We all know that fibromyalgia is an invisible condition. I decided to explain what fibromyalgia would look like and feel like to people without fibromyalgia.
I am including a sensitivity warning on this post as I have visually described what some fibromyalgia pain can feel like! If reading such imagery, I suggest you not read this post.
1. Have you ever had a huge bruise somewhere on your body that hurts when you barely touch it?! The type of bruise that turns dark purple/ blue and stays for over a week?!! Image your entire body covered head to toe in bruises. Pretty painful thinking about it. I often tell people my body feels so bruised up. The below picture is a image that represents fibromyalgia pain well. This image often circulates on fibromyalgia groups with a description stating, “If fibromyalgia were visible!”
2. Ever dropped a glass item and watched it shatter such as a drinking glass? I know I have and picking up the glass, results in possibilities of getting glass splinters in your fingers or accidentally stepping on a piece. Now image the spot where the shard entered getting infected and the area starts to throb. Try to image that feeling in every muscle you have – there are over 600 muscles in your body.
3. Have you ever been on an acreage or farm that has barbed wire fences installed?!? The barbs on the fence are very sharp. I know I’ve cut my finger on these fences and snagged my clothing. Now image a piece of barbed wire wrapped around your legs and arms. The bards dig in and feel uncomfortable and possibly cut your skin. Now imagine someone pulling that piece of barbed wire tighter. What an unpleasant thought, yet alone feeling! Welcome to what fibromyalgia pain can be compared to.
4. We have all received a static shock at some point in our lives unintentionally. Clothing creates shocks during the winter months. Imagine feeling like you are being shocked all day with no break. Everything you touch shocks you. Every step generates a shock. The feeling can become annoying or uncomfortable. Imagine putting on fuzzy socks and dragging your feet across the rug. It creates lots of shocks back to back. Now image these shocks in your brain or in every muscle in your body at once. Ouch!!
5. Ahh! Sunshine!! Image you are Enjoying a beautiful day at the beach, not a worry in sight… until the next day when you realize you forgot to apply the sunscreen. Your skin is screaming back at you as you try to soothe the redness. Your sunburnt area is so sore even applying aloe makes you want to cry or the touch of your shirt lightly resting on your skin is unbearable. People with fibromyalgia can experience sensations like their skin has been burnt, with no relief. The touch of wearing clothing is enough to make us want to scream. People with fibromyalgia often get rashes on their body that can burn. I have experienced a few of these attacks.
6. Image sitting around a relaxing campfire on a beautiful summer evening. You throw a piece of wood on the fire that begins to spit hot coals from the fire and sparks. Have you ever had a spark land on your skin and it hurts?! People with fibromyalgia can also experience these sensations without the visible sparks. It isn’t just one spark, its continuous spark pain for hours on end – even days..
7. Imagine you just got off a long shift at work. You are exhausted and feel like you have been through the wringer! Now force yourself to stay awake. The fatigue a person with fibromyalgia feels everyday is equivalent to someone without fibromyalgia not sleeping at all for three days! Can you function if you were to stay awake for three days straight? Not even a 5 minute cat nap? I bet the answer is no.
Fibromyalgia might be invisible, but there are many ways to visualize and represent what fibromyalgia pain can feel like. These are only six that I have written about. There are many more examples that come to mind.