Thursday, September 1, 2011

It Is Not Possible

I was re-potting some plants and watching The Kardashians on Saturday. It's the episode where Kim develops a rash on her legs and goes to the dermatologist. She has psoriasis, family hereditary.
Kim: So what can I do to get rid of it?
Doctor: Well, its not curable, but it is controllable. The #1 way you can help yourself is to lead a slower paced, less stressful life.
Kim: That's not possible.
At this point I dropped my gardening shovel because I needed to clutch my side, I am laughing so hard it hurts. Anyone out there remember saying that, upon receiving a Fibromyalgia diagnosis? I sure do. And just like Kim (unfortunately sin the millions of dollars), I believed it to be true. For there was no way to live my life, slower and less stressful. It just was not possible. But I was not a celebutante with a rash on my legs. I was a working woman with pain and fatigue so bad I had to quit my job! And then the one after that, and the one after that. For the longer I lived with it, the worse it got, until one day I simply could not go to work at all.

I was not dying, but certainly not living either. I was existing. From one pain and stress filled day to the next. Trying to juggle all the balls in the air I had been given in life, and the few I willfully picked up along the way, too. And as I would try and throw one ball out, another was thrown back in. See all, todos, the circumstances in life that led to this breakdown of my central nervous system came crashing down on me. And then there were all the balls left to juggle, but no one was there to juggle them. Blood, sweat and tears. Lots of 'em. And I was able to army crawl back to the pile of balls, struggle to sit up and pick one up. For that was the best that I could do. Eventually I started tossing it back and forth between my hands. A little while later I was able to pick up a 2nd ball, and tossed both of them back and forth. And so it went. But with every couple of balls I picked up, I would always drop one. Then I would have to keep juggling what I had while concentrating on bringing that dropped ball back into the toss. Now I am juggling about half the balls I was before and am amazed I am here!

That is why its so hard for me to explain this to healthy people. They just don't get it. For how do you explain, truly convey, how hard it is to be forced to learn how to do nothing? And then when the simplest, most taken for granted activities become something you can do again, the joy that brings! I could do my laundry again and I was ecstatic! Lets not even talk about taking the dog on a walk. Oh and when I could finally return to work I was a very grateful woman. Very grateful indeed, because it meant I could leave my house for more than 20 minutes at a time. And please don't take this the wrong way, I am in no way trying to be spiteful. But can't one of these reality show personalities get Fibromyalgia? So the world can see someone they already know, succumb to this disease? Well folks until then, I guess public education is up to you and me.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Leah,

    It's the spoon theory. Have you heard of it? Or maybe you invented it. I can't remember.

    You wake up every day with a certain number of spoons. For every activity, it costs so many spoons. For fibro patients (and other chronic pain patients), when you've given out all of the spoons, you are DONE. It means pacing yourself so you don't run out of spoons.

    Chronic illness has changed me from a Type A to a Type B personality. I never thought that would be possible, but I am all about procrastination now. I do what I can and don't worry about what I can't. That's a huge change from being driven to get everything done.

    Kim Kardashian may find that she will have to slow down. If that means giving up her multi-million dollar reality show and toning down her lifestyle, well boo hoo. I can't feel too sorry for her, since she spent somewhere between $5 million and $10 million dollars for her wedding, depending on who you listen to.

    Everyone is ABLE to live a less stressful life. It's just a matter of being forced to choose to do so. Or making the choice voluntarily because you don't want to live that way anymore.


  2. Again you sing, sing, sing to this stubborn heart of mine. Thank you!!!!!!!

  3. Oh Chelle, I have recently found that "spoon theory" and repeated it to my mom. It is a brilliant way to convey to someone who isn't living with a debilitating disease how we are at the mercy of our fibro, RA, Arthritis and the thousands of other debilitating diseases/conditions.

    Leah - I really enjoy reading your blog and am so thankful to be able to ready thoughts. You get what I got. Your blogs make ma laugh and make me cry. Thank you! Jan

  4. Leah, I absolutely love reading your blog. You're giving a lot of other Fibromyalgia sufferers out there some great advice, and thank you for sharing your stories.