Thirty Percent??

Oh my poor, neglected blog!  I’ve had major writer’s block and just plain haven’t felt like talking about my Fibro.  We have had major weather switches for the last month or so, and I’ve been doing my best to just get through and try not to think about it.

I wish I was going to make my blog reappearance on a happier note, but I’ve found an interesting story that perked my attention, on a subject I’ve been avoiding writing about up until this point.

I’m sure we’ve all heard of Dr. Jack Kavorkian.  While I was familiar with his suicide assistance for patients with terminal illnesses, I was completely unaware that he also provided his services for people with chronic pain conditions. While I had mixed, but understanding, feelings about his assistance with patients with terminal illnesses, I don’t know how to digest his assistance with those with chronic pain conditions.

I know I have to step back 10-20 years and try to imagine how much worse it had to be.  The lack of understanding and empathy we have today had to be so much worse!  I think anyone with a chronic pain condition would be lying if they said they never had days where they “just couldn’t take it anymore” but I sincerely hope people don’t act on those feelings and emotions!  A recent study was done in Spain to find a correlation between fibromyalgia and suicide risk.  It was found that 30 percent…30 PERCENT…had one to three previous suicide attempts. For research 180 people were surveyed.  That’s 54 people who make up the 30 Percent!

You can find the full results of research here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21750003

To me, this is a scary percentage.  It makes me hope and pray that you fibro warriors out there aren’t struggling to this point, but please, please, please believe me! I know where you’re coming from.

How do I know??

Because I have attempted suicide twice, both times in my early 20’s.  I struggled in college to keep my emotions under control.  Depression, panic attacks, anxiety, it all built up in those few years (first sign of my fibro?) and I just didn’t have the energy to deal with it anymore.  I don’t talk about this often because of the guilt of the pain I caused my family, but I also know how important it is to have someone who understands what you’re going through so I feel it’s important to share my story for those who may be struggling. 

Both attempts changed me, hardened me, hurt me and made me so much stronger all at the same time.  I’m not going to go into details about each attempt, but want to share some of the frustrating aspects of each situation.  When you enter into an E.R. after an attempt, you would assume the Doctors and nurses would treat you delicately, assuming you feel like you’re breaking, you should expect to be treated that way.  No way…not the case.  My doctor insisted on telling me how stupid I was and also gave me advice for drugs that “would actually kill” me since I was so stupid to take a pill I couldn’t over-dose on.  I only stayed overnight (no dramatic, forced inpatient stay in the insane asylum).  The extent of my counseling the day I left consisted of a Doctor making me “promise” him I would never do that again and I could go home.  No after treatment needed.

Promise broken about a year later.  Still no dramatic stay in the asylum, but forced on to a cardiac floor with an elderly roommate.  While they did provide counseling for this visit, they also provided it in my room next to the old lady in my room, who from that point on, did nothing but preach to me and ask me if “I had found Jesus.”  She also liked to tell her visitors about my “story” and how I wasn’t allowed to have “real” silverware at dinner, only plastic, and that I needed Jesus, etc.

Lowest point of my life.

People wonder why I try to stay so positive and proactive about my fibro (to the point of annoying some) and these two experiences are exactly why.  While it’s a kick in the pants to end up with it, I refuse to ever let my life get to such a low point ever again.  While it’s a harder life I lead, it’s still my life.  These attempts are why I try to avoid negativity from people or environments.  I started to live by choosing my battles, and Fibro has been a battle I choose to take on head first.

If you’re struggling, please reach out to family, friends, doctors, or anyone else that can bring you out of the darkness.  If you fail with one person, keep reaching, there are people out there who can help!  Please don’t be embarrassed if you’re having these thoughts.  Keep searching.  It took me a long time to find the right doctors, the right man (love you Honey), and the ability to swallow my pride and finally rely on my family more for help. 

It saddens me to think that the patients who turned to Dr. Kavorkian were robbed of lives that could have been very full.  We turn again, to rely on the medical community to understand not only Fibro, but mental illness, whether or not it’s connected with chronic pain.  Hey Doctors…are you listening?  Are you working hard for us?  Can we please lower the 30 percent?

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