I've never shared this with anyone but my very closest friends. I've been writing here at My Big, Fat, Cuban Family for 6 years and I have never even broached this topic, but that's not important right now.
I suffer from fibromyalgia. Which means I live in pretty much constant pain.
I don't talk about it because, well, frankly, who needs to have this information? And I really think complaining is a sin, but that's not important right now.
But I determined that I would be more honest this year and it is, after all, my space. So here it is.
It began shortly after my 40th birthday and the birth of my youngest son, Jonathan. My body started to react stupidly. My joints hurt more than usual. I forgot how to fall asleep and stay asleep. And things just got worse from there.
I have an abnormal reaction to pain. My feet hurt so badly I can barely walk some days. Exercise is hit and miss depending on my comfort level. I have to take some pretty intense meds to calm the pain so I can attempt to sleep at night, but they make me stupid and they cause me to swell. (Like we People of the Round Face don't have enough to deal with!)
I feel very depressed and desperate sometimes. When the fibro gets really bad, I spend the entire day trying to find relief. When I get stressed, all the symptoms get intensified and it feels like I've been run over by a truck.
Wearing high heels is agony. (This is the ultimate low for me as a Cuban woman. *sigh*)
To make matters worse, I can't take ibuprofen-type pain meds, which would probably help. I'm allergic. (Le sumba el mango, right?)
I hate it. I hate the life-defining aspect of it. I hate being weak. I hate the constant pain. I hate wondering how much pain my body will be in when I get invited places. The chronic fatigue makes getting out of bed difficult some days.
But I keep going and push through the pain. And I have a fantastic support system in my husband, Eric and my family and close friends. Because of them, I still maintain that I lead a charmed life.
I still make dinner for my family every night. I still care for my aging mom. I still paint sets and design costumes for my son's drama productions. I still host elaborate parties. I do my best to make sure that my husband and kids do not suffer just because I do. I still find time to scrapbook and create and document my life. And I still write about my extraordinarily ordinary life right here in this space.
Because of my bad days, I'm extra grateful for the good ones. Because of the pain, I'm more empathetic to those around me. Because of the sleepless nights, I take more time to pray.
I live in constant pain. But I live in constant gratitude. Which is where I begin when I sit down to blog. I'm grateful for so very much and I don't feel like I want to complain. Which is why I am always celebrating.
So, you see, for me, living with fibro is a curse. And a blessing.