DO YOU CATEGORIZE YOUR WEIRD FIBRO SYMPTOMS?
If there’s anything that we really “get” about chronic illness, it’s that it affects us each in different ways. Yes … in very different ways! Whether dealing with fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, arthritis, diabetes, weight concerns, hormone issues, or various autoimmune conditions, the symptoms are part of a never-ending list.
It’s common to deal with pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, weight issues, etc. and these fundamental symptoms – to some degree — cross over to most chronic health challenges.
But what about the strange, weird, or unusual ones? What do you think is weird?
Years ago, when I was trying to figure things out, I couldn’t understand strange symptoms I experienced such as my inability to wear barrettes, a headband, or even my sunglasses on top of my head. I couldn’t wear hats or sun visors. I couldn’t carry a backpack on my shoulders. I couldn’t wear a jacket with a hood. With the hood up, it felt like a brick was sitting on top of my head. With the hood down, it felt like a strong hand pressed (painfully) on my upper back.
All the non-fibro people are thinking, “Weird” and, “I don’t get it.” All the fibro people are thinking, “Uh-huh. Totally get it. I have that , or something equally weird, too.”
We can have hyper-reactions that create symptoms all over the body. Certain shoes, clothing, jewelry, etc. can trigger limb burning/tingling, headaches, and shooting pain that travels. And, it’s not always traceable to something worn or carried.
Symptoms can appear anywhere and affect any part of the body. The symptoms themselves may be constant, intermittent, shooting, searing, annoying, or bewildering.
In fact, bewildered is how I felt most of the time as I was trying to figure things out. I wanted a concrete list of symptoms so I could check them off one by one to validate my experience. I wanted to know if symptoms I had were outside the realm of fibromyalgia to determine if other diagnoses were possible/plausible.
With each new symptom I experienced, I added it to my already out of control list. The fact that my symptoms were increasing made me feel even more out of control.
My life was a mess … until I changed my thinking.
It took time, lots of research, and loads of tenacity, but I learned WHY fibromyalgia affects so many different parts of the body. I learned WHY we each have a different array of symptoms and experience them differently. I learned WHY symptoms continue to increase – and what I could do to reverse the undesired trend.
So, here’s how my thinking changed. I learned to look at symptoms as evidence. Rather than evidence of things being out of control, I recognized them as evidence of what – exactly – wasn’t working properly within my body. I narrowed my focus to that particular system of the body and learned how to build it up, revitalize my health, and turn my health challenges around.
Here are the basic body function categories:
– Circulatory (heart, blood, vessels)
– Digestive (mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines)
– Endocrine (glands)
– Immune (proteins, cells, organs, tissues)
– Lymphatic (removal of metabolic wastes and balancing water, salts, and nutrients)
– Muscular (muscles)
– Nervous (brain, spinal cord, nerves)
– Skeletal (bones)
– Reproductive (reproductive organs)
– Respiratory (nose, trachea, lungs)
– Urinary (bladder, kidneys)
– Excretory (lungs, large intestines, kidney function)
These systems all work together to keep the body in balance. Many of their functions overlap.
Can you categorize your symptoms within these systems? Once you can wrap your mind around how many systems of the body are represented by fibromyalgia, or any other chronic health challenge, it’s easy to see that these are SYSTEMIC or multi-system conditions.
Rather than think of each new symptom as weird, figure out where it belongs in these categories and look for balance.
The great news is that systemic conditions respond well to activities, practices, treatments, and methods that support the body in fundamental ways.
It’s all about rebuilding the body at the root level – of course, Rebuilding Wellness, to achieve balance and wholeness.
I now look at each symptom as evidence of what I’ve already learned. The body is a complex SYSTEM.
Our symptoms point to the various systems
of the body that are compromised.
There are always current studies being done and new information released daily on “new” findings about fibromyalgia and other health concerns. Studies tend to focus on varying systems of the body. For a long time, fibromyalgia research has focused on the nervous system, immune system, and the digestive system. Of course these are all highly involved. Right now, there’s a lot of news regarding the circulatory system of the body. It’s all very exciting and while new info is always a good thing, I keep in mind that it’s “what’s beneath those findings,” that’s important.
For example, when we learned years ago that leaky gut is a big player in the symptoms of fibromyalgia – I wanted to know WHY leaky gut happens. When we learned that people with chronic health challenges have a compromised immune system – I wanted to know WHY.
Once I’ve dug down to the roots of WHY chronic health challenges occur, then I can tackle HOW to approach a solution.
Just sayin’ … I like to keep the BIG picture in mind and dig down to the roots whenever possible.
If you’d like to read more about digging down to the roots, check out my #1 Amazon Chronic Illness bestseller, FibroWHYalgia (click the Buy Amazon button to check out the Look Inside feature, check out reviews, and more).
As always – it’s my goal to provide you with empowering, encouraging, and helpful information geared to move you through your own healing journey.
What’s your weirdest system? Start the discussion below!