Thursday, September 30, 2010

Better Living Through Chemistry

I have a chronic illness - Fibromyalgia. Fibro comes with a whole host of symptoms. Muscle pain, stiffness, fatigue, insomnia, forgetfulness. So most days I feel like I've been run over by a truck while suffering the worst case of flu I've ever had, only I can't remember the truck ran over over me so I wander around trying to figure out why I feel so lousy.

Good times.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia. In fact, there are a lot of doctors who don't really believe that it's even a real illness. So, because there is no cure, the best that Western medicine can do is treat the symptoms with a whole pharmacy of medications.

Muscle pain? Check. Here's a pain pill and some muscle relaxers.

Insomnia? Check. Here's a sleeping pill.

Depression? Check. Here's a happy pill.

Fatigued? Sorry. Can't give you a pill for that. But oh, by the way, all the other medications you take will probably make that worse, so you will just have to find time in your day to rest when you get sleepy.


Did I mention I'm also a single parent with two little boys? One of them is in school all day long and the other goes to half day pre-school four days a week. And I'm the only one there to make sure they're fed, have clean clothes, get up on time, have clean dishes to eat off of, have a home that's reasonably clean, etc., etc., etc.

And it DOES NOT MATTER how long I sleep at night or how much I get to rest during the day. I'm still DOG-ASS tired all day, every day.

And on the days when I do feel pretty okay, I try to do everything that hasn't gotten done and then I pay for it the next three days. And the cycle repeats.

I recently started taking Lyrica which also causes fatigue, dizziness and blurred vision. Oh yeah, and it may cause weight gain. Oh good. I'm a "curvy girl" already. So on top of everything else, now I have to worry about clothes that don't fit and muscle and joints that already hurt are going to be required to work that much harder and hurt that much more.

Sigh. Tears.

I remember a time when I felt normal. Every day now is a struggle to find some kind of balance between rest and getting done what I need to get done.

There are really bad days. Like Monday. I got my older son up and off to school and then went back to sleep until my other son woke up. I got him some breakfast and then went back to sleep for another four hours. And I didn't hear anything until the phone rang at 3:00. It was my mom telling me the school had kept my son off the bus because they thought Grandma was going to pick him up. And in the meantime, I had missed three other calls. And my little guy spent the day playing by himself.

That breaks my heart. And scares the hell out of me.

I really don't know where the humor is to be found. I can laugh sometimes about my scatterbrained-ness. But mostly it's just frustrating and embarrassing.

And I don't know where the positive is either. My faith tells me that God has a purpose for me. But I'll be damned if I can figure out what it is. People keep telling me to be patient, that more will be revealed.

But patience, humor and hope are sometimes in pretty short supply around here these days.


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