Fibromyalgia is a label for an illness of chronic pain, fatigue and mental fog that has no other explanation, a diagnosis of exclusion. It often goes with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and mood disorders. About 1-2% of population suffers from this, some people get better but many don’t. There are no proven treatments, just a few promising approaches that help some people.
It All Starts With Consideration
You’re dating somebody with fibromyalgia (FMS) or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)? First of all, you must be an amazing individual to be willing to take that on. Let me to acknowledge you on behalf of every person with these illnesses. Subsequently, you’ll want to learn a few things that can assist this go a lot better for the both of you equally. So it can go well, and you both deserve it to.
Understanding the Disease
You possibly don’t know very much about these conditions. Don’t feel bad, most people don’t. The main thing is understanding this next statement entirely and never forgetting it.
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are unpredictable. None of us can tell how we’re going to feel the following week, the following day, the following minute. We can be up and energetic one day only to be bedbound the next. We don’t do this deliberately and be certain of me, we wish it didn’t happen. To be with us, you need to be tolerant and considerate.
Now that you know the most vital part, it’s time to learn a little bit about our symptoms. Both of these conditions can include:
- Body ache (always in FMS, often in ME/CFS)
- tiredness (always in ME/CFS, usually in FMS)
- unrefreshing sleep
- cognitive dysfunction, a.k.a. “brain fog”
- exercise intolerance (especially in ME/CFS)
You might think you comprehend pain, but these diseases involve some occasional pain types. Our bodies take pain signals and increase them, like turning up the volume. We’re not too sensitive, it’s just how our nerves and brain react to pain signals.
We can also have pain from things that shouldn’t hurt. A hand resting on an arm. The weight of clothing. Something cold touching the skin. They can cause intense pain in us, and it’s completely genuine. (That’s established by brain scans in which the pain centers light up like crazy.)
The pain is originating from amped-up nerves and a nervous system that’s in overdrive at all times. Because nerves travel throughout the body, so can our pain. Actually, for a diagnosis of FMS, you have to have pain in all four quadrants of the body.
So it’s not like someone who has a back ache or pain from an old knee injury. We may have severe pain in our abdomen one second and burning feelings in our limbs the next.
Tiredness and Unrefreshing Nap
You might ponder you understand this one. Everyone’s been truly tired before, right? Maybe you’ve pulled an all-nighter in college or hang around out so late one time that you went to work without sleeping. Or perhaps you’ve had a horrible flu.
Consider those times when you’ve been flat-out exhausted. Have you ever felt too weary to even lift your head off the bed? That’s what people with ME/CFS can feel like. FMS normally involves less fatigue than ME/CFS, but it can still be intense and persistent. And it doesn’t go away with rest.
That’s a big one to wrap your head around: rest doesn’t help. We might sleep for twelve hours and wake up exhausted.
Sleep is seldom refreshing for us. Many of us also have sleep disorders, such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome, or sleep apnea. Click Here to Read “Tips for Coping with sleep challenges due to fibromyalgia pain”
It doesn’t matter how smart the person is, if they have this symptom, you can expect any of a wide array of warning signs, including:
- short-term memory loss
- often lost train of thought
- trouble recollecting common words
- often using the wrong word, particularly when it comes to nouns
- struggle with math
- spatial orientation complications
- a tendency to become disoriented
A great deal of things play into our cognitive dysfunction, which is also termed fibro fog or brain fog. Among these are dysfunction of multiple neurotransmitters, irregular blood flow to some parts of the brain, and abnormal activity or connectivity in certain areas of the brain.
Brain fog can be mild or severe and tends to come and go. It’s not an indication of low intellect or learning disorders. It’s also not tied to dementia, however from time to time it might appear similar.
The finest method to handle this is with patience. Give the person time to find the correct words or gently recommend one if it looks obvious. When they forget something, calmly remind them. You may want to encourage them to write things down on a calendar, make lists, or set reminders on their phone.
For us, it can be very annoying to have our brains glitch on us, so keep in mind that any frustration or irritation that comes with it are directed at the symptom, not at you.
Chronic fatigue syndrome includes a symptom called post-exertional malaise (PEM), which means that exercise or other activity can cause a spike in symptoms, particularly fatigue and a flu-like feeling, that can last for days. In some individuals, it can take very little exertion to activate PEM.
In fibromyalgia, exercise has a similar but commonly less intense effect and typically leads to increased pain and tiredness.
To save from pushing someone to that point, it’s significant for you to follow his/her lead when it comes to physical activity. Click to Read More on “Warm Water Exercises for Fibromyalgia Pain Relief“
The Relationship Prognosis
Will you face some challenges because of entering into a relationship with someone with these conditions? Yes. But all relationship has challenges, and you have the advantage of going in with your eyes open.
Many people with chronic illness have healthy, happy relationships. Tolerance, consideration, and empathy will help things get off to a good start. Best of luck to you!.
For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”