Fibromyalgia, Mornings, and Pain: Don’t Give In

Recently I’ve realized something I may have already known, but it’s struck me so profoundly I thought I ought to pass it on.

I dread mornings.  I wake up with an upset stomach, a headache, and body that hurts so badly I can barely move.  Every morning.  It is a rare occasion that I stay in bed more than one minute after my alarm sounds.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I always want to roll over, call in sick, and sleep the day away, because at least when I sleep I don’t hurt.  But the reality is the more quickly I get up and out of bed, the more quickly I feel I can function.

And here’s the point…

How many of us give in to these awful mornings?  How many of us lose resolve after a few of these miserable mornings?  How many of us choose to go back to sleep, just to escape the pain?  Isn’t the reality that such a choice is actually inhibiting our progress toward being well and pain-free?

Too many fibro folks choose to do what seems easy (roll over and go back to sleep), or even wise, and by doing so choose to feel a bit worse each day.  We take a sick day, take it easy, and skip our exercise.  And we create our own version of the reality that so many fibromyalgia and chronic pain stereotypes are based on.  We act lazy, we sleep all day, and we think no one understands.

I am not immune to such follies.  I too give in to my pain, far too often.  But since my trip to Arizona I have rededicated myself to doing what is truly best for my body… getting up, going out, and doing something.

I need to show what I can do.

I need to see myself succeed.

I need to feel my health improve.

And I firmly believe that by doing so, I can create and maintain a cycle of improvement.  I know I will face truly challenging days.  But I pray my future lows will be higher than mast highs.  Improvement is my goal.  May it be a goal we share.

So, please don’t give in the bad days.  And if you are stuck in a cycle of submitting to the mornings you think movement is an impossibility, strive for the little victories.  Set achievable goals, hold yourself accountable (to yourself, a goal, or a loved one), and tell me about your successes.  Please.  We can motivate each other.

21 Responses

  • Cinda Crawford on March 7, 2010, 22:01:31

    Hi Kate, I applaud your courage in getting out of your bed and engaging life each morning. You never know when you might fight some “thing” or someone to help you regain the upper hand over Fibromyalgia. There is hope.

    All my best, Cinda

    Reply to Cinda
  • Amy on March 8, 2010, 11:59:29

    Kate… great post! I have the same outlook about mornings as you do. I really try hard to kick my Fibro in the butt every day & not let it make me a victim! Let’s keep spreading the word on how to stay positive & active amidst a Fibro diagnosis. It CAN be done!

    Reply to Amy
  • Kris Stroscher on March 8, 2010, 13:01:29

    Hi Kate,
    Thank you for your post! I’ve never been a morning person, and when you add fibro in the mix, it can be really tough. Lucky for me (I guess?!?!), mornings tend to be better for me that the rest of the day. It’s still tough to get out of bed with Husband and Doggie laying there all comfy and fast asleep, but life awaits…

    Admittedly, getting up and going to work every day is very hard on me. It mentally and physically drains me just to get through the day, and by the time I get back home at night, I am really in a lot of pain, rather grumpy, and oh so exhausted. I don’t always remember to look at it this way, especially on the worst of days, but it is a really good, really positive thing that I get up each day, that I go to work, that I earn money to take care of our family.

    Recently, I have been having a lot of trouble with my hip. By the end of the day, it gets almost unbearable. And one of the things I try to do each night is take the dog for a short walk. We used to go around the block, but I’ve not been able to make it that far for some time now. I do get down on myself about that, and I get mad, that it’s unfair and stupid that I can’t do it. But here’s the good part. My husband is very supportive. He said to me, just get the dog on the leash and get downstairs. Even if you only walk 10 feet, you’ve won. You’ve made it outside, and you tried, and that is the success. Admittedly, it’s really hard for me to feel that victory. (I sit here and think just how lame it is that I have trouble walking around the block, or even just down the street a little bit. I wish my brain could get past that, and see the victory of the things that I can do, instead of the failures of what I can’t do) I feel especially angry and sad on those days I don’t make it far enough for the dog to do his business (Husband takes him the rest of the way when I can’t make it)… But I did make it outside, as much as I didn’t want to, or didn’t think I could. It’s a struggle, and every once in a while I don’t make it at all, but most of the time I at least give it a try. My hope is that one of these days soon, I’ll be able to get around the block again.

