Christen and I struggled for a long time trying to figure out why she was constantly sick, why her whole body hurt constantly, and why she didn’t have the energy she should even after sleeping half the day away. I’m a “fixer”. I prefer to approach problems directly and solve them. I love my wife more than I can even put into words, and it drove me crazy that I couldn’t fix her. I struggled through, going with her to doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, thinking all along that once someone put a name to her problem that we’d be able to fix it.
Well, not that long ago someone finally put a name to it. It’s called Fibromyalgia. It wasn’t good news, after all the word Fibromyalgia literally means “muscle and tissue pain”, but I thought that we finally had something we could face head on and fix. Unfortunately, that’s not really the case.
The specialist laid out a “plan” for getting Christen back to a point where she can manage the pain and function normally. It’s a five year plan (well, maybe 3-5)! I’ve never had a five year plan because I never had a goal that I thought would take five years to reach. Still, Christen and I started down the road to recovery. I include myself in the recovery because while I may not feel the constant pain she does, I definitely feel the repercussions of it. Additional housework, more time when I need to watch Xavier, regular trips to the doctor, prescriptions to keep track of, etc. Think of it like this, what’s your life like when your wife is sick and in pain with something like the flu? How would your life be if she was like that every day?
Anyway, the doctor got her on some medications (Lyrica and Cymbalta) and slowly worked her up to full doses of each. The progress was very slow, but there was definite progress. However, recently Christen got sick. It started as a Urinary Tract Infection and ended in Pneumonia. Illnesses seem to get blown out of proportion when your body’s already preoccupied trying to deal with something else, and she got hit hard. Now that it’s over, it seems like she’s feeling as bad as she did before we started the treatment. Her doctor (who I think it brilliant if for no other reason than because he figured out what was going on) said that this is normal and that whenever she gets sick we can expect to be set back quite a bit in terms of her overall health.
It doesn’t feel great to be starting the journey over. However, this time Christen and I have decided that we’re not taking this thing lying down. It’s time to know more about what we’re dealing with instead of relying solely on the doctors. We just ordered six books on the subject:
- 100 Questions & Answers About Fibromyalgia
- Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual (2nd Edition)
- Fibromyalgia and Female Sexuality
- High Fructose Corn Syrup and the Fibromyalgia Connection: Fibromyalgia Recovery Handbook
- What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia Fatigue: The Powerful Program That Helps You Boost Your Energy and Reclaim Your Life
- Yoga for Fibromyalgia: Move, Breathe, and Relax to Improve Your Quality of Life
Hopefully being a little more informed will help me face the long uphill battle.