Warning: this is VERY long, Very personal and there are no pretty pictures! :) continue at your own risk! Lol
So have you have heard of that rule before? to NOT go to the store hungry? Well it's a common theme in our home.. because when Ben and I go to the grocery store hungry.. we end up buying way more than we need or want.. and go home and have of the food that usually crappy and not healthy for us and gets wasted and thrown away anyway.
that's how I feel today. Am I hungry? no.. but I should probably stay away from anything that requires rational thought (maybe writing this post is one of them! lol)
I have a disease. Fibromyalgia. I know you have heard me say it before.. but today.. its being a pain in my side. and I am emotional and frustrated and tired and frustrated.. did I mention frustrated?
Last August, after my dad died.. I noticed that I was having a lot of weird pains.. like at night, when I slept, I would wake up in pain because I had been sleeping with my legs bents or arms folded around myself. It was weird, I figured old age ( was turning 36 after-all).. so I didn't think anything of it. Well a few weeks later, I woke up with a really kinked neck and my back thrown out.. so headed to my doctor to see if he could give me pain meds for it as this was like the fourth time in a 6 week period my back was out and neck was kinked.
After a few simple blood tests and some question he said" I think you have fibromyalgia". I was like.. what? I have seen commercials for that.. but um no. I do not have it. My neck is just sore!" He continued to tell me the symptoms of it and then prescribedme some medication that was normally for "anxiety" but was supposed to help with pain for people with fibromyalgia and prescribed me a non-narcotic pain medication to take when I had "flair" ups.. and sent me on my way. He told me to report back in 2 weeks to see how I was doing. Yeah right.
We walked out of the doctors office and I told my husband my doctor was crazy. I was just getting old and had a kinked neck. I threw the prescription away for the anxiety pills and filled the other. Well flash-forward 2 months. October. I was still having minor issues with waking up in pain if I slept with my legs or arms bent.. but that's life right? So I would sleep on my back with my arms tucked inside my pj pants.. so they wouldn't "bend" at night and sleep that way all night and wake up just fine! I had cured my problem! lol
Well October here in Eastern Idaho is colder.. rainy and sometimes snow. It's the start of winter (we don't really have fall here). In October I also had a really busy traveling schedule. At the first of the month, I drove 7 hours to Mcall, Idaho. to Brave Girls Camp (as art/ soul retreat), to be a volunteer staff member.. had a GREAT time! However we didn't sleep much and as staff member I usually had my first shift at 6:00 AM and my last shift at 11:00. We were working all day long.. helping fix food, cleaning bathrooms, changing linens, doing kitchen clean up or laundry. I LOVED it actually. LOVED serving the women that were there to heal. But by the last day.. I was DONE. My body had had enough. After we sent all the wonderful women on their way home.. we still had to take down and pack up a 5000 sq foot cabin. As Melody takes all her own things to the cabin to transform it into this wonderful magical safe place. I had the simple task of taking down all "brave girl" bedding and putting back the bedding that was normally on the beds. I also had to take down christmas lights and ribbons and decoration and pack them up. I was fine at first.. but an hour into it.. I could tell something was definitely wrong. I mean WRONG WRONG. I was in so much pain.. and not just physical pain.. I was emotional and frustrated. Because I couldn't figure out where the pain was coming from and why. It felt like a flu.. but not a flu? And I still had to finish my part of the house and then drive 7 hours home! Well I made it through.. I mean I made it through getting my part done.. but then only made it 2 hours into my drive home, when I ultimately decided to stop at Melody's house and spend the night because I just hurt to bad. Well the next day I woke up just fine. So went on my way. Must have been the flu?
