Fibromyalgia is my "Thing" #3
It's helpful for me, at least, to know how my life stacked up before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I want to share so you might see yourself, or siblings or anyone you know with this disease on a parallel level.
When I and a multitude of others were wondering what in the world was wrong with me I had one security, my mom understood and she knew that I was telling the truth about my pain. I never lied.
She grounded me from riding my bicycle I had just gotten for my birthday because she thought it was hurting me. I made the mistake of telling her my legs were sore. She was so sure I would instantly get better. I, on the other hand, knew it was a punishment, from my "loyal" Mom.
I was wrong...absolutely, completely and unerringly wrong. WOW! If your own mother doesn't believe you, you are in deep trouble. I mean deep. There were only two of us for a long time (My brother, two years older than me and of course, me!) My brother had been ill with rheumatic fever when he was only 13. Mother was NOT having another sick child. She was a very determined woman and read every medical article she could get her hands on. (This was before the age of computers-Thankfully!!)
She had to work quite hard and very odd hours in order to feed and clothe us. So, back to the doc to get some new pills. I cannot recall the doctor ever touching me, not even to look in my mouth or ears. Dear Momma jut told him what was wrong with me (and she could sound very knowledgeable and convincing) and he would write a script.
Back to la la land.
That's about the time she (my mother) took me to a doctor to tell him I had a nervous stomach and needed calming down so my imaginary pain would finally subside.
She was a very determined woman. I know she had my best interest at heart as well as her own. She could not fix me so she decided that I was just a nervous child. So began my addiction to tranquilizers.
Happy Pills, so said my mother. One in particular sent me into a frizzy of fun and giggles. Everything was funny! I no longer was labeled "Depressed." I rue the day I no longer could take my happy pills. Mom read a lot of medical articles and books and discovered that I should change brands of "nerve pills" every three to four months.
I was basically a very shy student. No social circle ( I was the kid that had the A's but no money behind me) My popularity was in doing other kids homework. And I did... never ever asking for payment of any kind. I just wanted my peers to like me. I basked in the written word, so I had a lot of essay work to do daily.
One time my English teacher called me up to her desk after class and (I promise this is true) said "You know, you would be getting the A+ if you did your own work first!" I was mortified, but she got her point across.
Back in the day you had the same English teacher for 4 years of high school. So she knew. She'd have to have known for years. I wanted to die. I did not know what to say except, "Yes Ma'am."
From then on I became less popular because I would no longer do any one else's homework, except my brother's of course. I did his English and he did my math; Perfect formula for success for each of us.
Algebra was my one albatross.. I took the same Algebra class for two years. I didn't need to; I simply wanted to understand the principles of the formulas. At the end of the second year my teacher said he would pass me if I promised to never take his class again. (note: I am much better at math now)
My only girl friend lived down the street from me. Her name was Lucy and to this day I wonder if she was a spawn of the devil (Lucifer). She taught me to shave my legs, which had no hair on them, hence I bled a lot and dear sweet mother had a fit. Lucy lied to me and my mom and suddenly we were on a double date. Her date, Bob - her future husband; my date, Bill - a quite inebriated Native American.
I moved in with my Great Aunt and Great Uncle when I graduated High School at age 17.. Bill lived in Arizona. He called me for two weeks in the early a.m. (3:00 am)
He kept telling me he did not have much, but he loved me and wanted me to come live with him. I told him "no" in every polite way I knew.
My Pappy Jack, as my Great Uncle was known, called me to his bedside (he was dying of cancer) and asked me what was going on. I told him and he instructed me not to answer the phone at night again. I heard it ring that night, but never again. Don't have a clue what Pappy Jack told Bill, but I was truly grateful.
All this time, while living with my aunt & uncle, I spent what time I was not working or reading, in bed. It was a wonderful bed. You climb in and sink to the middle and pile the comforters on. Warm and isolated. I loved that bed.
My dear aunt cried at my wedding. She thought I was lazy and my poor husband was going to be miserable because I was a slob. I wasn't, I was in a great deal of pain. I didn’t know how to explain it and thus the guilt began.
We FM folks are too often riddled with guilt, shame and embarrassment because of our inabilities. I am here to tell you to revel in your accomplishments! It matters not that you can no longer do this or that, at one time you did it and did it well! Whatever “it” is.
Today is a new day. You have talent yet unexplored because you haven’t looked for it. Seek it out and pursue it.
I planned on being a novel writer, but alas, my body and brain will no longer let me sit at the computer for hours and work. So I’ve taken up pillow making… quite simple, yet when I am finished, I have something tangible to look at and know I am still useful.
So are you, my friends… more useful than you can ever imagine.
My challenge to you today is to start a journal and in that journal write every good thing that has happened to you today; Each day. If you think you have experienced nothing good, look again and again until you can find it. It is there! I promise. (and I do not believe in light promises)
Smile at someone or something today;- it is good for the soul!