in my family that I lack emotions and am reminiscent
of a “robot.” You see, I am quite difficult to anger. Even when I am angry, it often goes undetected
due to my uncanny ability to be facetious. I believe feeling anger and acting angry are two very
separate things. You can’t always help how you feel – but you can control how
you express it and act about it. So, when angry, I act and speak in jest in order to make others
and (especially) myself laugh and more comfortable. And it works, every time.
It’s the same with being sad or nervous. In fact, the only time others have
ever seen me cry has been due to death of loved ones. But by and large, to
those around me, it seems as if I never experience emotions considering my lack of their expression. My feelings, positive
or negative, are extremely private to me.
As you may have deduced from previous posts, it takes a lot to alarm me, even
with my body. I (wrongly) assume most symptoms are normal and not a big deal and
I don’t want to make a fuss out of them. I adapt extremely well, and silently
and privately accept things as they are and make adjustments accordingly. This,
too, has lead to speculations of my secret life as an android.
I am also very logically driven and lean toward science, evidence, and other
analytical processes. I am inquisitive, calculating, and perspicacious, and none of this helps my cause to culminate comparisons to an automation.
Thus, references to my being a cybernetic organism is a frequent occurrence
among my circle of family and friends.
Alas, Cyborg I am not.
I just am - I happy, laid back, and possess an unquenchable thirst for knowledge about the wonders of the world; but I
Upon my diagnosis and becoming more involved in the fibromyalgia
community, I noticed all of the charming little nicknames used for those with fibro, such as fibromites, fibromyalgics, spoonies – you catch my drift. However,
none of these seemed fitting for me.
Then one day, an odd conversation with my cousin lead to the use of the words
“Fibromyalgia” and “robot” in the same sentence. Instead, I inadvertently
blurted out “fibrobot”. It’s simple accidental portmanteau really, but with
fibromyalgia, I believe such speech blunders as involuntary portmanteau,
spoonerism, malapropism, and metathesis occur more frequently - so I like to blame this on my
“That’s what you should call yourself – a fibrobot,” my cousin said.
After some discussion, we decided the term to be quite fitting due to my “robot
tendencies,” not only for me, but perhaps anyone with fibromyalgia.
For example, with FM, you feel everything – everything - from every drop of water dispensed from the shower faucet or pouring from
a rain cloud, to every sensation of the wind, to every hair movement and beyond
– our bodies feel everything.
A robot, on the other hand, feels nothing.
With fibromyalgia, you lack much, if any, control. There is no control of when
your flares occur, of good days or bad. No control of the severity of your
pain, what kind of pain, or where it hurts. There is no control as to what
medications will work for you. There is no control of what symptoms you
experience and those which you do not. There is no control over your energy or
how many spoons you possess for the day. There is no control of what plans you
will be able to keep, and those which you will be forced to cancel last minute.
There is no control in discovering a cure. Okay, maybe no control is too strong, but it is minimal.
Bottom line: There is very little control over a life with fibromyalgia.
Ahh, but a robot is very much in
control. It is programmed to be productive and efficient and is equipped with the intricate processes to work accordingly
Plus, robots are just plain cool.
Ergo, fibrobotics, to Fiona and company, is a way of taking on the ways of the humanoid.
Less negative emotion and feeling. More control.
Now that’s not to say the objective is
to adopt all of the ways of the bionic person. Even if that were plausible, the
purpose is not to be completely devoid of emotion or feeling – it’s about
finding a balance. Again, less negative emotion and feeling, more control.
Fibrobotics is about the steps along
the way to achieving these goals, and Fibrobot is my label of anyone suffering
from this debilitating illness who is striving to overcome it, accomplish these
objectives, and reclaim their life.
And I like to think everyone with fibromyalgia is a fibrobot. :)