Time to Let Go!

Time to Let Go!

Stages of grief. I think that I have been through them all with my fibromyalgia. Who knows, maybe I will return to one or another one day,

I realized a couple of days ago just how much impact this illness has on my life. Not always negative! I went on a field trip with my son which involved walking. In my mind, I could do this. I could spend the day with him walking around a beautiful city on a gorgeous spring day.

I was so happy to spend time with him, yet my body was screaming halfway through the day to stop. Of course, being me, I just went on. Bad idea. I was in so much pain and even now am still feeling the effects.

That day made me realize that this illness is not all in my head. The pain was real, the effects of the pain were real. I came to the conclusion that I have to let go of some of what I think I can do.

I can still walk, yet it is limited. I can still go places, yet again I need to limit how many and allow for rest, In some ways it is freeing. My body is just not what it was and may not ever be again.

I am ok with that at this point and I just need to be honest with myself and others.

so goodbye 2 hours at the gym. Dancing or at least the hope of it. Walking for hours. The memories are great and they will always be there. I was lucky to be able to do all of the activities that I did. Dance, Horseback ride, chaperone field trips, walk for hours with the kids.

Those are now board games, short periods of going out, different expectations for myself. I am still getting used to this and there are still days that it is hard, yet this is who I am and I can still have a fulfilling life, just different.

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Pain, Depression, or Something Else

Pain, Depression, or Something Else

My life is spiraling on a path that I feel like I cannot control any longer. I have been put into a corner, into a spot that society and medicine believe me to be in.

The pain is real. The images do not lie, in fact they tell a story. A story of a former fracture of a vertebrae, arthritis, knees that do not work properly, and other images that just cannot be explained even with all of our modern-day technology.

The images that I have of myself are changing. I am lost, alone, and scared. My body used to be able to do so much. Take a walk, swim, dance, play. Now it runs my life with pain. Pain that keeps me from leaving the house some days and is just like a friend on other days, always with me.

So why go on? I need to. I need to see where this is going to take me and where life is going to lead. Each day that passes, I believe something good will come of all of this, yet sometimes it is hard to keep going.

I have my service dog to look forward to. Funny, I am already making plans. Maybe the zoo or the aquarium. Somewhere that I love and will finally have the freedom to go again. Maybe even the waterfront park where I love to go and relax. Now I have to stay in my car. He will provide me with the balance that I need to leave the car and maybe even have lunch.

I need to imagine this future life or I will be lost in the abyss that is my life at this moment. The constant poking and prodding of doctor’s that leads to nowhere.

So the image. It is pain, hopelessness, or it is trying to figure out where to turn and what to do!

Today I am Just Here

Today I am Just Here

After 2 MRI’s on Monday and seeing a specialist yesterday, I am just numb. I feel like no one is listening to what I say. The medical doctor’s for the most part just pick me apart. I am more than just a brain, an arm, a spine, a knee, etc… I am a person.

Somehow the mental health profession gets this. The doctor’s who treat my Fibro and Pain get this. The specialists are a whole different story.

Yesterday, was another day where I was told, yes I see something, yet that cannot be the cause of your problems. The doctor did not even know what PTSD was. In today’s world and as a specialist who treats bone issues, I would think that he would have known.

That should have been my first clue to run like hell out of the office. Unfortunately, he is not the first or the last doctor that just does not get it and he never will. That doctor will retire in a few years and believe that he did his best, which he probably has.

For me, I want to advocate. I do not want to sit back and let patients be mistreated or unheard. If these illnesses did not exist than no one would have the symptoms, yet there are many people on here and those that I have met in life that have the same symptoms. It seems like if it does not have a name than it does not exist in the medical world.

So today, I am just numb. I do not know how to feel about all of this, yet I know that I want things to change and the only way that things change is for people to speak up.

I know that my pain is real. My back hurts, me legs hurt, my knees give out. I use a cane and if I do not I am even more unstable.

Yesterday was another bump in a very long road. I am lucky to have the doctors that I do. Doctors that believe and treat what I have rather than telling me it is all in my head. I wish that everyone was so lucky.

So today, I will listen to some music and maybe do some journaling. Yesterday, after that horrible doctor’s adventure, I took a ride to a local park and watched the water. I saw and oriole and a cardinal. Two birds that I have not seen in a very long time. It made me feel like things would be ok. Maybe I should take a ride to that park more often?

Just Plain Tired!!

Just Plain Tired!!

An MRI machine. I am sure that any sick person has had an up close and personal visit with this wonderful invention! Yesterday, I had 2 hours of fun.

Then the fun continued today when I received referrals to two more physicians. As I was trying to relax from that wonderful piece of news and seeing my psychiatrist, I had a phone call informing me that my test results from yet another doctor showed that I am anemic.