Flash-forward the next weekend.. my Grandmother had died and I was flying to San Diego for her funeral. I had only been home 4 days and now was leaving again. The flight was okay.. except by the time I arrived my legs were in so much pain from being bent, I wanted to cry! It was only a 2 hour flight.. so what the heck? By the end of the weekend.. I was even in more pain.. the humid, rainy weather seemed to be making my pain worse and by the flight home, I just wanted someone to knock ME OUT! lol
I came home and slept for 2 days. So flash-forward to the NEXT weekend.. for some reason, Ben and I had planned a "trip" for just the two of us that month.. to go to New York, to Palmyra, to go visit some of our church's history sights. At this point, I was NOT looking forward to the plane ride, as I now realized I had a 2 hour flight to denver, then another 3 and half our flight to New York.. yikes. And YES by the time I got there.. pain pain pain. Frustration all around. I was pleasantly surprised that the entire time I was in New York, despite the cold, rainy weather.. I was not in pain at all.. (It was NOT a coincidence.. I KNOW it was a blessing). But the minute I stepped onto the plane and a half hour into the flight.. oh man.. I was in pain again. Legs ached, feet aches, arms, neck, head.. teeth.. weird. I know.
So that entire following week.. it was awful, I couldn't sit very long with my legs bent without being a so much pain. I went out to lunch with some friends and I had to stand half of the time because my legs hurt so bad! I couldn't sleep, I couldn't do anything. I was SOOOO frustrated! I kept wondering if something was really wrong with me? Still denying it was fibromyalgia.. because that was just a "made up" disease".. come on people. really chronic pain? get over it.
So all week.. just not doing good. I even hadto stand the entire game for my son's football game.. couldn't sit.. so standing was my only option. Well that sunday.. went I to church and by the time the first hour of Church was done.. I was in so much pain, I wanted to puke. I was physically sick. I was doubled over. My husband kept asking me if I was okay.. and I was not. I went out into the hallway.. and sat down.. but within minutes knew something was extremely wrong. It was pouring rain outside.. and I just remember not even being able to think straight, I was in so much pain. I was the Relief Socity President of my church (ward). I am LDS and we have over 14 million members. We all believe and are taught and lead by a modern day Prophet. To make sure that everyone needs in the church are met and accounted for, we are split by cities or geographical areas into "stakes" where a stake president (who is called by the church and strictly volunteer and non paid).. then presides over "wards". Each Stake has about 6-8 wards. Each ward has around 300-400 members (or less)and each ward has a Bishop and two counselors who are called (again volunteer not paid) that is over that ward. They preside over the ward, the needs of the members, the church services and report back to the church headquarters in the church. ALL of our callings are volunteer only. We are not paid for any of our church callings. Our Prophet is not paid either. ( I only say that because I know sometimes people wonder... if all of our "tithing" goes to pay for the priests, or bishops or apostles.. but nope.. the tithing goes to buldilng temples and churches and printing teaching material and the church welfare program which helps hundreds of thousands of people.. (members and NON members) who don't have food or clothing or places to live.
Well The Bishop also calls other "members" of the ward to be over certain areas..and I was called as the Relief Society President.. which meant that I was over all the women in my ward (150-200 women)... taking care of their physical, spiritual and emotional needs,. Also having meals set up to be taken in when there were deaths in the family, or babies.. or sickness. I was in charge of holding weekly and monthly meetings to help the woman learn to be self reliant in their homes and communities. I was not paid to do this.. and it took a lot of my time.. emtionally and physically, but I LOVED It. It was truly humbling. I was also in charge of one of the "meetings" at church on sunday where all the women met (that didn't have other calling like teaching the youth or younger kits in primary, or helping out in the nursery) and I KNEW I had to stay because that particular sunday.. we found out that our stake was splitting all of our wards because there had been so much growth in the area, they needed to "re-assign" all the ward boundaries.. so that the wards could function better.. having their needs met and not having one ward with like say 500 members and another ward with only 200. So because of that news.. I KNEW that after that week, I would no longer not only.. NOT be the Relief Society President anymore, but I would no longer even in that ward. Keep in mind I had not been told that information.. but I just knew it. I felt it in my heart.. that my calling was soon going to be over and that mantel of taking care of those wonderful women would be gone. So I wanted to stay so I could tell the women how much I loved them and had loved getting to know them personally. I knew it would be the last time I would get the opportunity. I truly cared for them so much. That calling was one of the most rewarding I have ever done. But it was also the hardest calling Emtionally and physically. So I needed to stay. I asked my husband to find our Bishop and I needed them to both give me a blessing. I believe in the priesthood and it's power to heal. We believe that two men (with the proper authority and priesthood).. can offer you a blessing. Where they lay their hands upon your head and can bless you with wants or needs, according to the Lords will. I knew I needed a blessing to help me get through the day and I NEEDED to stay. I wanted my husband to bless me that I would be healed and I would feel great and I would be just fine.. However during the blessing. he didn't. He told me that I would need to be humbled and blessed me that I would be able to understand the things that would come and that my faith would help me through the times and trials ahead. That I would be he and I would both be guided in finding ways to cope with my problem and that we would blessed in time from our efforts. THAT WAS NOT what I wanted to hear! lol But it was the Lord's will.
