As promised last week we are beginning the new series of “Fibromyalgia &” with Fibromyalgia and IBS. In my case, the IBS has been around for well you wouldn’t get much change from thirty years, wow do I feel old saying that. So it was well and truly in residence long before probably anybody I knew had ever heard of Fibromyalgia. It was not a constant in my life; it would arrive when it fancied. The first appearance was quite spectacular during my GCSE examinations (High School Diploma for my American friends) I think it was down to stress. From then it may disappear for literally a year or more and come back when it wanted. Since I’ve had Fibromyalgia it is here more often than not and most definitely outstays it’s welcome.
The purpose of this postAs I mentioned in the Introduction to the Series the reason for these posts is to concentrate on the experience of managing Fibromyalgia alongside overlapping conditions. There is plenty of information available about either one of them individually, but it is the overlap that interests me. If you have stumbled upon this post and you want to know more about what Fibromyalgia is you can read this post. You can get some medical information from the NHS about IBS and Fibromyalgia.
How do Fibromyalgia and IBS affect me?I feel that the IBS impacts the Fibromyalgia more than the other way around. I think we all know that one of the symptoms of IBS is Diarrhoea and it does not always give you much notice of its arrival. When you have Fibromyalgia, you are juggling a minimum of pain and exhaustion at any one time. Although there are people who manage to maintain sporting activities while living with Fibro some of us do not, I’m sure I don’t have to spell out to you the implications of having to move a lot quicker than usual to get to a bathroom… Toilets are not the most comfortable of seating, and for all the hurried nature of diarrhoea it is episodal, and sometimes you are safer staying put rather than trying to move to somewhere more comfortable because let’s face it the first trip uses a lot of spoons! I have discovered since having Fibromyalgia that having to sit on a toilet for more than fifteen minutes can cut off the blood to my lower legs which gives me pins and needles followed by a loss of sensation. The recovery from an attack has far more impact on my day to day life than it did before I had Fibro. Let’s face it when you have diarrhoea you literally have the stuffing knocked out of you to put it politely, and that uses spoons! Probably the next couple of hours worth at least. If I am unlucky enough to have to make repeated trips to the bathroom (it is the floor below our flatlet) I sometimes don’t have any energy to do anything else of the rest of the day that can’t be done from the sofa. Before becoming a spoonie, I would take some Immodium and once the churning stopped carry on my day as usual.
Who else understands living with Fibro and IBS:
Fibromyalgia and Severe IBS have control of all aspects of my life which has caused me to be very careful with regards to food I eat and my stress levels. I have also had to be very careful with the amount of exercise I do as to not put too much pressure on my knees. I manage this on a daily basis but people do not understand how difficult it can be to maintain a ‘normal’ life while dealing with all these added extras. I am slowly getting there and figuring out what works best for managing my conditions ? I have found that Origami is the best way to reduce my stress levels and focus on something other than pain.