Fibromyalgia & Hypersensitivity


Photo by drweisgerber

I was nestled into my seat, my head rhythmically bopping as I lulled in and out of sleep, when the sharp perfume on the boarding passenger shot up my nose like a bullet, and went straight to my head.

I blinked and swallowed profusely as my system took in the shock.

A sudden migraine set in, my entire face was throbbing, and I was more than a tad irritated.

What the hell kinda poisonous fumes is she wearing? – might have been my thought had I not known any better.

But I did know better and the fault wasn’t hers, or the perfume designer (I think :-/)

It was fibromyalgia’s, and its characteristic of making its sufferers hypersensitive in the most annoying of ways.

When living hurts

People with fibromyalgia have increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals.

Because of this, things that should not normally be painful, tend to be for us. For many fm patients, this sensitivity affects all of our senses.

Noises, for instance, a dog barking, a blaring TV, or boisterous people often sound like they’re playing right next to my ear, triggering an instant migraine.

The smell of certain chemicals like some cleaning products, and perfumes result in discomforting pain. Bright lights, and changes in the seasons can all cause alarming discord in my system.

I endure the most suffering when the seasons change or there are sudden changes in temperature. I’m afflicted with the most excruciating pains and my muscles go sore. The migraines are more frequent and my levels of debilitating exhaustion become near unbearable.

These are the times I’ve had to endure pains in my feet so excruciating, that it is too agonizing to walk. So I limp. And when I can’t limp, I just don’t leave my bed.

Then there’s feeling super cold when it’s hot and unbearably hot when it’s cold!


Still, probably my most annoyance lies with hypersensitivity to touch.

I’ve heard some sufferers call FM the condition where even hugs hurt. And it’s so true.

How rotten is that when something meant to bring comfort should result in pain?

It’s really saddened me at times when I couldn’t even take a tight hug from a loved one or romp about with my younger cousins without wincing in pain. Or worse yet, inflict tickles on someone I love, without fearing the onslaught of their attack because it will likely hurt me somewhere.

Massages hurt. So did acupuncture.

Let’s be honest now, that rules out much of anything playful, therapeutic or kinky (we are being honest now!)

Yep it’s annoying.

What is it to see, smell, hear, taste and touch after all?

It is to live.

Fibromyalgia is the condition where it hurts to live.

Gentle hugs as you plod on in this uphill battle  🙂

3 Replies to “Fibromyalgia & Hypersensitivity”

  1. This is really interesting to read and kind of soothing to find you talk about your senses and it could be me you are talking about. I don’t think fm sufferer’s realise the extent that it affects them sometimes and practitioners certainly don’t. I have a high tolerance to local anesthetic and have had three operations done under local in the past four years, the pain has been indescribable even though the medical doctors performing the op tell me I can’t feel anything, it’s all in my mind! I think not is my response!

    1. Hi Joolz,
      Thanks so much for your comment:) I really appreciate what you’ve said. Before I started talking to other sufferers, I had simply assumed many symptoms I had were unrelated to fibromyalgia. Not understanding why my system went crazy at the smell of some cleaning products for instance and I never connected the dots until I heard other sufferers describing their experiences and they sounded like me. I hate it when doctors suggest it’s all in our minds. I’m happy you were firm because the truth is the confusion is in their minds, not ours. Gentle hugs 🙂 xx

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