Sunday, April 12, 2009

In the Beginning.....

My first blog entry, how exciting!!!....where to start? The beginning you say? Well, that is tricky, because I think the beginning was when I was a child with horrible "growing pains" in my legs. Did anyone else have those? I have since read that children with Fibromyalgia have growing pains. I have memories of my dad staying with me until I fell asleep with his hands on my legs, saying, "can you feel God's love and light surrounding your legs?" He also would massage special red oil on my legs. I don't know what it is made from. As a kid I thought maybe Golden Rod. My personality is such that I don't let much get me down mentally or physically, so I have just bulled my way through any aches or pains in my life. I had a very active childhood growing up on a farm that was also a private Quaker prep school in NH. What a wonderful childhood, filled with horses, farm animals, organic veggies and fruits, raw milk, fresh eggs and meat and tons of freedom to ride horses, swim and play on the 150 acre farm. We ate organic food before organic was cool.

Bulling my way through my pain was a way of life for me through 15 years of marriage, raising 4 fun daughters, getting divorced, becoming an EMT, then a firefighter and fire truck operator and LPN. Sometimes my pain was worse than other times. I chalked it up to getting older, arthritis, being 'pleasingly plump". In 2000 I found my birth mother, Carol, and found out that she had Fibromyalgia to the extent that she was 100% disabled from it. I still refused to admit that I might have Fibro(I'm going to call Fibromyalgia Fibro from this point on, because that is what Carol and I called it). I tried different supplement so I wouldn't get it, the worst was spoonfuls of cod liver oil (YUK!!). FYI: Lemon flavor does NOT help it taste better. I did not want to end up like Carol with my life so limited by pain, that is why I was trying to be proactive and try different things.

In 2004 I went to nursing school and soon after graduating I joined our local ER. I worked 12 hour shifts and was a cripple at the end and could hardly walk when I stopped moving after my shift ended. Thank God for our hot tub, that is what saved me and an occasional Tylenol PM, actually generic version of them. I still didn't think this was Fibro! Remember I was not going to have Fibro? In 2005 I met my soulmate, Hal, after years of searching. IT CAN HAPPEN! Woo hoo! We were married on New Year's Eve in 2005 in a wonderfully fun Renaissance themed wedding, complete with family friends and Hal in a kilt. Then in 2006 we decided to move to the Dayton Ohio area to be near my parents and my sister and her family. This meant packing up a household that I had live in for 23+ years, our 9 cats and 3 dogs. What a process. My friend Kathy called it purging. I may not have purged enough, but we did manage to fit all our stuff into 2 PODS, plus a U-Haul trailer on a later trip back to NH. Moving was a stressful process, that I thought I was handling OK, but I think really it was the beginning of me officially getting Fibro. We moved to this sweet little bungalow home and soon decided we didn't like the big tall Yew hedges in front of the lovely front porch, because we could see out. We decided to remove them. WHAT WERE WE THINKING??? This was a very physical undertaking using a Saws All and our 4x4 pick up truck, chains and digging. Once we removed the Yews and their roots we rototilled and added peat moss to the new garden area, then I planted over 100 perennial plants over a 2 day period. At the end of the 2 days I was so woozy and weak I remember standing there swaying feeling like I was going to faint. Then that night my Fibromyalgia arrived with a vengeance! I had such bad pains shooting up and down my arms and legs that I couldn't sleep. I didn't sleep much for 3 weeks and that can really make you feel BAD. I couldn't function in the day. I finally decided to seek medical help when my mom said to me "Oh, honey, what is wrong with you?" This made me realize that something had a hold of me that was way more than I could handle. I told her that "I think I have Fibromyalgia, like Carol. " It was hard to admit it, but it was here. Some of my symptoms were exhaustion(so tired I couldn't get out of the car), pain everywhere, fibrofog and clumsiness.

Here are the before and after pics of our landscaping project that really kicked my Fibro into high gear....

Next entry I will share the beginnings of my journey with the medical profession. Can you tell I am disgusted with them and their opinion of Fibro? WELL I AM!!! It is NOT in our heads!!! Don't just give us anti-depressants!

1 comment:

kimelkins said...

Karen, you are so awesome! What a great first post. I'm so proud of you - I know that your journey will help many other people. And, it will be fun to read, too! ----Kim