Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Inconvenient Truth

I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia after being rear-ended while stopped in traffic.  My Honda CRV was basically totaled.  Although I tried to return to work as a medical records clerk, I was unable to do so.  I had experienced many of the "peripheral" problems associated with fibro over the years - plantar faciitis, migraines, TMJ, etc., but it was after that October 2006 collision that I finally learned the truth.
It is an inconvenient truth that I will live with the rest of my life.  Although I am a believer in the healing power of God, I also believe that sometimes we must bear the burdens of our illnesses.  I know that - through the power of prayer and a relationship with Jesus - I can endure this, and that unless He changes His mind, I will HAVE to endure this.

Nevertheless, it is a powerful burden to live with.  Most people don't understand the extreme exhaustion, the unending pain, and the horrific "flares" that come with this disease.  Many think that we are lazy, self-centered, unsociable, drug seekers and hypochondriacs.  This could not be farther from the truth. We learn to take each hour, each day, as it comes.  We eventually learn not to make plans or promises, because we don't know how bad the pain and exhaustion will be on any given day. There is a wonderful story called:  The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino that is very appropriate. http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/   I would suggest that everyone read this if interested in learning about friends and loved ones who suffer from fibro.

It is difficult to do what we really want to do when there's so much that must be done - things that many people take for granted.  How difficult is it to sweep, wash dishes, or cook a meal?  For many of us, just doing these few things will wipe us out for the day.  With the pain and the exhaustion often comes "fibro fog". Sometimes people with fibro can't concentrate enough to read, forget how to spell or speak in coherent sentences.  Often we forget words.  When it happens the first time, it's terrifying.  Eventually we learn the triggers - stress, overwork, and increased pain levels.

I love writing poems.  I enjoy reading books and reviewing them. I started blogging in an attempt to get back to writing - poetry, reviews, experiences - anything. However, I've realized that I must pick and choose what I want and need to do on any given day. Feeling guilty about not getting everything accomplished is no longer an option for me. That only makes things worse.  

If you have fibro, ease up on yourself.  Push yourself of course, but at the same time, cut yourself some slack. You can still do it.  It may take you much longer, but don't give up. If you don't have fibromyalgia, learn about it.  There is no known cure, but it can be managed somewhat.  Read the Spoon Theory and think about each of your daily "spoons", then maybe you can understand.


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