Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Functioning Fibro

A functioning fibromite? Is that an adjective? A verb? An adverb? All 3, I'd say.

A wise friend of mine coined the term - functioning fibro - to describe (a relative of hers) with fibromyalgia. I liked the phrase very much and asked for permission to use those 2 exquisite little words in my writing. Permission was gladly granted.

I personify the phrase - I live as a functioning fibro(mite). What does that mean, exactly? Well, in my case, it means that I have more good days than bad. I don't live in an extended flare like some other unfortunate folk.

With proper pacing (which I've yet to master), I can live a reasonably productive life. I recently emerged from an unexpected but entirely welcome pain-free spree that lasted for 25 days. When the pain did return, honestly, I felt a sense of defeat. Swallowing that Trammy after so many 'normal' days was bitter, indeed.

Firstly, I must point out that I am one of the fortunate ones. I consider my case to be a mild to moderate form of fibro. I can spend several 'normal' days, keeping house, running errands, being Mom and Wife without missing much of a beat. After a few day of impersonating Miss Suzy Homemaker, the illusion, invariably, comes crashing down and I'm delegated to being achy FibroCathy again.

I've been on both sides of the fibro fence. I've seen that there is a life out there with my name on it. I've taken liberal helpings of it with great glee. And, like Humpty Dumpty, I've had a great fall.

I have had enough tumbles to know that it is not easy to put me back together again. I've had days where I have not left my bed except to take care of nature's business. I've had days where I've been so exhausted and unable to concentrate on anything longer than an eye-blink. Those are the worst days because I can't stay focused enough to read, watch TV, play on the computer, write. I pretty much lay there, dozing in and out of consciousness, hoping for tomorrow to be better. I can count on one hand the times that fibro pain has brought me to my knees and to tears. On those rare occasions, I feel despondent, praying that I won't feel like this forever. I pray that the pain will improve, like it always does because I know I cannot live in this amount of pain every day. It is a truly frightening experience to live in pain, not knowing if and when it will end. You begin to feel desperate to find relief, anyway you can. Those have been my dark nights of the soul.

I am eternally grateful that those dark days always end and I'm able to foresee my life without constant pain on the horizon.

Sometimes I wonder what is worse. To live life in a chronic pain state and sadly, become so immune to it that your reality is always pain. You stop remembering what it felt like to be 'normal.' Or, to have some semblance of a life - to get a taste of the joys and delights only to be knocked down again and again.

We can only do what we can do.

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