Monday, December 12, 2016

My Fibro Story Pt. 1 - When Life Changed

God has been after me to share my fibromyalgia story for over a year now. I have resisted for a couple reasons: 1) it's hard for me to go back to the beginning & relive it all again & 2) this is very, very personal. To put it all out there for anyone to see honestly gives me some anxiety. But I can't run anymore & so I'm finally obeying. I pray my story will reach the person who needs to hear it.

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I married my perfect match in October of 2011. Our wedding was so us! Fun, unique & plenty of personal touches.
With my husband (on the right ;) & his best man on our wedding day
Everyone commented on how excited we were to marry each other! The reception was awesome - yummy bbq, delicious cake, cornhole, laughing, dancing, family, friends. Afterwards my new husband & I hopped in my truck & headed out to our honeymoon!

We had both saved ourselves for marriage & each other. It was hard to wait but we did & were excited to arrive at the hotel. I was a tiny bit nervous as I expected some initial discomfort but I knew it'd be fine. 

I was wrong. 

I immediately knew something wasn't right. This wasn't "discomfort". It was blinding, excruciating pain. It wasn't "difficult" it was impossible. The more we tried, the more it hurt. And the more it hurt, the more stressed we became. Stress is pretty much the opposite of relaxation. 

We tried all week. It never happened. We went sightseeing & ate yummy food, we made fun memories, but as much as I hate it, my main memories of our honeymoon involve the headache of trying to enroll me in my husband's insurance & finding a doctor to see during the week. By now I was feeling sick & couldn't wait until we got home to see someone about it. I saw 2 physicians that week & had to explain my situation to countless others. It was embarrassing to say the least. One doctor told me that "women do this all the time without problems. This isn't normal. There's something wrong with you". Thanks Captain Obvious. The last doctor of the trip told me it's normal for women to have pain their first time & that I had a UTI which was probably contributing. Get lubricant, take this prescription & I'd be good to go. 

Husband & I packed up & began heading back. We spent our last honeymoon night about an hr away from home so we could go to the county fair the next day. He'd told me all about it & we were excited to go play! The next morning I took the first pill of my prescription & we headed out to the fair! We were on a spinning ride when the med kicked in & I experienced what I was later told is a common side effect of Macrobid - intense nausea. I buried my head in my husband's chest, prayed for the ride to stop & willed myself not to throw up. I barely made it off the ride & staggered off to the side to sit down. I don't remember anything from the rest of the day :(

When we got to our apartment I really just wanted to call my best friend & tell her what was going on. I turned my phone on (we didn't call or text anyone while we were away) & saw I had a voicemail from her. Like yet another punch to the gut I listened to the recording as she asked when I'd be coming to get the box of wedding stuff she'd brought to her house for me, complained that I hadn't responded to any of the emails about her wedding preparations during the time we were gone & said that she was asking "or maybe I'm telling you to step down as my bridesmaid". I wasn't sure how to tell of my own turmoil after a message like that from someone I considered almost a sister, so I didn't say anything. A few days later she was having a party that I'd promised to go to weeks before. The medicine I was on was still making me really sick, but I'd promised & was doing my best to be there. I was so nauseous I couldn't stand up straight & was literally crawling as I tried to get ready. My husband tried to tell me to call her & cancel but I brushed him off & continued trying to get dressed while the room spun around me. Finally I was already late when he sat me down & firmly said I wasn't going anywhere - he didn't even want me driving in that state. He told me to call my friend & explain - that she would understand. 

She didn't.

Over the next 2 months we had 3 more "conversations" (they were really more like arguments) & that was that. 

After the round of medicine was over, the nausea ended but the UTI did not. I drove the two hours back to the doctor I had seen on our honeymoon & she tested me again - negative. The infection was gone but it sure felt like it wasn't! I went back home only to return 1-2 weeks later & insist that something was wrong. Everything burned like I was wearing sandpaper underwear 24/7. I couldn't wear pants, couldn't do basic housework - even walking or sitting were brutal. It was horrific & nobody was helping me. This went on for awhile. My husband would come home to a dark, messy house & no dinner because I'd spent all day online researching what could be wrong with me & trying to find answers. One friend was gone & after confiding in another, she began to drift away, too. I quickly learned not to tell anyone, since most people didn't know how to act around me.  

Finally at my last appointment with that gynecologist, she tried to examine me. Keep in mind that anything trying to go "up" there made me feel like I was being impaled with a baseball bat. I was sobbing & asked the doctor to please stop for a second so I could calm down. She didn't - and instead shoved her hand higher. I screamed & pushed her away from me. The doctor was frustrated with me & said angrily, "how do I know you don't have cancer if you won't let me check!"

I was depressed. I couldn't be a "real wife", my husband felt like I was rejecting him, every attempt at marital intimacy ended in tears, I didn't know what was wrong with me & I had lost my best friend. My life was crumbling around me & it felt like I was left to pick up the pieces alone.

Part 2 to follow...


Shared at Teaching What Is Good

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