    Improvement is a great goal. I frequently have to remind myself that it’s a long journey, and improvement may take some time to see. The important part is to keep taking those little steps along the way, even if I only go 10 feet, that’s better than laying in bed and doing nothing.

    Reply to Kris
  • Kate Blaylock on March 9, 2010, 20:45:09

    Cinda: Thank you. I am glad you stopped by.

    Amy: I am glad you agree. I try to remember, the day will pass whether I do something or not. I might as well make good use of it.

    Kris: You are right… even 10 feet can be an achievement. Keep up the determination to improve. It’s folks like you that keep me inspired.

    Reply to Kate
  • Marchelle on March 15, 2010, 13:31:09

    Hello. I think that most people who suffers from pain of any kind, especially Fibro, should try to elevate their mind above the pain (keeps you out of being clinically depresssed). However, I am a person who has trouble sleeping and mornings are horrible on two to three hours of sleep. For the last month, I kicked Lyrica to the side and decided to try something else. I take Fibro AMJ and Fibro AMJ Night Formula…this was after watching a youtube video of someoone who stopped taking their meds and increased their supplements. This formula hasn’t stopped all of the pain or flare up. It has increased mobility and I’ve had more days this month at work than any other month in the past four years. Look it up. I’m not a morning person…that’s changing. People who are ill need sun light and Somatic exercises to help retrain the brain. This was taught in a free pain class. I hope this helps. Again, thanks for giving us hope! I cheer you on.

    Reply to Marchelle
  • Julia Fracassa on March 16, 2010, 12:11:08

    Kate: Thank you for sharing this. My mornings are hardly ever mornings, and are more often afternoons. I HATE waking up. every day that I don’t spring out of bed for work turns into another day half slept-away. I hate that almost as much as I hate getting up.
    I guess the situation is pretty unmanageable right now. I get stuck in the self-pity and then want to do even less. The annoying part is that I do want to go and live my life, but there are all these physical things standing in my way… i seriously do not know what to do anymore.

    Reply to Julia
    • Wendy Beinner on December 21, 2016, 20:35:00

      Julia, I’m reading this about five years after you wrote it. I’m in the place that you were in when you wrote it, and I’m wondering how you got yourself through, and how you did it.

      Reply to Wendy
  • April on March 18, 2010, 22:18:42

    Hi Kate,

    I found your blog a little while ago, and I am so glad that you are posting again. I pray you are doing a little better. I find that when I get up in the morning, my head is so foggy, that I need that time to adjust. I turn on the Today show first thing to get myself motivated to greet the day and then I set my alarm to go off 10 minutes after I wake up so that there is a time limit to laying there. I give myself a little grace, but have learned that laying in bed all day only worsens the pain and fatigue.

    Reply to April
  • Lynn-Marie McManus on March 26, 2010, 06:59:37

    I just happened to come across your blog today kinda by accident but am so glad I did!!! It is just what I have been needing to read!!!!

    Reply to Lynn-Marie
  • katherine good on May 24, 2010, 13:24:57


    Reply to katherine
  • Kim M. on June 12, 2010, 13:20:25


    My mom found your blog and passed it on to me. I have been struggling with fibro for two years, although I’ve had pain (migranes, back pain, neck pain, & other localized pain) for over 20 years. I just believed that’s how my body was supposed to be…in pain. While I had the localized pain, I could function and did. I worked, raised my oldest daughter, helped my ill mother, and had a very active social life. Since getting fibro, I am barely getting by. Hurting everywhere all the time is so overwhelming.

    I’ve been on so many meds that I can’t count. I resisted narcotics for many months at the beginning, but finally gave in when my husband begged me to give them a try. It took away about half the pain which was better than nothing. Also, I realized that it was the only way that I could interact with my family. Now, I take the pain meds as well as Lyrica, but only enough that I can get out of bed. Even so, I hurt all the time. The only time I’m not in pain is when I’m sleeping and even then I often dream I’m in pain.

    Last week my cardiologist suggested that I needed to go to a large city to find a center that specialized in fibro treatment and research. He wanted me to go right away because he saw how bad I was, but as a family, we had decided to take the summer off from doctors. My oldest daughter had just had a 12 week medical issue and my youngest was struggling with hearing problems. Those issues combined with mine resulted in a flurry of non-stop doctors appointments over the last three months. We actually had seven appointments in one week…ugh.

