I’ve been working through the pain of Fibromyalgia for the last few months; today it caught up to me in a bad way. I couldn’t move, walk, take a baby step. Even when I sat down on my pale green modern sofa, my feet ached and throbbed and wouldn’t stop hurting. Drugs don’t seem to help me but sleep does. It’s only 7:00pm and I am forcing myself to stay awake even though I am lying down on my bed, stiff and unable to move. I need help to get out of bed, I am grateful for my husband who comes to my rescue. Very grateful.
I am yearning for sleep; to pull the extra blankets over my head and feel my body try to release its tension and pain. I’m hoping the pain will not wake me up tonight, will not tug at my shoulders or send stabbing pain up and down my legs. I need a night off from pain, just one night and then I will be ready to trudge through the pain again, like walking uphill through a windy snowstorm. It isn’t easy but if it has to be done, it’s sometimes possible.
Everything tonight is black and white, food, books, conversations, life. I am trying to relax my muscles but it is not working, maybe I am trying too hard. I am not sure I know what the word relaxation means anymore since my body feels like an overworked metal machine; I am the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, still searching for some oil.
After many years of believing in the magic oil, the magic pain relief, I have given up on believing in a possible cure. I don’t care about the naysayers either, I know what I feel, what many of my friends feel. Who wants to advertise or brag about pain? Not I.
I compliment myself on my attitude, still having a sense of humor, still looking forward to a piece of a chocolate chip loaf from a nearby restaurant. I have plans to watch Modern Family with my husband on-line to keep me up 26 minutes later before I beg for sleep. I accept what I can do and what I can’t do. There is a handicap rail for inside my new, deep bathtub. My daughter looked shocked, embarrassed: “Mom, please don’t tell me we are having handicapped bars in the upstairs bathroom.” “Yes” I said quietly but firmly. “Why?” her teenage self asked. “Because I need them, honey” I answered. She had the grace to turn away so I could not see her embarrassed and troubled blue eyes.
I need to use handicapped rails sometimes, like I also need tea with milk and honey in the winter and bright yellow daffodils in the springtime. All of these parts represent me, not just one. Like I need my morning coffee, now known as “a red-eye” a strong cup of coffee with a shot of espresso, it doesn’t define me but it is part of my routine in the morning. Fibromyalgia and my autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are just parts of me; the parts of me that suffers with chronic physical pain. I have to accept that but I do not have to let them define me.