Recently I was asked to discuss the nuisances of having Fibromyalgia that one would not necessarily find in a book, research writings, etc. As our discussion of FMS moved along, this person asked to just speak on the phone or do a live web chat. At that moment, what this person was seeking became perfectly clear to me: Fibro Secrets.
What are Fibro Secrets?
Those of us with Fibromyalgia are indeed a quirky bunch. We deal with symptoms and issues we are hesitant to even share with one another, let alone doctors, researchers, etc. After all, they seem to struggle just accepting our pain, fatigue, mental fogginess, and mood symptoms. If we talk about much more than those issues, we fear losing credibility. Thus, there exists our Fibro Secrets. Every time I have opened up about a few of my own, I have had multiple people tell me how relieved they are to know that they are not the only one!
What are these Fibro Secrets?
There are several, so I am going to make this a series of blogs in which I share my "Big Three". I call them that because of how difficult they were to ever discuss with anyone and/or because of how many people who I have told that have basically replied with, "Well, that is just nuts!"
Meshea's Fibro Secret One: I hate talking on the phone!
Also taking the award for The Most Eye Rolls Ever, this is my best known Fibro Secret. In fact it is so well known that to still call it a secret is very misleading. I continue to do so because I know many others are still hiding how they really feel about talking on phones. At nearly every conferences or fibroLIFE event I have attended, I saw the proverbial weight of the world seemingly lift off the shoulders of several around me when I have said, "And I do not talk on the phone!"
Immediately, I hear, "It is not just me?" or "My family thinks I am nuts when I tell them this!" I laugh and reply, if someone I know well sees my name come up when their phone rings, they do not bother with "Hello". Instead, they answer the call with, "What's wrong?" I always here a chorus of "Me too! Me too!"
Next, I am always asked why I think we are like this. I can only answer for myself. For me, talking on the phone is exhausting. I have to put energy into sounding like my usual, perky self--of being "on". Texting and emails do not require this surge of my limited energy. Plus, if my words come out wrong, backwards, or if I have to pause to even find them, texting and email does not give that away either.
I talk to my boys, my husband's children, and my husband every time they call and I actually will call them on my own. I answer most calls from Momma, Daddy, and my in-laws. If I am not up to talking, I call them back as soon as I am, and they are very aware of this. I also call them sometimes on my own. I have some other people that simply do not text or do email that I will answer the phone for as well. When business absolutely requires it, I do my best to handle the calls. But everyone else who knows me knows that if I call them, I am putting forth a special effort. It may take me a week to find a time that I feel well enough to call for a doctor's appointment. Sometimes I am not sure which is worse: when the power goes off or the phone call I have to make to report it!
The things I must do each day exacerbate my symptoms and wear me out enough. I do not like being even more tired, having more anxiety, and thus more pain and fogginess over talking on the phone when there are perfectly good alternatives. For those who do not have FMS, I certainly realize this sounds ridiculous. That does not change my reality, however, therefore, for many years this was one of my Fibro Secrets. I now discuss if openly because I have seen how much I have helped others in doing so.