The Stranger

Robber Fly sucking the life from it's latest d...

Image by MasterTaker via Flickr

My head is throbbing, my cheeks hurt from congestion, my legs feel like tree trunks. I want to get showered and dressed and hop into the car except I don’t hop anymore nor do I skip. In the best of times it’s hard to even walk, to get up from a seated position, to lower myself from standing to sitting in the car. I’ve been robbed. I have been robbed of my physical, mental and my emotional health by some unknown force like the robber fly as he takes his victim.

In addition to Fibromyalgia and an auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I now have a simple virus or mini-flu which in the best of times makes you feel poorly. But, a virus on top of my other two chronic illnesses makes you feel overwhelmed. I can usually handle the discomfort and pain but not now. Not this time. Is it a flu, a Fibromyalgia -up or a flu on a fibro flare? No one can even tell me what a flare up really feels like or what it does to my body. I don’t really need to know but it would be nice if I could once in a while differentiate my sources of pain. I can’t. I only know that I feel worse, that every step is agony and that I groan going up the steps and down, clutching the banister for support. What has happened to me and who have I become?

I don’t have the energy or the will to get showered, dressed and out the door. Everything I do seems to be an overwhelming task. I cannot remember what it felt like in the past to have such strength and motivation and joy to start a full day. If I can do one errand, get out of the house for one thing in particular, it’s a good day; I have achieved something major.

Fibromyalgia hurts my body, my mind and my feelings. Imagine having a disease that gives you extraordinary pain when half the world is smirking and rolling their eyes and the other half are nodding with tears streaming down their cheeks in empathy. The world, as always, is divided.

I both dread and look forward to my appointments with my Rheumatologist. Sometimes I feel that THIS time he will have the magic answers, most times I can comprehend that there are no miracle cures. I have this chronic illness that will not go away, ever. I am not the same person who used to walk with friends for 3 miles in 45 minutes, who was a size 8, who belonged to a gym with my friend Lisa, who was young and independent.

I was a different person years ago. I worked full-time and drove back and forth to work, made dinner, took care of my child, went to bed fairly late and woke up to the shrill noise of my alarm clock and my husband’s arm nudging me awake. Who was that girl, that young woman? Why did you have to keep her held hostage forever? Why not even a reprieve now and then?

I sit, I wait, I lie down, I avoid the ice, the freezing rain, any chances to fall and break another bone. I lie back against three lumpy pillows and think about dinner or when I will feel able to pick up my prescriptions from the drugstore. I am not who I was yet I don’t recognize myself either.

Who am I? I am lost.

6 thoughts on “The Stranger

  1. First of all I found you because you found me on my blog

    Secondly, I am so sad you are suffering. I don’t know where you live but check out the National Fibromyalgia Assn Web-site (there’s a link on my blog, I don’t remember the URL)

    The NFA keeps updated on all the latest research and has a list of doctors who specialize/treat Fibro. You have so many other things to deal with I would be hopeful that you could find some help.

    Thirdly, I take Cymbalta and Mirapex and it’s been a MIRACLE for me. Mirapex is Rx off-label as it’s a dopamine enhancer they give to Parkinson’s Pt’s. The research by Dr Patrick Wood shows that a high percentage of fibro pt’s have too low levels of dopamine. Dopamine regulates central nervous system.
    I also have clients who have been saved by Lyrica.

    There ARE treatments out there now and a good fibro doctor is the first step.

    I truly know the hopelessness about this condition. I was diagnosed in 1996 and I’m doing GREAT now. It’s not hopeless.

    My heart goes out to you.


  2. It’s so damned hard, isn’t it? I have gotten so upset about not being able to “be me” sometimes that I would think I was better off dead. But eventually that goes away; it’s not a permanent state!!! I mean the pain and the fatigue come and go and so does the lost feeling…

    And at the risk of being annoying…there’s this book called “How To Be Sick” that is helping me get a handle on how I think about being sick. If you’re interested, here’s a link to my blog which will lead you to an online book club… because support really does help…

    Hang in there!


  3. There are so many of us who have been robbed of our lives. It pisses me off. I feel like crying for all of us. Maybe tomorrow you will feel a bit better. I hope we all do.


  4. you are the new you and now you are my friend! you and i are going to help each other stay up beat and not allow our damned diseases to define who we really are! thats who you are and i’m glad i have met you on these sites or we never would have met! talk to you whenever you need to!


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