When life is just a pain
Tough two years
Being a mother of young children on top of my illness, it’s hard to juggle everything. We have to send the kids to the childminder every day which is a big financial burden as we also have to pay for my medication and GP and consultant visits. Fibromyalgia has been recognised as a long-term illness by an EU directive but we are still trying to get it recognised here in Ireland. Trying to keep on top of it all is so hard.
It’s been a very tough two years but at this stage I have come to accept my illness and learnt to manage it and I’m in a happy place now.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome which is characterised by widespread muscle pain and fatigue. People who have fibromyalgia may also experience aching, stiffness and tiredness, which gets worse with activity. Poor sleep quality and waking up without feeling refreshed is very common. Simple chores or activities may prove difficult to undertake because of muscular fatigue or lack of energy.
Many people with fibromyalgia can experience emotional distress including anxiety and depression and some also experience cognitive and memory problems (sometimes referred to as “fibro fog”). Women are more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia and nine out of 10 people with fibromyalgia are women.
Although it is more common to be diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70 years, people of all ages have been diagnosed.
Many people associate the development of fibromyalgia with a physical or emotional trauma such as an accident or bereavement or with an illness.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but the symptoms may be managed very successfully. It can be treated with a variety of medications developed and approved for other purposes including painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antidepressants and other medications.
People with fibromyalgia may also benefit from physiotherapy, from learning pain management and coping techniques, and from properly balancing rest and activity. You can learn more of these skills on one of Arthritis Ireland’s self-management programmes. For more information, go to arthritisireland.ieor contact the Arthritis Ireland Helpline on LoCall 1890 252846 from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.