Fibro Girl, Grey’s Anatomy And Me

Grey's Anatomy (season 1)

Grey’s Anatomy (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I think of “Fibro Girl” I imagine a small, spunky superhero with brown hair and round black glasses and a red cape that has a big bold black F on it. I don’t know why I think of her that way but it amuses me. Maybe because it’s such a juxtaposition between her life and mine. She is trying to fight Fibromyalgia with her strength. I have NO strength. When I was FINALLY diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, seven years ago, my strength was taken away.

Our lives with this illness are question marks. It is hard for us to plan ahead. In fact for me, it’s impossible. For people who DON’T have FIBROMYALGIA OR DOUBTERS (seriously? still?)  I am physically unable to commit to a date in the future without the caveat “depends on how I’m feeling.”  People who cannot understand that are not true friends. We didn’t ask for this, we wish we didn’t have it. Believe us.

My current experience with Fibromyalgia is that I am able to do one errand per day, MAYBE two. If I push my limit I’m wiped out and pay for it later with exhaustion/ pain. At the moment I am not suffering as much physical pain as I had in the past. (see past Fibromyalgia posts) There’s always some pain but I have learned to accept and manage that pain because of a great doctor and the right combination of Fibro drugs. Now, doctors are worried about a new “balance issue” which has nothing to do with Fibromyalgia.  More tests, a pink cane….I can’t walk a straight line, two perfect CAT scans. Can we stop now? No.

Fibromyalgia takes control over us. I’m embarrassed to say that I never thought about it that way. Amazing how our lives change so quickly. If stress is indeed a factor, I’m in deep trouble. My husband got laid off 2 days ago. I can’t work even though I want to and we need the money but it’s not possible. It doesn’t seem right to punish us for something we physically cannot do. Not right at all.

We don’t live in a perfect world, although I really do know people who live a charmed life in every aspect of their lives. Lucky them, maybe they have dark secrets but I doubt it. All I want is a break in having to struggle every single day with some new illness or symptom. The umbrella of Fibromyalagia has so many illnesses underneath it I go to the doctor(s) way too much.

Right now, with the weather is getting colder. I always feel worse when it is cold outside. Then, a good time for me is staying in bed with my dog lying next to me, watching Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood or The Voice. The television has become my life line. That and this computer connecting me to friends with Fibro and without. We do the best we can with what we have. Minute by minute, day by day. We’re in it together, holding hands, on-line and off.

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Hope, Lost

fibromyalgia awareness

fibromyalgia awareness (Photo credit: veganjoy)

I am feeling funky today. Not funky ha ha, funky bad, I get those days from time to time. Fibromyalgia and chronic pain are to blame. There are days when I have a really good attitude about my chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia and I say things to myself like “it’s not life-threatening” to keep me sane and balanced and aware, even grateful. Then there are nights like tonight where my face crinkles in uneasy frowns and my smile has disappeared as if I have two very different personalities. This “me” is not happy, and this “me” is angry, pissed off and ready to rumble.

Tonight is a night when many of my Fibromyalgia on-line friends/sisters in solidarity, are on-line, I read their blogs, they read mine.  There seems to be a lull in energy for all of us, a low in satisfaction, an overall feeling of just wanting to give up and an off the wall chart on pain levels. We have had enough, all of us. Yes, we know we have the illness, yes we will never get rid of it, yes it hurts and clouds our minds so much that our children look at us as if we have dementia. It’s called Fibro Fog.

I’ve never been overly concerned with my age, 55, but I am disappointed and disgusted in my physical limitations. Between low blood pressure, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Fibromyalgia, I don’t have a lot of energy. Other times, I have balance issues, always I have pain. At some point in the day or night, pain wakes me up in the cramping of my arms, in the battlefield of my legs. My husband passes by me and by accident his soft, cotton shirt touches one of my tender points and I scream out in pain. He didn’t do anything wrong but just the touch of the fabric was excruciatingly painful. It’s not fair and yes, I am whining tonight.

