Fibromyalgia · pain awareness art

Sound the Alarm


It was like I was putting out a fire; I was herding and scooping and splashing the painfully slow-rising tub water with my arms and hands and dumping it all over my body in a frenzy. The water was near scalding yet not hot enough, and the sloshing echoed endlessly within my head as I wished I had someone to help dump boiling water on me.

It all started after my chiro appointment, the most recent of many aimed at fixing my back. I went in walking like a t-rex and left walking like heaven, so when the tingling started in my lower back I thought it was good.

As I drove, the tingling went to my legs and began to feel urgent. When my legs started to hurt I knew I was in trouble. But then they began to feel like I was running through the flames of hell…

I describe my worst fibro flare as someone ripping off my skin and scrubbing my nerves down with steel wool. That was happening, but with added hot sauce, restless leg syndrome, and extreme urgency – all poured into the mold of “GET ME THE HELL OUT OF THIS CAR AND OUT OF TRAFFIC AND INTO A HOT TUB *NOW* BEFORE I KILL SOMEONE!!!”

I started deep breathing that reminded me of giving birth to my son. I began chanting a mantra to calm myself, “I’m almost home, I’m almost home, I’m almost home,” but as the traffic continued to not care about my efforts my mantra became “Move!! Move!! MOVE!!!”

It was a 7 alarm fire in hell.

I got in the door and stripped down and jumped in the tub. After the frenzied water flinging, I began to relax and sink into the water…

And that is when I began to see smells. I inhaled the scent of hot water and, suddenly, a colored aura in the middle of my field of vision appeared.

I got myself into bed and passed out in my birthday suit since I was too exhausted to redress. Thankfully, I woke up 4 hours later feeling pretty good.

But honestly, I have never felt such intensity in my body in my entire life. It was awful, and scary, and very concerning.

But thankfully, in true fibro fashion, it disappeared.


5 thoughts on “Sound the Alarm

  1. Oh my you have captured not only with words but with pictures too the intense pain of fibro.It’s a living hell,inside my head I scream with pain sometimes too much to bear but noone sees the pain and they cant begin to understand the torture of it. One minute my arms are too much to handle the next hour its my back people look like I’m mad but i’m not. Thank you for being there and being real x

  2. Sometimes I hurt so bad that I can’t find words to describe it. It’s wonderful to find those words with someone who really feels them too. Nobody else knows, so thank you…..although I’,m very sorry that you too are in great misery. Feel better for a bit if you can. I overdid it at physical therapy Monday and my lower left back feels like someone is punching me with a fist there, repeatedly. Even my moist heat won’t ease it up — AND it’s gonna rain, plus I’m taking my mother a birthday cake at the nursing home she went into earlier this year.Then I’ll come home and fix supper, then have a dr. appt tomorrow, more p.t. Friday (maybe?!)…hey, when does this end? NEVER!! Bring on more art!! 🙂

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