    I am at my wits end and willing to look at any avenue that has real promise. I’m sick of all the voodoo crap offered out there…drink this tea, take these supplements and you’ll be cured. I’ve done accupuncture, massage therapy, vitamins, psychiatric treatment, and am seeing an internist, cardiologist, and rheumatologist. All that and I’m still in pain. If you don’t mind, how did you end up at the Mayo Clinic in AZ? Did you have to go through a lot of testing? Did your insurance pay for the treatment?

    Thank you for anything you’re willing to share. I have to apologize in advance because I haven’t had a chance to read your entire blog so I might be asking you questions that you’ve already answered.

    Again, thank you so much.

    Reply to Kim
  • julie on August 26, 2010, 23:49:47

    Hi Kate,
    \love your attitude towards dealing with your condition, your right it’s so easy to let go and fall into the trap of giving in to it, to take the easy option. To defeat this dreaded illness you have to fight it all the way, i’m sure your positive attitude will get you through it, it’s that approach I’m using and I’m lucky to have my loving husband who gives me a gentle push when required. If you would like to read my own story and my husbands take on things check out the attached link and if you like what you see maybe we could swap URL or HTML banner if you have one.

    Reply to julie
  • C. Darkins on September 21, 2010, 01:40:08

    I was diagnosed with Fibro in 2005. But I never really felt like that was the final word. Have you always agreed with your diagnosis and if not, what was your next step? I don’t even know what to look for. I suffer from severe insomnia, pain level stays around a 7 majority of the time, chronic headaches and all the other pains, horrible evil stomach. But on the flip side, no depression, I’m pretty active (I hop out of the bed as soon as I wake up too 😀 it’s just easier than staying there). I ONLY take my pain meds when my pain is affecting my work (my job is physical and deals with glass so I can have myself having muscle spasms lol). All of my tests come back normal but I know those are all “standard” tests. If you have had them check on other things, besides lupus, RA and stuff like that, then what were they. BTW, glad you enjoyed your trip to AZ, that’s where I reside! Thank you in advance!

    Reply to C.
    • Kate Blaylock on October 3, 2010, 19:55:47

      For years I took the diagnosis as fact, as I’d waited almost five years to have a diagnosis that could lead to treatment and feeling better. More recently I’ve adopted the attitude I expressed here. Essentially, fibromyalgia is a name they give to simplify a long list of symptoms. And yes, I have those symptoms… so I accept the diagnosis.

      Much like you, I do not struggle with depression or the will to get out of bed in the morning. I am blessed to have family members and friends who keep work and home life interesting enough to will me through the tough mornings.

      My current heart medicine routine only permits up to three Tylenol a day, and NO OTHER MEDS, so I’m completely off the pain medicine. I find exercise and a routine are helping me live with my fall flare.

      As to what other tests I’ve had done that I’d recommend… it sounds like you’ve had the common ones. I am no medical expert, but I’d recommend a complete physical. I’d ask them to make sure my heart looked and sounded good and appeared to be functioning properly. I’d take a trip to a wonderful chiropractor, get some x-rays, and make sure your spine seems happy. I’d list every silly symptom, and track what causes flares, what brings relief, and how weather seems to affect how you feel. Then, after all this information gathering I’d make a plan that included steps to healthier living, correcting identified medical issues, and a heart-to-heart with a doctor you trust.

      Please keep me posted. I pray you find the answers you’re looking for.

      Reply to Kate
  • carol on January 2, 2011, 10:09:02

    I have tears in my eyes as I sit here in all over pain with fear about getting up for work. I have NEVER seen horrid mornings addressed this way and I am elated I found this. The headline alone is helpful to me.
    Thank you and I look forward to reading more.

    Reply to carol
  • LoriD on January 7, 2011, 12:34:47

    I’m so glad I found this blog. It is nice to know that the symptoms you may think are crazy or imagined, are shared with others. I had been having really bad problems with my feet. It literally feels like I’m walking on broken glass (and I sing that song every time I stand up :)) And it happens every time I stand up whether I’ve been off my feet for 2 minutes or 2 hours.
    Remember: Fibro is different for each person! I have a friend with Fibro that has to use a crutches to get around. A coworker of mine takes one pill at bedtime. That’s all. I take 9 pills before I go to bed!