I’m tired and cranky and cranky some more. Oh, p.s. IT’S NOT IN OUR HEADS!

My jaw hurts from TMJ, my stomach hurts from IBS, my hair falls out and I can’t get a good night’s sleep which is imperative to my health. I can’t win, we can’t win. I feel  impatient and eventually I will settle down but now I just want to be angry at how my body has failed me. You know it’s true.

No, I don’t want platitudes, I just want to vent and say that I know it could be much worse but for now, it isn’t exactly like a walk in the park. I have a puppy, she needs to be walked, she needs to run but I can’t run with her. I take her on short walks when I can and sometimes I just throw her a toy, from my lying down position on the couch. It isn’t much but it is something. Still, I feel like a bad puppy mommy.

I had to have a brain/spine MRI because my imbalance was so severe that I fell flat on my face and knees outside with nothing to trip me. I’m seeing my Rheumatologist but I KNOW he doesn’t have the answer. He believes me, he cares, he tries but I know he can only do so much. Part of me wants to throw away the medicine I am taking (Savella) and see how bad it is without it. On the other hand, I’m scared to do that, I’m a little better than I was originally. Just not good enough.

Fibromyalgia Update: It Just Gets Worse?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Human brain side view

Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Human brain side view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

July 30, 2012

My Fibromyalgia update is not full of rainbows and unicorns and fairy dust, it’s plunking along through a slow and painful process, apparently it goes on forever. Now, in addition to Fibromyalgia and the auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I’ve had to deal with Nuerological issues as well. Imbalance? Ah yes, you know it well.  Now I have another doctor to include to my semi-annual repertoire  and I have a feeling it isn’t ending here. Just a feeling though…..

I’ve already had a brain and cervical spine MRI, the results were fine. My new Nuerologist (yeah, now I have one of those too) sent me a note saying that everything was normal given my age. “MY AGE” as if I don’t feel old enough. I do remember in the exam he exclaimed” So, what you are telling me is that you were basically a healthy woman until you hit the age of 50.” That grounded me, but it is so true. I know we weren’t supposed to trust anyone over 30 when we were young but no one said anything about falling apart when turning 50. You would think that would be written somewhere, or at least a warning sent when you are 45, (“ENJOY YOUR NEXT FIVE YEARS!!!!) not that we would have believed anything so preposterous.

Whoever says 50 is the new 40 does NOT have Fibromyalglia, I can pretty much bet on that. Tell a person who has Fibromyalgia that 50 is the new 40 and you are most likely to get a response like “my ass it is.” I couldn’t agree more.  I am so frustrated with different doctors and medications, I’m tempted (merely tempted) to talk to my Rheumatologist and see what he says about stopping Savella. I know, I’m ALL talk, Savella helps me, at least a little. However, my Rheumatologist put me on something called Topomax which he said would help me and I took it for many months.  I took it until my balance was so off kilter (even more than usual) and my forgetfulness was at an all time high AND I was getting tingling in my feet and hands; that scared me. One look at my medical history and the Nuerologist immediately said: Topomax: First two side effects are tingling and imbalance. Seriously, Did my Rheumatologist not know that? You would think that my Internist would be involved in some way but if it isn’t strep throat or a sinus infection, “it’s not her job.”

Once in awhile I have taken to using a cane, especially when walking our really strong 5 month old puppy, but with an 18 year old daughter, who embarrasses easily, I think I will use it more in three weeks when she goes to college. Wednesday, I am going back to the Nuerologist for results of my tests, I will see what he has to say. I’m bringing my husband along with me to listen; I am a horrible “listener” at a doctor’s appointment. I think it’s called the “white coat syndrome” whatever the doctor says, I seem to only remember the one or two bad words. My husband is much better at things like that than I am.

Next week I will go to the Rheumatologist and try to straighten things out. I would ask one doctor to talk to the other but in the past few years I have noticed they really don’t like to do that. I know, “LIKE?” I will insist, because the only one who can manage my healthcare, let’s face it, is me.

I’ll keep you posted.