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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Fibromyalgia - how it almost destroyed everything in my life

Things got to a point where I had to do something about my constant lethargy, and the frequent aches and pains I got after long work days. It started to affect my sleep, my productivity, and my mood crashed with every energy low.

It got so bad one particular night, the aches and pains, that I couldn't sleep. I went to the A&E and got painkillers for a pain score of 6/10, Thereafter, my productivity came back. But after awhile, the painkillers didn't make my pain go away, merely lessening it. The pain level was getting worse.

So I went to the neuro, and it turns out I now have fibromyalgia. I started on a chronic pain management antidepressant, which solves the neuro-chemical aspect of my body's pain receptors. It helped a bit, but did not make the pains go away. I was then put on another chronic pain medication. Things got only minimally better. It seemed I was right smack in the middle of a fibromyalgia flare

During this time, I tried to rest as much as possible, wanting to reverse the damage that I had done by overworking myself. My work suffered as a result. My volunteers had to do everything in my stead, and for those that needed my input, I was slow, delayed things, or never did them.

Finally, yesterday, I got referred to see a pain management specialist. I got an IV painkiller jab, and things became so much better today. But not before scaring everyone in my committee that I was so sick I might be warded and everyone had to do my work on my behalf, which was a near impossible feat.

I have worked myself in to a job which depends on me too much, even with maximum level of delegation possible at any one time.

Because of this disease, I am now even more of a burden to J. He has been there for me from the start since we got together, and even for the most patient of men, I had worn him out to bits with the addition of another chronic condition than depression and anxiety. The timing I came down with a fibromyalgia flare up was all wrong too; J's mom had just lost a battle to cancer.

To ease his compassion fatigue, I have to learn to manage my sicknesses on my own, without involving him. I have to try and act normal. I have to lessen his work burden in our cat rescue group too. Which means my own work burden grows bigger, but it is either that or my marriage gets further affected. All I want is for him to be happy, I view his unhappiness as my fault.

It is a critical time in my work because we have just moved to a bigger, more expensive place. I have to up the ante, and do more - take care of more cats, recruit and manage more volunteers, raise more funds. Now is not the time I should fall gravely ill, but I did. Up until yesterday, I had very little physical strength to go on, but I hope the effects of yesterday's jab made a difference. J has booked for me an appointment with a government hospital pain specialist too, so I know if things get worse again, I can turn to that. And I have to really manage the level of my physical exertion. I have to be less workaholic, rest even more.

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