Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break with My Friend, Fibromyalgia.

So I haven't posted lately because I've been on Spring Break.

And like most college seniors on spring break, I partied on the beach with my friends and drank until the sun came up.

No, no I didn't. I didn't go to the beach as so many of my peers did. I did not go on any road trips to exciting places like California or New York or Florida. I did not go to parties, or hang out at clubs or bars. I did not even visit but one friend, and technically, she visited me. I didn't do any of those normal things which college seniors on spring break do because I have fibromyalgia. I spent the vast amount of my spring break in bed - and that's not a complaint.

While I do point out the difference between my life and the life of my peers, it is not a complaint. My spring break was quite lovely. I enjoyed it. And while I can't bring back any crazy and awesome memories from my break as I'd like to, I was content with catching up on sleep and letting my body heal, even just a little bit.

Of course, it wasn't all fun. Unfortunately, we started the grueling process of getting our roof done, which went on for 6 days straight and still isn't finished. This means that from 8 in the morning to 12 or 4 (depending on the weather) in the afternoon, there was loud banging and lots of talking from the workers. For someone with Fibromyalgia who experiences the symptoms of sensory overload, this can be a problem.

And for me, personally, one of my most dangerous symptoms is the hearing hypersensitivity. My experience with this auditory sensory overload has often lead to muscle twitching, muscle jerking, muscle spasms, tremors, nausea, headaches, increased pain and fatigue, blurry vision, unrelenting anxiety, and various speech impediments. As all of this builds up, it eventually leads to syncope (fainting) and seizures.

So, as you can imagine, while the workers were there, I was in pretty bad shape, experiencing a handful of episodes a day. My parents would move me from one side of the house to the other to keep me away from the noise as much as possible. I had to be escorted any time I walked, so I mostly just stayed in bed, as my brother would graciously keep me company by delving deep into philosophical conversations about any and everything.

Ah, but once the workers finished up for the day, I was at total peace. I may have been fatigued and in pain and with a migraine or headache, but I was still at peace. I was going to bed at 7 p.m. and sleeping for 14 hours. I even took the occasional nap or two during the day when I could manage.

No, it wasn't much. I have no stories to tell my friends of how crazy of a time I had, and I have no stories to pass down to my future offspring about how young and reckless I was, but I still enjoyed it.

Obviously, there is frustration involved in being a 20 year old college senior unable to partake in normal college activities, but at the end of the day, I'm just grateful to be going through this ongoing battle at home with my family and friends, above all else. You see, I know what it's like to be young and fighting for your life in a hospital with no parents, no family, no friends. And while I'd certainly rather be a normal and healthy 20 year old girl, I can still appreciate these small things which are often taken for granted.

My mom was dead set on having me spend my spring break in my best friend's condo, who wasn't doing much of anything herself because she was attending a lab over spring break for extra credit. My mother insisted on sending me there to keep me from the pain of the noise. But no matter how annoying and frustrating the noise was, and no matter how much I love my best friend, the only place I wanted to be was home, with my mom and dad, and my brother and dogs.

And I did just that :)

Hm. Fibromyalgia seems to have an awfully weird way of keeping me grounded.


  1. I remember when I was pregnant and fearing that there might be something wrong with the baby hearing a woman talk about having a baby with Down's Syndrome... she said she was not having the parental experience she had anticipated but that she was having a wonderful experience of a different kind. Having had my wild and adventurous youth before developing FMS I feel for you that you are not having that but I am also envious of you that you have a brother who wants to spend hours talking to you and that you have a mom who is fussing just enough to let you know she loves you and is worried... I guess each path has its trials and its wonders... BTW Grounded is really pretty good!

    1. You're absolutely right. That's why I prefer to focus on my have's rather than my have not's :)

  2. I'm glad you had a positive spring break experience. It's amazing how much we learn to value the things we took for granted once upon a time, whether it's ease to move, breathe, be free in our skin... or if it's doing the little daily things like walking on our own or spending time with loved ones. :)