You hear this statement many times that everyone is different. Yet when something is wrong people suddenly forget that not one person on this earth is the exact same. Especially when you have health issues, people forget that not everyone is the same. How do I know this? Well it’s pretty simple- I have people come up to me all the time saying -why don’t you just walk more, my friend did that and her fibromyalgia is so much better. Well, I am different from your friend. Our fibromyalgia isn’t the same and I have more going on than fibromyalgia. I am glad it works for your friend, but our bodies are different, so walking for me means pain and swelling and falling. Another example of when people forget you are different is when they say – well my friend who has this illness cut gluten completely out of her diet and she barely has any pain. Well I am happy for your friend but that isn’t my problem, so cutting gluten won’t help me and I have already tried. Everyone always praises how great it is that we are different, it’s what makes us unique. Teachers say it to the kids, it’s mentioned in churches, its mentioned on social media, and so many more platforms; but when something is wrong with you its suddenly not okay to be different. You get criticized, yelled at, talked about, etc.. all because something doesn’t work for your body. That is not okay. It is okay to be different. We should not get ridiculed because our bodies don’t respond to something that worked for someone else. If everyone was the same the world would be a boring place. Could you imagine if all actors and actresses were the exact same? Movies would get incredibly boring, at least in my opinion. If all singers were the same and had the exact same style and wrote the same songs again extremely boring. We crave uniqueness and differentials, so why do we become so quick to squash that?
It is okay to be different
Auto-immune diseases and chronic diseases would be so much easier for doctors to diagnose if we all presented the EXACT same symptoms. Did you know that not one person with Fibromyalgia has the exact same Fibromyalgia as someone else? Just like if you have lupus another person won’t have it just like you. As doctors explain it you are your own tiny thumb print which makes it so difficult to diagnose and treat. These diseases are grouped into symptoms you may experience and the severity ranges from person to person as well as the course of the disease. The treatments and how your body responds to medicines and treatments is going to be different too. My doctors don’t get mad at me for being different. We joke that I am a mystery and a hot mess because sometimes you just have to laugh at the little things and you get to know your doctors pretty well. However, they don’t get mad at me when a medicine doesn’t work the way it was supposed to, or the fact that the longer I have had this – new things keep arising that they have to diagnose also. They want to help and figure this out. After watching Lady Gaga’s new documentary on Netflix she briefly touched on chronic pain. She took some pills, got some shots; which included trigger point injections. Lady Gaga had released in a tweet earlier that she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I am not glad they have Fibromyalgia as I wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone. The reason I am glad is because they have a huge platform to raise awareness. However, I remember when she announced it I had this fear that people would start comparing her to me and that whatever treatment she tried I would be asked if I tried that. I was scared of people being upset with me because I was different. One of the differences is I can’t have trigger point injections like Lady Gaga did. I am glad she was able to do that and I am happy for her if it works. I hear of other people getting trigger point injections too. However, my doctors have talked about it but decided that it wouldn’t be wise for me to do that. It’s a simple explanation really. At first I was so disappointed they didn’t want me to have pain relief but when they explained their thinking I got it. Basically the explanation is trigger point injections would actually be worse for me, because they just mask the pain – they don’t actually treat it, so I would feel pain relief and walk and do somewhat normal things, but then I would shortly go into a bigger flare-up because the pain is still there as it didn’t go away it was just masked. So I am different and that is okay. I am glad that I am different because trigger point injections would hurt me worse and that is not what I would want. I know some people who get a lot of opioids and pain medicines I am not saying anything against it -my doctors just said you are different and that’s not how we are treating you because it will do you more harm then ever help you. I was glad my doctors were recognizing differences instead of forcing me to be the same as all of their other patients. This being different goes along with grief also. No one grieves the same. For instance when my Dad died everyone who knew him grieved differently and no one said a word about it because it was okay to be different. We all missed him and loved him dearly but we grieved differently because we all had different relationships with him. So the next time you want to say something to someone just remember what might work for you is going to be different for anyone else. So today celebrate the fact that you are different because its okay and its a good thing. You make the world a better place by being different!
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14