Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Confessionals~My Fight with Fibromyalgia

Sitting here listening to Joel Osteen this morning and I got the inspiration to blog. Perhaps its time to tell the truth about the struggles that Ive been facing. Ive always been a strong person....
in all areas really....mentally, emotionally, spiritually and yes, physically. Don't get me wrong, we all have times of weakness and I wouldnt mind admitting that from time to time but this has knocked me to my knees and I can't seem to get up. I think Ive finally figured out that if Im going to remain strong, I have to rid myself of the pride Ive been clinging to and start sharing my struggle. 

Its ok to ask for prayer 
Its ok to let people know you physically have limits and cannot attend normal functions.
Its ok to let people know that sometimes it feels hopeless and you need a little encouragement.

Thats why Im writing this.

I have cried more in the past 3 months than I have in my entire life. I will try to be quick with this story.

So 2 summers ago, out of the blue, I woke up with what I then thought was stiffness in my neck and my upper chest. It actually hurt using the muscles in those areas just to sit up. Initially, I just thought I overdid it the day before and was sore. Throughout the day, those symptoms worsened. The pain had spread to my shoulder blades and upper back. It ended up getting so bad that I was stuck on the sofa for what seemed like, the whole summer! 

It was pretty scary but once I learned it was fibromyalgia it got a little less scary. I think not knowing what was happening and fearing the worst. At least I knew that I was in what they called a "flare up" and I would get better, eventually. Thankfully, just before it was time to get the kids back to school, I started feeling like myself again. 

It took a little while for all the symptoms to be gone but before I knew it, they were and it was a memory. 

Then, this summer...almost like clockwork....a few weeks before the kids got out of school, I had a pretty major flare up that struck quick and hard. This time, not only was it the upper body pressure points, but also the bottom of my back, my hips, my knees and even my ankles. This time the tender points felt bigger and in places like my elbows and my knees, I lost strength! I felt like I couldnt stretch my arms and legs all the way and my knees were just waiting for the chance to buckle underneath me. 

I had previous injuries to my left middle finger, right index finger and wrist and they just would not heal! My hands were weak, my arms were weak, my legs were stiff and like jello at the same time and the pain in my shoulders, neck, upper chest and upper back was so severe that I couldnt even turn to my side to get comfortable. Moving around for a comfy bed position was and is no longer something I can do. Im stuck either on my back with pillows propping up my back, neck, arms and left knee up or sometimes~if Im lucky~I can roll to my right side for a few minutes. Im a side sleeper so I try desperately for even just a few minutes on my side but the pain it inflicts on my back is just too severe to stay there for any length of time. 

There are times when I am so weak and in such pain that my children have to help me stand up just so I can walk to the bathroom. It was the worst thing I have ever gone through. I am not a homebody....I am always on the go. In fact, I couldnt even go to my sons graduation! I sat home and cried my heart out over facetime. He was so understanding and I love him for that...more than he knows. 

It was toward the end of the summer that I started feeling better again and was even able to resume some of my outings. I drove for the first time in 3 months and I missed it so much!! Unfortunately 2 weeks ago, it started flaring up again and I was completely healed from the last one so now I am pretty much bed ridden! 

I can barely walk and when I do its only short short distances. I have no energy to deal with the pain because my sleep is pretty much non existent and I have felt a little like Im losing it here lately. My nephew-in-law told me about an article that he heard about from my brother in law (who turned his life around after knee surgeries and is now a bicycle riding, yoga practicing, all natural juicing machine!). 

Long story short, I read this article and had a lengthy conversation with he and my sister and realized that I only have one option....
I have to go green!

I have 6 children that need me in their lives and I am 2 years away from 40 and Im supposed to be getting my own little freedom as my kids get older...and lets face it, the truth is that I won't even make it if I don't make changes and now!

Ive taught myself that its ok to associate food with emotions and even though I don't eat a lot, what I do eat is HORRIBLE and fatty and sugary or lots of carbs...I don't eat healthy at all. Thats changing. Im doing a 30 day juice cleanse. I am going to get rid of all the toxins and then at the end of this cleanse, I have decided to eat differently. I am still juicing mainly but will have a sensible meal in the middle of the day. This will help me lose weight, gain more energy and combat this fibromyalgia in a healthy, natural way. Im very happy about this. Scared because I know its going to take a lot of strength to make this happen but if anyone can do it, I can!

I also am jumping right back into meditation and when Im strong enough, yoga. I have downloaded some apps to help with daily stress management and relaxation techniques. I have also learned a few tricks to a bedtime routine that will hopefully help with a new sleeping schedule. I held a family meeting tonight to discuss these new changes with the kids and they all said they would help me with stress management and also try to incorporate some better foods into their lives (but who are they kidding...thats gonna be a fight and a half!)

So, I admit....
Im falling apart at the seams..
and I need some help. I need prayers. I need encouragement. I need all the support I can get on this one. 
I want to live a better life than this and I will not be caged anymore...not by my weight, or by my bad habits and especially not by fibromyalgia! 

Im ready to get my life back

Wish me luck!