On our latest Costco trip he suddenly stopped me mid-aisle and turned to look at me with love in his eyes, asking if I remembered when I was at my worst and we would get halfway (if that) through the three football-field sized mega cinder-block structure and I would throw on the brakes. I was so sick and there was so much stimulation and too much to choose from and way too much square footage to cover. I had hit my "wall" and was done. So we would leave the store, shopping half done, and head home to put me to sofa-rest. It was also during this phase that he would come home on his lunch break from work and carry multiple baskets of laundry down three flights of stairs so I could coin-op in our complex, too weak to do the job myself. He has picked up major slack in our lives to compensate for my illness, all the while holding jobs he did not like, fending off potential friendships because the reality of our financial situation could not afford new friendships, foregoing living his life because he did not want to live it without me right next to him...and continuing to love me and support me with all of his heart.
I believe we have made it as long as we have and through as much as we have because of sheer determination. We were a blessed match from the beginning, and despite many setbacks and wrench-dented roads we have not taken that gift and squandered it. He is a man of integrity and honor. We have worked so incredibly hard to put our relationship first and make it the priority of our lives. I feel like there are three of us in this marriage; me, my husband and the marriage. She has taken on her own identity and is the primary focus, coming long before our own individual needs. It is returning to this philosophy time and time again that allowed us to push through the rough patches and make it to the other side. But I have to give myself some credit here as well. When my health and sanity failed I spent the requisite amount of time wallowing in self-pity and misery, and then got mad and refused to play the victim, grasping onto the non-optional sheer determination that I was going to recover from this, I was going to get my life back. How much I could not tell, but was insisting on at least enough that I could exist in the outside world in some form or fashion. My quest to recover, or manage Fibromyalgia was/is long and tenuous, but I have restored a quality of life that I see so many searching so desperately for. This is not an illness that is managed easily. No doctor is going to give you a magic pill or prescription for absolute healing. Fibromyalgia is scientifically mysterious at this juncture in the practice of medicine, but that does not mean there are not ways to treat it and gain some life, passion and laughter back. I cannot tell you how to do it, we are all different and it affects each person individually. I can just tell you what I did and that it can be done. Oh yes I still struggle plenty, but when I take a second to pause and reflect am amazed that I can not only make it through the entirety of Costco but then come home and put everything away!
Thanks for joining,
This blog was originally published on 10/13/10.