One day, out of the blue, I woke in terrible pain. I thought of heading to the hospital. My whole body felt like I had the worst flu!! I was wracked with pain. I called my family doctor for an appointment and called in sick at work. I was very animated as I spilled out all my complaints. He was a doctor that had seen fibromyalgia. “I’m afraid you have a textbook case of fibromyalgia”. It was head-to-toe! We talked a little about it. Writing on his prescription pad he said compassionately to “keep yourself warm,” and that would make me feel better. But that was all of his advise. My sister had fibromyalgia, too.
I was still working. There were days that I ‘hit the wall’ at 2:00pm. I was working for a friend, so walking out and going home didn’t result in loosing my job. I couldn’t explain or understand why I felt SO bad! Some days when I’d leave work and go home, I’d go to bed and cry for the pain and frustration I felt. I was a high energy person, when I walked, I walked fast, when I worked, I worked fast.
I was taking about 20 tablets of ibuprofen every day for this omnipresent pain. At work I’d complain to my friend, “I feel so old!” That was the truth. I could not understand what was attacking me! It wore at me, like an unsolved problem or unfinished business.
Well, knowledge is power they say, so I took control and read for myself. I started by looking up those anti-depressants prescribed for me. These were not what I wanted to take. In my mind they were connected to depression and suicide. The purchase of a huge book about fibromyalgia opened up the world to me. I learned that anti-depressants help set up a better sleeping pattern, and better sleep helps with chronic pain.
Most people with fibromyalgia have insomnia. Alpha rhythms are normally generated during the day. Delta brain waves are associated with deeper levels of sleep. Chronic pain worsens sleep difficulties. In people with chronic pain, alpha rhythms can intrude into your delta sleep time. If this is repeated thru the night, you could be more sensitive to pain the following days. The more delta sleep you get, the more it will lessen your pain sensations and improve your energy.
My natural health care provider introduced me to a herbal/homeopathic muscle relaxer and stress reducer. That took me to a special vitamin shop with whole foods and juicers. I saw remedies for fibromyalgia, books for fibromyalgia. I took a juicer home with me. I juiced carrots for 5 years. We bought organic carrots by the pound, celery, and kale. I could feel a difference when I quit. Being 53 then I was concerned with the sugar in the carrots – 8 -10 carrots for breakfast. Now I do everything to eat better with whole foods, and bottled juices, the green ones with wheat grass and kale. I know the value of leafy greens! Now I eat them gladly.
I had lost my good job, and tried to get another one. It was all sitting, and typing. In one week my muscles began to clamp down. With lack of movement during the day, I could barely raise my arms up to the steering wheel to drive home. I left that job, and started filling out my disability papers. And as the norm is in my state, they turned my first claim down. So I got representation. They filed for me but it was not within the States time limit. So they appealed the first decision and won my case. They gathered all the information by phone, and I didn’t have to show up in court. They are social security/disability experts, and they win 98% of their cases. They could have not made it easier.
I watched as my front flowerbed ran away from me. All the weeding I had done, was almost impossible now. If I squatted down, my knees would grind and punish me for standing up. I got my first store-bought reacher with rubber pinchers on the end. I try to weed standing up. The weeds just mocked me. I dread to know what my neighbors think. I loved planting new bulbs for springtime, and I would watch over every new plant.
My husband is getting the groceries for me now. That is something we used to do together. I seldom leave the house anymore. And if I do it’s to see my doctor. I really like to shop for good deals in the thrift stores, but I’ll do that once a month or less. Standing on my feet over 30 minutes becomes very painful. Then all I can think about it getting home to the couch.
With so much time on my hands I took interest in special hand crafted cards. I sold every one I made. Thinking now in multiples I made more, and they sold, suddenly. My friend Kathy spoke to a store owner and they gave me my first outlet. It was such a pleasure making and selling them. When I send one of my special cards to someone, I consider it a gift.