    Reply to LoriD
  • CR on January 24, 2011, 21:14:16

    I’m glad I found this website! I love your positive aptitudes about how to keep up with your life regardless the amount of pain you have inside. You know, I used to be a happier person, with a smile always in my face (even thought I’m bipolar and have my crazy mood swings) but after having this debilitating condition that’s literally eating me alive. I have lost my hope in getting better, and I’m afraid to say this but sometimes I feel that I have even lost faith in God because this pain is making me become a miserable,rude, isolate person. I was not like this, I know I had my other issues (too many to mention) but the fact that there’s nothing really out there to help with this “Demon” is frustrating me even more. Knowing that I could of have had a good career in accounting, and not longer being able to due to the fibro fog (that makes you forget the information you need to retrieve at the moment you needed the most). It’s sad, depressing, devastating!
    And no one seems to understand, not even my doctor trying to make me keep taking those Lyrica good for nothing pills.
    I was once an ambitious student who liked to worked very hard towards her goals, and yes! finally achieved them, but at what cost?? look at the price I have pay right now, my life is not the same due to do all the stress that hard college level courses gave me, and on top of that taking so many credits because I was trying to speed up my graduation process.. It was all good for nothing! I’m a loser!! I have lost my dream job to be a CPA because the pain I’m in all day, and the lacks of concentration, and memory loss are not going to allow me to perform the work I should at a public accounting firm.
    I wish colleges would have more information on companies that are willing to hire good/excellent students regardless of their disabilities. You know, if an employer is aware of how an employee feels, they can at least try no to make the fimobryalgia sufferer feel like a total loser for not being able to retain some information required to performed the accounting work. Sorry for writing so much. I’m just depressed and tired! Have a good night! and thanks!

    Reply to CR
    • Kate Blaylock on January 24, 2011, 21:42:54

      No need to apologize for writing what you feel. I am so glad you found me.

      I understand the often overwhelming frustration that comes from being unable to focus and feeling misunderstood. Some days it seems the only thing that keeps me going is trying to remember it could always be worse, or worrying that I will cause someone close to me to worry even more about my health.

      And, to be honest, sometimes it seems the days I take it easy end with me feeling just as miserable as the days I work a full day, run errands, and keep busy.

      I try to find strength in my loved ones and in the fibrofolks I’ve met online.

      Sometimes I write to clear my mind.
      Sometimes I read the scriptures.
      Sometimes I pray.
      Sometimes I work out.
      Sometimes I paint my nails.

      None of us can do it alone, can we?

      Reply to Kate
  • Kirsten Robles on February 3, 2011, 16:18:52

    Oh, the cycle of going to Dr’s, taking this prescription, that prescription, dealing with this side effect versus that side effect.

    This post brought tears to my eyes. Only because it is exactly what I needed to read! There are so many mornings that I have done just the opposite of what I should be doing. Thinking to myself “why not endure the pain in bed and sleep it off?”. And thus begins the vicious cycle of depression, self-pity, the feeling of it will never get better so why bother…

    But now thanks to you and this post. I will force myself to jump out of bed, instead of hitting SNOOZE and going back to sleep.

    You are an inspiration, and I deeply truly appreciate you putting your experiences out there to the world!

    Reply to Kirsten
    • Kate Blaylock on February 3, 2011, 22:51:39

      Don’t feel badly… we all have days when we do what feels comfortable instead of playing it tough. We’re human, and we need those days sometimes.

      Thank you for your kind words. I am so glad you were able to find something that spoke to you and may help you when you feel most dreadful. I completely understand the daily struggle of wondering how you’ll make it through a day feeling so much pain… and sometimes it’s hard to use our mind over matter… but I am often amazed by what we can accomplish we do so. With that said, we also have to be careful not to overdo it and set ourselves up for an extended flare or exacerbated condition.

      Reply to Kate
  • Teri BG on September 12, 2014, 16:02:58

    Thank you for your site. I see the latest comment is in 2011 so I am not sure if your site is up and running. I left another comment regarding housework and clutter and a bit about who I am on another thread. Again thanks for putting up this web site. I have FM and CFS… and I am getting older. My disorders are made worse by the weather and so on days when I do not have the energy I try not to beat myself up by calling myself lazy… I sort of ride the storm… literally because it is right before a storm that my body seems to shut down and I feel like I have the flu. When the storm breaks i begin to recover somewhat. Humidity also sets up a time of exhaustion and aches and pains. So I dream of dry climates and mild temps. Where I live the summers are a bit humid but not as humid as the south or the east. I count my blessings. One day at a time… or hour by hour, right? Thanks. ~Teri

    Reply to Teri