The testimonial of Natacha
Waking up with fibromyalgia and non-disabling arthritis
"This morning I get up, and like so many other days for years, my body is like a dead tree. It takes time to get started. I put one foot on the ground and it's like my ankles are a cracking branch. A piece of green wood that sinks into my flesh, my bones, like thousands of splinters that go into my skin.
Like a bent tree, I shake before finding some semblance of balance. Walls, doors, furniture come to me as if they were attracted to me. Holding on to the walls so I don't fall, but my arms hurt, my shoulders are fixed with daggers of pain, my hands are in claws... not to mention my legs, my back telling me that I slept on a bed of stones.
I need warmth to relax this body which seems so often to me to be 100 years old. I will move, go out, move forward, have the courage to live a day that may be a hell but maybe not too much.
As always I will smile, I will stand and find beauty in a cloud, the flight of a bird, music, friendship and love of my loved ones. I will not show others what I am going through because it locks me even more in a cage of pain.
Tomorrow I may not be able to get up because I would have done too much today, I would have tried too hard to live but the day after tomorrow I will be there. I may think of splitting my time of life into rest periods that allow me to move forward, even at the rate of a snail.
Welcome to my world called fibromyalgia and non-disabling arthritis."
Maintaining hope despite rheumatoid arthritis
I try to find positives: a day with bearable pain is a day saved. I try not to get discouraged and keep hope that there are better days.
And during those better days, I try to be a normal mother, a mother who is not in pain and who can do activities with her children even though I know that the next day I will be in, and a, real pain.
I enjoy every positive moment and I say to myself every day "Carpe Diem" (which tends to mean "seize the day").
This testimonial is part of the graduation project of Gaëlle Regnier, a student in photography at the Agnès Varda School of Photography and Visual Techniques in Brussels. She chose chronic pain as the theme of this photo report to highlight the patients and their struggle.
Claire: "Continuing to work with rheumatoid arthritis"