Monday, August 23, 2010

Takin' It to the Streets


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.


  1. Now that's the Cathy we know and love ... stick to your convictions...put it out there girl, as only you can!! I'm sure you'll wake up a few people and give many a better understanding .. and maybe even some of the non-believers in the medical profession will actually pick up on it too!!! Hugs!! Kaye

  2. Thanks for the support, Kaye. It's always good to get feedback.

  3. I fully support your Bare the Patch stand. I wonder if the drug companies will ever be allowed to present their patches in designer motifs so fashion concious ladies don't have to worry about where there patch is. Someone could develop a small business selling patch cover over decals that could either camouflage the patch or give it a designer flare.

    Love you

  4. Designer flair during a flare?? Not a bad idea.

    No more lying around in rags during a flare.

    Don designer duds and moan with flair.

    Love you too.

  5. Loved it put a smile on my face and make and that helps with the pain, if we can laugh. You my dear friend are helping all of us in more ways than you will ever know.

  6. Thank you Evelyn. I do what I can. Writing is therapeutic for me too.