From time to time, I have what I call "Batcave Days". On these days I retreat from the World, I close the curtains, turn off all lights, lock the doors and turn off all telephones. The reason for this being - Fibromyalgia. Let me tell you a wee bit about this chronic condition .
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that affects the musculoskeletal system, specifically the muscles and soft tissues. It is characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and tender points (sensitive areas on the body that are painful to touch).
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Some possible contributing factors include:
Trauma or injury: Physical trauma or injury, such as a car accident or surgery, can trigger fibromyalgia.
Infections: Some infections, such as Lyme disease or HIV, may contribute to the development of fibromyalgia.
Hormonal imbalances: Abnormalities in certain hormones, such as cortisol and testosterone, may play a role in fibromyalgia.
Stress: Stressful events, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce, may trigger fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary widely among individuals. In addition to muscle pain and tender points, other common symptoms include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Cognitive difficulties (also known as "fibro fog")
- Mood changes, such as depression or anxiety
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose because there is no specific test for the condition. Instead, doctors rely on a combination of patient history, physical examination, and other tests to rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms.
Treatment for fibromyalgia typically involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Medications may include pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs. Lifestyle changes may include regular exercise, stress management techniques, and good sleep hygiene. Other therapies, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy, may also be helpful.
It's important to note that fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, which means it is long-lasting and cannot be cured. However, with proper treatment, many people with fibromyalgia are able to manage their symptoms and lead active, productive lives.
It isn't always obvious that someone has fibromyalgia, so I spend alot of time advocating and educating people about fibromyalgia. Coupled with that I have joined various FB groups, some are support groups and some are research groups.
I find, the more I learn the easier it is for me to cope with the sudden impact and need for "Batcave days".