Friday, June 27, 2014


So yeah,

I suffer from Fibromyalgia (FMS). To the uninitiated, it is a rheumatoid condition that manifests itself as widespread, chronic pain of the muscles, joints and ligaments, as well as what I would say is the worst part of it: the fog. THE FOG!


The "fibro fog" as it is cheesily known, can range from flu-like symptoms (no flu, mind you) to simply being confused, tired, shaky, blurry vision (in my case) and total lack of concentration. I'm in the fog as I write this and my 80+ wpm typing speed has been reduced to about 20, if I'm lucky. Typos abound.

I'm writing this because I'm actually trying to get the blood flowing through my brain to see if I can conquer THE FOG!


...but seriously, this is a shitty, shitty condition that only middle-aged women and my old chef seem to understand. 90% of FMS sufferers are middle-aged women and the stigma of being a young, otherwise fit male likes to screw with almost every aspect of my life.

There are no well-documented "fibro attacks" as there are with similar (albeit much worse) conditions like multiple sclerosis, but I seem to experience "fibro attacks" with random frequency. The longest I've lived without an attack in the past ten years is four months. The last attack I had was one month ago. I was on line at the restaurant and it was like a mini-stroke. The left side of my body went numb while the right was shaking in excruciating pain. I worked through it, but as an open kitchen my customers were looking at me like I was Frankenstein's monster. My boss was very understanding, but he seemed embarrassed at the "display". I was given a break during the drama and I went out back and just cried. It wasn't even emotional, nor was it from pain. My body just lost control of itself.

FMS symptoms are brought out by stress and anxiety, both of which I used to have in spades. I've been pretty zen the past half year, in spite of my condition and various life events that would otherwise put me down. The problem I have is when I get THE FOG! I then get frustrated, stressed out and anxious, creating a vicious circle of cognitive anguish and physical pain.

I'm a cook at one of the busiest diners in Toronto. I'm a law clerk at one of the busiest firms. I'm trying to renovate my basement. I've had no time nor energy to dedicate to my own projects. I'm way overdue for some new art and design work. When FMS rears its ugly head, it ruins everything. I write this as catharsis and to help inform the ignorant and non-believing that shit is real, homie. Very real and very shitty.

If you have loved ones who suffer from this, please give them the benefit of the doubt. If you have employees or co-workers who suffer, extend patience and compassion. We are not a bunch of wimps who can't take a little pain. I'm a tough mofo; I carry a lot of scars, but THE FOG! cripples me.

I'm slowly taking steps in the right direction to better my health (firing my asshole doctor, for one) and trying my best not to use FMS as an excuse. I fight THE FOG! and the pain every day and it always wins.

One love. Thanks for reading.


PS: It's also incurable. Fun.