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Why I Won't Let Fibromyalgia Steal My Joy

Pushing myself daily to tolerate physical pain is nothing new. It doesn’t get easier with time like some things. In fact, it gets harder. My physician told me last year, “Stop coming in when your pain is bad – there’s nothing I can do for you. You are just going to have to get used to it. It will get worse and you’ll have to deal with it.” Gee…thanks for that encouragement.

Pushing through pain to enjoy life is a promise I made to myself. I don’t ever want to look back and regret not engaging in my life.

This pain will not steal my life’s joy, though some days I don’t win.

For years I knew something was wrong with me. Constant fatigue, intense pain in my muscles, joints and skin paired with muscle and joint stiffness, brain fog, random anxiety, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, cyclic vomiting syndrome and unexplained weakness are just a few of the symptoms I begrudgingly carry with me daily. When I finally received the diagnosis of fibromyalgia it was devastating and relieving to hear. I remember thinking to myself, “Thank God. I was right, something is wrong with me…but now what?” I’ve tried many different medications that proved to be useless, holistic approaches and mainly prayer and support from my sweet saint of a husband – which is my constant encouragement to push on through the pain.

Each day is different, but it is especially difficult around the holidays when there is so much to do. It is difficult to persevere.

Most days even getting out of bed before the clock hits double digits is a chore because I haven’t slept the night before and I have to talk myself into putting my feet on the floor. I dread the morning pain. I dread putting on socks I know will cause me pain and shoes that may or may not have to come off throughout the day because I swell terribly. Even my glasses leave deep grooves across my temples where as the day goes on, my body rebels against me and swells in pain. “Do I need to see clearly? Maybe I’ll just try not to read anything unless I have to. Let’s take these off for now,” I think to myself, trying to find a way to lessen the pain.

It seems it’s the little things that are the worst. Hugs from friends and family at parties are something I look forward to, but it is also painful. Sitting on someone’s couch that have raised seems on the cushion edges where my legs rest hurts my legs like I’m bruised from the inside out. Severe bone pain in my legs radiates through me like someone hammered on my bones – all from standing at a party too long. Trying to hide the pain from tingling and shooting pains isn’t easy, nor is pretending I’m fine. I’m not. I am grateful though, because each day I learn to be deal with it. Each day is different.

Occasionally, I will feel fantastic and forget for a moment that this will come back like a cursed boomerang…I love my good days.

One of my favorite things my mom said to me when she was sick was, “The thing about life is that no one gets out alive. You just have to do the best you can while you are here and enjoy it.”

So to that I say, “Cheers mom!” Here’s to pushing through the pain to enjoy life.

It won’t be easy. Let’s keep pushing on so we can enjoy what we can, while we can – even when it comes with pain.

To anyone else who wrestles with the fibromonster – don’t let it steal your joy. Keep pushing on everyday to keep your life’s joy alive.

Remember when you find yourself or a loved one struggling, that even the caterpillar can’t transform herself into a butterfly until she struggles and finds her wings to fly with joy.

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Gettyimage by: setory