I am a
This article breaks some barriers and isolation of living with a chronic and invisible illness as a
What is Fibro/CSS?
Fibromyalgia is a Central Sensitization Syndrome (CSS). It is a condition that presents mainly in women 20-50 years of age and can also occur in children and men. Some people prefer only to use CSS in referring to their illness as it more clearly specifies the involvement of the Central Nervous System (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, nerves, and spinal cord and therefore opens our minds to the true whole-body complexity of the illness. When the CNS is hyper-sensitized, the body-to-brain messengers (neurohormones) have communication failures and changes. Our pain messengers (substance P) are increased, leading the body to register and feel pain from everyday use of the body and surrounding stimuli – for some even a cool breeze, lightings, cold or hot temperatures, strong/chemical smells, clothing textures and food sensitivities can be read and therefore experienced as real pain.
Other neurohormonal imbalances and dysfunctions in FMS/CSS involve serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and/or epinephrine, growth hormones, and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal gland– causing a cascade of symptoms. Pain is usually the major symptom of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)/ CSS and is generally felt throughout the whole musculoskeletal
The word fibromyalgia can be deconstructed in Latin as:
“fibro” – connective tissue fibres
“my” – muscle
“al” – pain
This is just a glimpse of what is going on.
To know more about FMS diagnostics I like the National Fibromyalgia Association (USA) website: http://www.fmaware.org/about-fibromyalgia/diagnosis/
To know more about Myofascial Pain Syndrome check out books by Devin Starlanyl: “Healing Through Trigger Point Therapy: A Guide to Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction”, “Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual” (1st and 2nd Edition) and “The Fibromyalgia Advocate: Getting the Support you need to cope with Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome”
My name is Bitty. I am a two-spirit art creating, youth centering, forest wandering, garden growing, kick ass crip* with maternal roots of Lkwungen, Quw’utsun’ and Lummi descent and paternal roots of mixed-Irish/French/Euro ancestry. Two-spirit for me means Indigenous queer survivance and is a next generation’s ancient acknowledgement of the roles and gifts that come with having the ability to strongly connect with and move through both feminine and masculine aspects of self…whether externally, internally or both. Living two-spirit is resistance to the colonial disruption and shaming of Indigenous views of gender fluidity and sexuality.For me, crip means that I live with chronic and
invisible illness which has touched every part of my being and shaped the differently abled and paced lifelong journey that I am on. I love being a two-spirit crip and a part of rebuilding two-spirit community, pride and awareness. I use drawing, watercolour, photography and writing as a tool of empowerment and as a way of expressing everyday life.