The power of a word: my new diagnosis and other storiesNov 23, 2022
ou may have seen on my Facebook Page that last week I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It was definitely a surprise. I’ve already had a few autoimmune diseases for several years and lately it’s been a struggle.
Let me get really, real here because I know you like the full truth.
It’s not been just ‘a struggle’. It has really, really sucked.
I’ve had headaches for 2-3 weeks at a time that pain killers don’t touch.
I’ve been so tired that I can sleep 10 hours a night and have a two-hour nap most days.
I got tachycardia (small bursts of fast or out of rhythm heart beats) and was referred to a cardiologist.
I developed tremors in my hands, and I found it difficult to hold a cup of water without it looking like a scene from Jurassic Park. If the tremors and my joint pain was bad, I had trouble cutting my own food.
I have pain in my left lung if I breathe in deeply. I get joint pain in my elbows, wrists, knees, shoulder, and neck.
I’d pretty much stopped exercising because it’s been too painful.
I also had to admit my challenges to those around me and ask for a lot more help. Which is something I find HARD.
But that is NOT what this email is about. It’s about the power of a word. Because I was surprised by how much one word could carry so much loaded meaning to me, and to others.
I struggled with getting another new ‘word’ to add to my list of diagnoses.
I left my doctor’s office with a script, a scribbled word on a piece of paper and a link to a website to read up on the condition.
Then when I shared the diagnosis with a few people in my inner circle, the response took me by surprise. Both people I told looked puzzled and said something along the lines of: “but you do know fibromyalgia isn’t real?”
I really had no idea how to respond. I felt confused and oddly embarrassed.
At the end of the day, for me the word doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I have a new medication and it’s helping. I am feeling more and me every single day.
But the lesson here is that words can have such power. A single word can be laden with so many different layers of emotion and mean different things to different people.
I thought this was a timely reminder to me, and you, to think about the words we use and the impact they have – both positive and negative.
You want people to react emotionally to your words. But you don’t want a throw away comment to have unintended emotional fallout. Your words have power – use them wisely
Download my FREE Non-Profit Social Media Manager's Handbook
Get my weekly tips, advice and updates free direct to your email
You'll get how-to's, updates on what's new in social media and digital marketing, personal stories from our founder & find out about all our cool new events and stuff.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.