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A Day in the Life of an Adult With Fibromyalgia

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 31 May 2018 |
A Day In The Life Of An Adult With Fibromyalgia

Erica is 50 and has had fibromyalgia syndrome for about 15 years, though it was only diagnosed nine years ago.

“My first GP was very sympathetic but wasn’t very helpful – I had all kinds of tests and he couldn’t find anything specific wrong – they suggested rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. However, I changed GP when I moved and my new one knew straight away what it was, and has been really helpful, trying different drugs and other therapies, and advising me on exercise and relaxation. She’s even been helping me with coping strategies for the pain – she referred me for cognitive behavioural therapy and that has made quite a difference.

It’s ten in the morning and I’m off to work. I’ve been able to keep my job in an office, but I have had to reduce my hours. Luckily, I’ve been able to get by on less money, but some of my friends with fibromyalgia syndrome have lost their jobs and have had to go onto benefits, and they are really struggling. But then again I have friends (some people call themselves ‘fibromites’) with fibromyalgia syndrome who hold down a full time job, with occasional time off and some days working at home.

It really depends how bad your symptoms are and how good your managers are. Fibromyalgia Syndrome does leave my brain in a bit of a fog some days, and I cope with making lots of lists and notes. The number of yellow sticky notes around my computer makes everyone laugh, but it keeps me going some days.

Lunchtime. Some of my colleagues are going out shopping but I’m just too tired today. I’m going to have a lie down in the sick bay during my lunch hour – my fibromyalgia syndrome sometimes makes me really tired, and a quick nap can be just enough to get me through the afternoon.

There are some days that I really can’t make it out of the house, but my colleagues and boss are really understanding. Sometimes I can make the time up but occasionally I have to take a day off sick. I did have one colleague who got a bit stroppy about my days off sick, but I explained all about the disorder and what it involved, and she’s actually started fund raising for the Fibromyalgia Association UK!

There are many things I can’t do any more – I used to run marathons and some days I can’t even walk to the end of the road – and that is very frustrating, but I try to find other things to keep me fit and busy. They’re just not as energetic as the things I used to do!

It’s four in the afternoon and I’m going swimming. The pool where I swim is quite warm, and I find the water supports me. Exercising makes me feel so much better, and helps me sleep.

Two in the morning, and I’m awake. I’m not sleeping very well at the moment – poor sleep is very common in fibromyalgia syndrome. There have been times when I’ve been really depressed with fibromyalgia syndrome, and that’s always worst in the small hours of the morning. My family have been really supportive, and I’ve started taking an antidepressant to help my sleep – and I guess as a side effect it might help my mood too! I’ll read a book for a while and then I should drift off."

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[Add a Comment]
@Mir - it's the constant pain that really affects me and the fact that I feel so very tired all the time. It is a horrible illness I just wish people would understand. I'm sure people always think people who suffer with it are overweight with bad diets. Three years ago I ran a half marathon - now I can't run to the end of the room :(
May - 1-Jun-18 @ 12:47 PM
I have read all the other statements ,and it is all the symptoms that I have and suffer with . This problem is so debilitating , that sometimes I just feel like ending it all .
Mir - 31-May-18 @ 7:48 PM
Hi only another sufferer can understand, it's like your being pushed down by an invisible force when you cannot carry on any longer with a task that would have taken no time at all. When I go to the doctor they seem to think well its the condition. What worries me is that I will have something else wrong with me and it will get missed because they put everything down to firomyalgia. I have just had a frozen shoulder and I was worried about going to the dotors to be told the same. I am on antidepressants I tried to come off them but the pain and lack of sleep have made me go on them again. I sleep but have trouble trying to wake up it takes me such a long time but I have to say it's worth it. I also get fed up with myself having to say I'm not upto that today, or I have to sleep now. I love the good days I'll look forward to more of those.
Gill - 30-Nov-13 @ 11:39 AM
I had to quit working over six years ago. I feel like Ive been beaten up over and over! It burns and hurts to write or type a couple of words at a time.When the weather changes to rain or alot of humidity I feel stiff all over and I live in WA state so it rains alot so I am miserable all the time. If I do to many chores I end up in bed for a day or more. My family and friends think I just don't push myself and thats far from the truth I push myself everyday just to be able to get out of bed! They forget how I was such a workaholic before this slowed me down. Its so depressing!
roseylisa - 29-Jul-11 @ 4:04 AM
How weird, just reading the article was like reading about my life, it is so nice to know I am not alone and that I am not going insane! I can so relate to everything Erica has written.
liz - 15-Apr-11 @ 9:09 AM
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