Year 6. 2010.I've been blogging about my Fibromyalgia and the rest of my life now for a few years. Oddly there are quite a few people who find me by Googling "how long does it take to withdraw from Fentanyl?" I pray for them, knowing the awful depths withdrawal can drag you. Some of them write me to say “the doctor never told me what this would be like” and I try to encourage them that yes, it’s awful, but you can make it through this.
I know I am still relying too much on ibuprofen and Vicodin--I'm afraid to be in pain. And the Cymbalta I use for the Fibromyalgia seems to no longer help with the pain and all I'm having of it are the side-effects.
I spend the last half of the year clearing my body and brain of any extra medications: the Cymbalta is reduced to the lowest dose (with the blessings of my doctor) and I'm no longer taking my everyday dose of allergy medication since I feel foggy in the brain already. I figure I'll deal with the allergies as they come, and enjoy the clearer head I'll have without the pills. I pretty much quit taking the ibuprofen as it seems to begin eating a hole in my belly after a time. The Vicodin I will use when I really need it. No more preventative pain medications, just "as needed."
Year 7. 2011.
I can read books again!! After collecting books and books since I love to read and simply haven't had the concentration to do so, I'm working my way through the book piles. This is a happy thing.
I also decide that in a year the same amount of days will have passed no matter what I do with them, so what if I step out with a small amount of faith and choose to do something positive for myself with those days?
In mid-February I pull out the business card of a Naturopathic Doctor, given me by a friend a couple of years ago, and make the call. Set up an appointment. And the same week I get an appointment at the gym to talk with a trainer to help me exercise right and not cause flares or injuries that I know would just make me whine and quit. My Get-Well money is in play now.
It's June now. I'm taking steps toward a healthier, less whiney me. Sure, I get frustrated that things aren't moving faster. I still hurt, but it's generally lower, midrange, on the pain scale, the one where 10 means "please hospitalize me or at least shoot me with rhinoceros tranquilizer darts."
I try to deep breathe, I try to still my mind. I wake up better in the morning, but truth is, I'll never be a true morning person. I still find putting any sort of dinner on the table a pain in the arse since I’m not a big fan of cooking, but not in the same “can’t lift my arms” sort of way.
It may be slow, but it is after all a process, something Merriam-Webster defines this way:
1 a: progress, advance
2 a (1): a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result
So the fact that it is indeed something continuous, something that moves forward, is a happy thing, even if it isn’t instant. Fact is, I’m tired of this pain, tired of this fatigue, tired of this body. I can choose to stay the same, or I can choose to move forward.
I mean, why NOT me?
Skimmer's Recap: Fibromyalgia, while not my favorite companion, has taught me things. And baby steps are still steps.