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Why I Don't Feel Like the 'Master of My Own Destiny' With Fibromyalgia

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Each person is responsible for their own destiny and for choosing their own path in life, right? That is too funny! Most days, I feel as though mine was thrust upon me written in indelible stone. I travel my path with my ever-present companion, fibromyalgia. Sneaky little bugger, no one who passes me ever notices I’m not alone. Many doctors have missed detecting my companion’s presence, or chalked it up to hypochrondria or mental illness. Don’t get me wrong, fibromyalgia can throw a party like no other! The guest list can get rather lengthy too! Depression, migraine, brain fog, chronic fatigue…the list goes on. Sometimes they get fancy and throw a masquerade ball. That’s where it gets interesting.


I have had a TIA (transient ischemic attack) and almost a stroke because I thought it was my pal, fibromyalgia, acting up. See, I have shied away from ERs and doctors, even friends and family because I don’t look sick. I am the butt of “you’re just old” jokes. My travel companion and I have been together since I was a child. I’m told I’m lazy. Not so, it takes a lot of strength to accomplish what I do in one day. I’ve been accused of being a drug-seeker. But if I took enough medication to be out of pain, I’m seriously concerned I’d be in a coma!

I eat “weird” raw and gluten-free foods, sleep on a regular schedule, am careful what I drink and don’t push myself past what I know I can handle. I know all too well that tomorrow my companion will make me pay for any alleged transgressions today. Sadly, sometimes I pay for things I was completely unaware of.

I work full-time. As you can imagine, this little arrangement I never signed on for is not exactly what I would call an adventure. I have lost friends, been estranged from family…in short, each day is a struggle. It is lonely.

So no, l don’t exactly feel like I am the master of my own destiny. I venture to guess that no one struggling with this type of travel companion would dare utter that phrase. No, I don’t look sick. Medical science hasn’t figured out how to tangibly measure this yet. I am still able to function and contribute to the world…and I want to.

mary gill

Sadly, most days just feel broken, hijacked and cheated. I am not looking for pity, just basic human kindness and some understanding. That’s all most people with fibromyalgia need and want.

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Thinkstock photo via StockPhotosArt.

Originally published: June 21, 2017
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