The other night as I was browsing Facebook, I noticed that one of my friends had stated that it had been three years since her disorder had first caused her tremendous pain. I wanted to reach out and hug her, knowing how much pain she is in and how brave she is to face it every day. She is a face of bravery, but every once in awhile the facade shows a crack. There have been many nights she and I, awake at ungodly hours with pain, have comforted one another with fond memories of when I lived near her and of our careers, before there was pain. Rarely do we speak about what may happen in the future. We don't know.
Her statement of a three year anniversary though, made me think about how long it has been since I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A year this month, February 2011.
I remember going in to see the rheumatologist. A young woman, she listened to me for three or four minutes before cutting me off. "I don't give narcotics," she said firmly, almost snappish. I had described how my former doctor had been treating me with muscle relaxants and a mild narcotic. My mother sat in a chair watching us, and I wonder if she knew that I would make a stand.
I did that day. I had to. "I'm not here for narcotics," I snapped back. "I'm here for a diagnosis. I'm here to get better. I'm here because I have fibromyalgia and I need a diagnosis if I'm wrong or if I'm right."
She had me stand up, then pressed a few trigger points, all of which I winced or cried out audibly. Three minutes later I had my diagnosis.
That was a year ago. In the past year I've suffered pain and I've survived it. I've fought to work jobs and lost them. I've fought to attend things when my body was screaming in pain. Sometimes I've been successful, and sometimes I've given up. I've felt sorry for myself, I've felt desperate. But I've also known the loving care of my friends, my family, and my God. And I've had a lot of time to think about solutions.
Today marks my first day of physical therapy. Soon I will start therapy again with my second therapist. I am working on quality sleep at night, and have a good psychiatrist who is helping with the depression and anxiety that often accompany fibro. So baby steps make it get better. Nobody learned to be a masterpiece in a day.
So originally I had vowed to write every day and have fallen woefully short. But this update is positive and good. And I'm sure there will be more.
Happy one year anniversary to my diagnosis, and to the strength in me that survives.