How can you tell when it’s real?

I have fibromyalgia.

I’m not even sure what that sentence really means. I’ve spent almost a year writing about what it feels like, but even that I’m not sure of any more. 

I have a pain in my chest; it’s fibromyalgia. I have an itch all over my arms; it’s fibromyalgia. I have a pain in my jaw; it’s fibromyalgia. I have a pain in my back; it’s fibromyalgia. I can’t sleep; it’s fibromyalgia. I’m exhausted; it’s fibromyalgia. My legs, my arms, my stomach, etc etc. You get the idea. 

When I was a kid, my Dad used to joke that I had a photographic memory. He would tell his friends, “look what my daughter can do.” He’d ask me to recite various facts and figures to prove his point and I would perform as requested. In later years, there was less performing (thank goodness) but he would ring me up every time he was struggling to remember something. “What was the name of that shop we passed on that holiday in 1997?” or “What was the number for that removal firm we passed last week?” and so on. 

Nowadays that talent seems to have disappeared. 

I put it down to fibro-fog and recognise that struggling to remember things is just another symptom. Or is it? We all start to lose our memory as we age, and I know I’m not 90 but is it really such a surprise I can’t do the things I used to? I can’t put one leg behind my head anymore, but that has more to do with the fact I’m not a two year old than it does the fact I have fibromyalgia. 

I’m learning Spanish at the moment (more on that later this week) and I’m not very good at remembering phrases. Is that because fibromyalgia makes learning languages more difficult for me than others, or is it because I don’t revise as much as I should and I was never very good at languages in the first place. My guess is the latter, but how do I know? And does it even matter?

I’m trying really hard to control my pain levels; with three holidays, two weddings and a music festival coming up I need to be on my game. I need my body to do as it’s told. And more importantly, I need my mind to do the same. The spiral of worry into pain into worry (which I discussed here) is recipe for disaster.


It’s a day for sulking a bit. It’s a day for realising that whether or not the pain is related to fibromyalgia, it’s there. I am experiencing it. It is real. 


4 comments on “How can you tell when it’s real?

  1. Yes! It’s often hard for me to know what is fibro and what’s something else so I tend to figure most everything is fibro related. I could be missing a condition that needs attention because I figure it’s fibro but how the heck are we supposed to know? And I struggle with things like learning a language, like you mentioned. Is it because of fibro fog or is it just the way I am? Does it make much of a difference? I’m not sure. Thank you for your blog!

  2. I’m with you girls…sad but true. 10 years later of when being diagnosed, undeniably debilitating lifestyle, at 52 I’m not even sure how much longer I’ll be able to work. I love my work, I’m a housekeeper. I refuse to let fibro have me, but OMG it is soooo hard to try and keep a normal lifestyle like everyone else.I don’t even know fun no more, it’s all I can do to maintain my energy for work, and that’s not going too well.

    • Oh Marie, I’m so impressed! Being a housekeeper must be so difficult at times, so good on you. I think all we can do is keep going and look after ourselves as best we can. Good luck!

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