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Many of you that come here to my blog live with chronic illness(es) like I do. For each illness, there are symptoms that are expected, identified and the subject of treatment.
For example, fibromyalgia causes body-wide pain, fatigue, problems sleeping, impaired ability to recover from exercise, headaches and fibro-fog.
Over time, I have come to accept the presence of these symptoms as part of my daily life.
But then there are the weird symptoms that pop up from time to time that are related to our chronic illnesses. I've come to see them as little surprises or "unadvertised specials." With time, I've learned that some of these new symptoms are associated with flare-ups and illness exacerbation. Others, according to the medical professionals that I have seen, are logical parts of the disease spectrum, even if my fibromyalgia books, trusted online resources and doctors don't happen to mention them.
One such illness-related surprise is my occasional problems with swallowing.
This little "unadvertised special" started appearing a few year into my life with fibromyalgia. After many bouts of choking, I happened to mention this problem to my sleep specialist, who sent me for a swallowing study. What I learned from the study was that when I eat solids and liquids together, sometimes the liquid sneaks past my tongue and down my throat before I am ready to swallow. The speech therapist I was then referred to for treatment said this makes sense: fibromyalgia effects muscles and my tongue is a muscle too.
After several sessions, I learned some exercises to help reduce the problem. But every once in a while, if I am not careful, the problem can rear its ugly head, like last week when a whole mouth-full of diet Coke when down the wrong tube. (Gasp! Bleck! Cough, cough cough! Ugh!)
So this week I want to know--what illness-related surprises bug you? What unusual symptoms have you developed? What "unadvertised specials" came along with your diagnosis and what have you done to cope with and manage them?
Leave a comment here and let us know your answer to this question. Or head over to the Oh My Aches and Pains! page on Facebook to leave a comment and join in on the discussion.