First I want to thank everyone for their patience. I had both software and hardware problems in my already geriatric, very sensitive computer. I want to thank my husband Paul Glover who has so little free time as it is (a few hours some week nights and Sunday) and who basically sacrificed the better part of every single bit of his free time over the course of two weeks to diagnose and fix these problems. I could not ask for a better husband! I love you honey! So we shall carry on……..
There is nothing funny about fibromyalgia but I decided to write a post trying to find some ‘light’ things about fibromyalgia because I keep writing these blog posts and it just gets deeper and heavier. I decided I had to lighten it up a bit. It is not pretty and there is nothing funny about it but it is like the saying, “If I start crying, I won’t stop” so I thought I would throw some tongue and cheek in to break the utter sadness that would be our lives….. the lives of us that have this unforgiving bitch of a condition. So what could possibly be funny or light about fibromyalgia….. besides the fact that spell check squiggles or to put it another way does not recognize the word. Wait, that is not funny, it is sad and appalling. Save that for another post! Let me put it another way, the kind of, “look on the bright side” sort of attitude.
1. NEVER AN EXCUSE TO NOT HAVE YOUR DAILY PRAYERS: On the days Paul is not around to pull me out of bed and I must fall on my knees and push myself into a standing position, the Catholic in me kicks in and often decides to stay there for a few minutes and have some ‘on my knee’ prayer time. I am the type of Christian that prays throughout my day…. doing housework, driving (especially around this area where people cannot drive for anything!), cooking, etc. I have never been from the school of thought that prayer is this formal, pomp and circumstance undertaking but rather a conversation with God. However there is something nice about having occasional formal, on the knee prayer. So what better way to do that than while starting your day, while on your knees because you don’t ‘just get up’; you roll out of bed, on your knees and slowly push yourself to a hunched standing position.
2. IT IS A GOOD WAY TO FIND LOST JEWELRY AND SEE WHAT AREAS NEED SOME GOOD CLEANING: Another great thing about starting your day in the ‘on the knees’ position is you often find that lost earring, lost bracelet it is a very good way to find those hidden dusty areas and find places that need extra touches in the cleaning department. You would be surprised where dust bunnies gather. Starting your day on your knees gives you a view that you would otherwise not have! So look around and see if you can find that earring and see where you (or likely your cleaning companion) need to reach that feather duster!
3. BRAIN FOG ALLOWS YOU TO KNOW WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING BEHIND YOUR BACK: This one can be a bit delicious! For years I have known people think I am a bit… ‘dumb’. My brain fog can be misleading. I worked in two call centers which are mud pits of gossip. I mean MEGA gossip. And it is not just MEGA gossip it is EVIL MEGA gossip. Things got back to me and the people that said them ‘thought’ they were safely tucked away. They were not. I knew. I knew exactly what was said and by whom. The bank was bad but the diabetic call center was like being back in High School. You had the guy with the ego the size of Texas who thought he was a Dr. You had the ‘prom queen’ who was just hateful to me…. and I mean hateful. You had the super diva. There were some *truly* nice people and to this day I remain FB friends with these people and wish them nothing but goodness. I actually did my job and did it well with hand written compliments mailed in by customers. Who does that anymore? And some were actual VIP people (to this day, though not bound by HIPPA, I still respect HIPPA and will abide by it) Because of my gut issues (my IBS was off the charts and dictated my clock to me, not vice versa), I ran out of FMLA time. They did *everything* they could to keep me but the FMLA time was exhausted and my DR. decided it was time to disable me out. I know rumors abound but I had the last laugh because the truth is, I know the petty crap that made that place toxic at times. It certainly did not help the precipitous turn my fibro took…. especially the anxiety. But Karma is a lovely lady and she works well. For all the people who thought I was as ‘dumb as a box of rocks’, little did they know I am aware of every rumor, every bit of gossip, every thing that was said. When you make that kind of horrible, hateful talk about someone with a disability, it comes back on you threefold. So luckily I can just sit back and chuckle. Not to sound like I did not have a friend….. I had many friends and was not the only one who felt the toxic vibes of the gossip that made that place so vile at times. There were many good people too. It is just sad the hateful trouble-makers stand out. Another laugh I got a few weeks ago is at the bank. My aphasia is worse than it has ever been. My comprehension, however, is fine. My writing, intact. I was trying to talk to the ladies that work at the bank I normally go to and having an exceptionally bad day. I apologized and though I know they were trying to be nice, they said, “You are doing very good Mrs. Glover” as if they were talking to a little old lady of 90 years old while patting her on the head. I wanted to just break down and cry. I wanted to scream, “I am fine, inside! I can speak, inside!” In this mess of “Um, Er, Ummm…..” is a woman that knows exactly what she means, can type it out and think it out just fine. Verbally, however, it just does not always and in fact rarely does it come out as it should. Nonetheless, I can laugh because I always know if I am being talked about…. I always, always know. And to squash talk that I may have been or am ‘over’ medicated? No…. I am LESS medicated now than I have ever been. I am in MORE pain than I can bear, but medicated I am not. I don’t have to ‘prove it’, just setting the record straight…. another one I can just sit back and chuckle about.
