August 3, 2016, for most people, was just another day. For me, it was the one-year anniversary of the day everything changed for me.
You see, I have had the diagnosis of fibromyalgia for about 8 years now. We won’t get into the discussion as to whether or not it’s a real diagnosis. The symptoms I deal with on a daily basis are real enough that none of that matters. It’s a problem, anyway you look at it. This is how it’s affected my life.
The first few years with fibro
For the first few years, I was able to push through and still maintain a normal life. I worked a full-time job, volunteered at church and other places throughout the week, had an active social life and a busy family life. The pain and issues I faced then were problematic, but not exactly debilitating to my daily life. I sought medical treatment the first couple of years, but once we realized the treatments caused more problems than they helped, I stopped taking any kind of prescription. I just “suffered” through.
Oh, how I laugh at that! “Suffered” through. I had no idea what I was about to experience. Over the last three years, my health has slowly declined. I didn’t realize what was happening at the time, but looking back now, I see it. I began to have more and more bad days. Good days, where I was able to function and be active became fewer and farther between. This all came to a crash, as they call it, on August 3, 2015.Read More
A note from Jamie: This blog is another guest post in the chronic illness series. Suzy shares her story of being a caregiver to someone with a chronic, incurable disease. Please read and share her story!
Guest post: Living with Crohn’s disease – a caregiver’s story (chronic illness series)
My husband was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease just shy of our first anniversary.
We spent our first Christmas as a married couple in the hospital, husband tethered to a TPN line, wife battling bronchitis and keeping fretful watch while trying to work her own full-time job and part of his. (We both had editing jobs at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where we had met five years earlier.)
As a new wife, I hadn’t known how to read the signs that Bruce was seriously ill.
A man with extremely high pain tolerance, he had been insisting that he could hold out until his upcoming colonoscopy appointment (after several inconclusive appointments with his general practitioner). Had it not been for a wise and bold co-worker, who didn’t know me well but cared enough to intervene one mid-December afternoon in 1998, I would have soldiered on at my desk that frigid Tuesday instead of going home to bundle him up and head for the ER. (Rhonda, I’ll never forget your kindness and concern; you possibly saved Bruce’s life.)
With an expedited scope of his digestive tract the next morning – after an awful night of drinking a salty solution to clean him out (as if there was much in his stomach to start with) – Bruce and I heard a phrase neither of us was familiar with:
Note from Jamie: Welcome my friend Leslie, who is joining the chronic illness series to talk about being both a cancer survivor and a widow. Her husband died at age 52.
My Personal Experiences as a Cancer Survivor and Widow
My name is Leslie. May 10, 2016 marks the fourth anniversary of my husband’s sudden death at age 52 from an undiagnosed Pulmonary Embolism. Seven days later I celebrate 15 years of being cancer free.
I was diagnosed at age 39 with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November 2000 after suffering symptoms for more than 11 months. At the time, I was the married mother of two young daughters, ages 7 and 3, working full time as a Technical Writer and my husband, Stewart, traveled frequently in his job as an Agriculture Journalist.
You can read about my cancer diagnosis and treatment experience in a two-part series published on Lymphoma.net in July 2013 at Lymphoma Info.Read More
Note from Jamie: This is another story in the chronic illness series. I was honored to room one night with Vickie at Arkansas Women Bloggers University. I love her blog and truly enjoy her company. It’s an honor to host her story here.
What you see is not what I get (what I wish people knew about myasthenia gravis)
By Vickie Henderson
I stared at my hands on the steering wheel but I didn’t trust them. For the last twenty years these hands steadily performed surgeries and delivered thousands of newborn babies. They also gripped the hoods of my road bicycle while I pedaled thousands of miles. Then they betrayed me.
After thoracic surgery, handfuls of pills and months of infusions of immune globulin, I was finally strong enough to steer my car. And walk. By invitation, I arrived at the State Capitol to potentially testify for a pro-life bill. My hands may not work but my brain and mouth still do, well, at least most of the time. It was my first solo outing since being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis (MG), an auto-immune, neuromuscular disease which causes profound weakness. More specifically it causes fatigable weakness. I can do anything once, but the more I do the worse I get, quite the opposite of my life before MG.Read More