22 02 2013

Friends of fibroblobs hear “I’m sorry; I can’t make it,” a lot. It breaks our hearts to say it, & we know we’re probably hurting your feelings. You only have one Christmas party a year, or one birthday, or one bar mitzvah. And we really wanted to go. We tried. But we also fell asleep while putting on our mascara. We fell on the way to the car. We couldn’t turn the key in the ignition, & our right leg cramped as we tried to pump the gas peddle.

We realize we’re pains in the ass. Please don’t stop inviting us.

“But how come you were able to go to The Who? The opening night of The Hobbit? Jenny’s tea party?” We were well then. We may actually have been kind of unwell, but we’d flaked on all those people before, so we slogged through it. Or we paid for a ticket or the friend was in town only one night. We’d already missed too much work, so we made it through the day & crashed upon getting home. We overdid it. Now we’re missing the pleasure of your company.

It is never personal. Sometimes we’ve shown up to things with you while in tremendous pain, but the fatigue wasn’t so bad that day, so we just dealt with it. People I talk to with fibromyalgia almost invariably tell me it’s not the pain that keeps them home (most of the time), it’s the fatigue. Imagine being in a 25mph car accident, but also not sleeping for two nights. That’s us in flare.

I’m very lucky in that I manage my disease well with diet, exercise, & prayer. There is not a damned thing I can do about the weather, horrible LA traffic, or overwork. Fridays I am almost a guaranteed no-show, as I’ve been at work all week & I have nothing left. Sometimes if a thing is close by, I can do it for a short time. Sometimes I will come, but I’ll be late. So please don’t stop inviting us. We’ll always try super hard.

Even if you say you don’t care what state we’re in, remember I have to think of my safety & the others around me on the road. Even if I get a ride, will the other people there understand that I just want to die & am not actually a bitch? If you remember me as that super fun girl who danced for an hour at the last girls’ night, will you want to see me as a decrepit crone?

If we tell you we have a flat tire or a family emergency, that’s the truth. It’s not a fibro excuse. We trust our friendship enough to tell you “I’m so sorry; I can’t make it. I am sick today.” You don’t have to understand. We in fact pray you never will.

If you do want a brief introduction to what it feels like to have a chronic illness, this is a fantastic and well known story by someone with lupus. It applies to MS, fibro, RA, & CFS, too.




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