4. MY HUSBAND AND I BECOME THE “GREAT AND POWERFUL MR AND MRS G”: It is true! It goes like this: Paul has to help me up many mornings. Paul has to accompany me to a lot of Dr appointments and pretty much anything that requires me to…. well, remember anything. Paul also has to fill in about every 5th word of my sentences. We are a duo, a pair, a set. We don’t do ‘alone’. One would think he is reading my mind but the sad truth is he knows me well enough to just know what it is I am trying to say. He has seen me go from a somewhat ‘moderate’ case of fibro …. someone who had fibro but could function ….. to someone who literally has to plan every single activity of my life around my condition. It dictates my life, not the other way around. While I cannot prove it, I truly feel in my heart and soul, the toxic environment of the last call center (stress as well as the gossip pool) and the day I flipped my car (a tire blew and I did a total flip, as in was on my roof and then back on my tires flip) and followed by one mean mother of a MRSA infection in my leg. Add the death of both my parents within a 3 year period and my fibro went into a tailspin. One other thing: I have tried to be perfect for people in my life. It is impossible. We are human beings and perfection will never exist. I have literally made myself a nervous, sick wreck over this. Paul and a few very good friends all who love me unconditionally have made me realize; people that truly love and care about me will accept me as I am, mistakes and all. Letting this concept that I must be perfect go had eased my stress level by multitudes. 5. IF YOU DO NOT LAUGH, YOU WILL NOT STOP CRYING….. YOU ARE THE STAR “VILLIAGE IDIOT”: Who has that ‘pain disease where you hurt all the time’ and ‘My friend/ Aunt Ida/ neighbor/ co worker/ distant cousin/ 3rd cousin 25 times removed’ has that! And “I think I have that too because my leg hurts and I get tired after working eight hours (standing on my feet) and oh, I have a rash on my arm…. do you think I could have it too?” Um, yeah. I will just leave that one be. *Insert laugh and if I could I would roll on the floor*.
