It seems that some of us, at least some of the time, perceive ourselves as weak because of our limitations. This could not be farther from the real truth and if you think about it, you will see that I am right. If you can, think back to when your symptoms first appeared. For me the first thing was the fatigue. I went back and forth to the doctor trying to pinpoint just what was happening to me. We tried antidepressants and some other things; there were blood and other tests.
Then came the strange pains, first in my back. As my doc pressed up and down my spine he found a spot that nearly made me come off the table, it was so painful. So he sent me for xrays which showed some arthritis in my spine but not enough to cause that sort of pain. Next came the pain under both arms, a deep, aching pain that eventually became a band around my entire chest and scared me so bad I went to the doc that very same day. Again, he had no idea what was happening with me. Then there was the fateful day that I felt like someone was pushing hard in the middle of my chest. As a side note, I called Anthem’s nurse line. The advice? To tell whoever was pushing on my chest to stop (huh?),
That day my doctor’s office told me to go to the emergency room (where I sat in the waiting room for an hours or so – glad it WASN’T a heart attack!) and finally, after my ekg which was normal, the ER doc did the “spot check” on my back, again making me nearly jump off the table, and said, mostly under her breath, it might be fibromyalgia. This is why I said that day was fateful because when I got back to work I got on the internet and looked it up, having never heard of it, and lo and behold, there it was. The answer. As I read the long list of symptoms, everything became clear, including some weird things that I had noticed for years, like the fact that it was very painful when my husband grabbed my knee, even gently.
So I then began my journey of research and rotating treatments. Today I have pain in one degree or another and fatigue EVERY day but no longer do I panic and run to the doctor. I have learned to live with whatever the day brings and to push through to the best of my ability – to endure and persevere like all of you through things that would bring the “normals” around me to their knees.
We are not weak. We deal with, on a daily basis, what those around us cannot even imagine. It is not so much the symptoms, as bad as they are, but the never-ending nature of them, getting up every day, going to bed every night KNOWING beyond a shadow of doubt that tomorrow will bring more of the same in varying measure with a merry-go-round of ever changing symptoms, never the same from day to day and yet, knowing what we know, we get up anyway and go to work and run errands and take care of ourselves and our loved ones, all the while dealing with a condition that we know will never go away until there is a cure.
That, my friends, is BRAVERY.