Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It Sarted with a Willingness to Change

I'm trying desperately to talk myself into going to the gym. Considering I woke up with a headache and a bit of that "hit by a truck" feeling, the later it gets the less I want to. I mean I want to, of course, who wouldn't rather spend the day wrapped in a strong and powerful endorphin afterglow instead of feeling like roadkill? But really, all my dwindling ambition does is remind me how far I've backslid since August. That's when I got the first cold, followed by another, followed by such intense insomnia that left me so immune zapped, I got the second-worst flu of my life.

Yes, the last two months changed my life a lot. It certainly reminded me how vulnerable I am, and how sometimes despite my best efforts, fibromyalgia is stronger than anything I can do to thwart its never-ending misery. But that's old news. What I find quite a bit more interesting is how willing I am to change to keep my grasp on my health and therefore, my life. I've made all sorts of adjustments to my healthy-food consumption, revamped my workout to accommodate my weaker immune stamina, and last but not least, am going to bed before midnight and waking up at 8 a.m. like a normal person who has some sort of grasp on their life. What a concept. While I can't credit any one change with a vast and sweeping improvement, I am slowly returning to my normal, crazy self. Yeah, I'd say the last two months sure shook up the status quo, and maybe not for the worse.

When I first got sick in 2005 I talked to an Italian doctor who had CFS/ME too, and said the only way she recovered was to change EVERYTHING about her life. She moved to a different city, got a different job, changed husbands, and learned how to live differently in every single way. It seemed like frivolous, irresponsible advice at the time. I mean, did she just get rid of her children too? In my mind, there are some things a person just can't turn their back on. Ten years later I totally get her wisdom, with some modifications. While I've kept the same husband, seeing as I'm blessed enough to have a husband worth keeping, everything else has changed. I didn't realize it at the time because the metamorphosis was so slow, and there was so much backward progress compared to so little forward movement. However, I believe I've maintained my grasp on my health and therefore, my life, precisely because that change was slow enough to own.

Fibromyalgia is an extremely complex illness caused by a variety of reasons that affects different people with different severity. That paradoxical reality is part of what makes treating it, living with it, and being accepted as legitimately sick so incredibly difficult for many patients. I didn't get my grasp on my health back by reading a book on how somebody else got better from fibromyalgia; I read 50. I didn't stabilize from giving up aspartame or gluten; I gave up everything over the course of many years and slowly added back the things I had no adverse reaction to. Gluten stayed and aspartame went. And I certainly didn't improve the quality of my life by taking a miracle supplement; I tried a slew of them and stuck with the ones that made a difference and didn't break my pocketbook. I've found what works for me, which isn't necessarily what will help the next person, but must always remember it started with a big fat dose of desperation and that all-important willingness to change.

Thanks for joining,

#fibromyalgia #chronicillness #change #struggle #persevere                  

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