Most mornings I wake up around 5:30am because my slumbering body makes the mistake of changing position and sets off a series of muscle spasms. I have fibro myalga and I wake up in a state of pain that used to make me weep and whimper. I’m more stoic now after dealing with it for 20 years.

Somedays, it’s not just my muscles; I also have connective tissue disease. So, when the barometer is low my joints scream and pop and crack and every step sends electric shocks from tiny joints in my feet up to my knees.

How I cope: First, I stagger to my computer and read. I try to disassociate from my body and tilt my consciousness into my mind. If my mind is active and alert, I can pay less attention to my body’s distress. I take a couple of Advil with a glass of milk and then fuel movement with a can of Red Bull. Because the only way to get past the pain is to work thru it. Even tho it hurts like hell and brings tears to my eyes, I go thru a series of stretching and limbering movements. And I keep doing it until the pain simmers down to a controllable level.

By 10am, most days, I can function like a normal person albeit a tired one. Pain drains energy and by 8pm I’m one tired old hag who has to lie down and watch Olbermann to find some humor in the world.

I know I’m not the only person here with disablities and I wonder how you guys cope. Don’t tell me about pain pills because I’ve done them all and the trade-off — losing my mental alertness — is not worth it to me. I do indulge in Flexiril every now and then when I don’t have to drive anywhere or when limbering doesn’t work and I’m forced to have a do-nothing day. And I do use an “herbal remedy” and drink wine at night to shut up my muscles long enough for me to get to sleep. Other than that, I suffer and cope.

What do you do?

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