Monday, June 13, 2011

Chemical Clean-Up

The Fibromyalgia flare is an interesting entity to come to terms and learn how to cope with. There are some oh-so-good I kinda remember what it was like to be normal days that pop up every so often. When that happens I usually cannot remember the living hell Fibromyalgia really is and honestly wonder what I am making such a fuss about. I think its the brain's default coping mechanism, to squash the memory of pain and anguish in its full acute detail and highlight the not-so-bad moments with skewed accuracy. Its how women are able to have those 2nd babies...or 2nd husbands...I can only assume. But for some unknown reason, which may be rooted in many different causes, those symptom-flares eventually come. You know, you hurt extra bad, cannot even keep your eyes propped open with toothpicks because the fatigue is a big fat bear hug swallowing you whole. Everything around you is extra-bright, extra-loud, extra-confusing and the whole world looks like they are racing by in a frenzy of activity, as if on fast-forward. Headaches, tummy aches, you-name-it-aches, if it can bother you, it will. I am still trying to figure out how to not indulge the rampant hormonal and chemical surges I feel charging up my senses, making me a very grouchy and difficult person to deal with, even towards myself.

I want to build a box, a sensory deprivation tank I can escape to when flares or hormones or brain chemicals erupt with the force of Old Faithful and my reality turns bleak. I will steam and stew and work myself into a lathered up state over the stupidest things! An irritating phone conversation with a not so nice customer service rep and two hours later I have darn near written a dissertation on how I should have handled her bad attitude differently! Trying to reclaim the lost opportunity of all the smart and quick and sharp words that should have rolled off my tongue in the moment, but didn't. Or that rude comment Aunt Sally made last week about my hairstyle. It takes everything I have to not call her up a full 4 or 5 days later, having rehashed the conversation in my head thousands of times, and read her the riot act! The one I would have read her initially if I was not in such a fog. So I run around and start creating all sorts of issues with my everyday reality, everyday people. Things that are not really a big deal turn into monumental, sanity-stretching and physically-taxing catastrophes. Then once that flare subsides and I settle down, the pain and insomnia and irritation lessen, I usually have a big fat mess to clean-up.

See when I am in a flare I am certain, beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt, this is how every minute of every day of the rest of my life is going to be...forever. I cannot recall my good days and wonder how I have managed to stay alive given the complete evisceration of my physical and mental being. The misery sponge has soaked me up completely! So I battle. With myself, my husband, whatever telemarketer happens to catch me at a very wrong moment. Friends, parents, strangers, no one is safe. I am angry and full of hate. Everything is annoying, and frequently rage-producing. But this is called a flare for a reason. If something goes up then it must come down, and eventually I level off and realize I am not treading water in a tank full of great white sharks. Jaws snapping at my ankles as I struggle, sputter and inhale water instead of air... Then once I am feeling better I have to start the long and exhaustive process of righting  whatever wrong I have dramatically and often irrationally inflicted. So yes, please bring me that sensory deprivation tank. I can just exist in suspended time, no aggressors or stressors triggering my unbalanced and angry brain. Then I would have not nearly as many fences to mend once I find that day when I wake up and want to live again.

Thanks for joining,


  1. It's like you have been living my life recently. You are so good at putting these thoughts and emotions into words and concepts others can understand and empathize with.

  2. Here just on the very day I needed it Leah!! OMG - have you been inside my head listening to everything I have said? You just put it so much better than I ever could have...

    Thank you!

  3. I love reading your posts aloud. Reading your words makes me feel smart again, and has the rhythm almost of a song. Fibro has torn my intellect apart, not to mention my memory.
    Everything you write is as if you are living inside my head. Thanks for saying things I cannot convey at this time and being a champion for sll of us who suffer from this. Thank u so much.