So I stood up.. and my Bishop started to ask us about our trip to Palmyra and I lost it.. I was done. I was almost on the floor and asked my husband to please help me out to the car. I was crying, I was scared and I was in pain. I went home and tried to sleep off the pain, I took the pain medication my doctor gave me hoping it would "take the edge" off and nothing. I tried several times to get out of bed to even go to the restroom and I nearly passed out because the pain was so bad. EVERY bit of me hurt. I could name all the body parts.. but it might gross you out.. just let me tell you EVERY bit of me hurt. EVERy hair on my head..every spot.. every organ. every muscle. I tried to focus on something else.. I tried to watch tv, read, listen to music.. and nothing. Actually all I did was cry. That night was the meeting at our church to announce the new ward boundaries.. I WANTED to go to the meeting. I hadn't been told that we would no longer be in that ward.. but I KNEW it.. while I was in Palmyra.. I had a special moment.. where I knew I would no longer be the RS president.. and that we would no longer be in our current ward. SO I HAD to go. this was a big deal.. every ward in our stake (7 wards) were being split.. into completely new wards.. so everyone in the stake was being affected. They wouldn't tell anyone ahead of time how.. only the Bishops.. but I knew and I wanted to be there. I tried several times to get up and go.. My husband had went a bit early to save a seat in the "soft chairs! Lol as we knew so many people would be there, that if he didn't.. we would be sitting way in the back. BUt every-time I tried to get out of bed.. it was worse. at one point, I crawled to the top of the stairs and asked my oldest son if he would carry me to the car drive me to the church and then help me into the church's bathroom. (as I was in my pj's and that wasn't appropriate dress).. because I really wanted to be there.. but I couldn't even make it down the stairs without crying. I was scared. I was NOT this kind of person. I could handle alot of things... heck I get strep throat like 7 times a year.. I was NOt a person who let sickness or pain get the best of me. seriously I was mad.
