What is the link between learning disabilities and fibromyalgia?

Most people don’t realize that there is a link between learning disabilities and fibromyalgia. A recent research shows that a significant percentage of people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia have a learning disability, such as dyslexia. This disability is the cause many problems such as following a conversation and finding the right words to express oneself.

A lot of these younger patients are very challenged in school situations. Dyslexia makes it difficult to read and to write. It also slows down the thinking and response process, because the child as to constantly translate words and letters in their heads. This can be very frustrating.Many of these children if not supported properly end up hating school and quitting early.

Older patients find it difficult in their jobs because they have manifestations of a learning disability. I know I have written emails to my boss only to get a reply back asking me to take a 10 minute break and try again. I once wrote lunch with all the right letters, but not one was in the right order.

When having a conversation, have tolerance if the person you are speaking with forget or change the words. I know I do this all the time. It’s particularly embarrassing when it happens with my employer or with strangers.

Are you doing your best?

“Are you doing you best?” This is a question that is often asked of people suffering from incurable chronic illnesses as if the fact that they aren’t healed is their fault somehow. I can assure you that it’s not a matter of will. No one wants to be sick. No one want to live the rest of their lives with an incurable illness. It’s not a question of choice.

People who have fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses strive every day to perform their activities with endless pain and fatigue. Every day is a battle. Every day is a challenge.

No matter how good our day may be. No matter how proud we may feel about our achievement. We know that our efforts and successes doesn’t compare with people who are healthy able-bodied.

Chronic illness

Trust me when I say that we are constantly feeling frustrated by trying to live in a healthy able-bodied person’s world, knowing that you are not functioning on the same level as everyone around you.

Some times we just keep silent because no words can explain the stuff that’s going on in our body, mind and heart. We don’t want to look like we are constantly whining either.

So to the question: “Are you doing your best?” the answer is yes.

Please do not think that they are not trying hard enough to feel good.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

I’m pretty sure you heard the adage “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” before. Most of us apply it’s wisdom in many different situation, but when it comes to invisible illnesses those words are often forgotten.

Invisible illness
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

Although I might look great today, remember that pain is something you can’t see and each person feels it differently. You cannot judge someone’s pain by their image or appearance.

Chronic pain and chronic diseases are often invisible. I’ve experienced firsthand on a number of occasions just how cruel and intimidating people can be, when they feel they have the right to challenge my invisible illnesses. Or how clueless others can be when they come to you about their regular aches looking for support as if it compared to an incurable disease and excruciating pain that never goes away.

What they don’t get is that the bad parts, the pain, the struggles, all that stuff goes on privately. Just because you can not see it, does not mean that I am not in pain.

I choose to fight for my life. Not just to survive, but to live. That is, by far, the hardest battle.

Flareups can cause an anxiety attack

The only thing that’s certain about fibromyalgia is that it’s unpredictable. When you have flareups of symptoms it can cause you to have an anxiety attack. It can make you feel like you are choking and shaking all over and every touch feels like you’ve been hit by a baseball bat.

What can cause flareups?

There are numerous things that can cause fibromyalgia flareups and sometimes it’s impossible to figure what happened. Here are the top 5 things that cause flareups:

  1. Menstrual periods;
  2. Change in temperature;
  3. Stress;
  4. Sickness, such as a cold;
  5. Activity.

Why does flareup cause anxiety attacks?

I personally get anxiety attacks because I fear the consequence of a flareup.

  • Will I lose my job because I’m taking another unscheduled day off?
  • How bad is this flareup going to be?
  • How long will this extra pain last?

I try to meditate and calm my breathing. I try to remind myself that this is something that is happening to me outside of my control and not something that I am responsible for.

Why are you grieving, you got a child in the end?

I didn’t know this at the time it happened to me.  Miscarriage isn’t uncommon. It’s been estimated that maybe up to half of pregnancies end before we know about them. 1/4 women has been were we are. I had multiple miscarriage and I can tell you, it’s one of the worst thing that can happen to someone.

I had 3 miscarriages in 4 years and then had a healthy baby. Many are surprise that I still think about the ones I lost, believing I should just be happy, I did have a healthy baby int he end. We are supposed to just snap out of it because we have a child to be thankful for.

Why there’s never a good reason why a miscarriage has happened…

Some people told me it was a good thing that it happened, because I wouldn’t want an unhealthy child. There are plenty of parents out there who were warned that their child would be born with a disorder and they still chose to have that child. Do not assume what people would or wouldn’t want.

Why you should tell people they should be grateful for having a miscarriage…

Some people told me it I should be grateful it happened in the 4th month, that it would have been worse later on. Maybe they are right, but having a child have a heart attack in your belly and have to carry it a few days until you can be schedule for the removal of said child is hell on earth.

People are constantly throwing out their opinions about how long and how deeply you’re allowed to grieve this experience. Most people are trying to help, and are just thoughtless.

If someone tries to explain to you how you’re allowed to feel right now, ignore them because that’s complete hogwash. No one can dictate to you how you are supposed to feel about anything.

