Martha My Dear…

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” ~Art Linkletter


My mom sent me this quote this week.  She said I was an inspiration to her for the way I’m handling my fibromyalgia.  Inspiration is a very tough compliment to take, even from a very loving mother!  Especially because there have been times, recently where I felt like my fibromyalgia was a reason I let her down. 

In my experience, Fibromyalgia changes you in many different ways beyond the physical side effects.  Because of fatigue and fibro fog, you start to adapt to a new way of thinking.   Things are harder, like following directions, doing the same job you did every day for years, or handling new emotions that are brought on by pain or a foggy head. 

This past November my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  This was the first major blow I had to handle since being diagnosed with Fibro.  When she told us on the afternoon we came to visit, the news didn’t really sink in.  Later that night, as I was going to bed, I started to really hurt.  My body was already hurting from the stress of hearing the news, but my foggy brain couldn’t catch up.  When my head finally grasped the news and caught up to my body, I was in a full blown flare.  I wanted to be there for my mom and my pain was totally distracting me. 

For the next few months of her planning surgeries and doctor visits, I flared off and on.  Her mastectomy was planned and they decided she wouldn’t need any radiation or chemo!  It was great news and the cancer free plan was on its way!  And then I realized there was another fibromyalgia hurdle to jump over.  We had traveled for Thanksgiving, and again for Christmas.  I had also just traveled for work.  Long car rides are one thing I can’t do well.  Even as much as I workout, a car ride angers my fibro more than any other activity I do.  Not only does my whole body hurt, but I get so worn out that I get weepy, grumpy and my fog gets so bad my conversation doesn’t usually make sense.  It takes me a good day, day in a half, to recover from long trips.  So…I had to seriously question whether my body could handle another four hour car ride to be there for her surgery. 

I hated that I even had to question this.  My mom was dealing with breast cancer and I wasn’t even sure if my body could handle a car ride.  It seemed like such a stupid problem compared to what my mom was going through.  Any normal person would hop in the car, be with the family and be there for their mother when she came out of the operating room.  But, as much as I hated to admit it, I was too weak to make the trip.  I never felt more selfish in my life.  That’s the thing about fibro.  You can’t see it.  If I had pain from something you could physically see, to prove to myself I couldn’t make that car trip, then I probably would have been more understanding with myself.  Not being able to “see” fibro is just as confusing for people who do have it then for people who don’t.

 I caught a lot of negative remarks from people not understanding why I couldn’t just “push” through the fibro and go.  The domino effect of fibro symptoms could have started.  I could have already been tired, gone on the car trip, body could have started to flare, head got so foggy I couldn’t hold a conversation with my family, I couldn’t sleep and that made everything worse, I get sick from not sleeping, etc, etc, etc.  After a tearful conversation with my mom, we both decided I should visit after the surgery to help recovery.  I would have been no good to her or my family sore, tired, sick and grumpy.

My mom came through her surgery great!  She has a few more reconstruction surgeries to go, but we can gladly say that she is cancer free, looking and doing great!  I know she has never held it against me that I couldn’t be there as much as I wanted to.  I know our phone calls were just as important as a visit might be.  I know she still struggles with the recovery and healing process, but she is doing so great! 

She is one of the reasons I’m so proactive about working out, getting therapy when I need it, and trying to make myself as healthy as possible.  I know there will still be times when it happens, but if I can keep my fibro from letting me (or anyone else) down again, I will. 

She has been an inspiration to me!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

    Mar 17, 2011 @ 19:22:36

    Thank you, my beautiful daughter!


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