Arthritis IRE – Órla

“I’ve been in constant pain ever since I was 14. Some of the pains in my body are very familiar, such as the one in my hip right now. It’s like an 8 out of 10, like a car engine that’s just ticking away in the background. There are sudden stabbing pains that shoot out of nowhere in random places. There are the pins and needles kind, the hot and cold pains, the sharp, punchy and dull ones. There are also fast and slow pains. I feel them all. All the time. I don’t think people even realise that our bodies are capable of producing a whole world of different pains and sensations. Our language definitely can’t cover them all. Despite the pain, my big downer remains the fatigue; because feeling pain all the time costs you a lot of energy. There are days when I just can’t do anything at all. My condition is called Fibromyalgia. All the pain and sensation knobs in my brain are set to the highest setting. I’m constantly experiencing 10 out of 10 levels of pain all over my body. Unfortunately, regular painkillers don’t work and this isn’t a condition that will eventually go away. When my brain becomes so calibrated to high levels of pain, I often miss recognising actual injuries or problems in my body simply because there are no warning signs left. As fibromyalgia is a syndrome, there is no known cure. It can even be difficult to treat, as isn’t a lot of research done. Arthritis Ireland and Fibro Ireland are the only charities that are involved in raising awareness and funding research on Fibromyalgia. Their work is very important and gives people hope that more effective treatments will be found for future generations.”