Fibromyalgia Affects Older People in Confusing Ways

As a woman over 60 with fibromyalgia, it’s difficult for me to figure out if a symptom I’m experiencing, such as hip pain, is related to my FM or just getting older. It’s super frustrating because I’m never sure if I should see a doctor about it or not. I know some of you understand where I’m coming from.

One of those issues is sleep. I can usually fall asleep OK (unless I’m dealing with painsomnia), but staying asleep is not so easy. If I wake up for any reason after I’ve been asleep for two to three hours, I stay wide awake for at least a few hours. Even if I sleep in later that morning, I feel like a slug for the rest of the day. My heart goes out to those of you who have insomnia. I don’t think I’d handle that very well at all.

Clumsiness seems to increase the longer I have this and the older I get. My balance is off, so I bump into walls and doorways. The longer I walk, the more I start to limp and feel off-balance. It makes me aware that people might think I’ve had too much to drink. Ever feel that way? I find myself holding onto counters, tables, and walls to keep from losing my balance. Bending over to pick up something kicks in my vertigo — a challenge I’m not fond of. I wonder how much of this is fibro and how much is just age-related.

My sensitivity to cold and humidity have increased exponentially since I’ve gotten older, which just exacerbates what I already struggle with in my journey with FM. Because of that, I find myself staying in climate-controlled environments (mostly my home). I think that’s why spring and fall are my favorite seasons. I bask in the warmth of spring and early summer. I love the coolness of fall and sitting by a fire pit in the evening. Winter is especially hard since I live in the snowy northeast.

If you’re an older woman or man with fibro, I’m interested in hearing what you struggle with. Have your symptoms gotten worse as you’ve gotten older? I know they say this is not a progressive disease, but I heartily disagree.




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