Friday, May 20, 2011

Its Not That Odd To Breakdown

In the 10 months I have been publishing this blog and connecting with fellow Fibromyalgia patients I have noticed a frequent trend. There reaches a point where the reality of living with constant pain and fatigue and insomnia breaks you. Or comes within a hair's breath. It hurts my heart to see the pleas for help, the scribbled ramblings of a racing brain ill equipped to withstand the devastation occurring simultaneously in your life and in your body. Screaming someone make sense of this! Someone please just tell me what to do and I will do it! Please take this stupid and random and weird and complex and misunderstood illness away from me! I myself am not immune to it and have seen it enough times, in many different people from all walks of life, to wonder if anyone is. Its like the culmination of all the crap we juggle crashes down. All the strength it takes to conjure up the perseverance and sheer will to get out of bed each morning suddenly vacates. And left with the unfiltered purity of your misery, you snap. But in some ways, if you are fortunate enough to have a support network to help save you from yourself, it can be a necessary step in the life-cycle of coming to terms with, and moving beyond, a Fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Oddly enough I hit my bottom very shortly after I took the final test to confirm this vague and looming diagnosis of exclusion. The MRI to test for MS. I remember exactly how I felt on that sunny-yet-chilly early summer day in northern California. Standing in the middle of my living room on my cordless phone as I was informed there were no abnormalities in my MRI confirming Multiple Sclerosis. I hung up the phone and sobbed. Now please understand I did not want MS by any stretch of the imagination. I understand what a terrible degenerative disease it is. Yet the sobs were rolling deep out of the center of my being because that was my last chance. BECAUSE MODERN MEDICINE COULD NOT TELL ME WHY I WAS SO SICK! So ill that I could not do my job, a very stripped down version of the one I had before I got sick. In so much pain I could think of nothing but the constant hurt, and fatigue so bad making my bed had turned into an Olympic event. But modern medicine was all I knew. And the best they could offer me was a  CFS and Fibromyalgia diagnosis with no way to get better. I was in prison occupying a body wracked with illness. And there was no key to get out. So my mind folded.

I knew it was coming, but of course had to push myself over the brink before I finally caved and admitted defeat. I had been to see a Psychiatrist a few days before, and luckily she was there to catch me in the ways a Psychiatrist can, with compassion and medication. My husband and mother offered the emotional support and supervision I required and my MD gave me a month off of work and on to state disability to figure this problem out. A month! Ha! 5 years later and I am still figuring it out. But that was the fire under my bum propelling me into educating myself to the real truths of modern medicine. How it is the symptom, not the cause, that is often treated. How when a doctor with a God complex can't fix you in a 15 minuet office visit they turn it around to make you the unstable and hysterical one. And how if I ever wished to resume living life as a somewhat normal individual I had to figure it out. For myself. And that was really really hard. So when I see these breakdowns occur, as they all to often do, I say a little prayer that strength and hope will be sent their way. And I remember back on my own lowest-low and the subsequent aftershocks that have dotted my journey. Oh friends this is hard. But not impossible, to learn how to live with. I figure there are two ways to look at it. Oh well or I can.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Oh Leah...I so understand the breakdown. It happened to me just today. I have fought and fought with determination to beat this, but instead, I keep getting deeper and deeper into the hole. I admitted today, that I can't do this without help. It was an enormous step for me. I took zero meds until struck with fibro, between supplements and scripts, I am now at about 15....

  2. Unfortunately, I'm still in a bit of denial. I still have points that I explode, grieving for the life I used to have, and knowing things will never be the same again. Some days I wake up with a positive light on the matter, and then there are the others...I too cried when they found nothing on my scan for MS for the same reasons you did. No one wants MS, but you already know, it's something bad, and when they can't tell you what that "bad" is via medical science, the onslaught of emotions that become you is unimaginable. I'm so glad I found this blog. Thank u for sharing, I know I'm not the only one now.

  3. Leah, I honestly think this is the best blog entry you've ever written. It strikes right at the heart of what I'm going through at the moment, and I'm sure many others are going through, too. Thank you.

  4. Very interesting, also nice to hear others are like me.. It could be me writing these words. I was going to post on FB but quickly deleted it as I forgot it goes to the main wall for all the world to see.. would love to be part of a group and to be able to share feelings with someone who understands..

  5. Boy do I understand where you are coming from. I fought the diagnosis of fibro for years---always trying to get the docs to find SOMETHING else wrong with me----something of course that could actually be treated. Thyroid problems, hashimotos disease, early menopause, etc etc..... I tried desperately to just get a diagnosis of something that could be treated with a pill so I could move on. I already have arthritis, I just didn't need or want anything else. Finally 15 years later here I am accepting fibro. I guess I just thought if I could ignore it all and fight it, then it would either go away or the docs would finally find something else that was causing all these problems. I didn't want to go into that black hole of fibro and I certainly didn't want to explain to people why I was sick most of the time. Arthritis is hard enough to explain to people when your not elderly and you get the typical " well you don't look sick." I just wish ( as awful as this sounds ) that some famous celebrity would get this and then we would definitely have more attention brought to this horrible condition----then just maybe more research would be done. Lord knows the money would be flowing for sure and that certainly can help get more people involved in finding out what makes this condition tick. I hate explaining this condition to people and I hate the way people look at you when you do----like they just don't believe it. sorry for my rant----its been raining for a solid week here where I live so you can only imagine how bad my fibro is right now! HA HA
    Thanks for this great page you have!

  6. Leah, I understand your feelings. Every time I have a test so they can try to find out what is wrong with me and it comes back negative, I sob and collapse into bed b/c I cannot cope with being so sick with a syndrome that is so misunderstood. I have now been out of work for 4 months (after working for 35 years. I just simply do not have the strength to deal with the pressure and stress of working everyday. I have applied for disability . . . if I am turned down, I have no idea what I will do. May God Bless you on your journey. Thank you for your blog :) Marie