How do you tell people?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/7/2009 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
That you have fibromyalgia when you're a teen. I dont want people to feel sorry for me but i always have to make up lame excuses as to why sometimes i get 'sick' randomly. Do you feel embarrassed of fibro? How do I tell my boyfriend?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/7/2009 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I didn't get sick until I was in my late 20's. I believe that being honest with people makes it easier. This way they know you have a real reason when you have to cancel on them.

For some people, the reason won't matter. They'll never understand why sometimes you are fine, laughing and energetic, and other times. you can barely move or smile. These are the people that are harder to deal with. It doesn't make them bad people, but it can make your life harder if there are too many of them or if they are family members or your teachers or boss.

Some people have the flexibility to deal with us, others don't.

As for your boyfriend, be prepared to tell him how fibro affects your life and how it will affect your relationship. Be honest with him. Never use your pain or fatigue as an excuse to treat him poorly. Don't expect him to read your mind, he won't know how you feel until you tell him.

And last, but not least, try really, really, really hard not to show your annoyance when he's asked you how you feel for the 10th time that day.

Nana Monster
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 949
   Posted 9/7/2009 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
  How old are you? I was in my teens when I started hurting bad. It couldn't be growing pains cause I capped
out at 5' tall. I started with the arthritis when I was 7. My granddaughter is now 13 and is complaining
of joint and muscle pain. She's had arthur since she was 9 and it's taken over most of her upper torso.
Back then we didn't know anything about fibro.
                Nana Monster

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17061
   Posted 9/7/2009 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Wanda, and welcome!  As the other members have said, sometimes, no matter what you say, people don't understand.  But you can try to explain a little about fibromyalgia.  We have a good thread you should read...Fibro 101.  It's the first thread on the forum.  There are links to good information about fibromyalgia.  The more you know about your illness, the better able  you are to explain it to others.  One of the links is called The Spoon Theory.  This has helped many to explain what it is like to have fibromyalgia.
I'm so sorry that you have this illness...especially since you are young.  But, we can help you to live a full and enjoyable life with fibromyalgia.  Our members share what they do to help themselves so you can learn a lot here.  Don't hesitate to ask questions because we are here to help you.
I'm so glad you found us and joined in.  I hope to hear more from you soon.
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 9/7/2009 11:46 PM (GMT -6)   
try telling them you have an illness very similar to chronic fatigue syndrome. Most people know about cfs so may be a little more appreciative of the difficulties you're facing.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 9/8/2009 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wanda!
I chose not to tell anyone about my Fibro. I, like you, did not want anyone treating me differently and I felt like it made me vulnerable.
There are certain peopel that ned to know. My mother, father, wife, and my immediate supervisor at work. I simply try not to put myself in a position that makes my FM an issue with those who are not in the know.
You will find out how your body reacts to certain things with your FM and will be able to have a better feel for what you can "pull off" successfully.
I have found that the pain is worth the reward when it comes to family time and other not too strenuous activities. Keep a moderate exercise program and you will be better for it. You can condition yourself to tolerate more activity and enjoy more things.
Good luck!
Do not let FM get you down! You can and will have a great life ahead of you!
Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us. {Earl Nightingale} 
Fibro since 2005

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 673
   Posted 9/8/2009 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Wanda, I am sorry that you are going through this. I want to welcome you to the Fibromyalgia forum. I am really glad that you have found us. I agree that you should check out the Fibro101 thread. It is a really good one. The Spoon Theory is a great help when trying to explain that you have fibro. In my opinion, I would get some research on your illness and show that and The Spoon Theory to your boyfriend. Let him know that you are the same person but there are just some things that you can't do much of. You have to take care of yourself. I really wish you the best of luck with this. I know that I had a hard time telling my family that it was confirmed that I had fibro. My sister still doesn't fully believe me. It's hard. But, you need to make the decision as to who to tell and who to keep in the dark. Good luck hon. Take care. Keep us updated.
'Cause when push comes to shove
you taste what you're made of.
You might bend til you break
'cause it's all you can take.
On your knees you look up
decide you've had enough.
You get mad.
You get strong.
Wipe your hands
shake it off.
Then you stand.
-"Stand" by Rascal Flatts

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 9/8/2009 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wanda. I had to bring my doubting family to my doctor appointments a couple times so they could really see the exam, exactly where I hurt, and ask any questions they had right to the doc. That helped a lot. Even for one of my sisters to see what I was like after the rheumatologist whaled on all my triggers, and I felt sick to my stomach from the pain.

My boyfriend is a little different - he understands the illness but gets frustrated by the everyday, how sometimes I feel okay and sometimes I am little off and sometimes I can't get out of bed. Yesterday we fought all day because we started to go on a drive and I got anxiety and had to go home before I had a full on panic attack. (Which I did anyway!) I think acceptance of your fibro by others happens in layers, as people see the many different types of symptoms. Be honest. I told my supervisor about it, gave her a brochure and a printout of the symptoms from this website, and explained that altho I don't have all of them, I have most of them, and can have them at any given time, or all at once, and that the type of pain I had and location of the pain changes continuously. I put it to her in terms of what i can do all the time, and then terms of what I can't do all the time, being positive instead of negative. At work I try to be the best employee I can be to make up for the days I can't be there. I think that being honest is the only way. Good luck and come here often. It helps.
And yes, I get embarrassed sometimes. I am still coming to terms with it (I'm 41) and I get embarrassed when people look at me as I use the electric push-button to open the door instead of the handle, because my elbow hurts too much to pull the door open. I see people give me "the look" if I speak while I'm in the fibro-fog, the look that says, "Umm... what are you talking about??" And I get embarrassed when I feel different. But I'm never ashamed, because it's not my fault.

Post Edited (Littleneck) : 9/8/2009 4:22:01 PM (GMT-6)

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