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Midnight: woke up with severe muscle pain, took a Tylenol.
2:15 a.m.: Increased pain in arms, thighs, upper chest; felt pain “all over.” Took a tramadol.
5:15 a.m.: Still hurting, took another tramadol.
5:45 a.m.: Got up, still hurting. Very tender to a light touch in upper and lower arms, upper chest, thighs, and calf.
During these hours I slept only lightly and briefly. Felt terrible.
I began my usual morning routine: put away dishes, wiped down counter tops, made coffee and oatmeal. Ate breakfast, no sugar. Took usual supplements and medication. This moving around and using my muscles eases the pain, and by 6 a.m. I was feeling better. There was some pain but not to the extent as in the middle of the night. That was an all over deep pain that is characteristic of a “flare up.”

Background: Last Saturday night my brother Bob passed away. He had been ill for some time, and this was expected. However, the mind does not recognize the coming death, and only when death comes do you feel shock and disbelief. I began the usual signs of grief – disbelief, sadness. Tuesday I saw my priest because I was a total mess. I could not concentrate, was confused, and needed to talk to someone. He knew exactly what to say and what to do, prayed with me “his favorite prayer” for the repose of the soul and peace for his loved ones. He told me to go about my life, don’t expect too much of myself, and as soon as I was among family I would begin to heal. What a wise and sweet man he is. He gave me a huge bear hug before I left.

Now it is Thursday, and I will be leaving for Portland for a simple grave site service Friday morning in Livermore. Our family has had a plot at Lakeside Cemetery for several generations. I don’t know who will attend, but it will be good to be among other mourners.

It helps to write about this, but especially noteworthy is the fibromyalgia flare up. I write about that in order to further educate about this mysterious illness. I have noticed that stress brings on symptoms; therefore, it is not surprising that the day I am to travel north to bury my brother I would awake with the horrible aches and pains that nothing except time relieves. Tramadol usually helps – it is a strong prescription medication – but deep breathing and Move With Balance routine helps quite a lot. Routine exercise and stretching is always recommended.

I will leave the house soon, confident that the pain and fatigue will soon dissipate. I hope this brief article will help others who experience stress and flare ups. Do the normal things, light exercise and diet, walk, rest your mind, meditate. All these will help.