Well that day came and went.. and the next week got a little better.. but I honestly I was scared. I didn't want this to be my new "everyday". I couldn't have this be my new everyday. I was a super busy person. I had two on-line business.. 6 kids, a busy calling.. (which by the way.. I did get released from that night and we were moved into a new ward.. a quiet, smaller ward.. new people. we knew only 3 other families.. but it's been PERFECT for us and our kids and now I get to work with the Young Women in that new ward.. ages 12-18. I LOVE IT! ). So I was busy!! I love to snowboard, waterski, camp.. travel.. I love to go go go.. out to the movies with my friends, dinner.. late night get together.. spur of the moment night outs. I was not going to let some little pain take over my life! So over the next few weeks, I found myself doing a ton of research on-line about Fibromyalgia and how about weather and climate and food and sleep and STRESS can make it better or worse. While I couldn't change where i lived.. i could make a change with the other. I started going to bed by 10 every night (um I felt like a kid being punished.. really? I stay up until 1 am every night! Lol). stopped going out with friends as much. Started eating better.. giving myself permission to stop working at 3:00 instead of 6:00. I felt like a dork.. but I HAd to do it.. to just be able to function. I honestly got tired of my friends and family calling me everyday and asking.. "how are you feeling today".. because I always felt like I was saying the same thing. 'well today I am in pain, today my teeth hurt and my eyes.. and my toes".. or "today my legs hurt and my fingers and my chest.".. SO i decided.. since PAIN was my new normal.. that I would just start telling people.. "im fine! Feel good today!"and actually it was the truth.. After that horrible horrible day in October.. I WAS fine. I might be in pain.. but I wasn't in so much pain.. I almost wished I wasn't here. So I was GRATEFUL. GRATEFUL for the days that only my legs and feet and nose and arm pits hurt.. grateful that I could sit at my desk for almost 30 minutes without having to get up and stretch and take a walk because of the pain in my legs from being bent. I started feeling grateful for the good days. instead of feeling sorry for myself.. that my old "life" might never be back.I was also HUGLEY humbled for all the people all over the world the suffer from any kind of chronic pain or disease. I had empathy.. not just sympathy for them. I would no longer EVER judge them for saying "i don't feel good enough to do that today". Or " i need to go to bed early because if I don't.. I will be sorry tomorrow" (I used to be like.. really? get over it.. and go to the movies.. you old fart). Over Christmas I actually started to feel a little better. Between October and January, I had only had about 6days in which i was in soo much pain I couldn't get out of bed.. where I cried all day.. where I didn't even bother taking pain medication because it didn't even take the edge off. So I was happy and grateful and getting use to my new "normal".
Finally in January.. I went to my doctor again.. who sent me to a specialist.. just to rule out everything ELSE.. had ALL sorts of blood tests done. I didn't want to do it. We don't have insurance and it was giong to be expensive.. but I NEEDED peace of mind. What if I had cancer.. what if I had something else? not just chronic pain? I wanted to make sure that I wasn't putting of something else.. that it actually COULD be taken care of.
So did.. I waited 2 weeks for the results (and $2000 dollars later).. and I remembered the day my doctor called me.. I was sititng on my couch in my bedroom.. looking at art magazines.. having a "so-so" pain day.. and not feeling good enough to be on my computer working.. so taking some down time. It was after five and so I was shocked she was calling me. I was scared to answer it.. scared of what she might say.. and you know what she said? She said.. well I have good news and bad news.. (i usually always ask for the bad news first).. today I asked for the good news.. she said "ALL of your tests came back NORMAL. EVERYTHING. You are 100% completely healthy. You are one of the healthiest people I have seen in LONG LONG TIME'. The bad news.. you have firbromyalgia." I started to cry.. I cried and cried and she said.. "I know.. I am sorry". and immediately.. I said " oh no! I am not crying because I am sad. I am crying because I am HAPPY. I FEEL BLESSED! I can DEAL with the pain.. I can deal with the frustrations.. but being sick with cancer or some other life threatening disease.. would be devastating". . I thanked her for her time and hung up. I immediately text-ed my two best friends.. Melody and Margie and told them the good news.. and how grateful I felt. Then I told my husband and he too was grateful.. although he did mention.. it sucked we spent $2000 dollars to find out I am healthy! lol
but it was good. It was Peace of mind.
Flash-forward to today. Today I was supposed to get up and take a shower and clean my house for a realtor is who coming to take pictures to list our house.. (because we are moving.. because we need more space and hey why not move in the midst of all the crazy things going on our life right now! lol) Today I had to write this fun blog post about my monday moodboards, and tell you that Spark registration is now open and how I get to go to Ranger U in a few week and spend time with my dear friend Tim Holtz. Today I was supposed to answer all the emails that came in from the weekend for my blog, my two online shops and my classes.. todaY I was supposed to list all the new product (um hello!, dang cute new crafter's workshop stencils and Faber Castell products) that got here friday and today , in our mixed media shop and send out an email telling everyone about it. Today I was supposed to create two new pieces of artwork for my April 15th deadline.. for Surtex. today today today. Today did not go as planned. Instead, today it took me over 2 hours to take a shower and get ready.. because I kept having to stop at every point.. and lay down.. because I was in so much pain and frustrated because I DID NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS TODAY. Today It took me over an hour to make my dang bed and put away clothes my clean clothes to get the house clean for the realtor.. because my mind was so frustrated with how I felt, all I could think about was how I wish this day was already over.. and my "good" day was here again.
