Fibromyalgia

There’s pain, and then there’s being scared of pain

Image: Man Repeller
Image: Man Repeller

I have never been scared of my pain before. Well, not since the early days when I didn’t know what was wrong with me so I just assumed I was dying. But since diagnosis, there hasn’t been much to be scared of.

Often my pain evokes frustration, annoyance and anger, but never fear. Today though, today I was scared. My pain was so sharp, so intense and so different to my ‘normal’ pain that I could only assume something very bad was happening.

I took all the tablets, I used all the gels and creams in my emergency relief stash, and I panicked. Yep, full on almost-in-tears panic. I was scared.

I think many people fear their pain and the impact it can have on daily life. And people fear their pain increasing and, in turn, their quality of life deteriorating. But I’m not sure how many of us fear the pain itself.

I sat at my desk and could only think about the pain as it traveled up my neck and into the back of my head. I’m pretty sure I’ve trapped a nerve, but f***ing fibromyalgia (sorry… I don’t swear often on this blog) makes me assume every ache and pain is just another symptom, and therefore I’m not really sure what to do about it.

I have a wedding on Saturday. My trapped nerve or Fibromyalgia or brain tumor or whatever it is needs to disappear immediately. In the mean time, I shall do my very best to confront it, rather than climb the walls and fear it.

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4 comments on “There’s pain, and then there’s being scared of pain

  1. Sit quietly with your pain and accept it, tell it you accept it and then be still and see what happens. I hope you got to your wedding and it went okay.

  2. Thank you Beverley, thats a really lovely and peaceful comment. Much appreciated.

  3. I typically tolerate (RA) pain quite well. However, I’ve been going through a spate of facial pain–long story, related to a complication of a medication given for RA. The pain was intense, appeared at unpredictable times, and involved one whole side of my face. Like you, I had no idea what was causing it. Had I suddenly developed some problem with my teeth? (Didn’t think so, since I’d just been for a checkup.) Was it an earache? When I had fallen on that cheekbone the year before when my RA-inflamed knee had given out, had I done more damage that I thought that was only now showing up? How about the variant form of migraine that sometime struck me: was that changing again and manifesting that way? Was something to do with my spine somehow clamping off a nerve? Should I go to the dentist, my rheumatologist, my neurologist, or my regular old doctor? Now, in hindsight, I think I felt paralyzed. I wanted to crawl into the corner and press my face against the wall, the way a dog of ours used to do when hurting. I couldn’t because I had to find an answer, but I didn’t want to waste any smidgen of energy on calling and going to the wrong one. I think that was why fear was such a strong component of that episode: that confusion and paralysis. Anyway, I’m through it now, problem identified and being addressed. The pain has returned several times as we (me, rheumatologist, and ENT) work together for a solution. Knowing that we’re working on a solution, the intensity has been lessened on subsequent episodes by a diminishing of the fear. Perhaps when you figure out what’s causing that pain and what to do about it, your fear will lessen, too.

    • Thank you for your comment. It’s so weird that just after we have adjusted to our health, new symptoms appear and throw us into a spin. Glad you’re getting your pain addressed. x

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