I’m a wife and mother- I have an 11-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, and my life is never dull. I was a stay-at-home mom until my daughter started kindergarten this past September, and now I’m a housewife. Of course, that word is too simple. We have 2 dogs and 5 cats, so my day includes tending them. There’s laundry to be done, a house to maintain, dishes to wash, dinner to cook… There’s homework that needs to be done, and I have to fit time with my hubby in my day as well. And my writing, almost an afterthought when there’s so much else that requires my attention.
Four years ago my life changed. I was in pain all the time. I’d had pain off and on, but this was constant, chronic. I hurt all over, waves of pins and needles running through my body. My collarbones throbbed with pain, my hips, my knees… soft-tissue pain, not the bones. I have carpal tunnel and it was like that had suddenly gotten worse as well. I cried all the time, and my life suddenly seemed too much, too full, too overwhelming. I had insurance then, and in a panic I practically flew to the doctor. He gave me a diagnosis I never expected and didn’t know a damned thing about: fibromyalgia. I went to the rheumatologist who confirmed the diagnosis, started me on Lyrica, and then sent me on my way with plans for a return visit- one I never made it to, because I lost my health insurance.
I immediately went into research mode- visiting websites, downloading tons of books to my Kindle on the subject. I went off of the Lyrica almost as soon as I started it: one of the side effects is an increased risk of suicide, which suddenly seemed like a good idea. Life didn’t seem worth living, and that scared me. And so my current path began…
Four years later, I often feel like I’m getting worse instead of better. I have flare-ups: days when I can barely get out of the bed, have pain so intense that I’m paralyzed with it. Literally- I cannot move my body because the pain flares with each twitch. I lie in bed and whimper, cry, unable to do anything but wait for it to pass, pray to God it passes. I look around at all the housework I need to do and cry, unable to make myself do so much as one load of laundry, wash a single dish, vacuum an inch of carpeting.
I want to play with my kids and can’t. I physically cannot get out and play with them like I used to. I look at my laptop some days and there are no words to write. Fibro fog hits, and I forget words. I forget sentences in the middle of them. I start doing a task and wander away, unsure why I was there to begin with. Forget why I’m even in the room. It isn’t until I sit down, lie down, that I remember, and then I have to struggle to get up once more and hope I actually complete whatever the task might be that has me standing up.
I look at my husband and want him to hold me, soothe me, and I cringe from his touch when he does reach for me. Because a hug hurts, him rubbing my arms to comfort hurts. Everything hurts, and my heart hurts most of all for all I have lost, or what it feels like I’ve lost on those bad days.
If any of this sounds familiar, seek help if you can. Find communities online for support if nothing else. There are tons of pages on Facebook to start with: Fibro Colors is a wonderful one, and Fibromyalgia Network. There are many- just start typing Fibro in the search engine and see what pops up. Visit your doctor, do research, connect with people who understand the pain you’re going through. Have people who will listen and most importantly will BELIEVE you, not think you’re exaggerating, making it up, just saying it for attention. Learn more, and get help.
You can always message me on Facebook as well: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKayGlass. I’ll always be willing to listen. Or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Put FIBRO in the subject and I’ll get back to you asap.
Above all, hang in there: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.