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  • Earle Levenstein

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I suspect I'm not the only migraineur blessed with occasional drop-ins by what I strongly believe is a relative of migraine; too similar to be easily dismissed. Maybe lacking migraine's show-biz flair for delivering some truly near-death experiences, but definitely not a minor-leaguer.

It's fibromyalgia; even more willow-the-wispy than migraine to nail, but no question in my mind that something's going on when I get that migraine-like Uh-oh, here-it-comes feeling. Sort of on the edge; out of whack; general misalignment; like a song that's being sung just a little out of tune but you know the song.

An all-over marginally painful ache; the kind you feel when maybe you've been moving stuff around but not having been moving stuff around. Persistent. No better when you get out of bed in the morning. Stiff. Tired even before the day begins. Doesn't go away. Subtle. Nobody holding up a sign. But you know something's going on.

Sort of like migraine but not quite migraine.

But really close.

For me, it was the mention of TMJ—temporomandibular joint—in connection with fibromyalgia and anxiety and stomach issues that made the connection; that diagnosis of fibromyalgia is one of those migraine-like process-of-elimination jobs; maybe this and maybe that and no tell-tale sign and just a let's see how long this lasts.

Besides which, again like my migraine, for me, the Why? is major help. Reflection; feelings; emotions.

Other than that; knowing that like migraine, fibromyalgia isn't fatal, gives me some comfort.

Just a couple of twists and turns by the master manipulator in the inner workings of what I laughingly call my overall sense of self.

Digression: TMJ was the electric-drill into the joint of my jaw—right side—that jolted me out of my bunk bed just before my discharge from the Army.

A really great middle-of-the night farewell to my pals.

Ask me the difference between that and my years of migraine headaches and I'd have to say none.

Except my migraine headaches never jolted me out of bed.

Just one more fun trick from the management.

Why am I not laughing?


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