• Jules

Fibromyalgia - trouble sleeping?

Written 26 - Dec 2021


Boxing Day 3:30 am. Awake early again. I wonder how many of you can relate. The trouble is when something becomes a pattern it begins to feel ‘normal’. And when it feels like this is just the way it is, it becomes all too easy to dismiss it and either ignore it, in other words take no action, or think it will go away on its own.


Given time things often do get better, but, and this is my experience, they return. They never really go away. They resurface and that leaves me with a whole bunch of negative emotions.


It has taken me a long time to face the reality of this cycle of events. As I type that word, the phrase ‘break the cycle’ enters my head and that niggles. Stock phrases can be helpful but more often they are not. It’s a bit like telling someone who is trying to lose weight to eat less.


So here I am, downstairs, iPad on my lap, legs up on the sofa in the early hours of the morning. I’ve made myself a liquorice tea and I’m waiting for it to be cool enough to drink.



 


Fibromyalgia, HRT and Menopause


Why have I titled this section fibromyalgia, HRT and the menopause? I’m still trying to fully understand what I am experiencing so that I can explain it better.


Let’s see. I’m only on Day 3 of my HRT regimen. If my body has been depleted of hormones for a year or so, then in my mind, the re-introduction of hormones is going to have perhaps more of a dramatic effect on me because I have fibromyalgia, than for someone that does not. It may be that is unique to me. I don’t know. I am not a scientist. I can only observe and report my anecdotal experience.


I was having a hot flush when I woke up. I sense a small change in frequency and intensity since beginning my treatment but it is so subtle, unless I was trying to be vigilant I don’t think I would have noticed the difference. In other words, I am still having hot flushes. It’s early days. My treatment can be adjusted in a few weeks if need be.


As for my fibromyalgia… It’s interesting. I try to be interested and curious about my symptoms. When they are debilitating all I can do is cry but for now the pain is manageable. And when it is manageable I can think more clearly. I can be curious rather than in battle mode all the time, which is exhausting.


Yes, the pain in my hips woke me up. It forced me out of bed. I once described laying in bed when I’m feeling like this is like lying on solid concrete with your body covered in bruises. You could have paid a fortune on a luxury pocket-spring mattress. Doesn’t help! The only thing to do is get up. Moving around helps.


Today the sensations in my hips that woke me up was more of this type of pain. Like something is pressing hard on bruises rather than the shooting, stabbing pain of the previous night.


When I have woken due to these circumstances, I find it impossible to get back to sleep. I lay there and will myself back to sleep but my mind keeps getting drawn back to the all those ‘uncomfortable‘ sensations.


The mind is a powerful tool. When I am lost in thought the pain tends to fades into the background. I guess that’s why going to work can help you cope, when it’s not severe that is.


Work can a double-edged sword depending upon the nature of what you do. It can help detract from your difficulties and at the same time deplete you of your energy. If you are lucky enough to be able to take some breaks during the day you can re-charge your batteries but more often than not, by the end of the day, your batteries are completely flat.


I’ve returned home on many occasions and collapsed. Could I have continued in my job if I had a young family to care for? I doubt it. Chronic illness has an insidious nature. I think of it as a monster. It threatens you, it taunts you, it wounds you. It does nothing but harm. It initiates all those negative emotions for you to wallow in. Self-pity, self-hate, guilt and shame.


I have learned what helps me when I am overwhelmed with these emotions. I’m hoping by sharing my story everyone reading this can gain an understanding so that they can either, confront their own ‘monster’, or support someone who is trying to tame theirs.


Watch out for further news of what has helped me.





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