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LooneyTunes

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I've recently met a woman that has FM and I'm falling for her pretty badly. We haven't actually 'gotten together' in any meaningful sense, so she doesn't actually know that I'm romantically inteterested, but the vibes between us suggest to me that it might be heading in that direction. On the other hand I'm entering a world into which I'm a complete and utter newb, so maybe things are not at all as they appear. The more I read on FM, the more I realize how different and challenging life can be with this condition, especially for the sufferer, but also for their loved ones. In some ways with what little knowledge I have, I'm questioning my own ability to become a good partner of someone with FM, and yet I feel so compelled towards her and therefore want to be a good partner, if she wants me to be that for her. Every time my phone rings, or beeps for an incoming txt, or there's a knock at the door... I'm hoping it's her. All signs point to falling in love.

Do I sound naive? I probably am - especially given that in the beginning of most relationships everyone tries to put their best foot forward. I originally read many of her signals to indicate that she's not interested in me beyond friendship, and yet the more I learn about FM, the more I suspect that she is, but due to her FM, is unable to follow all the 'normal' conventions of courtship.

Sorry for rambling - I've probably long lost half the FM population reading this already due to the Fog most (or all?) of you can go through. I have a gazillion questions, most of which are probably silly, but I'll ask them anyways - questions that I'm not yet comfortable asking her directly, or simply don't want to bog down our time together with her re-answering questions that she's been asked by others a gazillion times:

1) Are there varying degrees of FM? She seems to be otherwise in very good physical shape: She is well exercised, and is single handedly raising a daughter with no other family in the same city as us. Judging by what I've read on some websites, it would "appear" that her case might be 'milder' or that she's doing remarkably well given this general condition. Or maybe she's been putting on one heck of a brave face? On the other hand she is unable to work and seems to spend most days of the week going to doctors appointments, accupuncture, getting blood work done, etc. Her sleeping patterns are also clearly abnormal and she suffers from a lot of fatigue.

2) Is FM progressive - i.e., will it get worse? She is now 30 and told me that she started to get FM when she was in her early teens. I understand that it took a while to progress from the onset, but what can she/we reasonably expect her condition to be like in the future? She has at least one other complication, or condition to go along with FM (as if that isn't enough) - something with her muscle ligaments not re-contracting properly which can lead to inflammation and other problems.

3) How much of a struggle has it been for her to do the things we've done? So far we've had several quasi family 'dates' (we each are lone parents each with a daughter). Before i knew what her specific condition was we planned some activities, and although we carried through on them she was significantly late each time, telling me she was tired or didn't feel well, having a bad day, etc. Of course not knowing about FM, I chalked it up to her not being as interested in me as I was in her, and was secretly dissapointed. And yet now that I understand a little bit about FM, I wonder if doing the activities at all was even too much on her, and that she was incredibly brave to go through with them to the extent that she did. And yet during the activities (biking, cooking meals, etc), her condition seemed almost completely fine. I'd turn around and she'd have half the dishes washed and dried. The activities turned out to be normal and enjoyable 'team efforts'. It felt great to do them together. In so many ways most people would completely assume her to be 'normal' except for the slightest hint that under the surface something's 'not quite right.' Is this 'normal' for people with FM to be able to do all of these things, or is she fighting back the pain and being brave for my benefit?

4) How close to a normal sex life can one have with FM? I've been reading a little about this aspect, and it's raised more questions for me than answered. The medical-type explanations on the web are especially ambiguous. I understand it can be painful to the point that some FM sufferers aren't able to have a sex life, or that the pain may be so great that some avoid even developing romantic relationships. So i guess my question is along these lines - Is all sex painful, or most of the time, or a 1/4 of the time? As someone who is potentially the partner of a person with FM, what type of sex life should I be prepared to expect?

I have a gazillion more questions, but I've rambled long enough, so if anyone can take a stab at one or more of them I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
 

Determined2014

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Well as long as you get to understand whatt the condition is all about, know the good and bad sides of the victim , then it will be easier for both of you, good luck.
 

Peninha

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I agree, a relationship is something complicated, so all cards need to be on the table for us to know if we want to advance or not.
 

Trellum

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Hi there! Welcome to the forum and congrats on trying to learn more about your future girlfriend's condition! Kudos to you! It's good you are trying to learn more about it, but let me tell you that having FM and being the partner of someone with FM isn't easy at all. You need to be very understanding, there will be times she might not feel well at all, when she says that you must try to do your best to be understanding. Now to answer your questions:

1- Yes, of course. Not everyone experiences FM the same way, some have it very good, some not so much and others... well, they can't do much! Some need to use really strong painkillers daily, some even take vicodin or even morphine! Those are the extreme cases tho.

