More in CFS and fibromyalgia
Most people in my life don’t know anything about fibromyalgia. I tried to explain it, but it’s so complicated that I don’t know how to do it, especially when my fibro-fog is bad.
How can I explain fibromyalgia in a way that people understand?
Fibromyalgia is difficult to summarize. Often the symptoms are so strange and confusing that we don’t understand them themselves!
It is better to keep things simple and find comparisons with which people can relate. You may want to have some different explanations for different situations.
For example, you will have a very quick response to, for example, a casual acquaintance in a social event, while you can give a little more details to a close friend or relative.
Probably the simplest and clearest explanation is:
Fibromyalgia is like a migraine throughout the body.
Most people, whether they have had one or not, have a pretty good idea of what migraine is, so it makes sense to them.
Of course, that explanation is only about pain, and we have dozens of possible symptoms. If you want someone to understand your fatigue, fibromovidez or ups and downs, you need a different approach.
Almost everyone has had a debilitating disease such as influenza, mono or strep throat, so there may be good comparisons. I have also had good luck with this:
Do you know how to feel when something wakes you up in the middle of the night, after a few hours of sleep? That’s how it is every morning, no matter how much you sleep. Sometimes I feel that way all day.
Other things with which you can compare it are:
The exhaustion of being a new father.
Draw an all-nighter in college
Jet lag grave
Make sure you feel that way no matter how much you sleep, and that diet and exercise do nothing to fight it.
Explain the fibro fog
To explain your cognitive dysfunction, it is again worth trusting common experiences.
Who has not entered a room and has forgotten why they were there? Or struggling to find the right word? It happens to everyone from time to time, so you can say that fibro fog is like that, all the time.
The name “fibro fog” is quite descriptive, so meet the people in your life. In general, they will understand (to some extent, anyway) something like “Today I am cloudy” or “It feels as if my brain is wrapped in cotton.”
Ups and downs
One of the most difficult things for people to understand fibromyalgia is the way our symptoms increase and decrease. People tend to think that the disease is a constant, so it is confusing for them to see that it feels good one day (or one minute) and stop working the next.
The best comparison I have found for this is:
Fibromyalgia symptoms appear and disappear in the same way as torches and remissions in multiple sclerosis.
Most people have heard at least about multiple sclerosis torches enough to understand them, and the comparison of fibromyalgia with a disease they know is serious, which helps them get what this condition really is.
It can help compare your symptoms with a roller coaster. Let them know what kind of things (stress, loud noise, etc.) that trigger a sudden flame of symptoms so they understand how quickly symptoms can appear.
A more physiological explanation.
Sometimes, you may need someone to understand fibromyalgia in more medical terms. If you are a research nerd, it can be easy to get too much detail and confuse people with explanations of things like neurotransmitters and the body’s stress response system.
An easy way to explain the physiology of fibromyalgia is:
My brain and nerves are hypersensitive and overreact to pain and all kinds of other things, and my hormones and my immune system are also disordered.
If someone thinks that “brain” is “psychological,” they can explain that fibromyalgia is neurological, which puts it in the same category as diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
A word from Verywell
If you discover that someone wants in-depth medical information beyond what you can explain, here are some articles to point out:
A simple explanation of fibromyalgia.
List of fibromyalgia symptoms
Deregulation of the neurotransmitter in fibromyalgia
Because he has his own unique set of symptoms, he must scrape. How can I explain fibromyalgia its explanations to experience? It is worth thinking a bit beforehand, so you have an answer on your head even on a cloudy day.