When Your Chronic Illness Flares and Doesn’t Ask Your Permission

My current physical status can be summarized in one word- Pain. Intense, debilitating pain. I’m confined to  my couch, fighting a war against my body that decided that today was a perfect day for a horrible Fibromyalgia flare up and possible kidney infection (I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to confirm my suspicions of the later).

Considering the degree of pain, I was left with no choice but to call in sick to work, and guess what? My body didn’t even consult me! How dare it!

It’s incredibly difficult to accept the fact that without warning your body can begin to attack itself and leave you with little to no control over when, where, why or how it happens. At this moment, my body is so weak and in so much pain that I’m not writing this blog- I’m speaking it. The level of pain is to the point where my legs can’t touch each other or it resembles two of your worst bruises being pushed together. The elastic on my sweats hurts around my waist and sitting on anything other than the bed or couch brings immediate tears.

You might find yourself in this position as well from time to time- a place of frustrations, discouragement and confusion. A place where you have no control or say as to what or how your body reacts. You may do everything that you’re supposed to- you take your medications, you eat right and still your body fights a civil war within you. It’s in this state of frustration and confusion that I want to encourage you (and myself in the process) on how to deal with your body’s unfortunate decision.

First of all, lets realize that it’s just a flare and flares come and flares go. This doesn’t necessarily change the pain or the inconvenient timing, but it can give you hope that just as quickly as it came, it will go. So, brace yourself, join me and grab a comfy blanket and your favorite pillow (or 6 if you’re like me), sit on the couch, binge watch your favorite show on Netflix and relax.

For some of you this might be harder to accept than others, but listen to your body. It’s what it requires to heal. If you’re doing everything you are supposed to prior to a flare, don’t stop now. Give it what it needs during this delicate time!

Also, please don’t blame yourself. I went through this this morning when I got up and could hardly walk to the restroom. The whole journey there- which is only about 10 steps, but felt like 10 miles- was spent in tears resembling Niagara Falls. When I realized that I had to call in sick to work, the unnecessary guilt swept over me and I started apologizing to my husband as if I had caused this. I felt like if I only could have done something differently then I wouldn’t be in this position, but I know that that’s not true and you do too. We’re given medications and treatments to help, but our bodies have a mind of their own. They will react however they so choose and that’s not your fault.

Don’t believe the lies. Stay strong during the flares, live Beyond the Noise, and join me in a relaxing day surrounded by pillows, Netflix and soup!

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