A Pain in the arse- literally

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I broke my bum. HAHAH. Honestly it’s not as funny as it sounds.

I worked in a popular South African/ Portuguese fusion chicken shop which shan’t be named.

The start of a long list of physical health problems most definitely began with a wet floor in said chicken restaurant. I was working in the upstairs kitchen and I slipped on wet floor whilst carrying heavy platters of spiced chicken;) (there was no sign) I hit my head on two sides (dishwasher and a wall) and I believe I must’ve passed out for a minute or so. I sat on the floor for a very long time while calling for help & when a senior member of staff came to me offering me ‘magic water’ & no first aid I assumed maybe my fall wasn’t as bad as the pain I had initially felt.

I sat on the sofa for a while before realising I could barely stand up (that was fun) By the time I got home (collected by my wonderful mother from work) I couldn’t stand up out of the car.

My coccyx cushion was my new best friend.

I had a few days off work (I also got stress induced laryngitis at the time so had no voice) I went back in- my injuries were belittled, ‘really it still hurts?’ I was told I wasn’t working hard enough & had to continue working as normal- lifting, climbing stairs, bending etcetc. It is from this fall & the lack of recovery time my medical professionals believe the dreaded F word became a reality.

FIBROMYALGIA: Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

MAIN SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA:  

  • Widespread pain
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue) 
  • Muscle stiffness 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog”), such as problems with memory and concentration 
  • Intense headaches
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome/ IBS- a digestive condition that causes stomach pain and bloating
  • memory lapses
  • difficulty concentrating
  • trouble staying alert

Symptoms I’ve experienced related to fibro includes:

• Locking jaw pain

• Shoulder/ rotator cuff pain

• Toes and fingers constantly cracking causing burning pain

• Weak joints & pain (hyper mobility) my joints feel like they’re going to snap every minute (I’ll save this for another post)

• Back pain- could also be due to the hugeeeeee bazoongers I have on my chest (I’ll definitely save this for another post!!)

• Coccyx Pain (from the fall) aswell as hip impingement and nerve pain

• Nerve pain!!!! Everywhere

• Plantar Fasciitis- Heel Pain

• Dysmenorrhea- Intense period pain (I’ll save the stories for another post!!!)

• Menorrhagia- heavy periods (more fun here)

• Fainting spells

• Anxiety & Depression

• Low vitamin D levels – due to lack of sunlight

• Fatigue

• Insomnia & hypersomnia

• Random rashes & allergies

• Paresthesia – numbness and tingling in hands & feet

• Tender joints

• Sensitivity

• Sciatica

• Knee Pain

• Excessive sweating

• Gag reflex issues

• Tender Lymph Nodes

• Intense Migraines & vomiting

• IBS- this is a fun one

The list goes on…

It’s unheard of for me to go through a day without at least 3 of these symptoms being prominent.

People don’t believe me when I say that statement ‘surely you aren’t in pain all the time’ – pain of some sort yes, unfortunately I am- luckily the severity fluctuates & I am able to use distraction techniques (plus some good nerve pain drugs & herbal remedies)

It’s often very difficult to know what new symptoms are caused by fibro & what are simply worrying or abnormal.

So!

Here’s where flare ups come into play!

FLARE UPS: What is a flare up? How do you know you’re having a flare up?

A fibromyalgia flareup is a temporary increase in the intensity or number of symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. This often leaves you temporarily bed bound. Stress, weather, too much or too little sleep and over exerting yourself be it through excercise it social situations can all trigger a flare up.

For me I usually know a flare up is coming when I have a dull ache in my hip and a minor headache in one side of my head. I know when I‘m overdoing it when I become emotional or irritable. Small things people say annoy me. I lack empathy. The small headache soon turns into a full blown migraine, where I slur my words, vomit, have diahorrea, struggle to see and am sensitive to light – in addition to the pounding in my head!

Usually, increased pain and worsening fatigue are the start of a fibro flare up- these attacks can last from a couple of days to several weeks, or even months.

Coccydynia: Intense ongoing coccyx pain: since I injured my coccyx I’ve struggled with tasks such as clenching my bum cheeks (I can do it now for around 3 seconds yayayay!!!) trust me this is not fun and often a little messy with IBS. I can’t sit or stand for long periods of time and have intense lower back pain- my hips and legs often give way and intense pain means I’m unable to walk.

Common tender points:

COMMON TRIGGER POINTS OF PAIN INCLUDE; back of the head, tops of the shoulders, upper chest, hips, knees, outer elbows.