Not Letting Fibromyalgia Win
This time a year ago I was getting ready for The Great South Run here in the UK, one of my favourite races, a 10 mile course with 25,000 people taking part. I was looking to beat my personal best time of 1hr 25mins, I didn’t but I did equal it but a great day none the less.
A year on and I’ve again got my entry to The Great South Run however this time the target is completely different. I am simply looking to finish.
I’ve always suffered from chronic headaches ever since I can remember; these have now and then led to aches and pains elsewhere.
Then suddenly 6 months ago I started suffering, I ached, really ached, ached so bad that the pain come the end of the day was too much. Almost overnight I started suffering from what felt like an endless list of symptoms. Fatigue, restless leg syndrome and headaches I had never experienced before. I was laid up.
It hurt to put pressure on certain parts of my body. I was suddenly walking with a limp; I looked like an old man in the way I was moving around. I stopped running instantly, training would have to wait, this hurt. Every time I attempted a run it felt like I was about to pull every muscle in my body. I thought I was coming down with the flu, this was backed up by the doctor. But the pain didn’t go, it was getting worse. I pushed my GP and finally I was sent down the road I am sure all of you have now been down. The blood tests, MRI scans, I was sent to a rheumatologist, even chest x-rays followed by more blood tests. Eventually I was told it was Fibromyalgia. I had never heard of it.
So here I am 3 months after the diagnosis living with my version of Fibromyalgia.
Some days are better than others, on bad days I can’t even bare my two toddlers climbing all over me, upsetting in itself. The fatigue can be insane and lasting a full day at work is a challenge in itself. But the biggest issue I have found with all of this is that no matter how much you hurt, no matter how fatigued you feel and no matter how much you are suffering – your state of mind doesn’t change. I have always been a sporty person, I have always had a sport and I love being competitive. So much so that just before the start of these last 6 months I convinced 12 people in my office to run the Great South Run with me. The banter is great making it even more fun to run.
Only here I am, it hurts to run, the only way I have been able to describe it to anyone is that it feels like hot knifes stabbing me all over my body when I run. But like I said – you can’t change a state of mind. I couldn’t pull out, having set it all up I can’t now just sit back and let them take part while I watched on. And I have never given up on anything in my life and I’m not about to let Fibromyalgia stop me.
Not only that, but sponsorship had already been promised to me.
I’m running for The Kids Cancer Charity.
So suddenly it’s a totally different challenge. I just want to finish it. I’ve hardly been able to train when usually I am fit and ready come race day but this time it has been minimal and I mean minimal.
Not running it would feel like I was giving in to this syndrome. I have had this for a much shorter timescale than I imagine most of you but already I just want my life back. Not being able to just go out and run feels like torture. Not being able to lift my kids is so upsetting.
This race feels like a chance to show two fingers to it and show it that I am strong enough in my mind not to give in to it.
The enjoyment doesn’t come from the running anymore it comes from being strong enough in my mind to get through it.
So here I am.
And as I mentioned I am running for an amazing charity. One that makes me realise that no matter what I am going through there are people, in this case children, who are worse off. And that is a good reminder. And so I want to raise as much money as I can to help these little nippers as much as I can.
So I’m also asking for the help of strangers, people who have never even heard of me to help.
If you can sponsor me and help me raise as much money as I can then that would just bring the most rewarding feeling of all. Every penny helps and will help me keep focus each time I hit the wall.
I know we are strangers but please help me do what I can: http://www.justgiving.com/koozaiandy
As for Fibromyalgia all I can do, all any of us can do is keep fighting it. The second we give in to it we have lost.