South Africa and the world lost a great man yesterday. As President Obama said, he doesn’t below to us anymore, he belongs to the ages. I grew up hearing of his struggle in the news. I read about him in textbooks. I studied him in my Political Science classes in college. I’ve followed his life and career for much of my adult life. In college, I especially enjoyed learning about him. We spent so much time in college studying the Founding Fathers and other US political giants, it was nice to read about someone who was alive in the present world political climate. Not only alive, but a pillar of humanity who had made so many amazing changes in his country and kept struggling every day to better the lives of his people. He was a modern-day hero, as NBC News termed it last night. I loved that he practiced what he preached. And his words always rang with such honest conviction. When he spoke, the world stopped to listen.
As a student of political science, I admired everything that Nelson Mandela accomplished, first as a protestor and revolutionary and then as president of his country. He was instrumental in ending apartheid. Now, as a woman who suffers from fibromyalgia, I admire his strength, courage, and his ability to never, ever give up. I suffer from chronic pain every single day. I battle my own body every single day. The pain knocks me down all the time and I have dig deep every time to get back up and continue my fight. But this man suffered so much more and yet he never, ever gave up. He kept fighting the good fight, even when we was locked up in prison for 27 years. He served as a worldwide inspiration even from a prison cell, and perhaps especially because of this. His accomplishments and inspirational words will be remembered for generations to come. He will be missed.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles… but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
I like this quote. It took me a long time to learn that worrying about the future and reliving upsetting things from the past were bad for my health both mentally and physically. Living in the present moment is the best thing for me and my health. And living in the moment lets me enjoy and appreciate all the little things I missed before because I was to busy worrying. I’d be so lost in the past or the future that I’d miss out on the good of the present.
The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association and the FDA are teamed up to perform a survey targeting people who suffer from fibromyalgia and chornic pain. I took the survey this morning and it takes about 15 minutes. I urge everyone who suffers from chronic pain to take the survey. A lot of the questions deal with where we experience pain, the intensity of pain, triggers for our pain, and what non-pain symptoms of fibro/chronic pain trouble us the most (after the non-stop pain of course). There’s a comments space at the very end where I let loose on my anger at the FDA for making it harder for us to get the pain medications we need to manage our disease. I ranted about the assumption that everyone who takes these medications must be an addict and it’s not possible to take these medicines responsibly, as directed by a doctor (such BS!). I’m glad there wasn’t a character limit on that field because I had quite a bit to say since I had the opportunity to get on my soap box. I am hopeful that the FDA will seriously consider the responses they get on this survey and use them to redo the rules on the medications we need to cope with our pain. Are doctors should not be afraid to prescribe certain medications to us out of fear of the FDA.
Please take a few minutes and answer this survey. Maybe it will help us out in the long run. At the very least, I enjoyed ranting in the comments field.
People who suffer from chronic pain are champions. We fight our pain — our own bodies — every day, but we don’t give in. We keep fighting on. We keep getting up every time we are knocked down. We are fighters and survivors.
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”
Fibromyalgia isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. Each day is its own separate trial where we battle the pain of our invisible disease. We don’t aim so much to beat it but to make it through the day. Make it through to get to the next battle. But we fibro sufferers are fighters. Maybe stubborn too. I know I am. I treat each day as a fresh start. How good or bad yesterday was pain wise doesn’t matter. Today is a new chance at a good day. And if it is a good day, I make the most of it. If it’s a bad day, I still try to make the most of it. I keep fighting. I persevere. Maybe one day they will have a cure. I hope so. Then our perseverance will really have paid off!
It’s Invisible Illness Awareness week (September 9-13)! I wanted to share this graphic in honor of all of us out there suffering from an invisible illness like fibromyalgia. Remember, just because you can’t see our pain doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Soft hugs everyone