Most people do not know that I struggle with fibromyalgia. Chronic deliberating pain that often makes it impossible for me to complete simple things….like combing my hair and buttoning a shirt.
I received the diagnosis of Fibro and borderline Lupus in the military after being in for 16 years. Just like many others, I thought my persistent pains and aches were just a part of the toll of running, numerous deployments and working in difficult enviroments. After 2 days of intense all over pain, my doctor informed me that my body was undergoing a major change. There was no cure and that my symptoms would get worse as I got older. I begin to realize that “late nights” would take on a different meaning for me.
My love/hate relationship with my body began shortly after that. “I will fight this!” I vowed. I didn’t realize how hard the battle would be. After retirement, I continue to exercise and eat right. My body fought back…with a vengeance. Reminding me that no matter how hard I tried, It would always be ahead of me in the race. Always one lap ahead of me…the only thing I could do is try to catch up. To keep running!
My laps are never easy. My body gives me signs and symptoms when a pain flare is about to occur. My body warns me of impeding rain, I plan accordingly. It tells me when I have been on the go too many days in a row, I take a day of rest. It warns me when I am stressed, I plan a solace …
I bargain with my body daily. Some days I win, and some days I lose….never graciously. My defeats come with intense stiffness, excruciating pain, sleepless nights, light sensitivity, pain and memory issues Some flares last for a couple of hours to several days. My pain is worse at night, when I am alone and the world is fast asleep. Late nights curled up in a ball under a heated blanket filled with insomnia and pain. Some nights I have often sat outside watching the stars….praying….waiting on the sun.
When I wake up, I feel like a new person….literally I am.
My ability to push through my pain daily keeps others wondering. I look great on the outside, but Im constantly trying to keep up. My high pain tolerance level allows me to operate normally on a pain level that many would have to seek medical attention for.
My trips to the ER come every 4 to 6 months. The nights when I can no longer find a home remedy to bring my pain level down. Over the counter meds, epson salt baths, yoga , exercise and meditation lose their strength. I become immune to regular pain relievers . Even prescribed narcotics cease to dull my pain. I sit for endless hours in an ER to receive a shot that lulls me into a peaceful state.
It is during this time, I often mentally battle with my ability to continue on this journey. It is during this time I understand how many people with chronic pain have opted for the presumed “easier way out.”
I’m grateful my spirituality prevails and the morning brings a joy! I count my blessings after late nights and I am truly thankful….thankful that Im not confined to a bed or a wheelchair. Thankful that I know that each flare will pass….eventually.
Thankful to see the sun peek through, reminding me that I made it through to another beautiful day. Thankful that through it all, I’m still running…
If you are struggling with any pain, whether physical or mental.I pray you find the strength to wait on the sunrise.
Peace, Love & Empowerment