This last year and a half has been a roller coaster. I don’t expect anyone to understand the changes that have occurred in my life—even though at times the emotional part of me may have subconsciously expected it. I hope by me laying it all out there, it will help with understanding some of my journey.
For me, I think my health changes really began to change around the time I lost my job. I had some chronic pain before that, but nothing compared to now. I started to feel so much more physical pain that I ever have in my life. And I’m not just talking a little pain here and there and then it goes away. I have pain constantly, at different levels, all.the.time.
So, I started to see a chiropractor who told me that I was in pretty bad shape—he had different words, but that’s the short version. I started getting adjustments 3-4 times a week, then gradually going down to 1-2 and so on. He also helped me with some physical therapy to try to get some strength back and to help my spine to be able to hold everything in place. I started to feel somewhat better, but it didn’t take all the pain and other symptoms I’d been experiencing away.
Along with the widespread chronic pain I started to experience—and of course the headaches/migraines as usual—I started to have chronic fatigue, brain fog, terrible short-term memory, sleep problems, stiffness, my vision was getting worse, sensitivity to lights and sounds, chronic nausea, the list could go on.
Many of you know I’ve suffered from chronic headaches and migraines most of my life. I could handle that as it came. That was just one little part of my body. But I wasn’t even close to being prepared for what was to come. I began to think I was just crazy or incredibly lazy. In my mind, I kept thinking to myself that I was and that everyone else thought I was as well. I also started feeling a bit more depressed, anxious, and most of the time just numb.
But then, I had someone open up to me about their similar experience and encouraged me to take is seriously and talk to my doctor. It was so relieving to have someone to talk to and someone who could understand and communicate the struggle that I didn’t quite understand I was going through at the time.
When I was encouraged to bring it up with my doctor, my primary was leaving and I had to find a new primary care physician. I was nervous because I had come to love who I was with and didn’t know if the next one would take me seriously. But, it worked out so well. My new doctor, right away, referred me to a rheumatologist to test for various things, get a specialist’s opinion, and hopefully get a diagnosis.
It took a while for me to be able to see the rheumatologist and then again have my follow-up appointment. But I finally found out what was going on and could make the lifestyle changes to help ease the symptoms or live with them. The rheumatologist told me that I had fibromyalgia and arthritis. I was pretty much expecting one of those, but not both. So, then came more changes in medications and figuring out what works for me . . . I’m currently still in this process. Just figuring out what works for me has been difficult and also sticking with dietary and lifestyle changes. Discipline is incredibly hard for me, but I will not give up even if some days I am just done.
To top it all off a few months ago I started having major pain in my feet. Plantar fasciitis. I’ve tried doing various things to help, but to no avail. Next step there is to see a podiatrist. (I will keep you all updated on this as things occur.)
With everything that has been going on this last year and a half, I have felt like I’ve become distant from God. I never meant to neglect my relationship with him and I hate that it happened. But I’m working on it and trying to open my heart to him again. This is another area where I need discipline and perseverance. God will never give up on me, so I will not give up on Him.
My goal with writing these blog posts is to help me get these thoughts and feelings out there that I feel need to go somewhere, for it to be therapy for me, and to hopefully help my family and friends understand some of what I’ve been experiencing. I have a hard time opening up and being vulnerable, especially in person, so I want this to be a way to let people in and to also ask for your prayer in this journey that has had and will continue to have it’s ups and downs.