One day

One day I took my mom to the store. Her shirt was dirty. Her shorts were old and worn. Her socks were dingy white. Her teeth looked unbrushed and her hair was mess.

One day I was embarrassed. I rushed her through the store trying to avoid eye contact with strangers passing by. I rushed her so she wouldn’t try to talk to people.

One day I was so frustrated that she kept repeating herself to the cashier that I interrupted her and exclaimed she had dementia and didnt know what she was saying.

Then…. one day I remembered her taking me to the store as a kid. My hair was a mess. My clothes were dirty from playing all day. I stopped everyone and asked silly questions.

That one day, my mom didnt care. I was her little girl and she loved me and didnt care what anyone thought.

Then one day, I didnt care. I didnt care what people thought. I walked slowly with my mom letting her look around. Letting her stop and talk to people. Letting her repeat herself. Letting her laugh and enjoy her time away from a house she spent most of her time alone.

One day I felt no reason to explain the situation because she was my mom and I loved her, I didnt care what anyone thought!


Me and my mom on my graduation day.

Fatty fatty two by four

I have a fatty liver. What the heck is a fatty liver? I have a fatty gut, a fatty butt, a double chin, back fat and rubbing thighs. Now I have a fatty liver. Great. I’m also prediabetic. So I’m supposed to watch what I eat, exercise and limit my alcohol.

Photo courtesy of http://www.honorhealth.com

No Netflix and pizza 4 nights a week for this girl anymore. Beer… I’m gonna have a few beers. It may not be good for the liver and diabetes, but it does wonders for my soul.

Maybe this is just what I needed. A kick in the ass. I never wanted to just sit around and feel sorry for myself. I didnt want to become one of those people that one up your illnesses or problems. We all know that one person. Your car breaks down, their house caught on fire. You got stitches, they had a kidney removed. Well, I was becoming that person. So this is what i needed.

A kick in my fatty liver ass!

Looking….. again

This morning I woke up, meaning I actually slept last night, feeling pretty good. That’s impressive considering I just lost my job due to my absenteeism. That also means I lost my insurance. But I knew it was coming. I missed three days in a row last week. Two days the week before that. I usually fight through the pain, the fog and the exhaustion to make it in but this flare, this flare was something else. I got my perscibtions filled and seen my doctor before my insurance expired so I should be good for a while.

Now to find a new job. This is always the hard part.

Photo courtesy of http://www.careerfoundation.com

Why did I leave my last job? Absenteeism is never a good answer. I really dont know what to say to this question. I want to say “I’m a harder worker. I’m a dedicated worker. I’m experienced and I can do the job. But sometimes I have debilitating pain. Sometimes I have an exhaustion that falls over me like a dark heavy blanket. Sometimes my brain loses it’s way in the fog that is fibromyalgia. But other than that you’ll see I’m a perfect fit for your company”.

Every job I take is a step down from the last. The same goes for the pay.

But I’m ok with it. I understand. Who wants to employe someone who might have a painful flare up in the middle of project or a busy week. I understand. I have to…. right?

It’s your own fault

So I finally got a name to the pain and fatigue that has consumed my life. Fibromyalgia. Since my rheumatologist didn’t offer much advice I resorted to internet searching. After endless hours and endless days searching I’ve came to the conclusion this is a disease that people don’t really know much about.

Some say it’s caused by a traumatic event like a car accident. Some believe it could be brought on by stress…. diet…. weight….lifestyle….maybe?

I drank alcohol. I smoked. I was overweight. I had an unhealthy diet. My doc said all those things contributed to it. It could be a big factor as to why I developed fibromyalgia.

Thinking back, I remember pain, I remember exhaustion, as a child. Horrible leg cramps. I would cry out at night and my parents would have to come and rub my legs. “Growing pains” the doctor said. Going to bed at 7pm and waking up at noon the next day just to eat and go back to sleep. Falling asleep in class. “Some kids need more sleep” the doctor said. Horrible migraines, IBS, joint pains. “She might just be doing it for attention or to get out of school” the doctor said.

It got to the point my parents would dismiss my complaints and tell me to quit whining or stop being so lazy, it’s all in your head.

So I stopped. I stopped complaining. I stopped sleeping when I was tired.

As a teen I turned to drinking and smoking pot. It help with the pain, it helped me forget I wasn’t normal, it gave me a little peace for a little while.

So thinking back, it was fibromyalgia. I don’t remember an traumatic events happening as a child. I didn’t drink alchohol as a kid. I didn’t smoke as a kid. I wasn’t an overweight kid.

So where did my fibromyalgia come from?

I’m in pain!

I am not sure how many times I went to see my family doctor. Always for the same thing but sometimes it was a different location. PAIN! I was in pain, I was exhausted, I was having digestive troubles. My shoulder blade up to my neck. My shoulders. My arms. My back, legs, feet. Debilitating headaches. Diarrhea, constipation, nausea. Some days I couldn’t get out of bed. Wherever or whatever it was I was sure it was something serious. How could it not be. No one can be in this kind of pain and not have something serious. A broken bone? A torn ligament? Dislocated joint? Cancer? Even though relief always set in once I found out it wasn’t serious, but the frustration soon follow as I wondered what was wrong.

Was it in my head? Am I making this up?

First actual diagnosis was depression. I was given Paxil.

Next it was tendinitis. I was given motrin and arm braces.

Stress…. stress was the usual culprit.

I quit going to the doctors for years. I finally begin to feel maybe they were right, it was all in my head. The pain was fake and I was just lazy. I just needed to push through. I had a small child to raise. A house to clean. Supper to fix. Work to go to.

So I trudged through. Not really enjoying the moments that I should have. Not being able to enjoy my daughters childhood. But simply just getting by. A fake smile and fake enthusiasm for life.

Some nights I wished I would fall asleep and not wake up. Please God, no more imaginary pain.

I finally made an appointment for a routine check up. More blood work was done. Results came back normal except one. My ANA (antinuclear antibody) test came back positive. This can sometimes indicate an autoimmune disease. I was referred to a rheumatologist for further testing.

First visit to rheumatologist I had notebooks of all the pain and issues I was having. This was it…. I was going to get some answers. So I sat there with my notebook ready to see how impressed he was that I paid so much attention to the location, time and dates of my pain. What I ate before the pain started. How I slept. What activities I did that day.

He entered the room. Asked me what my issues where. I didn’t get through the first paragraph of my of notes before he flatly said…. “fibromyalgia. You have fibromyalgia”. Using his fingers he began to press on certain areas of my body causing intense pain. “Those are the your tender points. There are 18 of them. You have fibromyalgia”.

I had no idea what that was and no explanation was really given. I had no idea what questions to ask or how its treated. He told me to exercise. How could I exercise when I could barely stand some days.

But I finally had a name for what I was feeling. Fibromyalgia. But now what?