Christmas Angels

English: Christmas angel in modern glass desig...

Dear Santa,

We have no money in our family to give each other presents this year but I am not complaining about that at all. We are back home and that is the biggest gift we could have been given. We are giving each child something small for Christmas but it’s not like years past when there were a pile of gifts to buy and arrange on top of a big table. The children are much older but we all LOVE presents. My husband and I are not exchanging presents this year. The whole rebuilding of our house took extra money we had and while we did get a home equity loan, we are trying to pare down any added expenses.

Yesterday afternoon there was a huge box on our substitute kitchen table, four television tables pressed together. I looked at it curiously and assumed it was insurance papers or even worse, tax forms.

I was amazed that my name was on it; I couldn’t imagine what it might be or from whom. I gasped when I looked at the return name and address. It was from a friend who I deemed “my little sis” on Facebook. What was she doing? I knew her own struggles with money and expenses, why would she send ME something? Inside the treasured box were all sorts of lovely things, each bought, you could tell, with love and friendship. Each gift had a special meaning to both of us.

I didn’t even have enough money to do the Santa Swap that our chronic pain group (Graceful Agony) participated in, nor the wherewithal to make something simple for friends; we are still unpacking from the hotel room we had to stay in for three and a half months while our house was being rebuilt. Opening my surprise gift was the high point of my day.

My Facebook friend took the time to go shopping when she was in pain and cared about me enough to send me a package when I know she is hurting both physically and financially as well. She’s more than a friend, she’s my Christmas Angel.

I even had the gift of hearing her voice when I immediately called to say “Thank you.” We struggle alone and together with our chronic pain, having someone who knows how it feels is a blessing in itself. I want my friend to get better, she has more serious problems that I have, her pain is more severe and more consistent.

My Christmas wish is that she finds a wonderful caring surgeon that will help her and fix the mistakes that another doctor in the past, made. Please give her the hope and the chance leading a normal life with less pain. She doesn’t ask for much and she gives so much to others. Santa, I know you have delivered most of your gifts already but please swing by her house or send a messenger anytime in the New Year and let her know she has not been forgotten by you. That, is my Christmas prayer.

DEDICATED TO TAMMY S.

Yes, There Is HOPE For Fibromyalgia

Wildflower

I have made a lot of friends on some of the Fibromyalgia support groups on-line. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about five years ago. Five years that have crawled at a snail’s pace, going backwards and forwards, up and down, down, down. I wanted to write this blog post for all my fellow Fibromyalgia sufferers and tell you that while there may not be a cure, I have improved.

I never thought I would be able to get out of my bed and get to the bathroom without all the serious, horrendous, stiff, and chronic pain I have had for many years. I never expected perfect, I don’t now, but I do know improvement and I have improved. I almost want to cross my fingers while typing this so I don’t “Jinx” myself, I’m sure all of you can relate to what I am talking about.

I will always have good days and bad days, that is a realization I have accepted. I have taken, in the past, probably about thirty different medications in different combinations and this is the fourth Rheumatologist I have seen (and will continue to see.) While your Doctor does NOT have to be your best friend, you should feel that he/she believes in you AND in Fibromyalgia as a chronic pain disease. That’s very important. The Rheumatologist I went to before this called Fibromyalgia a “lazy diagnosis” and attempted to treat my pain with dangerous immunosuppresant drugs that made me sick as a dog for months at a time. He did this because combined with Fibromyalgia, I also have an auto-immune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I didn’t know better so I followed his advice and took seriously harmful drugs at a dosage that should never have been prescribed. This old Doctor was a genius, but not in Fibromyalgia and not in being pleasant and understanding. As my present Doctor put it referring to my old doctor “it’s his way or the highway.” Don’t accept that.

I am now on a combination of drugs that not only treat my symptoms but also have treated my energy levels. I am NOT running any marathons, believe me and I have flare-ups that still can make me cry, but overall, at least on some days I am better. Please, do not give up hope, do whatever you have to do to find a good Rheumatologist and only a Rhematologist that believes in you and the disease. One where you feel that he/she really wants you to get better and that they truly do care. Don’t settle for less.

We all deserve better and I just wanted to say to all my on-line friends (Hi Graceful Agony Ladies, Chronic Babes, ohmyachesandpains, etc.) please don’t give up and thank you for always being there for me; I love you all.¬† To friends that are new or newly diagnosed I NEVER¬† thought I would feel any better and now I do. How long will it last? I have no idea. I have accepted my limitations, I accept that I will have bad days as well as good but I can say for sure, that compared to how I felt five years ago, I am better. My attitude is better too.

If anyone is interested in which drugs work for ME, I would be happy to tell you. Don’t give up, I almost did. If you are new to this and don’t know how you are feeling or if you are feeling mad and angry and sorry for yourself; go ahead, you deserve it. Been there, done that and try to stay in the present, not the past or the future. As my dad used to say to me “Be in Neutral.” It’s a life lesson from my dad that has stayed with me, try it, it might help you too.