I think that anyone who was not going through mental health issues would have a hard time right now. I feel alone, even though I know that I have support. I used to be able to dissociate and at least have a few hours where I could pretend things were good.

Now, between all of the physical and mental stuff I can hardly find the time to schedule all of my doctor’s visits!! At least I am lucky to have some amazing doctors. If it were not for them I think that life would be a lot worse.

They are up front with me about all the tests and what each of their goals are for me.

Then there is my husband. He must be as overwhelmed with all of this news as I am. It is a lot to take in right now. I appreciate the support from all of those people who continue to read and comment on the blog. It means a lot.

One day, this will just be a story. At least I hope it will. I am getting through each day and will try to write often. Sometimes I am just to exhausted to even open the keyboard anymore.

My Brain Is Spinning

My Brain Is Spinning

Therapy this week was hard. Not that my therapist asked me anything off base. I realized that the life I have created in my head is really messing with my actual life.

My family is one of those areas that I tend to avoid talking about. I really want everything to have been ok, yet I know it was not. There have been triggers, flashbacks, nightmares, and actual accounts now from others about what happened.

My therapist showed me a few questions out of a book. Basically it was dealing with narcissistic mothers and the effects on their child. As I read through the questions I could answer yes to every one of them. Years ago, another therapist thought that my mother was narcissistic. I read about it and thought that I was not qualified to make that judgement.

So, now I am reading the questions and can answer yes to every one of them. Scary to say the least. So what did I do. I downloaded the book and really started working on what happened and how I feel about my mother.

Not feeling the best right now. I feel like the mother that I thought I had only exists in my head, that she was not like that when I think of the experiences in my life.

So, at the moment I am confused as to what my life is and who I am. Am I being like my mother to my kids? How much pain do I have to go through until I feel better? Right now I feel like I just need to keep working and maybe the swirls in my head would ease up and things would be ordered.

Against the Current

Against the Current

*May Trigger*

My entire life I have felt like this picture. When I was young I did not “get” how to play with other kids. Fun was not part of my vocabulary. My toys had to be perfectly lined up, so much so, that my kids today can still play with them like they are brand new. Probably because I never could.

People around me moved forward and I seemed to stay in one place. Make-up, dating, college, friends: they were doing all of that. I was still in the same house being compared to two stillborn children, being hit and verbally abused.

Even today, when faced with a social situation I do not know what to do. My first instinct in to hide in a corner. All I hear in my mind in the message from childhood to not tell and to not over stay my welcome.

So, I wind up in a corner not talking to anyone. The only people who I seem to be able to relate to are those that I am in the hospital with. Those that have gone through hell and back and now are recounting their experiences.

I am also different in that I talk openly about my illness. PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of, nor is any other mental illness. I am a person with feelings like everyone else, yet I am not like everyone else. Other people do not check around them every two minutes waiting for something to happen, other people do not get thrown back into the moment from the past just because they see or smell something that reminds them of what they went through. Okay, not ony see, smell, but also feel, touch, taste, and basically be transported back in time.

Now I am getting a service dog. I realize that for those who knew me before my physical and mental illness it is hard to imagine why I would need such a luxury. I know not everyone with an illness has a service dog. I guess all those years of standing in the corner have caught up with me and I am a little low on friends at the time that would come and help.

I am getting a service dog to help me get up off of a chair. To help me up and down stairs. Help with retrieval and balance. At this point, I have had to crawl up the stairs more than once or stay where I am because I cannot get up and feel to week or dizzy to do so.

The service dog will give me the independence to go out into the world again. Hopefully that will mean starting small: going to the store by myself or going for a walk, to other greater goals such as returning to work.

So yes, I have gone against the current most of my life. Not by choice in many cases. It has led me to where I am today. Trying to turn around and even though I may still be different and unique, be able to function like everyone else!

A Life Divided

A Life Divided

Before I was even 5, my life became divided into neat little pieces or boxes. There was the child that lived in the nightmare that was my house, then there was the child that went to dance and had a smile on her face, and the child who went to preschool and struggled to fit in with the other kids in the class.

Struggling to fit in would not change for me for a long time. To this day, my life is still divided. There is the person who goes to therapy and speaks about her mental illness, then there is the mom that has to be an adult, there are the kids that are still scared and just want to live as kids, and then there is the person who puts on a happy front so that others think that I am ok.

That is not including all of the emotions that I have boxed away. Getting in touch with those emotions has been a struggle and I still feel numb on most days.

I would like the boxes and their contents to come open, for everything to merge. My mind seems to have other ideas. Part of me is terrified to show emotion. When I was younger I learned that showing emotions such as grief and sadness meant that one was weak.