After my realtor left, I tried to come into the office and "work" and found myself snapping at my sister because she was asking me simple questions about shipping and I just wanted to cry again because I couldn't THINK straight and I DID NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS PAINT! So I found a blanket, turned up the heat found the heat vent under the kitchen table in our dining room and curled up into a ball and tried to relax and PULL myself together! As I layed there.. All I could think about is how if we moved to warmer climate.. all my problems would be gone. I would feel fine and my pain would go away (weather has a lot to do with it).BUT we love where we live. Family is here. Friends are here. I love the small town and love that my son with aspergers (and going into high school next year) is excepted and loved by students and teachers and the community. Moving out of shelley to a warmer place is NOT an option. I thought about how I wish today was a just a good day.. because then I wouldn't be feeling this way. I had lots of people counting on me today and if they knew Iwas curled up in a ball laying under my kitchen table.. crying because I was feeling sorry for myself and the pain I was in.. they would NOT be amused. Then I started thinking about my blog post that I "hadn't done" and how I had NO desire to go find beautiful things on etsy.. because today I was not feeling beautiful. Then I started thinking about how maybe I am doing too much, maybe I should stop blogging, or tell my agent I can't do the licencing contract, or forget moving, or stop teaching online classes.. because I just wanted to sit on the heater and be warm and not think.
But then I started to remember all of the wonderful things I had to be grateful for. How the Lord has blessed my life and my families life by giving me so many wonderful opportunities over the last few months.. that ALLOWS me to stay home with my family and SUPPORT my family.. so when I have these bad days.. I CAN crawl up under my kitchen table with a blanket and sit on theheater and cry! lol. and how On days like this I SHOULD never try and make important decisions about anything.. because I will always so no and I will want it all to just go away. On days like this.. I have to remember that just because I am feeling this way.. IN this moment.. the frustration, the pain, the feeling that it won't ever go away and I can't do it all.. that IT WILL. Tomorrow is a new day and tomorrow I will be able to get it all done and that I should NEVER let this one moment be my reality. I should NEVER go to the store hungry.. because I will buy everything in site and walk away with a bunch of crap I don't need and my body doesn't need. and spending money that we don't need to spend.. all because I went to the store hungry. Bad analogy I know.. but here it is..
I guess what I am trying to say is this. We all have days like this. We all have days where life seems like we can't tackle it.. or handle it.. or do what we are supposed to do. That God is asking too much of us and that we wish we could all just sit on the couch and eat bon bons and watch tv.. and that we wish we didn't have laundry to do, or make beds to make or had jobs to go to, or appointments to be at.. or people to that needed us or commitments that had to be kept. We wish it would just all go away.. but then if we sit and are still and quiet.. and maybe just take a blanket and lay over the heater under the kitchen table and relax and close our eyes and Thank GOD that we CAN do those things.. we realize that it will be okay. That we CAN do it. That we are capable.. that we do have it in is.. that this is our life and that we are blessed for what we HAVE been given. and that even when we have days like this... where we fall short.. people will understand that those things didn't get done..and tomorrow is a better today. TODAY is not your reality. and you know what? it's OKAY to have day's like today. Today we are just at the store hungry... ready to buy everything in site and once we get a little food in us.. and are able to see that we actually don't NEED two boxes of twinkies, a case of donuts, a pack of twizzlers and 2 cases of pop for Dinner....
We will be JUST FINE.
Tomorrow I will be just fine. Right now, I am going to go snuggle back on my heater and maybe read a book or sleep..and be grateful that I have today.. because It makes me even more grateful that I have tomorrow.