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Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's Official

Recently I went to a  Rheumatologist and he diagnosed me...It's official..I have Fibrobmyalgia.  It was not a devastating diagnosis for me.  I have done a lot of research and I was 99.9% sure that I have had it for several months now.

For those of you who don't have Fibromyalgia (Fibro), I will describe what it feels like to me.  Although I am pretty certain that it is different for everyone.  All my muscles feel weak.  It is hard to do simple tasks such as washing and styling my hair. My energy level is very low. My skin hurts.  It hurts for anything to touch my skin, like shoes, clothes, the laptop or my dest, cold air,etc. My eyes burn and my whole body feels achy like I have the flu. I usually check my temperature several times during the day because I feel like I have a fever.

I also have more pain.  My lower back hurts more, my legs hurt more and my bladder hurts more. Basically for me, I want to sleep as long as possible...even ridiculous amounts like 12 hours.  Of course for me this is not straight sleep, but a few hours at a time interrupted by the need to go the the bathroom often.  But just think about it.  If you are sick, that is usually what you want to do....sleep!  The more sleep the better for me!!

If you don't have Fibro, first of all, you should thank your Heavenly Father every day that you don't have it!  Also, if you know me personally, you may see me one day when I am in a Fibro flare.  Fibromyalgia is another invisible condition that I suffer from along with Interstitial Cystitis and many others.  So if you see me at work, church or the grocery store, don't assume that I am fine.  Sometimes I am fighting a battle within my body and I feel terrible.  If I walk away when it is time to do manual labor, don't assume that I am lazy and don't want to do my share.  Just know that I am having a bad day and I will try my best to do more next time...Lord willing.

You may not personally have Fibromyalgia, but you may go to church with someone who does, you may have friends that have it or your little sister may have it. If you think about it, we all probably have a link to someone who has Fibro in our lives. You may see others like me, with a handicapped parking plate.  When you look on the outside, you don't see our pain, depression or utter and complete tiredness, but it is there.  Please don't judge us and assume that we are fine.  Instead, how about asking us how we are doing and if there is anything you can do to help us?

One thing that I have learned, since I have been so sick, is to try to have compassion for and serve others.   Do I always do it?  No, sometimes I fell miserably!! But I want to serve others to glorify God. There are many ways to do that.  You can send a card to someone who is not feeling well. You can smile at someone you see at the post office. You can speak to a homeless person and ask them how they are doing.  Sometimes the smallest gesture can go a long way.

Living with chronic pain is not easy, but there are many things we can do to manage better.  Some things that help me when I'm in a Fibro flare are soaking in a hot bath with Epsom salt.  Using a heating pad on the most painful areas.  Taking the time to rest and conserving energy.

If you suffer from Fibro, I know sometimes you just don't feel like doing anything.  I felt that way the other day.  I felt awful!  All I wanted to do was stay at home and not do much of anything.  I decided that I would take a short walk instead.  I felt better after the walk.  Then I sat on my deck and just soaked up some sun rays.  It felt so good!  Then I listened to some music.  It boosted my mood.  Did it take away all my pain? No, but it make me feel better mentally. 

The next day I decided to call my sister-in-law who also suffers from Fibromyalgia.  I hoped that I helped boost her mood, just by calling her.  Sometimes we need to consider the interests of others and that alone makes us feel better! 

I am going to post some links that I think will help you in your struggles with Fibromyalgia. And of course as always, if you just need someone to talk to who understands what you are going through, I will help you as much as I can. Also, let me know your thoughts and some ways in which you serve others below.

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