Often in the middle of the night very small problems can seem enormous.
Part of the problem is that when we are lying totally still, sore or achy bits are more obvious. No longer are there the distractions that are there in the daytime and our focus comes to bear on the things that are troubling us. The other problem is that we are in a sleepy state, in the change-over between consciousness and sub-consciousness and the issues that we have been able to suppress during the day come back to the forefront of our minds.
I have found that with the restless leg syndrome associated with fibromyalgia this is compounded. Also, I have achy feet from arthritis that don’t seem to trouble me in the daytime. My feet seem to be very hot and sometimes swell at night. I think I may find benefit in going to bed with an ice pack. Sometimes the cross-over between rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia can be confusing. Often it is difficult to discern just which condition is at play. Mostly it is both together, as each aggravates the other.
The strange thing that has occurred for me this week is that I broke a toe in the middle of the night whilst stumbling around in the dark. Oddly, given a couple of days to settle down after it had been strapped up, it has given me little grief at night, but the other toes and whole feet in general have. To me this puts into perspective just what people affected by arthritis and fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses put up with. We get used to these little discomforts and it is only when compared with a more common injury that we remember just how much we are affected, but have come to accept as “normal”.
During the daytime I have recently had very little pain, as described in my book “Living Happily in Defiance of Illness” I have minimized the effect that arthritis and fibromyalgia have on me and have only had the odd symptom in times of stress. Pain just sneaks in there at night. Although pain is probably too strong a term for it, it is really just discomfort or aches amplified by the still of the night, as it has not warranted the use of pain medication. In fact, it has not even been bad enough to stir me out of my bed to seek an ice pack.
The most important thing is to stay calm, remind yourself that small things can be blown out of proportion at night-time. Soft soothing music, meditation or aromatherapy can help, as can ice packs or extra pillows. These may act more as props to soothe your mind, rather than to physically soothe your body, but it is the end result that counts.
What symptoms trouble you at night? Do you find that little discomforts that can be ignored in the daytime are amplified at night? I would be interested to hear your comments. Please leave me a message at the bottom of this page.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more articles that I have written I invite you to visit my website www.defianceofillness.co.nz
I am a survivor from a number of illnesses, including Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I live happily in defiance of illness with my family on a kiwifruit orchard near Tauranga, New Zealand, living the life I love and doing the things I enjoy and believe are important.
I am the author of “The Crystal Diary” written about my late daughter, published in April 2012. “Living Happily in Defiance of Illness” was published in August 2012, it is healing guidebook for people affected by chronic illness. Both books are available in printed format and the Defiance book is available in EBook format for instant download 🙂