Chronic pain is just one of the many symptoms present in fibromyalgia almost every time, but for me, it is the most predominant.
Pain affects all aspects of my life.
Expensive payment for each physical activity that I do; Even the smallest task can lead to a large increase in my symptoms.
The pain of fibromyalgia is unique due to its severity, complexity, and multiple systems involved.
There are three main types of pain in fibromyalgia: hyperalgesia, allodynia and paresthesia.
Hyperalgesia literally translates as excessive pain: “hyper” means excess and “algesia” means pain. It is the medical term for the intensification of pain in fibromyalgia.
Allodynia is the pain you feel when you touch or rub against the skin.
For example, a slight pressure of the clothes, or a gentle massage causes pain, or also a slight breeze that blows on the skin.
It is hypersensitivity to stimuli that normally would not cause any pain.
Paresthesia is a strange nervous sensation, which feels like something that crawls, tingles, burns, itches or numbs, for example, a numb spot in the middle of the foot, or a burning sensation in the back.
But to be honest, these words mean very little to anyone who does not have fibromyalgia.
So, to give people who do not have it, an idea of what it feels like to live with this painful and debilitating disease, I will describe the pain I experience, in a way that I hope everyone can understand.
- Burning in the skin
Sometimes my skin feels like it’s on fire, it feels raw.
Imagine spending hours under the sun without sunscreen, and then you take a dip in the sea and the salt water burns your damaged skin. Then you dress to go out at night and your clothes rub against your skin raw.
When you have fibromyalgia, clothing alone can cause this pain, it does not require sunlight.
- Pungent / burning pain
This is a pain that I find particularly difficult to bear. It is so severe that it leaves me breathless.
The pain comes in waves and is accompanied by nausea.
- Pain in the joints
My joint pain is a dull and throbbing pain. It mainly affects my knees, but it can also affect other areas.
- Muscle pain
My muscles hurt constantly. Even the slightest activity makes them throb and burn.
I find it impossible to feel comfortable when my muscles ache, it makes me so restless.
- Muscle spasms
I experience muscle spasms every day, they are almost constantly. It’s as if you do not have control of your body, as if some unforeseen force is manipulating you.
- Pungent pains
You feel that someone is using you as a voodoo doll.
- Between an itch and a throbbing pain
I am sure there is a technical term for this, but “a cross between an itch and a stab” is the best way to describe it.
It happens deep in my muscles and it is impossible to scratch the itch. It also causes jerking in the part of my body affected.
- Bruise sensation
Not only on the skin but also on the inside, which feels bruised, and sensitive.
My chest and rib cage feel bruised most of the time, which can make breathing painful (costochondral pain).
- Sensation of discomfort throughout the body
When I am hypersensitive I feel that I have a discomfort throughout the body.
The slightest touch or movement sends throbbing pain around my body.
Imagine that a healthy person goes to the gym after months of inactivity. Lift weights, and have a full body workout.
The next day they feel rigid, and they struggle to move. A person with fibromyalgia wakes up every morning feeling like this.
It seems that he wore a suit under the skin two sizes smaller.
- Irradiated pain
I experience pain that has a central point, but radiates from that point. The pain may start in my back, but it also travels down my legs, for example.
- Pain caused by touch
Even the slightest touch of a loved one can cause pain.
I have to wear clothes two sizes too large, made of soft material without seams. I use soft, flat shoes of a larger size, and I have to cut my hair because it causes a lot of pain in my skin. Touch causes many of the types of pain I have described.
- Migraines / headaches
I do not think a day goes by without a headache, it may be due to tension.
My migraines are aggravated by stress and hormones. When they hit I become incapacitated.
I lose my vision and the pain is so severe …
The slightest movement, touch or noise sends throbbing pain around my head and face.
- Tickling in the skin
It feels like I have thousands of insects running around my skin. Hypersensitivity
Some days, the noise is unbearable. In an instant, I experience pain, nausea, dizziness, tremors and an imminent panic attack. But it’s not just noise, I’m also hypersensitive to smells, light and touch. Yes, a strong perfume smell can cause me pain.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Contrary to what people may think, the pain of IBS not only occurs in the intestines, but radiates to other areas of the body, especially the back.
It is a sharp, burning pain. The gases trapped in an already inflamed intestine, are one of the most painful symptoms of IBS, it is overwhelming.
Pain is not the only symptom of fibromyalgia, but it is the symptom that has the biggest negative impact on my life and my health