Why do some people often cancel plans?

There are numerous reasons why people cancel plans. Your friend may be an introvert or have social anxiety issues. She or he could also be living with an invisible chronic illness. Therefore, if a friend cancels plans be patient, it may not be out of rudeness, but out of necessity.

Introvert - social anxiety - fibromyalgia
Why do some people cancel plans more often than others?

As an Introvert, I am always wishing for quality alone time to fill up my internal battery. Being home alone feels so thrilling! It feels like the world is mine and the opportunities are endless. It’s an open-ended, a blank slate kind of day.

As someone with social anxiety, it can be incredibly enervating and draining to be surrounded by people.

As someone diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses, I struggle with low energy.  Sometimes the nature of the disease can unleash crises that prevent the development of their daily lives.

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 I can’t take public transport

I used to take public transport everywhere until I started battling multiple chronic illnesses. My struggle with my body and my health makes public transport inaccessible. You really don’t realize how inaccessible the world is until you need it to be accessible for you.

The transit system is failing its customers with disabilities and it’s even worst when you have an invisible disability. People look at you and think you are healthy and/or faking because you are lazy and want a seat. They don’t see someone who can’t stand or walk for very long. They don’t see someone who can’t hold themselves in place in a moving vehicle. If the bus or metro stops, my legs won’t hold me up. I will fall and hurt myself.

We shouldn’t be so quick to judge someone by appearance. Just because we don’t look disabled doesn’t mean our bodies are capable of much. Or that we aren’t in a ton of pain or feel so sick we almost can’t stand it. Many of us have just become really good at making it look normal.

Don’t assume that everyone who look healthy is healthy. Do not question someone who says they medically cannot do a task. That person is already struggling with guilt over what they think they should be able to do and it’s humiliating to be called out by strangers who don’t believe them.

Getting a cold when you have a chronic illness

I have a cold. It’s winter. It’s the season. Normal, right?

I also have multiple auto-immune illnesses. This means that I’m more at risk when it comes to getting sick. People who have chronic illnesses are more likely to experience complications such as pneumonia and even to be hospitalized.

Cold - Flu - Chronic IllnessI have a cold. Like all colds it’s affecting my nose, my throat and my lungs. I also have asthma, which complicates things when it comes to illnesses that affects my breathing. For anyone suffering from asthma, if you do catch a cold, asthma means your symptoms may be more severe. This is because you already have swollen and sensitive airways.

I have a cold so my nose and sinuses are blocked. This means that I can’t use my CPAC machine which helps me sleep. Sleep Apnea gives me migraines.When I take migraine medication, I need to sleep. I can’t sleep because I can’t use my CPAC. Do you see the the vicious circle here.

I have a cold. This triggers a flare up in my Fibromyalgia symptoms. My aches and pains are much worst than usual.

My goal is not to complain, but to show that getting a cold when you have one or multiple chronic illness is never just having a cold.

Sometimes there isn’t a cause

When I have a flare up in my symptoms I often hear the following comments:

  • “But it’s sunny outside, you should be feeling good!”
  • “Did you over do it yesterday?”
  • “What was the cause?”

My employer expects me to plan my flare ups in advance so that they aren’t caught of guard. If I did know that ahead of time, I would steer clear of just about anything that could set my body off. Sometimes, I just wake up and I don’t know if it is just a bad day or the start of weeks or months of debilitating pain.

Don’t quit

No matter what is your situation in life, whether you are fighting a chronic illness or mental illness or both, life can sometime feel like a burden and each day can feel like a challenge.

My struggle often makes it a challenge just to get myself to work in the morning and it can feel as if each interaction is a struggle. Each word you speak is a drain on my supply of energy.

Like most people, I have a sense of accomplishment when I finish what I start. This used to be a lot easier before mental and physical health issues made a permanent home in my body. I am still fighting never give up never surrender.

“You might be sad because you’ve been through a lot, but you should also be proud of yourself for being strong enough to make it through it.” – Unknown

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