Our life journeys are all unique

Each one of us has a life journey that is unique from everyone else. So it’s only logical that it’s not helpful to compare, experiences of the same condition can be wildly different.

For example, people can be have the same illness and yet have wildly different reactions and symptoms. This is why relying too much on other people’s experience isn’t recommended. I see it a lot in the various support groups. People share their bad experiences and fears. Some take that information to form their decision whether they are going to take the medication prescribed or suggested by their doctors. I always tell people no matter if my experience was positive or negative, it doesn’t mean that it will be the same for them.

Why join a support group?

Support groups bring together people who are going through or have gone through similar experiences. It’s just nice to know someone else is fighting similar inner demons and disabilities. These individuals understand you for yours too. Human connection is beautiful. This realization that you are not alone usually brings about a feeling of relief. We gain the understanding that others have similar concerns. Plus they are there to help and encourage you.

Why share your stories with strangers?

As an introvert, I’m not one to overwhelm people or create drama for the sake of being sociable. I tend to keep to myself until someone asks me how I’m doing. Depending on who asks, my response will either be “I’m fine.” or I will actually tell my story “in pieces” whenever possible. I do so simply because it’s too long a complicated to give the full story. I adapt my story, always being truthful, but only giving what the person who ask can take. So I share my story, but only the pieces the person sitting in front of me needs to hear at that moment. After all, it’s about them, not you.

Blogging - Health

I know that explaining my path through chronic illnesses, mental illnesses, parenting, careers and life in general can be a lot to process. Not everyone is ready, truly interested or able to take it all in.

I understand living with constant pain, migraines, digestion issues, crippling exhaustion, struggling to survive each day. I am living it every single day. I will live it for the rest of my life. Each day is a fight, but it’s a fight worth having.

I share my story in blog for awareness, for understanding, to show people that they aren’t alone in this and to share ideas and tips about making life easier. If being open on this blog and in person can help one more person feel less alone and more accepted then it’s all worth it.

Dealing with Memory Issues

Dealing with memory issues is never easy. There are many causes that can affect your memory. In my case, my memory is affected by chronic illness.

Imagine being in this situation. The other day, I was standing at the counter at the pharmacy. The pharmaceutical technician asked me what medication I wanted to renew. I blinked and looked at her with blank stare. My mind was completely blank. I knew the answer to her questions just a few minutes prior, but for the life of me, I couldn’t recall why I was there.

These kind of uncomfortable situations are happening more often. I hate the feeling of the blank slate. The look that people give you when you are unable to answer the simplest of question is also horrible. If you have memory issues and your young, many assume you are on high on drugs or your really stupid. I assure you, I’m neither.

Unfortunately, these situations happen too regularly.

“I came, I saw, I forgot what I was doing. I retracted my steps, got lost on the way back, now I have no idea what’s going on.” – facebook.com/WeirdPeopleRock

Am I the only one who passed a lot of time searching for things around the house. I often wonder if it is also a symptom of memory issues. I once found my headphone in a jigsaw puzzle box. How it got there is beyond me. Most of my life is spent searching for my cellphone, which is always close by.

How do you cope with or handle memory issues?

What is your biggest struggle with loving yourself?

February 13th is National “Love Yourself Day“. My biggest struggle with loving myself is the habit of putting the responsibility of everyone’s happiness upon my shoulder. Since I live in a home with 5 people, 2 who have learning disability, 3 that have mental illness issues and 3 that are teenagers and 2 have chronic health issues, happiness can be difficult to come by.  Rarely is everyone happy at the same time. Someone always seems to be struggling. Because of this, I often feel like I’m failing at motherhood, at being a wife and a human being.

I know rationally that I cannot be responsible for other people’s happiness. It’s difficult to step away from the habit especially when it has to do with my loved ones.

It’s also not the responsibility of my loved ones to be happy to make sure I’m happy.

What is your biggest struggle with loving yourself?

How to get out of your own head?

I think that, for most of us, there are times in life when it all just feel like too much. There are times when we get stuck in our own heads. I sometime get so wrapped up in trying to better the state of humanity as a whole that I overlook what’s going on with the specific people around me.

It’s important to get our of our own heads and look beyond our own thoughts. This opens us up to more like-minded people who can save the world right alongside me.

This is the top 3 tricks I use to get out of my own head:

  1. Focus on the outside. If I am home, look out the window and take a moment to really observe the surroundings. Listen to the sounds around you. Just taking a pause will help calm your thoughts.
  2. Try to focus on someone else. If I’m alone, I will text my best friend and check up on her. If I’m with my family, I will try to connect with a family member. Anything to start thinking about something else.
  3. Make a to do list. This helps put things in order in your head and it makes it easier to concentrate only on present issues instead of future ones.

What getting out of your own head doesn’t mean.

Of course, getting out of your own head doesn’t mean forgetting about the things that you care about. Don’t abandon your pet causes, of course. Personally, I want to turn my observation skill and do more active listening and watching than I’m used to. I never want to lose my rallying spirit.

Do you get caught up in your head too?

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