Monday, March 15, 2010

Background: The Start Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia

A few months later my husband graduated with 2 BS degrees in Finance and we were ready to start our life for real. During the first 5 years of our marriage he had been completing his undergrad full-time and working full-time. This had left us a bit distant and out of touch with each other. We were really looking forward to some re-connecting and had scheduled a week of "vacation" together while he graduated and we moved. We were living in San Francisco and prior to graduation he had secured a new job, in his field, on the Peninsula. I had decided to buy myself a dog as a present for his graduation and was really ready for life a bit slower, easier and cheaper than city living offered. So in my type A+++ fashion I set out to do all of this in 1 week. Bam! Enter my own personal hell week. You know when they talk about a "trigger event" for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia? Well, here is mine: The week he graduated we had a large graduation party with tons of out-of-town family and friends, moved 2 days later and got the new puppy the day after that. Then surprise! My grandfather passed away so I had to fly back to Illinois for a whirlwind funeral, all during the week my husband and I were supposed to be getting reaquanted with each other. Oh, how many times we have talked about if we had just gone to Mexico and taken a real vacation instead of this madness, maybe I would not have gotten sick...

But I have never felt the same since then. I started having lots of physical pain and exhaustion. I felt like the muscles in my legs were separating from the bones and like my abdomen was going to either implode or explode, but could not tell which. I could not make it to work on time or through a whole day of work. I felt like I was moving through quick-sand. I would sleep 10 hours a night and wake up exhausted. I was in hell. I ached everywhere and felt like I was constantly on the verge of getting the flu. I was emotionally and physically in chaos. I immediately stepped down from my executive position and went into a 4 day a week assistant-manager job. I knew after the struggle with pancreatitis that whatever this was, I could not be focused on my career as well. My solution was to stop taking Tricor, the triglyceride medicine I had been put on after the side effects from Lopid were discovered. Even though I had been on it for a few months I was convinced what I was going through was another adverse reaction, but to no avail. I saw doctor after doctor and test after test kept showing I was as fit as a fiddle. No one could tell me what the hell was wrong with me! I was put on anti-depressants because, according to one doctor, I was depressed, nothing else. I existed in this ebb and flow of crash then push, constantly feeling awful and getting no answers or relief from the pain and exhaustion. I did find one doctor who diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia and another that ran all the tests to confirm that looming and vague diagnosis of exclusion. But there was no real treatment and certainly no cure! Nothing more than some old out-dated heavily-sedating medications. Nothing modern medicine had to offer, and I was quickly disintegrating.

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