Feb 9, 2011


Back in May of 2007 I published a short post proposing a link between sensory defensiveness and Fibromyalgia.  Over the years of this blog, that one is the most read and most commented.

Several days ago, I received a comment on that 2007 post that put a different spin on things:

I have FM and have been diagnosed for the last 8 years...I have a 5 year old daughter with Autism ..The stress that I have had to deal with helping her to be verbal and get a proper education has made me have more flare ups and now find sometimes loosing my balance and falling and getting injured.
I just wonder if anyone else out there relates.
Thank you

As a Fibromyalgia sufferer whose symptoms are primarily in remission, tension causes a flair up.  The tension of dealing with a child in the Autism Spectrum can be exhausting and can create tension.  I am an Aspie and both my children are Aspies.  In my opinion it's easier for me to help my Aspie children then it would if they had a more extreme case of Autism.  The tension of that could easily cause a flare up in Fibromyalgia as could any prolonged period of tension.

What we should consider, however, is that it's not the challenges of raising a special needs child that triggers the flair up in Fibro, it's our response to the challenges.  I first had symptoms of Fibro when I got my first corporate job as a tech writer at a major pharmaceutical manufacturer.  I had absolutely no background in science, tech writing, or manufacturing.  I'm good at guessing, so they hired me and I moved into big projects quickly.  Problem was I didn't know what I was doing.  The prolonged tension of that started manifesting itself in health issues.  I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  It wasn't until several years later that I received the Asperger diagnosis.

Today, I have been out of work for three months.  In addition, I pastor a small church that can't afford to pay me.  If I were to leave the area for work, it could be the end of them.  Frankly, the last four years have been intensely challenging and now I'm facing the possibility of financial disaster.  My symptoms have returned in a small way.  I have some pain and soreness, but not severe like before.

What has changed?  The tension hasn't changed.  The challenges I face are much greater now than ever before.  How I react to them has changed.

I've matured spiritually.  I work to view my life in the perspective of my eternal life with Christ.  I am also struggling to have greater trust in God.  I'm pretty honest with my prayers.  I doubt it's anything that God hasn't heard before.  As a result of prayer and intently studying the Bible, I have become more calm, loving, gentle, and frankly a stronger person.  I'm more sure of myself when I am more confident of who Christ is.

I have also changed my diet, try to get regular exercise, and try to figure out ways to take refreshment breaks.

I work on meditating on Bible verses.  Here is one that I've enjoyed lately:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  Isaiah 43:2

Clearly, medication and daily stretching, aerobics and even resistance training should be included.  But, for me, the most critical aspect of managing challenges of chronic pain, Asperger, and everything else have been focusing on the Bible and prayer.


  1. I have to agree. I do not experience the recurrent pain of Fibromyalgia, but I have noticed the more I work on my spiritual life the more I have been able to reduce my body's reactions to stress. A calmer me is better able to cope with the stresses of my life, even though my stresses have actually increased.

  2. Great comments Stephanie. I think I am in a similar situation. My life has become a wild chaos. I keep wondering what God is accomplishing, yet I actually know. As the stress increases, I am challenged to more closely evaluate and put into practice what I read in scripture. These efforts are rewarded with a greater sense of calm and strength.

  3. Sometimes the best way to grow is to find peace in the chaos. I think we're conditioned to think they're mutually exclusive, but with God they're not.