You are currently viewing I don’t even believe in how can I have an illness?
I don't even believe in how can I have an illness?

I don’t even believe in how can I have an illness?

I find myself fighting to lift my sandwich, one night when my husband and I sit down for a delicious meal. It’s too loud! It’s too loud! It isn’t a sandwich, it’s just the regular meal I’ve ordered a lot. My arms can’t carry the weight literally. Will I be insane? I’m not saying anything, not knowing what will the reaction of my husband be or what to do about it. Later, I notice that my purse or my coffee is difficult to carry. My husband is the carrier of the bag. I feel like I’ve got the flu. I am overcome by great fatigue, my skin is burning.

With peppermint lotions, cooling creams, ice, I try to ease the sensation of burning. You call it! But it helps nothing. Perhaps my rheumatoid arthritis is getting worse? But my familiar arthritis doesn’t feel like it. I don’t know what’s going on. These are the oddest symptoms I’ve ever had. My new companions became fear and isolation. Who’s ever going to trust me? I can’t feel that way any longer. It’s hard to keep up with the pace, and I fall behind. Tiredness is incredible. Each moment of relaxation is spent lying on the sofa. The couch and I have a very good relationship.

My colleagues can not understand the changes in me that they see, so I don’t say anything and wear a tight smile. I don’t know how to explain it. I make an appointment with my rheumatologist only when I’ve used all my willpower to get through the day. I try to explain to my physician the wide range of symptoms that seem to be disconnected. For fear she will think I am off my rocker, I am hesitant to talk about these strange feelings. But she is listening and then pressing on various parts of my body (tender points, although I don’t know that at that time).

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I ‘m beginning to say, “this isn’t where it hurts,” as she put her hand on my back. But I’m not able to end. I ‘m crying! I ‘m crying! My doctor completes the examination, leaves the room and returns with a brochure about fibromyalgia a minute later. She says I’ve got FM. I’m silly. I’m silly. All I can do is blur stupidly: “How can I get a sickness that I don’t even think about?

REALITY CHECK!

Earlier, the word “fibromyalgia” had judgmental sensations in me. Those disapproving images were in my mind, even when I was not at work as registered nurse. I recognize I don’t have the empathy that I ought to have. On the outside I appeared compassionate, but my internal voice spread: “Oh kid, here we are going again — another patient who searches for medicine.”

Even if I have been trying to hear and understand, I haven’t. FM, I’ve been unaware and unaware, and I’m really sorry for that. I’m going to the airport to fly in business to Oakland immediately after I leave the office of rheumatologist. I’m gloomy, rugged and zombie-like. I’ve laid my head in front of the window of the aircraft and repeat, ‘Why me? “The woman sitting by me is trying to talk a little. I’m in a bad state, she can see. I could not hear her. I’m trying not to think about my just received diagnosis. Perhaps it’s only going to go away.

For dinner me in Oakland, another colleague, another registered nurse. I told her what my physician said that night. She responds, “My advices to you: tell no one. I am looking for comfort and comfort. Now I’m at the beginning of a lack of empathy I once showed. They’ll not believe you. I taste my own medicine and it leaves my mouth with a very bad taste.

My health soon worsens and I have to take time off work to restore my life. I can only walk around the house for the first couple of weeks; I can gradually walk down the road and then around the block. I read and educate myself in many FM books. I join a group and find a lot of women and men who don’t match the stereotype we hear about so frequently.

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These people are hopeful, powerful, motivated and struggling to live productive and happy lives. I tell the group my story — and the superficial question I asked my doctor when I was diagnosed. “I bet you ‘re now confident,” says the facilitator of the support group. The group laughs with compassion and intelligence. I’m accepted by experience — and humbled.

LIFTING THE VEIL

I have been active since my diagnosis in raising others’ awareness of FM. I volunteer, talk with people and keep my health and attitude under control (including medical professionals). Some medical professionals have changed, albeit a small one. I watched the changes of doctors. Now they are asking the right questions, being ready to learn and working to offer the right methods of treatment for FM people. I saw their awareness come forth and their compassion. There are clear signs of evolution. The veil of incredulity lifts.

The first question I asked my doctor prompted me for a journey. My own views and prejudices to those with FM were left to me. I must also come face to face with my peers, fellow registered nurses, who had harsh judgments and stereotypes. On the other side of the fence, I am now a patient. I’ve been on a path to reconcile my feelings and to find ways to assimilate my life with this distress. How’s my health going to manage? My eye was directly watched by the stigma around FM – and I look back.

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