Sunday, April 14, 2013

L...Layers and Layers and More Layers, Please!

Fibromyalgia is mostly known for causing widespread pain throughout the body. However, a lot of people don’t realize that this same chronic condition can cause problems with body temperature regulation. Since I developed full-blown fibromyalgia (over 4 years ago), I’ve noticed that I am very sensitive to both hot and cold. If I get too overheated during the summer, I get physically sick to my stomach, and I’m hit with a wave of dizziness and horrible headache.

My sensitivity to cold, though, is much more extreme. During the winter, I have to dress in multiple layers just to be comfortable in my own home (since I can’t be sweating out the rest of the household with the furnace). And whenever I need to go outside, I need to don even more layers. If I don’t keep myself covered with 3 or more layers, the cold makes me hurt to the core. Imagine taking the coldest ice cream and shoving it into an exposed tooth nerve…then multiply that by at least 10. That’s what cold exposure does to me.

Without tons of layers, I feel like I am rolling around in snow drifts completely naked. The pain knocks the breath out of me, and I can feel my warmth escaping from wherever I don’t have enough clothing. My life gets extra complicated during cold weather because I have to make sure I am properly dressed every single day. And the colder it gets the more layers I have to force myself into.

Since I’ve endured a few winters now, I have had a good bit of practice. It is becoming more of a habit. I no longer worry about how fat or uncomfortable I look under all those layers. It’s much more important to me these days to stay warm. Yes, I still sometimes feel strange having to wearing so much clothing at once, especially when people start asking about it. But I try not to allow it to bother me.

Despite all the strange looks and critical comments, we must remember that we shouldn’t worry about what others might think. We must do what we must do to survive another day with a chronic illness, and that is all that matters. Other people might make us feel like freaks of nature, but we just need to keep focusing on how strong we truly are. We keep fighting for daily life even though we face such tough challenges. Keep pressing on, my fellow fibro warriors. We shall prevail!


  1. Fighting pain is tiring, and being tired makes you cold. Calories provide energy and heat to your body, so if your body is fighting pain it doesn't have enough energy/calories left to keep you warm. It's a vicious cycle. Layering is good, but also the type of cloths you layer is important. Stay away from cotton, it doesn't wick your perspiration that you have even when cold and being wet, makes you colder yet. Silks next to the skin can be wonderful, but not cheap. Some of those light wet fabrics with a really good breathable fabric on top might make you more comfortable. You might try an outdoor store that carrys high quality hiking and outdoor type clothing. They know their stuff.

  2. My bad back isn't nearly as bad as what you have, but my back gets so painful in the cold. I don't have a problem getting around, but it's just that it really hurts when it's cold out. I really need to bundle up.

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  3. Wishing you strength and ease.
    Happy A to Z-ing
    Jemima atJemima's blog

  4. Can't imagine what it is like to have this condition - it's not fair that anyone should be so afflicted!