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Living with Fibromyalgia, a life-changing chronic condition

today23 April 2022 157

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Living with Fibromyalgia

In a staggering revelation, recent estimates suggest that a whopping 1.5 million individuals in the United Kingdom are living with the relentless grip of Fibromyalgia. While this condition may not pose an immediate threat to life, it undeniably reshapes and restricts the very essence of one’s existence. What’s more, this invisible affliction presents its own unique set of challenges.

A little over three years ago, the eminent Pain Management Consultants at Birmingham’s prestigious Royal Orthopaedic Hospital dropped a bombshell diagnosis on Darren (Nuts): Fibromyalgia. This chronic condition unleashes a symphony of pain and fatigue throughout the body – an affliction for which, tragically, no cure exists as of yet.

As per the esteemed National Health Service (NHS), the exact origins of this insidious condition remain a mystery. However, medical experts believe it to be intrinsically linked to abnormal levels of certain neurochemicals in the brain, coupled with the central nervous system’s altered handling of pain signals coursing through the body.

Patient experiences naturally vary, but in Darren’s case, chronic pain embraces every nook and cranny of his body.

Muscles scream with stiffness; cognitive abilities stumble amid a cognitive fog; sleep evades like a mirage, relentless headaches torment, and chronic fatigue envelops like an unwelcome shadow.

This fatigue isn’t run-of-the-mill tiredness but rather a formidable force that swiftly cripples one’s momentum. Indeed, it hits with the force of a tidal wave, inevitably forcing him to bed between the hours of 3 pm and 6 pm. Think of it as recharging drained batteries.

To make matters increasingly complex, stress proves to be an aggravator, ratcheting up the intensity of Fibromyalgia. Consequently, Darren’s ongoing treatment under the watchful eye of a psychiatrist, meticulously managing his severe anxiety, has taken on even greater significance.

Surviving the day currently hinges on a delicate balance of rest, strong painkillers, morphine, heavy doses of muscle-relaxing Pregabalin, and constant oversight from a Pain Management Consultant. Yet, the stark reality looms large: devoid of this unwavering support and indispensable medication, simple tasks like showering or even ambulating independently become agonising feats of endurance.

Darren added: “In my personal case, an unfortunate union with arthritis, spinal disease, and a bothersome syrinx cyst residing on my spine further compounds the already formidable challenges stemming from Fibromyalgia.”

Ginger and Nuts’ Show Takes a Break, Listens to Professional Advice

“While our radio show has become a satellite operation from the comfort of our humble abode, my esteemed consultant has deemed it wise for me to prioritize self-care amid relentless pain and anxiety. Hence, with a heavy heart, I heed the counsel of a seasoned medical professional to take an extended break from our beloved show. It breaks my spirit, as my adoration for presenting knows no bounds. Fortunately, the fact that this venture is voluntary ensures that the majority of radio stations we broadcast have graciously embraced our decision and shown remarkable understanding, ” added Darren.

Last year, esteemed talk show host Jonathan Ross shared his heart-wrenching experience of witnessing his eldest daughter Betty succumb to the clutches of Fibromyalgia, rendering her bedridden. “It is difficult,” he confessed, acknowledging the lack of a definitive cure or quick fix for this debilitating ailment.

Singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor, who has recently adopted the moniker Magda Davitt, too, took a step back from the limelight due to her own battle with Fibromyalgia.

For friends and family, understanding the immense toll of this condition can prove elusive, if not outright impossible. Comments such as “But you look fine!” (when the reality is anything but), or the well-meant yet painfully futile “Get well soon” sentiments, or even the dismissive “Just pull yourself together!” exhortations only deepen the chasm of misunderstanding.

Some days, tasks effortlessly accomplished yesterday remain distressingly out of reach today, offering the glimmering possibility of tomorrow.

Together, let us raise awareness, alleviate the burden, and strive for greater understanding and support for those navigating the treacherous depths of Fibromyalgia. 

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Written by: Kat Y (Ginge)

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