So, my fibro, which used to be an everyday, every minute thing, rarely flares nowadays. I generally get to pretend I don't have it. Yay! I have had, I reckon, less than 10 flares total in the past 2 years. It's easy to think back because my boyfriend had to get used to the fact that when I'm in a flare, touching me will make me scream. This morning, a flare came on suddenly, within minutes. As in, 5 minutes ago I as fine, now I'm not. What made it even more complex was I had just taken pain meds. After getting 3 teeth pulled recently, I've been on a regime of alternating a mixture of codeine + tylenol with diclofenac every 4 hours 'round the clock to keep my pain levels under control. This time I had taken a double dose, which I have done several times over the past few days as needed without issue. Approximately half an hour later, as I'm resting in bed, and the pain goes from 1 to 8 without warning, as I'm lying there peacefully, unmoving. And the first thought in my head was this isn't happening. This can't be real. I just took pain meds, I CAN'T be having a huge rush of pain. This makes no sense. I must not actually be feeling this. What the heck is going on?? It was in the bones of my upper chest, it was in my upper shoulders, my elbows, the outside of my throat. Everything felt so stiff, so painful. Raising my arms felt impossible, though I could do it - slowly and with great difficulty. I was fine one minute; not fine the next. And I had to remind myself: What I'm experiencing is valid. Even though we don't understand why. I did not lie in bed and make up this pain in my head. Why do I think that I did? Why am I questioning myself? Because this is the message I would get if I went to a doctor about it. I would be given the side-eye, that I must have built up a tolerance to the meds (how come they are adequately dulling my otherwise unbearable tooth pain then?). That it doesn't make sense according to their textbooks, therefore I must be exaggerating or reporting something wrong. I've heard this sort of thing so many times in the past that now I don't need anyone actually saying it. I hear their voices replaying in my head. And I'm sitting here reminding myself that no, what I'm feeling is real. What I'm feeling is valid. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America I woke up my partner to comfort me, as I felt so traumatized by this sudden onset of severe pain and stiffness. He gently attempted to touch my shoulder. Within seconds I couldn't stop myself from yelling. That confirmed to my brain reeling for answers that it was "just" a bad fibro flare, dammit. Don't doubt yourself. You know what you're feeling. I can't wait for the day when the world moves over for us to acknowledge this thing as real. In the meantime, we'll just have to do it for ourselves.