Living Daily with Chronic Invisible Illness

Is Fibromyalgia Progressive?

This month marks the 3-year anniversary of my diagnosis with Fibromyalgia. I wish I could say that the past 3 years I have stayed the way I was at my diagnosis. However, my experience has led me to conclude that Fibromyalgia is a progressive condition.

When I was first diagnosed, my pain levels were at a relatively high scale that ran in waves throughout the month. I had days where I sometimes even forgot that I’d been diagnosed. However, within a few months it became more frequent and within a year it was every day.

Now, here I am 3 years later, and it is a moment-by-moment, throughout-my-day-type-of-pain that I cannot escape. The diagnosis is ever before me and everything I do is a task in itself.

How do I survive? By thinking positively and making daily short-term goals that are attainable. Even if it’s just getting up and moving.  By making simple goals (and listing them out on paper) it helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

Before Fibromyalgia, I thrived on accomplishing tasks throughout the day. I guess you could say I was a lister. I liked making lists of things that needed to be done.  It made me feel good when those items were crossed off the list, knowing that I had done them. I felt self-gratification in knowing that the jobs were done. At the end of each day, I could look back and feel proud of my accomplishments and feel that a restful evening was well-earned. I was never the type to procrastinate and put things off until another day.

Enter Fibromyalgia.

Now,  I fight my old self continually. I fight the guilt of feeling like I should be doing more in a day. I constantly have to give it to God and ask Him to guide my steps.

Psalm 61:2-3 says “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” (In that verse, I equate “enemy” with Fibro)

I DO know the Lord and I lean on Him daily.

In my experience, I feel that Fibromyalgia is a progressive condition. It has slowed me down in ways I never thought possible. Actually, things I didn’t even realize I took for granted like walking, getting up from a chair, washing my hair in the shower, etc. are all things that need to be done, but cause me pain, and I do not take them for granted any longer.

My soul yearns for spring and the warm sunshine so I can walk my one acre apple orchard again. As hard as it is for me to walk like that, I know it is something that I must endure. I cannot become completely sedentary. Walking is still a gift and I look forward to the warmer weather again.

On these cold, blustery, overcast and bleak winter days I do admit my soul can get just as cloudy as the weather on my life. It is during these bleak months that I find that I lean on God even more for a lighter spirit within me.

I have learned to be a “glass half full” sort of gal. Learning to “keep on the sunny-side of life.”

 

Gloomy days match gloomy moods, so I need to be happy, I need to choose the brighter side of my situation…and so do you!

Happy January and God bless!

~The Fibro Momma of Ten

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