Even today, when I visit my past abusers, I need to pretend like everything is fine. Luckily, most of the time I can keep myself in check, yet sometimes I just need to leave and get out of there or I feel like I am going to explode.

Even my illnesses are boxed up. There are illnesses that are more socially accepted than others. Depression seems to be something that everyone can relate too. All people have had their ups and downs. Depending who I am around, it is even ok to experience symptoms of PTSD and to not always be ok. The DID needs to be kept in a box. DID is hard to understand. I do not hear voices and my personalities are not one-dimensional. They have names, ages, memories, and as crazy as it sounds their own likes and dislikes.

So, I feel like I have to remain divided. There are those days though where I wish that I could just be myself. Have a meltdown, not be ok. Instead, I have learned really well to hide everything and do what people think that I should be doing.

Lately, it has really upset me that I was not able to complete school and am limited by my physical illness, not to mention the symptoms of my mental illness. My husband has suggested that I start a book about my life. I am not sure about that. Who wants to know about my life?

so, for today my life will still be in boxes. At least I can open them sometimes and be who I/we truly are!!

Not Sure Where I Am

Not Sure Where I Am

Today in therapy, I was all over the board. When I was in Psych, I learned the nice linear stages of grief. To bad they are actually not like that at all. Just when I think I have gotten through one stage, something happens that seems to put me right back there.

My mind and my body are definitely not in sync. My brain still wants to be able to get out of bed in the morning and start the day. My body has to lay in bed, stretch, maybe take a shower, and hopefully be able to function.

I miss what I used to be able to do. Physical therapy is helping. I also had a med change yesterday that I am surprised seems to be working. Crossing my fingers that it will continue.

I have the service dog to look forward to and the kids are coming this weekend. Well at least two out of three. One has plans and I want him to be able to have a good time. Life is to short to not experience what one can.

Tomorrow, I do not have any doctors appointments!!! How great to be able to have a day to recuperate. Not to long from now, I will be going on my son’s field trip. I need to realize my limits and listen to my body instead of just pushing through everything.

Tomorrow is a new day. Who knows how I will feel when I wake up tomorrow. Will I deny that I even have an illness or be mad that it has taken some of the things away that I enjoy the most in this life? I shall see.

Why Can’t Things Be Simple

Why Can't Things Be Simple

This morning started off like every other morning. Pain, trouble getting out of bed, the usual! I was so glad that I only had one appointment for today.

I should not have thought that. The next thing I know I am on the phone with a different doctor talking about tests that could lead to more specialists.

Life as a kid was not easy for me, or I would not have PTSD and the wonderful other problems that come along with it. As a kid though, life was simple. One of my favorite things are bubbles. As a kid, my aunt used to make her own “bubble soap”. I would be outside for hours watching the bubbles and the colors in them.

Getting ready for my appointment today, was anything but easy. Besides feeling really off-balance, I did not feel like hearing another doctor ask me how I was. That should be simple, if I were fine or ok I would not be in your office. You do not have to be nice to me when I know that you are going to charge me and insane amount of money to sit here for 15 minutes.

Let’s just be simple. Why are you here? Where are you having the most pain? Stop asking if I am depressed. If you had a life changing illness, I think that you or anyone else would be depressed.

Sometimes, I wish that I were those bubbles. Able to float away and not have to stay put or have anyone analyze them. To just exist would be great.

Cracks in the Image

Cracks in the Image

When I was younger, everything had to be “fine”. I had to use manners, make sure I did “not overstay my welcome”(whatever that means), and the most important of all to not tell what went on inside of my house. To this day the last message is very strong inside of my head.

When I had a mental illness, I could at least pretend for a few hours that I was ok. There was nothing on the outside of me to show that I was sick. Even when I was first in school, no one knew that I was mentally ill. Now I speak for NAMI and I hear stories of other people who try to keep their mental illnesses a secret.

Enter, one clinical day in nursing school when something triggered me. Needless to say, my cover was blown. At least, I was already in the program. I proved to others that over the next, year and a half that I could have a mental illness and take care of patients.

With the physical illness-fibromyalgia, arthritis, and who knows what else, the cracks are quick to show. Leg braces, a cane, a handicapped tag. These have become signs to the rest of the world that I am not like everyone else.

Sure, normal has a broad range of definitions. We have all faced challenges. deaths of loved ones, loses of things that were dear to us. To lose the ability to walk, to take my kids out for a day without the consequence of not being able to get out of bed the next day-these are things that I just cannot seem to wrap my head around.

So, the image is cracking that I have tried to put up. Who knows what the new image will look like. I have kept going and am in the process of trying to figure out what to do for a career now that my body is not as functional as it used to be.

Maybe the cracks are good. At least now, I am being honest with myself an admitting that I do have an illness!