So I got this pain on my neck and shoulder that in months have moved from a nuisance to a crippling pain. I have seen several doctors and chemists but those prescriptions haven’t even relieved the pain at least permanently and because I can’t be bingeing on relaxants and painkillers I finally cave in and make an appointment to see my doctor. Now the neck is not the only ache I’ve been feeling for the past two month . This triple dose of malaria feeling has been hanging over me and within these months I have been tested twice for malaria and typhoid both negative.
As I’m waiting for the doctor to arrive, I keep thinking how he will dismiss me simply because I must have hurt my neck and the lab results were both wrong. By the time he arrives I have definitely diagnosed myself but since I have paid for this visit I might as well pop in and say hi. I haven’t seen my doctor in almost 2 years, yes, I have been that fine. I confidently walk in calmly and with a smile exchange greetings. As soon as I walked into his office, I already feel like I’m well. He is glad and excited at the fact that’s it’s been that long since I went to see him and how well I have been feeling all this time. I too I’m excited about this and we get down to the reason of my visit
I tell him of my neck shoulder pain which I have nicknamed Judas because it kept betraying my everyday living and sleep. Now let me deviate and talk about Judas. Judas visited me a while back, a few months actually. I was sitted watching TV and boom, pain!!! No I was not watching the TV from an upside down position or having craned my neck and neither did I have a sudden sharp neck turn. I was actually sitted like I was in an interview. I dismissed the pain and assumed it’s those moments one’s body decided to be douche and act up. I ignored it for a few hours but it did not go away so I popped a relaxant and it did go away, but only for the duration of the relaxant in the body. In the months following that, I tried lot of stuff and nothing worked. I had to device an angle in bed in order to sleep to give me some relief. Judas grew, grew to my chest, top back and to my left hand to the tip of my fingers till I couldn’t use my left hand properly.
As Judas grew and literally became a pain in the neck, his little cousins joined in. My body started having aches I couldn’t explain (hence the malaria test) , fatigue at all times and unrefreshed mornings were the norms. Now for those who don’t know what unrefreshed means, it’s as if you slept outside cramped in a very small box and on top of that you were trampled by a stampede of elephants before morning. Everything aches when you open your eyes( even opening the eyes ache). You are literally tired and exhausted. As if all that didn’t convince me, I started having fibro-fog (confusion and forgetting the smallest of stuff). I couldn’t even concentrate long enough on anything.
Now back to the doctor. I narrated the above to him (apart from the definitions of course) and looks at me intensely. At this point I am still convinced he will dismiss me with a simple ‘malaria test’ (yes, I’m allowed to get delusional). So he asks how my hiatus has been and I tell him of my lifestyle overhaul. My eating has taken a 360 turn to a healthy diet. I do a lot of walking and opting for staircases and I am now actively and seriously doing aerobics ( impressive right? Well too bad because I think so) and he is impressed and then he cautiously and politely tell me, ‘your fibromyalgia is coming back. What you are experiencing is a ‘flare up’(Google that) . No, I don’t shudder at that point, I have to be in denial and after an all-night binge googling I have come up with reasons for my symptoms. He is a good doctor and listens to all my theories while breaking them down with facts as to why its isn’t so. I even try to think of when someone might have hit me in the neck and its radiating now months or years later. At this point I begin to break down internally and he looks at me and he keeps saying, ‘ this is not your fault’ ‘nothing you did brought it back’.
He recommends a month back on Lyrica and a few of his cousins to track the progress. I leave the hospital and at this point I’ve gone numb. Nothing is right at this point. I’m literally a zombie until I get to the house and I break and I cry and cry and cry…..(you get the point) till I fall asleep. The next few days I grieved internally ( at this point I still haven’t taken the meds). I keep asking what exactly did I do wrong? What didn’t I do? Why me? Isn’t this punishment over? If I did all this, wasn’t it worth it? The questions keep replaying in my head and I keep getting angry until I couldn’t get any angrier.
I decided to have a conversation with myself ( I tend to do this A LOT. I am my friend and no, I ain’t certified) and we talked till we reached a decision . I was going to accept reality, I was going to take the meds ( well, let’s be honest, when you check if you have locked the door 4 times because you keep forgetting you did, you simply have to take the meds). I will let the meds play their role and while they do so, I will play my role and continue pushing myself . I will not stop choosing a healthy path ,neither will I stop exercising ( Here is the thing: aerobics while taking Lyrica, is like I’m lifting double my weight because my body just wants to rest. My body from the neck down has become a sack of uncooperative potatoes). Oh, I deviated, we will blame fibro fog and if I forget your name, I’ll also give that as an excuse.( If fibro wants to use me, I have to use it too)
I realised I might grieve and remain angry but guess what, fibromyalgia won’t stop and wait. I might blame the world or myself but that won’t make the fibromyalgia disappear. My anger will not cure me, it will just lead me to a depressive state and I still lose and have to add depression to my burden, problem not solved but worsened. There will be days I feel an anger or sadness coming through, I will hate myself, get terribly scared and feel all alone or tears on my pillow, and sometimes I will let it but that means I’m human. I will still not give up because for me and all my fellow warriors, there is no grey area. I will let the meds play their part (and their unforgiving side effects as if the lab guys after all these years haven’t felt like we deserve ‘will make you sexy’ side effects) and I will play mine and believe I am getting better because what is the point of taking the meds if I don’t cooperate mentally, if I’m always complaining and depressed? Medicine can only do so much, the bigger part lies within me ( I might be cheer squading myself here but I hope it encourages you too to be your own cheer squad and drive on). I will not stop fighting (apart from when Lyrica has taken over at night and makes me sleep like the sack of potatoes. That I will embrace any night).
I will keep you updated on the progress. Go on get the pompoms out and cheer you.