6. YOU ARE THE FORGOTTEN, INVISIBLE ONE AND YOU JUST GOTTA ROLL WITH IT: This one may be a bit hard to follow, but work with me. My husband loves me without condition. My Granddaughter loves me, without condition. My Daddy and Grandma loved me, without condition and my Uncle David loves me, without condition. My friend Nickye loves and supports me, without condition and my colleagues and teachers in The Spirit Watchers care about me, without condition. I have numerous family members and friends that love and care about me. I have endless church family that pray for me and support me. I am so, so blessed! The one area, however, I feel a bit overlooked is my fibro. Now bear in mind, I do not expect to be treated like a prima dona super diva. It would be, all the same, nice to have my fibro recognized and acknowledged once in a while. Sometimes it would be nice to be asked, “How is your fibro doing?” This is one reason I surround myself with other warriors in this condition. I have family / friends that post endless jokes on Facebook and post awareness posts about other health conditions (that affect others close to them, like I thought I was)….. but never fibro. Never. I did ask during my fibro awareness post for a few people to share and they did. I have to laugh……. silly little comics are more important than a condition that is so painful…. that causes so much mental anguish….. that causes so much inner turmoil that the suicide rate is eight to ten times higher than the general population! This is serious here! I am in no way, shape or form laughing at this….. I laugh because grumpy cat trumps pain that is so intense it keeps you awake night after night after night until your body collapses from sheer exhaustion. Silly craic trumps people having zero quality of life…… though these same people will raise awareness for other conditions that affect those they also love. Paul and I have had minor quarrels (he agrees but does not feel he is heard if he raises the subject) because I have questioned this: how can someone say they love me, raise awareness for one condition for one they love but not for mine? I mean I am not asking they stop their life and turn their page into a shrine for fibro but I have laugh a sad laugh when jokes trump the utter hell that would be my life! It would be nice if just once in a while, a fibro awareness message was shared. That is the only way our voice will ever be heard! So it is a ‘laugh’ but a sad laugh. A ‘shake my head’ sort of laugh. Like the title says, if I don’t laugh, I won’t stop crying.
7. HAVING TO LAUGH OFF ALL THE BONE HEAD, INSENSITIVE COMMENTS AND JUDGMENTS THAT PEOPLE MAKE: “I just push through it”. “I am tired too…. maybe I have it”. “I wish I could take a nap everyday”. “Wow, it must be nice not to work”. “Just exercise more”. “But you don’t look sick” and on and on and on and on. I even got told by someone that they ‘never ever turned the TV on during the day…. unless there was a bombing, school shooting or natural disaster’ when I posted something about my one hour…. yes, just one hour a day I watch “General Hospital”, my one little guilty pleasure each day. Make note if I were blessed enough to be able to work I would still DVR this show and watch it at night/ on the weekends, etc. I also found it ironic that this person named “Good Morning America” as their favorite show…. a show that comes on during the day! Yeah, people make all kinds of bone head, insensitive comments. None of them have walked in my shoes. Until they do, they can reserve judgment and keep their opinions silent. I know in my heart of hearts what I am capable of and I owe no proof or explanation. I know the hell I live…… having people questions it and degrade it just adds to the anxiety, so I changed my attitude and started laughing at the ignorance people have regarding fibromyalgia.
While there is nothing funny about this horrific condition, being able to laugh at certain aspects of this day to day hell we walk helps us maintain some sense of humor thereby maintain our sanity. When you hurt 24/7, have insomnia, gut issues, chronic migraines, brain fog, sensory overload, stigma and many other issues your life becomes very pigeon holed around your illness because your illness is so magnified, every event from grocery shopping to birthday parties must be planned with the precision of a military operation. To make matters worse very few people in our life seem to fully understand. In fact there are those past and present that have talked behind our backs, made fun of us and even went as far to say our illness is ‘all in our head’ or ‘not real’. Karma is a lovely lady and that is all I will say on that. We have to have humor to have a release and an escape. No, it isn’t funny. Things like this never are. All the same, laughing at times can be good medicine. So we can choose to take aspects of this hand we were dealt, find some of the humor in it and let that serve as a release in the times we need it the most.
One last thing. I would like to take this chance to add that anxiety and depression are two major battles fibromyalgia patients must battle along with our laundry list of other issues. If you have other scars such as troubles from childhood (and yes, I know ‘we all’ have these issues to some degree). All the same, I have some demons that will not be put to print until my book is written. They are that bad. The other demon I battle is the damage from my Mothers alcoholism. Her drinking took a very bad turn about the time I was ten years old. I would like to encourage my “Hitting The Wall” readers to read my latest (and prior) posts regarding the show “Nashville” and my reaction to their incorporation of one of the characters and her Mothers alcoholism. You can read these posts at http://bothsidesnow.paulglover.net/ As always, Thank you so very much and God Bless. Until next time. K.