I was recently diagnosed by a Rheumatologist with both Fibro and Myofascial Pain. As I look back, I realize that I have had them for quite a long time. It has been seven years since I had a drink of alcohol, but I know now that I treated my pain with it.
Every doctor I have ever seen, and I’ve seen them in Montana, Arizona, and Texas, has treated me with SSRI’s! They insisted that my pain was related to the lack of Dopamine and how it is produced by a process that requires Serotonin to effectively neurotransmit. The dosage would be increased as I went for follow-up appointments. At one stage in my life, I was on such a high dose, that not only did I not feel depressed, I did not feel happy, anxious or alive, except for my pain. Since turning 50, age is the reason given to me by many physicians for my pain. They say it’s natural to feel pain at this age.
I am not overweight, underweight, or sedentary. I knew better. I had this pain and fibro fog when I was in my late 30’s, maybe earlier. Now, I have a diagnosis and understand that it has progressed to a state where mentally, I am incapable of learning new skills. I was fired from a job that I truly loved because I continued to forget the order that had to be followed exactly as the procedure manual stated. I was a Phlebotomist trainee, and a very good one. I am great with people and never had a bad stick. I would put alcohol on before Betadine, or vice versa. As trainers attempted to “help,” by getting in front of my flip chart, putting their hands on the patient or handing me things, I would go into a fog. My neck and shoulder pain would increase to the level that my eyes would tear up.
I have discovered that I cannot help my husband replace the roofing, but I can still do simple things in the house that do not involve my staying balanced. If I simply walk from room to room, dusting, hanging clothes, straightening the beds, I stay loose. I ask that no one startle me, shout, or do anything that will cause me to tense up. My sons are doing quite well. My husband is still working at lowering his loud, deep voice. He was convinced I had Alzheimer’s, which his mother died from. My neurologist has assured me that I do not. He gave me a second MRI to prove to my husband that I do not show any shrinkage in a particular area.
I live one day at a time, keeping on the move, doing minor home maintenance and have given up my search for work. I cannot do transcription, lift boxes of paper, repair the copy machine, or multi-task. On days when I am deeply in fibro fog, I put headphones on, listen to my favorite songs, and stay on the move. Music is my escape from trying to think. I sing as loud as I like and don’t have to hear the notes I miss or cannot reach. As long as I’m dancing around, I am not ruminating about my illness. I feel blessed that what I have is not going to take me from my family or destroy my life. I try to live remembering to maintain my gratitude.