My 5 year old daughter just asked me if I’ve always been sick. Her innocent question gutted me. You see, I have 5 kids, ranging in age from 20 to 5. With my older kids, I was well. I had boundless energy and no pain.
With my two youngest, I have had fibromyalgia and CFS. It all began after a car wreck on the way to work. It started with neck pain and within two years it became full-body pain. I have daily fever, ranging from in the 100’s to 102’s. No one can understand the toll this takes unless they have chronic illness, too. I support my family and commute three to four hours a day. My job is extremely stressful, which makes me more symptomatic.
My not so helpful doctor told me to find a less stressful job. No shit! I look daily. So far, it has not happened. I’m extremely frustrated. I feel like I’m not the Mom that I wish to be. Sure, I can still love my children and I do everything that I can for them. Yet, I am plagued by guilt. I want to be able to do so much more. I have tried every new idea on how to be cured. Different meds, no meds. New supplements, cutting back on certain foods or eliminating them altogether. Nothing has helped. I am still alive only for my family. I could not cause them pain by ending my life. I wonder how much longer I can do this, though. Every single day is a fight for survival.
I do believe that we experience certain trials in life to teach us the lessons we need to learn. I just don’t know what the lesson in yet. I know that others have it worse and I am grateful for my blessings. I’m just tired of being in constant pain and feeling exhausted all the time. I wish to have joy in my life again for more than mere moments.
There’s also constant pressure from well meaning people to try this or that. I know my illness better than anyone. I know all the theories, believe me. There’s also endless frustration with insurance not covering certain treatments that might help. I feel very alone in this battle, though I know that I am not. People at work stay home because of a backache or cold, yet probably make fun of me for being sick even though I work in levels of pain and exhaustion that would keep them bedridden.
I don’t have any answers tonight. I just know that I want my quality of life back.