My Fibromyalgia Vacation

Rhode Island Retreat 2983

Rhode Island Retreat 2983 (Photo credit: WebAdvantage.net)

I bet for a second you actually thought I got a vacation from Fibromyalgia and ALL my aches and pains. Oh, silly you, you know THAT’S not possible, that’s not even a thought that enters my sane mind anymore. Actually, it doesn’t even enter my insane mind. I’m stuck with this horrid disease, as I know so many of you are, and we are going nowhere, well, not fast. Fast is a past tense word. I don’t do anything quickly anymore, with the exception of napping and eating.

My husband and I went away for a couple of days, it was a short car ride that we broke down in two days. Yes, we stopped overnight so I wouldn’t have to sit in the car for four hours which, I thought, was extremely sweet and generous of my husband. After all, money is tight and in August we are sending two kids to college (state schools, thank goodness, but two in college at the same time.)

We arrived at our lovely Bed and Breakfast and it was the first time I noticed someone actively noticing me. The Inn Keeper was watching me, she stared at me, not unkindly, but with acknowledgment. I only had one computer bag in my hand and she said “let me take that for you, it’s easier for me.” This was not a woman who was much younger than me but when I saw her sprint up and down the stairs like a youthful kangaroo I realized how old and how sick I must look and seem. It was devastating to me and quite alarming.

I am used to my small circle of friends and family who are with me all the time and know about the chronic pain and illness. The stiffness in my bones, muscles, the nerve pain, the imbalance, the awkwardness of going up stairs (and these were deep and wide stairs.) My husband’s arm was always at the ready and I’m sure she noticed that too but I felt so conspicuous. I felt like I had a sign on my back that read: DAMAGED GOODS. Apparently, I did.

I have other tests coming up soon and if those are okay I know I will be thankful for just having Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an auto-immune disease of the thyroid.)  I am not complaining about how I feel physically as much as the shock I felt when the inn-keeper looked at me, with equal parts of pity, kindness and sorrow. She was NOT trying to make me feel bad in any way, but bad is how I felt, I’m so used to feeling physically bad that I don’t know what physically good feels like anymore. Physically painful is my new normal. I felt emotional pain from a stranger for the very first time and that hurt.