…that at this moment in time, Fibromyalgia is the least of my worries – yep, you heard it right.
This post is well and truly from the heart. The tears fall as I type. I am not sure if you can relate or even if it is in the spirit of Fibro Fantastic but hey, it’s my blog and my little space on the world wide web to share my story.
Fibromyalgia has been my constant companion since 1989. I didn’t ask for it to join me on my life’s journey but after all of these years, I like to think that we have an understanding. We have rules to play by, me and my Fibro.
For my part, I treat it with respect and keep it in check most of the time. It, on the other hand, reminds me every so often how disruptive it can be to my existence. How it can stop me in my tracks and lay me low until such time as I take notice. It teaches me to take care of my body. To rest, to nourish me with good food, and to keep my stress levels in check. When I forget the rules, it makes me pay with the understanding that with self-care, I can ultimately get back on track.
At the end of July 2016, I was involved in a car accident and sustained injuries to my neck and back.
These injuries opened a whole new can of worms in terms of my pain. Almost 2 years on and I am still suffering daily pain and life hasn’t quite got back to normal. I feel as though I have had 2 lifetimes – pre and post-accident.
Life feels very confusing right now. I am battling to get my personal injury claim settled but feel as though I am in a constant battle with my lawyers and the other insurance company. My peace of mind is non-existent and I seem to spend most of my time in tears.
I feel as though I have no control over my own life and that I am just a passenger, standing on the sidelines waiting for “stuff” to happen. At the mercy of doctors, psychologists, specialists, experts, medical agencies, and lawyers, I have to abide by their time and play by their rules.
Stuck in this limbo-land waiting to hear my fate. I was made redundant in November 2017. Having worked for the same company for 17 years, I knew where I was. I thought my life was mapped out and all was well.
As I head towards the second anniversary of the accident, I feel that I have learned so much. And yet in other respects have learned nothing. Some days, I offer myself much love and self–care. I meditate, I practice my yoga albeit not to the same standard I did pre-accident. I try to heal and move forward. Then, on other days, I slip back into the dark uncertainty.
I have never truly understood absolute helplessness until now. My inability to defend me against a system that is trying to catch me out. To justify my physical pain and anxiety over and over is exhausting. The other driver admitted fault, so why am I having to fight so hard for justice?
So, today I find out that they will use my Fibromyalgia as a stick to beat me with.
This probably is the biggest kicker of all. For almost 30 years, I have managed my Fibromyalgia without the need for medication or intervention from doctors. I have worked hard to determine what works for me and how I can live my life on my own terms. Every day has been a battle to make sure that I can function both physically and mentally to allow me to hold down a full-time job and raise a family. I never allowed Fibromyalgia to beat me.
I was proud that I “had it” and “it didn’t have me.” Proud to call me a Fibro Fighter and a Chronic Illness Warrior. Feeling a sense of triumph as I got out of bed every day and faced the world. Each day was an achievement, where I didn’t let Fibromyalgia win. My Fibro was under control and I could thrive not just survive.
Now, it has come down to me having to prove this to doctors that know nothing of me or my battle. As the opposing side tries to say that my Fibromyalgia has made my injuries worse when in reality the pain I am in now was never even a factor pre-July 2016.
So, in just a few seconds back on that day, being in the wrong place at the wrong time has changed everything.
I had wanted to believe that it would end up being a blessing in disguise but the reality is that it feels like a living hell. I so desperately want to draw a line under it and ultimately no matter how much money they compensate me will not make this physical pain any better.
In terms of whether this whiplash pain will become chronic remains to be seen. Only time will tell. The depression which has developed over time seems to come in waves, swallowing me up and spitting me out. I am hoping that when I can draw a line under this, my mental health will improve.
I would give anything for it to just be me and Fibromyalgia again. For me to know what I am up against, being ready and able to fight when a flare hits.
Something will just snap and I will come out ready to do battle and see justice done. Not just for me but for everybody who has the same fight.
So much gets dumped at the Fibro door – the pain, the fatigue, the fog, the despair but I am not prepared to chalk this one up to Fibromyalgia. It played no part in the accident. I am hurting because somebody made a choice that morning to use her phone. To not pay attention to what was happening in front of her, the choice to try and run the lights.
I guess the message behind this post is that things can always be worse. No matter what our Fibromyalgia throws at us, life can always throw in a curveball for good measure. We are called Fibro Warriors for a reason, but sometimes, the battle just gets too hard. When it does, then it’s time to be very gentle with ourselves, take the time needed to be kind, and practice some self-love.
We battle every day but we are not superhuman.
We just need to retreat, regroup and leave the fight for another time.
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