Throughout my adult life I’ve always know that I’m a bit ‘broken’. My previous username on internetty things was Ragdoll because of this! I have aches and pains all the time, get tired more frequently and more quickly than most and seem to catch anything going. I’ve always just shrugged it off as being down to having Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Chemotherapy in my teens. It never used to affect my day to day life really, I could always just ‘get on with it’.
However, since various life experiences these symptoms have got progressively worse. I think I lost my way a bit when my father passed away in 2007 of Pactreatic Cancer. And my sister passed away tragically in 2011 when I was 10 weeks pregnant with Pip. I probably had PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) after Pip’s birth, and I was a complete physical wreck during Bee’s pregnancy! I don’t think my body and mind have been able to properly heal from these events and I felt the onset of depression in lack of motivation and energy, and anxiety over terrible things happening to the children. I’d play out the whole scenario in my head vividly, and be absolutely distraught and subbing. But I couldn’t make it stop once it started. I think this was ‘easy’ for me having been in similar real life situations. This would happen every day and it was wearing me down.
So earlier this year I spoke to my GP about it all and started on antidepressants. They’ve worked wonders. I very very rarely get those horrible anxiety scenarios playing through my mind, probably only once a month if that and I can make it stop before the whole thing plays out. And I have so much motivation again, I almost feel like the old me! I’m training to be a Breast Feeding Peer Helper with the Breast Feeding Network, and I’ve joined the village preschool committee. I even joined a gym!
However, despite this jump in motivation and mentally feeling like my old self from years ago, I’m still knackered all the time and struggle to get through the day without a quiet, dark lie down or nap. I had been putting it down to having two small children. I mean, who isn’t knackered after looking after a baby and toddler all day?! But as Pip has gotten more energy after his coeliac diagnosis and resultant gluten free diet, he’s become blumming hard work and dropped his afternoon nap! Which should be fine, right? But I can’t cope! I need my lie down/nap, and have found myself setting him up in his room with his train set, and then explaining that mummy feels poorly and needs a nap/quiet time, before gating him in and sometimes sleeping for 2 hrs (he normally gives up and goes to sleep too). I came to the realisation that it is not normal to be THAT tired from looking after my children. I should be able to make it until bed time before collapsing! I feel so guilty for forcing Pip into isolation 😦
I was discussing this with a family member who has Fibromyalgia, and she said I sounded just like like her. And that my grandmother also had Fibromyalgia. I was saying how I feel like I’m being lazy for not doing certain things such as clearing up round the house. It’s not that I don’t want to, I just get to a point in the day where I just can’t. It’s like my batteries have gone flat and I need recharging! Even if it something I’m really really enthused about doing. I realised that it was really affecting my day to day life. After reading up on Fibromyalgia, everything I’ve felt over the past decade just made sense.
So last Monday I went to see my GP, and explained how although the antidepressants had worked to get my motivation back…
I feel like an old phone. You know when you plug it in to charge all night, and in the morning it takes ages to switch on, and then the battery is dead again by mid afternoon. So you plug it in for an hour or so and gives it just enough charge to muddle through to the end of the day. But it’s functioning rather glitchily and is pretty useless. At bed time you struggle to get it to switch off. When you finally do, you leave it to charge and wake up the next morning to repeat the process.
Because I’ve already had all the tests to rule out other things, my GP asked if there was a family history of similar symptoms so I told her about my two family members having Fibromyalgia and that I thought it quite likely that’s what I had. She agreed, and am said that’s the conclusion she was coming to. It was such a relief that firstly, she believed me – I’d read many stories of unsupportive doctors regarding Fibromyalgia diagnosis. And secondly it was such a relief to have a ‘reason’ for the way I’ve been feeling, that it wasn’t something life threatening and to know it’s real and not in my head. I was so relieved I cried! It was all rather emotional, my doctor even jested “stop it, you’ll set me off!”! I feel really lucky to have another fab GP. The GP I had while we were struggling to conceive and going through awful pregnancies, was wonderful. But she left and I was literally devastated (I’d given birth 2 days previously when hubby told me she was leaving)! But fortunately my new GP is seemingly just a great 🙂
Anyways, I’m now on a ‘journey of discovery’ as it were, into the world of Fibromyalgia and how to go about managing my life and reorganising things. I think the first thing will be some extra time in nursery for the kids to give me some time off. I’m generally either at work, or at home with the kids and I really need some me time. I briefly considered stopping working – but I’m actually at my best when I’m there! It’s like a holiday compared to the kids, and I really love my job, colleagues and workplace. (I do love my kids and home too! But those two days at work being me are so therapeutic. My first discovery as a #FibroMum was that a ball pool is a great place to hang out to relieve back pain…
Find out more about Fibromyalgia here…