In classic FJ style, I am attempting to write this post not long after having seen Carina Macleod’s stand-up comedy act Fibro My Arth, about her life with Fibromyalgia. The reason it’s classic FJ style is that I have a horrible memory, so I am hoping that by writing this now I won’t forget anything important!
If you follow me, or Carina for that matter, you may be wondering how on Earth you can turn a life of constant pain, brain fog and many other symptoms into something funny. Well Fibro My Arth did just that! So here’s my honest review about the show, which brought some much-needed light relief after a week or two of really rough pain levels for me.
Funny, but Real
From waking up screaming inside, to the ‘joys’ of life with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome – yes, it’s as glamorous as the name implies) to the pointlessness of various therapies you get sent to, Carina was very honest about how tough life is. She was very real, maybe too real for some in the audience!
But you have to laugh at this stupid condition sometimes: where a 15-minute conversation between three Fibromyalgia patients takes 45 minutes due to short attention spans and poor memories! A condition like Fibromyalgia is so wide-ranging that you can be told to take up loads of ‘therapies’ like physiotherapy, psychology or CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). And Carina was spot-on, CBT is that therapy that tells you to become a complete A-hole by saying “no” to everything and everyone!
Relatable – If You’re Ill
If you have a chronic illness or know someone who has, the show was very relatable. The role of comedy is to talk about life, and often about the topics most people would shun. Toileting for example! Don’t worry I’m not going to say any more about that here, as this is a family-friendly blog!
As many of my Twitter followers will be aware, hand pain is something I suffer from nearly constantly. In Fibro My Arth, Carina explains she gets “Tyrannosaurus Hands” – where her hands lock up. Thankfully I don’t get that, but what my wife and I both found hilarious was how we can be prone to seeing something minor in our health and see that it will obviously spell doom for us and everyone around us!
The only thought we both had leaving the show is, if you’ve only heard about Fibromyalgia, or maybe you hadn’t heard of it until you went to the show, you may not have found it as funny as we did. Plenty of “too much information” moments, but that’s pretty standard for comedians – saying those thing out loud most of us keep in our heads! You would definitely find the show informative, but that won’t be your primary motivation to go to the show.
But be open-minded and you may be surprised!
Serious Moment: Don’t Forget the Obvious
If you’re going out to be entertained as an audience member you can be tempted to be critical – especially if you’re going to see comedy. But here I will rise up to defend Carina:
- Yes, she has prompts: she’s very open about this. We who have Fibro have dreadful memories, so give her space to check her notes every 5-10 minutes. That’s okay.
- Strong Language: just because I don’t use strong language (in videos or on the blog, or in life for that matter), that doesn’t mean I fail to understand other people’s need to. Carina gives you warning about strong language. Being ill and in pain all the time can leave you feeling bitter – and that needs to be expressed. That being said, maybe not the best idea to sit small children down to listen to this show!
- Length of the Show: Fibro My Arth was a little over an hour’s show, but I can guarantee that it felt longer to Carina. And the small auditorium we attended her performance in crunched up my legs – so if the show had been much longer it would have put me in more pain! It may feel like a short performance, but Carina has Fibromaylgia – and stood up for all this performance. She likely puts herself in more pain, in order to make you laugh. In your need to be entertained remember Carina has Fibromyalgia and isn’t just chatting about it!
Find Out More About Carina
Carina can be found on Twitter, but I think the vast majority of her social media is invested into Facebook, so here are two links:
My family lives in Scotland and Carina hails from the famed lands of the Isle of Lewis, hence the group being Scotland. There does appear to be a global group if you would like to connect but live outside of Scotland.
From Carina’s Perspective
I’m no journalist. I’m used to writing about my life and gaming so, thankfully, BBC Scotland have an article and a video. Plus it saves me typing, right?!
TL;DR – Fibro My Arth: Seriously, a Comedy about Fibromyalgia?
Heck yes! Fibro is not glamorous. Therefore neither is Carina Macleod’s Fibro My Arth. But it is funny and informative, and the condition needs laughing at from time-to-time.
If you want to hear this show and you don’t know anyone with this Chronic Pain condition, then do a bit of research beforehand to get a little understanding, as it may help you to enjoy the show better. And this stand-up is definitely worth seeing.
I hope that Carina can enjoy her shows, despite the physical sacrifice they demand of her. And if it means there’s another voice out there raising awareness of Fibromyalgia, then she should be applauded for that. We all do our part – myself using social media and my blog, and Carina using Facebook and her comedy show. I’d better stop typing now for a while – now where did I put my meds?