Mom of three…three active children. Without an active mother how will I fulfill my role? How can I run all these kids around and work and get groceries, etc.? All of these thoughts lead to doubt that leads to anxiety and depression. A whole new ball game in this journey.
Not only do I not know why I hurt, why I can’t get out of bed without feeling like Shane beat me with a baseball bat in my sleep but I can’t participate in my kids practices or events. I am finding myself in my house more and more and falling apart. Now, a social, extroverted girl is losing herself to a couch and HGTV. I kept saying I wasn’t depressed but I was sad and frustrated that I wasn’t the same person anymore. Why can’t I go on a walk without feeling like I broke my hip afterward? I am too young for this! I hate life! I can’t travel, can’t take care of my kids, hurt too much to be intimate with my husband and yet still no answers.
After seeing my first Rheumatologist she left me in tears saying she thought I just had Fibromyalgia and she won’t treat patients with that because she feels it is more psychological. I couldn’t believe that the diagnosis was causing me to get kicked out to another practice. So, in hot pursuit of another Rheumatologist I find myself waiting another year to find one that would see a “Fibromyalgia” patient.
I hurt, I waited, and went to a pain clinic for medicine just to take the edge off until they could find a “real treatment plan”. This is again a new world. Walking into a pain clinic is like walking in the house after you did something wrong and being confronted by your parents. You walk in embarrassed to be there, ashamed you need something for pain, and thinking they are judging you. You sit in a lobby and fill out questionaires on how you take your meds, do you take anything else illegally, do you share your pills, etc. I felt almost violated. I felt like I lived in a glass house and everyone was throwing stones.
And then, I finally accepted it. The only way I will be able to function is to have this medicine. Luckily, this story doesn’t begin an addiction but instead begins a more intense journey to remove the bandaid and discover a cure or a treatment for whatever was attacking my body.
Pain killiers are just bandaids masking the true underlying disease or problem. How can I get to the root issue? How can I get to a stage of functionality that I can accept? I felt defeat. I accepted that laying on a couch and sleeping, as well as limiting my interactions, was necessary in order to be a good parent or wife.
At this stage I began to see friendships tried; and people, who I thought I could cry on their shoulder or vent about anything to, walk out of my life. “I was too negative” or “I had too many problems going on.” Well that is true but I hate that and I want different for my life!
What did I do to deserve this? Anger and denial all at once can lead to a dark place. Depression and anxiety can creep in and cover your eyes like a blindfold to make you think nothing in the world is worth experiencing anyways.
Until one day, a horrible day of pain; my husband comes home from work and can just tell I am not well. He says I know money is tight but let’s go out for dinner. You need to get out of this house and I don’t want you to have to worry about cooking either. So off to a local pub our family goes to be seated by what I would call my angel. She sat us down in the corner booth with lots of room. It curved around like semi circle. I sat on one end, Shane on the other, and the kids in between us. As she took our drink orders a few tears were rolling down my cheeks. Not only from being out of the house but for being a part of my family. And the pain was pretty bad then too. I wept knowing that my new normal isn’t what I wanted but what I have to accept.
She brings our drinks back and says ” I can’t help but notice you are sad. Are you in pain?”
How did she know? Was it written on my face? Did someone play a horn before I came in? What was wrong with me? Oh how I judged myself so much. Then I looked up to her and said “Yes.” I began to sob and used the napkins to try to not look like an idiot crying in a pub. But, finally someone knew people can cry when they hurt. She then went on to say “Do you have a good doctor for your pain?” I replied back “Not really.” All they do is rewrite a script every month and send me on my way or offer up back injections. But, I hurt all over. There aren’t enough types of injections for this pain.
She listened and nodded and looked at me like I was the only person in the whole restaurant. She then proceeds to tell me she has MS and that she has a great clinic for injections in all joints and pain management and even using alternative therapies and not pills. While I was skeptical I couldn’t help but think is this divine intervention? I had her take an extra napkin and write down the information for me to call the following day.
Then I called. I am very proud of those three words because at this point I would hit decline on my phone calls, roll over and go to sleep. I had very little interaction outside of my immediate family. When I called they said it is an up front $100 fee to just schedule the appointment. I knew I better ask Shane if he thought I should spend more money just for pain management. He always would say “Babe why do you ask me? Set up the appointment and don’t delay.”
So, I set it up and the rest is day by day…