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A new word entered my life - Fibromyalgia.
Provisional diagnosis on the 15th. But first the doctor had to rule out a host of other ugliness - lupus, lyme, rheumatoid arthritis, Vitamin D deficiency... honestly, I can't even tell you everything they tested for - just that it took SEVEN vials of blood to run all the tests. All of which, thankfully, after waiting around a full week, came back normal. Because as scary as fibromyalgia is, the other options were a heap load more frightening to contemplate. Fibromyalgia Syndrome is not life threatening and not debilitating unless you let it be. I am so grateful it was not anything worse.
The best way I can describe fibromyalgia - it feels like you have the flu – your body aches all over, you have a non-stop headache, and you just feel lethargic – all you want to do is curl up in a corner and sleep… or maybe read a good novel. Only unlike the flu, this feeling doesn't resolve after a few days. In my case, it has been ongoing for months. Some days better than others, but never a day that is totally pain or fatigue free. And the constant pain and fatigue has a tendency to make you a bit, um, ... cranky. Yep, cranky.
The worst symptom IMHO is the fatigue. Total. mind. numbing. fatigue.
"Today I don't feel like doing anything. I just want to lay in my bed."
Fatigue that leaves you unable to concentrate on anything. Almost like you've suddenly developed ADD. And you know how sometimes you have a word on the tip of your tongue but you can't find it for a few seconds? Well, that seems to be a daily occurrence now, multiple times a day. Serious Brain Fog
All that to say, I've been away from my blog for awhile and just recently reappeared. You may have noticed a lack of comments from me on your blogs as well - I assure you I have read every post, just didn't have the energy to comment most of the time!
I waited for the blood work to come back before saying anything. I wanted a confirmed diagnosis. And I guess I needed some time to digest it all. All the uncertainty, fear, depression. I needed to work it out. I didn't want to gunk up my blog with posts about worries and complaints. I so DON'T want to be "that lady."
On the same day my diagnosis was confirmed, this post came up in my Google Reader. Jonathan Fields writes that "...uncertainty is the new normal." Check. The past four or five months have been living testament to that. But he goes on to say "When you find the strength to act in the face of uncertainty, you till the soil of genius." Cool. I must be borderline brilliant by now!
I think that blog post was just the Universe's way of letting me know that it is okay to feel uncertain about where things are at and where they are going.
Truth is, I know that I will cope. I know that I will find ways to work around, over, and through it. I refuse to allow fibromyalgia to define me or to defeat me.
My first act of defiance will be to go sugar-free for the month of October ... just to see if the change in diet has an effect on the symptoms. Not crazy sugar-free (I'm not reading pasta sauce labels or eliminating my morning bowl of organic oatmeal that is sweetened with organic cane sugar). I am eliminating all cakes, cookies, brownies, ice cream, etc. Believe me... it is a big enough percentage of my current eating habits to make a difference! Even if it doesn't touch the fibromyalgia symptoms, it will at least be healthier! Maybe a side-effect will be a reduction in waistline chub???
And today I was reminded that happiness must come from within. I'm drawing on reserves right now. But I'm still smiling. :)