There is nothing in life that I love more than snuggling with my little man. He
soothes the anxious pains in my chest and replaces them with warm butterflies. He
calms the stormy thoughts that flood my brain with his cheeky little laugh and goofy
personality. So nothing hurts my soul more than when my whole body constricts with
pain at his delicate little touch and when his loving little snuggles bring me to tears as
they hurt so much. Because I am a mama with Fibromyalgia Syndrome.
Fibromyalgia is a long-term chronic pain condition that causes widespread
pain in your body. With over 200 symptoms its severity fluctuates on a daily basis. It
can feel like a deep ache in your muscles like you've been to the gym and had a
hard workout, or it can feel like a burning, throbbing, intense and persistent pain all
over your body. Your joints are sore, and the pain can often move about to different
areas of your body. Fibromyalgia causes your brain to be more sensitive to pain; with
even the slightest touch or bump being distressingly painful.
The most annoying thing about being a fibro mama is that doctors don’t
actually know the exact cause. There are thousands of theories under investigation
to try and find the cause. So far, these theories have found that people with
fibromyalgia have high levels of certain pain chemicals in the nervous system and
have low levels of chemicals that can damp down pain response. Most theories
believe that people with fibromyalgia have been through a traumatic event before the
condition begins, such as a car accident or serious illness or abuse. It’s possible that
events like this might trigger the start of fibromyalgia. Which is pretty crappy going
considering the fact that the traumatic events are hard enough to cope with, let alone
a lifetime full of pain and fatigue as a result.
The ultimate shitty thing about Fibromyalgia is that researchers believe that it
runs in families. This is something i discussed in my previous blog ‘The Other
Mama’. Its something I have struggled with personally, especially when it came to
beginning the creation of our family. I personally felt that I could not risk passing
fibromyalgia onto any potential children. I could not forgive myself if i were the cause
of any unnecessary pain to my children and therefore we chose to use my partners
eggs to create our family.
But Fibro is not all doom and gloom; albeit it feels so! My fibro has left me in
the position of being too poorly to be employed at the age of 26; despite all my
efforts and wanting to work. But, it means i get to stay at home and spend every
waking moment with my boy. I get to see him learn new things everyday. I get to
burst with pride when i hear all of his new words he is learning; which also reminds
me to be careful with the words i use haha! I get to see the curiosity and adventure in
his eyes when we explore new places when my pain is good. I make the most of my
good days to take him places and to show him new skills. If i was working i would
miss some of these moments; i know his mummy does but she is working hard to
support our family as she knows i cannot. As much as i detest Fibro, this is one of
the few gifts it has given me.
Fibro has also been good for Ollie’s development. Some people may think
‘how can having a disabled mama be good for a toddler?’ Or as a vile occupational
therapist once told me ‘you’re stupid to be starting a family with fibro!’ Well let me
stick a big middle finger up to you Mrs! Because you see, my boy is the most kind
and caring little soul i've ever met. Just yesterday I was laying on the sofa in pain
and he toddled over and covered me with his blanket and gave me his dummy. Such
an innocent yet empathetic natural reaction to seeing his mama in pain. He is in tune
to how i feel each day. He knows on good days i can get on the floor and play fight
with him. But he also knows that some days mama cannot and he plays nicely and
independently with his toys; often bringing books to me to read and have a snuggle.
Some days it takes hours for me to be able to even get out of bed, but he will
happily sit in bed and snuggle whilst watching his favourite TV programmes or play
in his bedroom and across the landing with his toys until I am ready to attempt the
stairs or face the world; as depression often goes hand in hand with fibro. He makes
me smile by being a total goofball when my anxiety has me in tears. He comes along
to all of my appointments with me as in a way he is my comfort blanket through it all.
Some days i dont have the strength to even pick him up and give him cuddles, but
this has only encouraged him to become so independant and to learn and utilise his
motor skills. These are the days where the routine goes out of the window and we
have a lazy day. We might still be in our PJs but we are both fed and clean and
happy. Sometimes Mummy comes home and the house has been turned upside
down and there's no tea in the oven. But she just knows that today wasn't a good
day, and scoops ollie up to help her make some tea; or we have quality time as a
family with a cheeky takeaway.
So yes being a fibro mama can be super crappy at times. It is the hardest job
in the world to keep a tiny human alive and happy when you barely have the energy
to do it for yourself. Yes fibro mamas need help from their family and friends often,
and often need someone to take the little one for the day as it’s all too much. But like
a wise person once said ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. But I see the empathy and
kindness Ollie shows already at just a year old. I know and can see that he will
continue to grow to be a well rounded and independent individual. He will have the
knowledge and skills at his fingertips to give him a fantastic start in life as a young
man. He will know how to run a home and to be a helpful participant in doing so. He
will help those who need it most and I could never be more proud of him if i tried.
If you would like to learn more about Fibromyalgia syndrome you can read
more about it on the following links.