Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Year Anniversary

This week it was one year ago that I finally learned I had Fibromyalgia. One the one hand, I remember crying with relief that someone finally believed me and believed I was really suffering. On the other hand, I was scared to death because I had no clue what that meant for me, or my future.

I had my diagnosis confirmed a few weeks later by a Rheumatologist. It was then that I also learned that I was one of the 10% who had a severe form of it. I've always been an all-or-nothing kind of girl, and that continues even when I'm sick. lol

It took a few more months of trial and (some scary) errors & ER visits to figure out if there were any medications out there to help me.

Even though I hate this illness with every fiber of my being, I have learned some valuable lessons because of it. The biggest things I've learned is that #1 I'm a lot stronger than I ever thought I could be. There were times I would cry out on my bed shouting "God please, I am not this strong. I can't do this" and he'd let me cry it out and show me that, yes I could, even if I didn't want to.

The #2 thing I learned is that I'm ok, just the way I am with all my flaws, extra pounds, and weaknesses. God loves me, my family loves me, and that's all that really truly matters. I'm not hung up anymore on what people think.

Ok, wait, that's not entirely true. I still have a very big complex about being seen with my cane, or even worse, with my scooter. People always want to ask questions, and after you explain what's going on, they always sweetly give you that "aaww you poor thing" look. I hate that look. LOL So yes, I guess I am still vain when it comes to my cane and scooter.

I've learned more about Fibromyalgia in the past year than I ever thought could be possible. I spent a long, agonizing winter last year with my body wracked with pain, and I gained a determination that this year I was not going down without a fight.

I began to read and read and all the research pointed to people benefiting from going gluten-free. My food allergies showed I had an allergy to wheat and gluten, so why not give it a shot.

Let me just say that going gluten-free is not for the faint of heart. It's hard. No's hard! I still miss a good turkey burger on an onion bun. I miss pizza with a thick crisp/chewy crust. I miss bread. Good, soft, multi-grain bread. I miss it all very much. However, if it will help, than it's a sacrifice I have to be willing to make.

It's meant I have had to start cooking. Many days my poor kitchen looks like a bomb went off in it. There's food splattered everywhere, and every single pot, pan, bowl, and spoon we have is piled high in the sink, and somehow I always seem to end up with a scalp full of oregano, even on a day I was making cookies. It has also meant my poor husband and son are having to pay the price as my taste testers, and it has my daughters glad they got out when they did.

Something else I recently started doing is taking an online Fibromyalgia self-help course teaching ways to cope with the different symptoms you experience, and oh my goodness it was such a help to me. I learned tips and tricks that I never would have imagined. I am now a member of their alumni group (with the benefits of a message board and open chat nights), and have signed up for their advanced course. When you do the course you have a moderator and a (MIT) moderator in training. After I finish all the courses, I am interested in paying what I've learned forward and perhaps becoming an MIT and then a Moderator. But that's a long ways off.

For now, I'm content to keep working on what I've learned not only in class, but throughout this past year. I'm looking ahead and praying that I will be blessed with more successes and more lessons to learn....not that I have all these learned yet. ha

No, I'm not thankful I got sick, but I do feel blessed because of it. If that makes sense. I'm also re-learning something I learned long ago...laughter really is the best medicine!


The Bug said...

LOL at the oregano in your hair! I think you cook like I do.

LOVE the apple a day saying. I was just thinking this morning that I'd like to change my current arthritis strategy (taking 4 200mg ibuprofen a day). But trial & error is a pain - literally!

Can't wait to hear about whether the gluten free helps you this winter.

Fran said...

IMHO you would be a wonderful MIT with your empathy and humor. If nothing else you'd have everyone giggling by the end of class!