The Sunshine Pill

The ‘Sunshine’ Pill – just what I need

It was Sunday that my right foot started hurting (more than usual) and over the next 24 hours the pain gradually crept up my body.  Fibromyalgia was rearing its head and there is no medication for me, so I just have to ride it out.  The electric blanket on the bed is good but I really need another one on top, and then of course there is the slight problem that eventually I begin to cook.

I wasn’t surprised that my fibro flared again.  I was upset and not quite myself all weekend.  My friend’s death on Friday had hit me more than I expected.  Sometimes it really doesn’t do us any good to know it’s going to happen, because we never know how we’re going to react.  For me, as I wrote in He Was One Of The Good Guys there were good memories of someone who had been a very good friend but overwhelming me were bad memories and hurt generated by someone who we both knew.  That seemed to take over from the grief for lost friend, and to compound it I felt guilty for being stuck in my own memories and hurts rather than taking the time to honour my friend with our good memories.

This time I couldn’t seem to pick myself up, dust myself off and carry on.  And that’s okay.  What I find not okay is that I have learnt that when I get upset and down, then my body fights back with pain and exhaustion.  To the point where I actually have forgotten my emotional pain, because I am now overwhelmed by physical pain.  I’m sorry, I may sound down on myself but that it is so not fair.

So for three days now I have been backwards and forwards from my bed, to the couch, to the bathroom (although taking a shower is completely beyond me) and occasionally to the kitchen for more coffee and food supplies to keep me going (not that I have any desire to eat).  It’s quite a life I lead.  I have hardly even ventured far enough to the computer, and that leaves me feeling like there is something very definitely missing in my life.  My ‘virtual’ friends.

Today I ran out of milk (a necessity for the coffee) and I had a birthday present for my (to be) nine year old nephew that needed to be in the post yesterday.  I called for help.  I find it hard to ask for help at the best of times.  The only person I felt comfortable asking was my Dad, but trips to the supermarket from the after-life are, as far as I know, impossible… so that’s not an option anymore.

I got my milk, and J’s birthday present was dispatched (hopefully it won’t be too late) but I got some advice too.  The person who came bearing milk knows about fibro and knows that it is fibro that is causing my pain right now.  But I got told that when the sun comes out tomorrow (gosh, doesn’t that sound like a song?) I will feel much better.  True, not a word of exaggeration.

A while ago I reblogged Robert Kalman’s LETTER TO PEOPLE WITHOUT CHRONIC PAIN  and only recently I came across a similar letter, Open Letter to Normals.  They are both pleas to people without any sort of chronic pain to not assume they know best and bestow upon us what they consider their wisdom.  Lord save us!  (BTW I have to say I actually don’t like the title of the second letter because I consider myself as ‘normal’ as the next person, but for now I’ll leave that matter and not get side-tracked.)

It’s simply miraculous how someone with no medical training, not even taking the time to ask me how I am or even what my symptoms might be, can conclude that when the sun shines my pain will be magically gone.  My doctor doesn’t even know what to do to relieve me of this, but the assumption that the weather will fix this was too much.  She left shortly after (thankfully because if I had any energy I would have got off the couch and throttled her).

I’m not sure what the weather forecast is for tomorrow but it is winter here in New Zealand and so I suspect it will be another grey, cold, damp day.  That’s okay with me because I’m not holding out hope that the weather will fix this.  But it does remind me that we need to be so careful in how we speak to other people.  Regardless of whether that person has a chronic illness, any other sort of pain, or even if they are simply ‘normal’ we (me included) need to remember to put brain into action before putting mouth into gear.

My pain won’t be gone tomorrow, regardless of the weather.  I am always in pain now.  Maybe it will be less, maybe it will be more.  No one understands fibro that well to be able to predict.  What is interesting is that after the statement was made I was quickly aware again of the emotional pain I was feeling earlier in the week.  Perhaps because I was not understood.  And I was not heard.

And with that I’m going back to bed.


17 thoughts on “The Sunshine Pill

  1. Sometimes you just need to know there’s people out there just hearing you and just know we are listening and we care. Hope your pain is no worse today.

  2. I suspect people say such pat and unhelpful things because they are too uncomfortable with another person’s pain to fully acknowledge it and stand alongside it without squirming with their own emotional discomfort. Such comments exist mostly to make themselves feel better than to be of comfort to the other person. I don’t think most people do or say those kinds of things consciously. They always seem to mean well, but don’t understand the distress and pain their happy ignorance creates. I’m sorry you had to deal with that on top of all the other things you’re dealing with right now. I suppose if sunshine healed everything, we all always be out it in, soaking up its rays and sending all the doctors into bankruptcy. Funny, I don’t remember that ever happening. Maybe your friend can share with us the secret to unlocking the sun full healing potential. He’d be a millionaire in a day!


    I hope you’re feeling a little bit better today, no matter the weather. And if not, I hope you are taking good care of yourself. Many hugs and much positive energy from me to you. And I hope your free from fools for awhile, no matter how well-meaning they are.

    1. Free from fools sounds absolutely wonderful. And they wonder why I’m an introvert! But you’re right. It’s not intentionally said to hurt and it’s good to have that reminder. As for today it’s still dark so I can’t see the sun yet, but unfortunately I don’t feel better and am heading back to bed soon. I just start to suffer withdrawal from my computer if I stay there to long. ❤

  3. Your pain sounds so awful, Cate. I’m sorry it has flared up again. I hope you feel better very soon. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to live with such chronic pain. How that other lady thought she had the “answer” in the weather is beyond me. Those types of people make me shutdown even more. As Eileen said, they may be well meaning, but that kind of advice, commentary, etc doesn’t help one bit. That’s why I like animals. They don’t stick their paws in their mouths, and instead just support with love.

    Take care, Cate, and hugs your way! 🙂

    1. LOL You’re so right. Actually I’ve been missing my cat (who died earlier this year) a lot this week. Maybe it’s why. She never stuck her paws in her mouth. But yes, people like that just make me completely shutdown. It’s either that or I say something that we all woudl regret. As it was the sun came out today (so she got that right) but actually I felt worse. I haven’t had the energy to tell her. probably just as well. 🙂

  4. I am amazed by your grace and restraint. I think …But She’s Crazy is right about that person’s discomfort and well-meaning intentions, but that doesn’t really help. It sucks to be the “bigger person” and think about another person’s feelings even when they aren’t really thinking about yours. Kudos!

    1. Me? Grace? Surely not. LOL. Actually inside I was seething. Some people never learn. Actually I am wondering whether not being able to empathise would be some sort of diagnosable disorder. This person would have it! 🙂

    1. Wow! Firstly that you are so busy and decisive but more so thank you so much for the Award. I will head over to check it out now. Meanwile I do so wish I could be so busy and decisive this week. Maybe better luck in days to come. Thanks Kevin. 🙂

  5. skylarkly

    I remember my friends of my parents always complaining about how the weather “affects their bones.” As I grew older, I learnt that they were talking about arthritis. Strange how the weather affects some people. My sinuses flare up whenever it’s very cold outside. I am glad to hear that the sun will relieve you of the pain. I hope you feel better very soon!

    1. Thank you. Actually the fine weather doesn’t help my pain but the person who was giving me her advice is one of those people who thinks everything is better when the sun shines. The sun did come out but sadly it didn’t fix things for me. I’ve heard lots of people comment what type of weather affects them and it seems to me that everyone is different (with fibromyalgia anyway). I haven’t had it long enough to work out what works for me and what doesn’t but no doubt in time I will. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  6. Pingback: A Letter of Fibro Musings | Infinite Sadness… or hope?

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