Good Morning to you and as usual I hope that your day is being sweet to you. The sun is out here and for the first time in a week, I have been able to go for a walk without stressing about getting soaked. I am not dealing well at the moment so I thought that if I shared with you the crisis that began my downward spiral it may be of some help for me.
I was teaching in a remote community when I picked up a virus but instead of just running its normal course it clung on. By the time the medical profession worked out what was happening I had been unwell for over twelve months. I had to return to the city so I could receive treatment, mainly because no-one was sure what I had apart from the fact that it was most likely an auto-immune disorder. I could no longer work because I had no energy, I could not function, and I was sick all the time.
It was months and months of test, exams, numerous treatments and all sorts of other schemes in an effort to discover what was happening. Whilst all this was happening I also had a full-blown depressive episode that was supported by panic attacks, in short, I was a mess on every level. Then my doctor called me in to tell me that the rheumatologist had a verdict…I have fibromyalgia! I remember exactly what I said to her “I have fibro what?”, I had never heard of it. My doctor explained it ‘as a syndrome where pain and stiffness occur in muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body, along with other symptoms like fatigue, sleep disruption, unrefreshing sleep, mood swings, together with cognitive difficulties such as poor memory or mental fogginess. There is no known cause, no cure and treatments are very limited.’
My entire life changed. I could no longer teach, I had problems doing any normal task that a forty-eight-year-old woman does. I became so down and overcome by a sense of uselessness, whilst trying to learn to adapt to this new life. Simple things like walking up a flight of stairs became impossible, sitting for any length of time was hard, remembering what I was doing required so much effort. I had become useless without any real reason.
So for the past seven years, I have had fibro underpinning my health which means that I am greatly restricted in what I can do, and it underpins all aspects of my life…somedays I can function as normal and I have nothing to stop or slow me (I even forget I have it), but then comes the days, and weeks, where I can not get out of bed without help, drinking a glass of water is such a trial I often struggle to drink. This is my reality, this is my world and there are days that I do not know I have the fibro because my depression or anxiety outweigh it. However, I continue to set a task to do, try to find a ‘cure’ that will help reduce my downtime, keep looking for an answer as to how I can find any resemblance of the life I once had. I do not like that this is my normal so I will continue to find a way to change it for the better!