If you remember, in November 2010 it will be the anniversary of when my neurologist informed me that I more than likely (99% sure) have fibromyalgia. He recommended I get a family doctor and get the ball rolling to confirm the diagnosis since my health would not improve with time if left to it's own devices.
Last week was the appointment where my doctor finally admitted that yes, I have fibromyalgia. Since last November, I have spent many hours being poked, prodded, tested, retested, siphoned for blood, etc... to rule out other causes of the multitude of symptoms I experience daily.
To that initial fibromyalgia diagnosis, autonomic neuropathy can now be added, again, not something I was expecting to hear, but something that finally explained why my body wasn't listening to me anymore. Autonomic neuropathy is something I have no control over unfortunately. So far, symptoms have been somewhat uncomfortable but am thankful that they are not as bad as they could be. It does make my days a tad more difficult to plan out since I have no advance warning when something will cease working for a few hours/days/weeks or when it will start working properly again.
And since last November, I've also developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) This joyless problem stems from not sleeping well because of pain in various parts of my body. Even when I do manage to sleep, it's never enough, and not getting down into the healthy sleep levels that recharge your body means I am constantly exhausted, irregardless of what I am doing. Some days, the best I can do is crawl out of bed, make myself breakfast in stages, and make it to the couch to sit there feeling like a zombie and hoping I'll wake up sooner than later. There are days I literally have to crawl back into bed 2 hours later, too tired to keep my eyes open and if I push the issue, I get physically ill if I don't go lay down. Now picture this happening forenoon and afternoon just about every day and think of all the things that you do in one day that I cannot even come close to accomplishing in a week. My home is a disaster, doing dishes is an all day chore done a bit at a time, vacuuming is out of the question, laundry takes a day plus to get done. Even small loads that I hand wash to stretch the time between big loads wipe me out. Cooking is done in stages when my husband can help, otherwise it's whatever is found in the fridge that doesn't require cooking or involved prep time. Being on a fixed income also means no take-out on the days where even looking in the fridge provides nothing edible. Getting groceries using the city's transit system is nothing short of a feat of physical and mental determination just to get it done. And these days, getting groceries means spending hours in food bank line ups every week to get enough to eat for the following four or five days.
I am thankful for the help I do receive and those who give it freely and lovingly know who they are :) The world needs more people like you :) And I finally am seeing the rewards of what Pay it Forward means. I am on the receiving end now instead of the giving end and at first it's hard to accept, but once you get the epiphany, it makes it easier to say thank you and to accept the help given so lovingly and kindheartedly.
All of the above is also on top of the long list of physical ailments I already have like diabetes, COPD, IBS, Carpal tunnel in both wrists, migraines, food and med allergies, peripheral neuropathy...and I probably forget some since today is a fibro fog day meaning that my brain feels like it's sitting in a large vat of cotton batting and just couldn't be bothered to do anything that involves thought.