Saying Hello

I haven’t written a personal post in ages, not because I haven’t wanted to but because I’m going through a nasty divorce and don’t want my words used against me. Since I last wrote I’ve moved to a new house, spent time with my supportive family, and survived a cancer scare. I had a tumor removed from behind my right eye not long ago. Thankfully it was benign but knowing I had that thing in my head for 6 weeks and not knowing what it was was hell. I thought fibromyalgia was hell but this was a new circle of hell. Not knowing was so much worse. I’m home healing now and I have lots of healing to do. I think the bruises will fade faster than the trauma from the past few months will though. But I wanted everyone to know that I’ve been thinking about you, about everyone suffering from fibromyalgia. Hang in there guys. Things will get better.

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Invisible Illness Awareness Week

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 🙂

Fibromyalgia awareness

Does your greatest teacher have fur?

I wanted to share this great post on the difference pets can make to people suffering from chronic illnesses. Sometimes they even have their own invisible illnesses that they heal from while they help us heal, like Pup in this post: Does your greatest teacher have fur?

Archie and I relax on a bridge above a koi pond during a hotel stay.

Archie and I relax on a bridge above a koi pond during a hotel stay.

Like Pup, my dog, Archie, is my “therapy dog.” He’s a rescue too and I used to think I found him, but really he found me. He had Parvo as a puppy and almost died, so when I got him he had tons of skin problems, ear infections, and was skin and bones. It took awhile to get him on the right diet and get his skin issues cleared up. He still has some weird skin problems, I’ve learned. I changed his food last fall only to change it right back a few months later when the skin problems came back. He’s back to normal now. He knows when I’m really hurting; he snuggles with me and often positions himself on whichever hip or leg is aching the most to share his body heat with me. He knows when I’ve been sitting too long and annoys me until I get up and play with him or walk him. He motivates me to walk and exercise. I’m going through a divorce now and he’s been amazing. He comes running when I’m sad and licks the tears away. He’ll do something cute that makes me laugh so then he keeps doing it to keep me laughing. He doesn’t like when I cry.

When I was at my worst in February 2012 with my fibromyalgia, he literally knocked me on my butt and made me rethink how I was getting through the days. I let him out on a big leash and he dashed off after a squirrel so fast the leash swept my legs out from under me. I was bruised from my fall but it was the final straw and it led to me taking a 10-week medical leave from work so I could work on my health, nutrition, and emotional wellbeing and start clawing my way back from the sea of pain I was lost in. That leave from work was a huge turning point in my health and he was with me every day for it.  He always knows when he can push me to be more active and when he can’t. I don’t know what I would do without him. I know I wouldn’t be in as healthy a place now without him though.

Quick Update

I had my gall bladder removed last week. I feel a little better each day. The nausea is gone, thankfully, and while I’m on a restricted diet while my body learns to digest food without my gallbladder, I’ve finally got an appetite again. I’m fighting with the insurance company managing my short term disability leave to extend it until the end of the month; I need more time to heal than the few days left on my leave. I’ve still got a lot of healing to do. The surgery made my fibromyalgia a lot worse so I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to control it again. I’m just so glad to be on the path to healing again and to be past the terrible nausea I had that only grew worse in the days leading up to my surgery. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers through this.

Thankful

I did an aquatic therapy session on Saturday that included my first experience with hypnosis. I’m not sure if I will be able to describe what I experienced on Saturday. I’ve never experienced anything like it before in my life. Since then, my pain has dramatically reduced. It’s like the pain has receded back to my head. I have a headache and my neck hurts but my body feels loose and nearly pain free.  I’m a 2 or a 3 on the pain scale the last couple of days instead of starting at 5 and going up as high as 10 every day. At the moment, I’m at a 1 which to me is nearly pain free. I don’t know what the transformation was I went through on Saturday.  I don’t know how long this feeling will last.  I don’t know anything other than I am extremely, totally and completely thankful for this reprieve from my pain. I’m going to ride this wave as far as it takes me. I’m going to take it one step at a time and try to hold this feeling of lightness that has come over me as close to me for as long as I can.  I feel like I should celebrate this. I also feel like I should cry tears of gladness. My mind is blown by the last few days. I just hope and pray (something I haven’t done in a while) that this feeling lasts, that this reprieve from pain lasts as long as possible.

I just had to share this feeling with my online support community. I hope to be able to share more about what I’ve experienced and try to put together some suggestions that might help others based on my experience. But for now, my mind is blown and I have a lot of journaling ahead of me before I’m able to share any of this better. So please forgive me if I drop out of the blogosphere for a few days. I’m not going anywhere, I’ve just got a lot of thinking and processing to do.

Soft hugs for everyone.

Thankful Thursdays

I know I’ve missed some Thursdays. It’s been a very stressful couple of weeks at work, and I’ve spent my evenings recovering from my days and haven’t felt like getting on a computer to post something.

This Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for:

  1. That my family all made it through Hurricane Sandy okay and unharmed. My mom got 8 inches of snow and my brother had wind damage in his area of NYC. He also had to walk to work yesterday and it was a long walk!
  2. Chocolate. Enough said.
  3. That my company offers a 30 hour work week. I could not have worked full time the last couple of weeks. Working 6 hour days, and staying late a few days too, was all I could do. I’m exhausted, but I’m not miserable like I would be if I was working full time.
  4. My new Lazy-boy recliner. Thanks Mom! It’s so comfortable and helps my back and neck relax.  I relax in it on my heating pad and veg out in front of the TV. Sunday I even had a long nap in the chair. It was great.
  5. My husband who made my birthday great this week.  He cooked me dinner! It was wonderful to  relax while he cooked and then we had a fantastic meal together.  He’s a great cook! And he baked me a gluten free chocolate birthday cake! He’s amazing.

 

 

Blue Ridge Parkway Drive

View from Blue Ridge Parkway

Today was a beautiful day and almost 80 degrees in late October! It’s Thankful Thursdays and today I’m thankful that my husband and I got to spend this beautiful afternoon driving on the Parkway, enjoying the fall leaves that make the mountains so lovely. The mountains looked like they were on fire with all of the dark reds and oranges. We had a great time driving with the windows down and music playing. We stopped a couple of times to admire the view. My head and jaw were throbbing but that seemed like nothing compared to a perfect afternoon with so much beauty around me. I’m so glad we got the chance to do this. To get out of the house and spend some time together. It was a lot of fun.