I am a FIBRO WARRIOR. I battle my body every single day. Pain is ever present, it never leaves.
When I was first diagnosed in 2010, I was relieved that all the pain and agony I had been facing for several years was real. So many doctors, test and procedures and being told “there’s nothing wrong” or “it’s all in your mind” was the worst thing that could happen. Feeling lost as if a ship, adrift at sea, and no land in sight. No hope of anyone understanding how I felt. People thinking I was being over dramatic or lazy at best. Others being sympathetic, but were tired of hearing the same thing over and over. I began to think it was all in my mind.
After the diagnosis, I was looking forward to some type of treatment that would end this hell I was living. Unfortunately, there is no cure at this time for fibromyalgia. What I suffer with, the symptoms I incur daily, may not be what another person with fibromyalgia suffers with. There are over 250 symptoms and overlapping conditions associated with this disorder, commonly known as FMS.
Today, I am in severe pain. I haven’t done anything out of my normal to be in this kind of pain. I know the rainy weather we are having is helping to exacerbate the pain. Cool, moist weather always seems to affect me horribly. Warm, HOT weather, I thrive in. Not so for many of my friends that have FMS. They droop like flowers that haven’t been watered in HOT weather.
While on was on vacation last week, being in the very warm weather in Southwest Florida, I felt the best I had felt in years. Being able to get in a pool daily and move without pain, under the water was heavenly. However living underwater is not an option. It was however, a daily relief. My sleep patterns were better. I felt rested for the first time in a long time. And I was. I took the time to sit and relax, enjoy some quality time with people in my life and just be.
Walking is becoming more difficult day by day. My cane goes with me everywhere and some days I need to use the walker. I do not have a walker with a seat, but I know I will be getting one in the future. I miss the things I used to enjoy because walking is so uncomfortable. I need to be able to sit and rest from time to time and many places, stores, etc. do not have seating. Missing out on family outings and activities because my energy levels are just not there anymore.
My skin is very hypersensitive. I can have a hair land on my arm when brushing my hair out of the morning and knowing there is a piece on my arm, but I can’t see it to remove it is frustrating. I constantly itch, no matter what medicated lotions my doctor prescribes. As a result, I have sores on my skin that I itch raw and then reopen when scratching them.
The stiffness in my joints becomes increasingly worse day by day. And I could go on and on about the horrific ways I feel each day, but I won’t.
I serve a God that loves me. I love him. I know that no matter what I go through in life, whether it be my internal suffering or financial hardships or family difficulties, He is always with me. He comforts me when I am struggling. Suffering from a chronic illness helps me comfort others and offer encouragement. No matter what I face in this life, or what you face, God is right there, waiting for you to seek him out. Pray to him.
Do you suffer with something in your life that you think no one else would understand or could empathize with you? We are all facing battles in our life everyday and no one can understand what you are facing unless they walk in your shoes. But God knows, He wants you to draw close to Him. He weeps when we are in pain.
People ask why do bad things happen to good people? I don’t know why. But I do know that God will use everything in your life for good, according to His purpose.
Today is a day of celebration. Independence Day. I had planned on going to our church and helping pass out water and food to people parking in the lot to see our town fireworks. When I woke up, and dressed for the day, that was the plan. But unfortunately, plans have changed. Just walking from one room in the house to another has been hard today. The thought of walking in a huge lot, in the rain, will not work for me. If I go when I am struggling to make it just through the day, it will exacerbate my symptoms and bring on a flareup. My pain will heighten and fatigue will engulf me. Am I disappointed that I have had to change my plans at the last minute-you betcha.
I grieve the Carlene that is no longer here. Someone that used to love to go hiking, spending time outdoors, going to flea markets and outdoor sales, someone that could ride a bike just for fun and take daily walks in the neighborhood. I have become a prisoner in my own home; I know how to navigate around it and can sit or lie down when needed. Going shopping, even to the store, is challenging. I must have a list-in the order things are in the store, so I don’t have to keep weaving back in forth to find what I need.
I grieve because there are many things we would like to do as a family, but I don’t have the energy to do it. I sit on the sidelines of life and wonder how much longer will this go on? And then I realize that I am still very blessed. I can breathe on my own. I can see and hear, I can walk, I have a home, a husband, children, grandchildren, family and friends that love me and the suffering doesn’t go away, but it doesn’t become my main focus in life.
My main focus is to share Jesus with others. To share my story with them. Jesus carries me when I am too tired to make it on my own. Jesus holds me and rocks me when I am sad. Jesus loves me even when I don’t love myself. He is my rock, my fortress and my salvation.
Psalm 94:18-19 New Living Translation (NLT)
18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
19 When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
May you find comfort in the arms of the Savior! Blessings to you and Happy Independence Day!