The fact is that while Fibromyalgia patients do not 'look' sick, they experience excruciating pain every single moment of the day... yes you read it right - every single moment. It has been around three years or more now, but I haven't had a single painless day. I haven't seen a book or a picture or a video in my life that shows what pain looks like! How often I feel that I would have rather had cancer or a deformity (okay God, please ignore this!). Not that I think that these are easy to deal with, I have lost many dear ones to cancer including my grandfather who loved me the most, but the thing is that at least people understand how serious these conditions are. And trust me, it matters a lot to the patient, however emotionally strong the person might be.
But Fibromyalgia? The name is generally unheard of... even I had not heard of it until I was diagnosed with the condition.
Once I took a few days leave from work as I could not sit / stand / type for even 15 minutes at a time. The pain and the inflammation is impossible to describe. I returned to work as early as possible only to hear one of my seniors say, "You don't look sick!" Hello!!! If you'd have asked what had happened to me, I would have told you. But most humans have this tendency to jump to conclusions... can't help this syndrome either.
How on earth do you look sick when a condition has something to do with your CNS? When you have difficulty going to sleep... When the side you eventually manage to sleep on hurts all the while you are lying down... When you cry with pain for hours before you fall asleep... When you wake up but can't get out of the bed due to tremendous stiffness and pain... When you struggle to brush your teeth in the morning and find it difficult to filter tea as your hands are unable to hold things properly... When you must take a hot water shower but standing is too painful in the morning... When you sit to work but can't sit continuously, so you stand up, but your feet hurt, so you walk around but your knees hurt... When you have high fever for months together and your condition is taken for granted... When you can't even lift your handbag... When you can't even hold a little baby... When you can't manage your daily chores... When you can't eat the things you feel like having... When you experience hair fall... When you suddenly become super sensitive to light and sound... When you experience unnecessary fatigue... When you forget the smallest of things... When you feel millions of pins hitting you all over the body, all the time... and you try to put on a nice face, not for anyone else but just so that you try to convince yourself that it shall be fine... When you know it won't be... How on earth do you look sick???
People, FIBROMYALGIA PATIENTS DO NOT LOOK SICK and we do not have time or energy to try and look sick. We just manage to do as many chores in a day, more than what our body allows. Just trust a Fibromyalgia person when he / she complains of pain or understand the person even when there's no complaining, coz the pain is always there.
REMEMBER: FIBROMYALGIA PATIENTS ARE NOT LAZY.
Image: Clicked at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai