A few weeks ago, I made a major move - er, rather my pain patch did. It went from the basement to the penthouse suite.
When I initially started wearing the Bu-Trans pain patch, I didn't want anyone to know about it or see it on any visible body parts. I didn't want to deal with questions, double takes or the inevitable confusion with nicotine patches. I chose to apply it to places on my body not shared with the general public. It was nobody else's business, I thought.
The patch locales were strategically placed but after some time, I noticed they were not the most practical locations. If I bent over, it would stretch and pull. If I sweat, it would loosen around the edges. Sometimes it would bunch up on itself and have to be re-aligned. It was possible that I was not receiving the full proper dosage. Lastly, I was tiring of resembling a checker board with square adhesive marks littering the lower half of my body. I had planned to place the patch on my upper arm once the weather cooled off and I could wear longer sleeves again.
But I was weary of saying [I have fibromyalgia] in a hushed voice as if it were in the same family as STD's. I've experienced the predictable eye-rolls, (that we're all familiar with), from people when I explained about fibro. I used to be easily silenced and think that I shouldn't talk about it. Not any more, baby! I blew the ever-lovin' lid off that misguided notion.
After I peeled off the old patch from my ass, I had my husband slap it on my arm. I came outta the closet and it was out there for all to see. It's not that I'm proud to have an illness but what I am proud of is the emotional inner shift that occured within myself.
In addition to providing sweet, sweet pain relief, I hope to use the patch as an opportunity to educate people. If Joe Public asks me what it is for, I will provide a brief sound bite about fibromyalgia and hopefully, spread awareness.
So far, I've had some stares and double takes from people looking at my arm, but no one has asked me questions yet. Perhaps they think it might be rude. In any case, I will be prepared with a tidy explanation if I do get any takers.
Even if I have to be a walking billboard, I will endeavour to spread fibromyalgia awareness in any way that I can.