2 - It depends who you ask... as I said everyone experiences FM in a different way. Some say their FM has gotten worse and worse, others think it has stalled. In my case it has DEFINITELY gotten worse. Mine also started as a teen. I was fine for a few years, then it came back with fury! They say FM can stall, it can, but once FM starts getting in motion again...

3 - Only her can tell you. From what you said her FM is REALLY MILD, so doing those things might not have been so difficult. But of course, maybe she was just having good days, my FM is somewhat mild, so there are really good days too, days when I seem to be completely ok.

4 - Well, depends on how bad is her FM. Some people with FM can't even stand to be touched, others almost fall asleep during the whole thing, lol. But others have a VERY normal sexual life. I'd dare to say she's one of those lucky ones who can sex normally with no issues. You might need to be careful and not try something too challenging tho.
 

LooneyTunes

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Trellum, thanks so much for your response. And to the others as well. Lets not put the cart before the horse though - for all I know she's not interested in being my girlfriend and just wants a friendship, which is ok by me too, but I do have my hopes up. Like any potential relationship, the signs aren't entirely obvious.

Thanks again for your response. So far it's been the most helpful thing I've read as it's very direct. Perhaps I've not been looking hard enough, but the information on the web hasn't been hugely abundant - especially of course for people who don't have the faintest clue what it feels like to have fibro. Before I met her not only did I have no idea it even existed, but am shocked at how many people are suffering from it. Reading many of the stories though of people's experience over the past few days has been overwhelmingly moving. I wish you all the best. Keep on keeping on!
 

Lana

Senior member
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
223
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
05/2012
Country
CA
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ON
Hi and welcome to the Forum, My Fibro is all over the place, some days are pretty good and other days are bad. I have had this since I was a teen and yes it has become alot worse. She could be hiding her pain but I don't think so. I can't hide my pain because it is way to powerful. Maybe she has it mild its hard to say because we can all experience fibro differently. When I am having a bad flare sex is out of the question, But if I'm having a good day LOOK OUT! lol just kidding. Anyways you sound like a great guy, my advise is just don't push her. If she wants to just have a quite evening and rent a movie just go with that. You will be her prince charming if your understanding. I hope I have helped.
 

Trellum

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DX FIBRO
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Trellum, thanks so much for your response. And to the others as well. Lets not put the cart before the horse though - for all I know she's not interested in being my girlfriend and just wants a friendship, which is ok by me too, but I do have my hopes up. Like any potential relationship, the signs aren't entirely obvious.

Thanks again for your response. So far it's been the most helpful thing I've read as it's very direct. Perhaps I've not been looking hard enough, but the information on the web hasn't been hugely abundant - especially of course for people who don't have the faintest clue what it feels like to have fibro. Before I met her not only did I have no idea it even existed, but am shocked at how many people are suffering from it. Reading many of the stories though of people's experience over the past few days has been overwhelmingly moving. I wish you all the best. Keep on keeping on!

Glad to read my answer was useful to you :) Best of luck with her! I hope you guys end up together, in my opinion you'd be an awesome partner for her, since you took the time to come here and get more info on this, it might sound like an easy thing to do, but a lot people don't even take the time to do that :smile:
 

flightybird

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Sep 2, 2014
Messages
12
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
03/2013
Country
US
State
TX
I don't think I can say anything better or more informatively than Trellum already did above, but I want to applaud you for taking a genuine interest in learning about her condition and not just writing her off as "lazy" or "disinterested" like a lot of people do. I think it's really sweet that you are asking these questions and informing yourself about FM. So, cheers to you! And good luck!
 

kathleen

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
17
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
12/2006
Country
CA
State
ON
One thing I would like to add, that may or may not be the case for your friend, but you said that she was often late for your dates. This may be due to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which is a symptom of Fibromyalgia. I don't know if she is bothered with this, but I am, and speaking from experience, it causes a lot of problems to get places. If I have an appointment at a certain time, my anxiety increases because I worry I'm going to be late or miss the appointment altogether if my IBS acts up, which of course, the anxiety only makes it worse.

It is a sensitive topic, and one she may not be comfortable talking about, but if she has this, please be kind and sensitive to her needs. If you want to suddenly go somewhere and she doesn't think she can do it, then try to realize that it may not be you or the activity, but it could be her IBS that is stopping her. She may very much want to go with you or do these things, but may be afraid of her IBS acting up, that is if she suffers from it. It is a rather embarrassing topic to discuss, especially with a new romantic interest. And speaking from experience, it is so difficult when your partner gets upset with you because you won't go places or they are insensitive to your situation. Try to have patience with her and don't force her into going places when she feels she isn't up to it. It may be a let down for both of you that she won't go, but it could be a nightmare for her if you talk her into going and her IBS acts up badly.

Hopefully, she isn't bothered by this symptom, but I thought I would bring it up, so you are aware that may be a factor, as she may not wish to share that detail with you just yet if she does have it.
 
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