Ten years on… everything and nothing has changed. Today marks 10 years since i was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Ten years. A decade. Not your typical anniversary. Not one you would celebrate anyways. This diagnosis came after 2 years of widespread pain, confusion, tests, doctors and tears. I finally had my answer. Or so i thought. Little did i know that, that was only the start of what was to come. Paddy’s week is always a hard one for me. Not that i need a reminder, i feel and live it everyday but there is something about this day passing and another year going by that absolutely floors me. My family and friends try their best to tell me it all hasn’t been a waste and there has been good things but i cannot help how i feel. My 20’s gone. Wasted. Consumed with pain. Days, weeks, months and now years spent bed and/or housebound. Existing rather than living. Time is so precious and that is something i will never get back.
I think what makes it so hard was that it was just a single blow i received. Within 24 hours of that date in March 2010 i received my life sentence and lost my job. I cannot begin to tell you how that hit me mentally. You are stripped of your identity , your independance, your career , your worth , your future , your hope.
The carpet My world was pulled out from under me and turned upside down. I’m not a Debbie downer, it’s just not me. 90% of the time i manage it and remind myself how much worse i could be. I have a roof over my head and a loving family. It has become harder to keep pushing the hurt, frustration, tiredness, pain, grief and anger to the side. It’s not fair but it’s the hand i have been dealt. Every so often a straw breaks the camels back and i blow. As much as it is important to keep positive, it is equally important to allow yourself to feel. You can be in dire pain and still have hope. It may not make sense but as much as the physical symptoms hit the hardest, your mental health can feel it most. It’s a chicken and the egg situation. Which comes first? Entering into a viscous circle of feeling depressed causing pain and being in pain because you are depressed. Same goes for tiredness. It goes on and on. And on.
From that day i knew i had Fibromyalgia, like i said i feel it every single day. The problem was and is that i always knew there was more. It can be really hard to know because of the huge array of varried symptoms wheather you are just having a flare-up or if it is something else. I wrote about Fibromyalgia on the blog previously where i tried to explain the chronic illness and shed some light on it as best i could. There i stated that fibro is not degenerative like say MS. But yet there i was , year after year getting worse. More symptoms developing. More pain. More suffering. All kinds of frustrating when it was looked upon as just being fibro and unfortunetly with limited options. There is no cure only things to do and take to try have some quality of life. I was beyond exhausted constantly. Chronic fatigue isn’t just tiredness it is like the worst flu of your life after running a marathon. Wiped out and feeling completely shit, for lack of better words, all the time. Isolated, lonely with not even the energy to shower. Since then i have added several more illnesses to the tally including two autoimmune diseases. Both more serious and dangerous yet fibro rares its ugly head and reigns over me. If only i was as sick now as i thought i was then. There are still a lot of answers needed and lord knows a way to go to get where i need to be. I’ll get there though sure don’t i have an army behind pushing up.
These ten years have thought me a few things. I know my own body really well and with respect, probably better than some doctors. What i feel is real and not in my head like suggested by some. What others think or feel about me or my health is irrelevent. Their lack of empathy or educated opinions add nothing. I’ve bigger fish to fry as the saying goes. If it doesn’t feel good , walk or limp away. It’s how it is and how it has to be. I know i have to fight harder for things. The little things have become the big things in life. Sometimes i think about where i would be right now if this hadn’t of happening. One thing is for sure this blog wouldn’t be here. So there is one positive take home i suppose. Maybe the one thing i have to show for it all. It has given me time to do the thing i love, albeit in a different way.
I’m not sure where i was going with this. I just started typing and here i am. This is chronic pain. This is invisible illness. I have no idea what the next 10 years hold nor can i plan for them. My dreams haven’t been cancelled, my route is just full of roadworks.