Leaving them alone Sometimes solitude helps

Sometimes, having company is great. And other times, it's not so great, like when you feel sick, cranky, overtired, and so forth. Normally, your loved one would love to spend time with you. But when her FMS symptoms flare up, sometimes company is just too much to bear.

Lorna has fibromyalgia, and she wishes people would understand that she doesn't want them to try to "fix" her (she already knows that they can't). Instead, she wishes they'd just leave her alone when she has a flare-up of her FMS symptoms. Lorna says she does so much better by going into "hibernation" for the few days when her symptoms are really acting up. Afterward, she emerges, much more congenial with her family and friends.

So how do you know when to steer clear of your friend or family member who has fibromyalgia? Usually, it's not that hard to tell, when you know somebody. But here are some indicators:

1 Your friend doesn't make eye contact. He could be angry or upset with you — or he could be exhausted or in pain.

1 Your loved one has a slumped-over posture and a dejected appearance. You think she may be depressed, but she says that she's "just tired" — and she may really mean it.

1 Your family member is responding in one-word answers and doesn't seem to be "here." He may want to be alone.

1 Your loved one asks you the same questions repeatedly. She may be deep in a fibro fog (a temporary lack of concentration — a symptom of FMS) and may need some downtime alone at home.

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