I've been going through a lot lately, and having a hard time organizing the thoughts within my head. I have 5 blogs I'm working on right now... all of which I've stopped in the middle of with no clue where to go from there. So I thought that maybe those just aren't the avenues I need to be investigating right now... Brandi has told me I need to relax and chill out... so I am just going to release and see where it takes me.
I've been experiencing a lot of anger lately, primarily directed at myself. I am so furious at my body for being a willing host to fibromyalgia... and now that I have an official diagnosis for chronic fatigue as well, I'm doubly angry. Some of this might stems from the day that I found notes from a doctor visit from when I was 17... where my pediatric cardiologist suggested that I probably had CFS. My brain almost exploded when I found this particular piece of paper. I was amazed that it had been pegged so long ago and then just forgotten about, although the symptoms never really went away. I can't blame anyone for this except for the doctors. My parents did everything they could to try to figure out what was wrong with me; they took me to doctor after doctor trying to find a reason for my fevers, my aches and pains, and my overwhelming exhaustion. Fibromyalgia and CFS just were not diagnoses that doctors were willing to tack on someone that young. We kept searching, but never got an answer that two doctors would agree on. I am now furious that the doctors didn't take things one step further... instead of playing hot potato with me.
I am also angry with myself for the things I cannot do. I can't take care of my child on my own for 4 days in a row without calling help, when I used to be able to take care of 4 babies his age 5 days a week without any help. I can't throw my sister-in-law a baby shower. I can't do daycare for my niece when my sister-in-law goes back to work (this one hits really hard, since I'm as proud of being an aunt as being a mom!). I can't go to all the baseball and soccer games my nieces and nephews have. I can't drive out to see them all the time like I used to. I can't go camping with my husband, who wants to go camping more than anything. I can't get on an airplane to join my parents in Hawaii, I can't go to my cousin-in-law's wedding because I can't survive the travel. I can't cook a meal without collapsing after. I can't spend a day at the zoo without the next 3 days to recover. I can't get a massage without feeling like I was hit by a car for the next 2 days... no matter the amount of pressure or techniques used. I can't vacuum and mop in the same day. I can't do laundry without spending that evening in tears. I can't always make love with my husband without it causing pain throughout my entire body. I can't even always give him a hug when he gets home from work.
I am angry that my parents aren't in the best health, and I can't take care of them. At almost 26 years old, married, and with a child, they should be stepping down as my caregivers and I should be picking up the role of being theirs. But I can't, because I can't even take care of myself. I am angry that my body has me sitting on the couch while I watch my mother, who has been through breast cancer and decades of chronic pain, peeling potatoes for dinner. I am angry that I depend on her for help when it should be the other way around. (Not that I want her dependent on anyone... but you get where I am coming from...)
I am angry that so much of my husband's hard earned paycheck just disappears to CVS... that every month I go through about $50 worth of epsom salts and over $250 of prescriptions, supplements, vitamins, etc. I am angry that I cannot work to help pay my own bills. I am angry that I have to get a lawyer in order to have a chance at receiving the disability benefits I earned by starting work at 15 years old.
I am angry at the mounds of dust on the Entertainment center that only get wiped away by my son's little hands. I am angry that he has clumps of my hair stuck between his toes, and cat hair stuck to his drooly little face because I haven't been able to move the vacuum. I am angry that it hurts to feed him. I am angry that my pain often makes my temper short. I am angry that I am not going to be able to be the type of mom that will kick a soccer ball around with him and be able to play tag. I am angry that after he gains about 10 more pounds, I will probably be unable to carry him or even pick him up. I am angry for all the ball games I might miss, the trips to the park we will have to skip, and the amount of time we will spend resting during each excursion.
Most of all, I'm angry that I'm so damn angry.
I know that these feelings aren't doing me any good. That's one of the reasons I started The Silver Lining in the first place... I have a tendency to hold tightly onto the negative and reject the positives. I don't like that about me. I want to change it. I want to see the good at least as clearly as I see the bad.
So here goes.
I appreciate the fact that being so sick all the time has brought my husband and I closer. We know that we can weather the bad together, because that's what we've been doing for more than half of our time together. I know that he can and will take care of me... and that I can count on him to do the best he can to make me feel better both physically and mentally. I know how much he loves me because of how hard he tries to fight the CFS/Fibro for me and with me. He is a Fibro Fighter every bit as much as I am... and when things gets tough... he gets as tough as I need him to be.
I know that my illnesses are not negatively impacting my son. (Although in the back of my mind I hear a quiet voice whispering, “yet...”) I know he knows that he is loved. I know he loves me. I may not be able to toss him in the air, but that doesn't mean I can't make him giggle and laugh. I may not be able to chase him around the park when he's three, but I can push a swing just fine! And being unable to work means that I get to watch every new little skill and hear every new sound. I get to hug him all the time... and when he doesn't feel good we get to lay in bed and watch Elmo together.
The money situation is hard... but at least I got a lawyer to take the case (and the stress) for me. I have someone in my corner to fight for me when I don't have to ability to form words. And until I get a favorable judgement, we'll survive. There is food in our bellies, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our head. I don't have to worry about my son going to bed hungry. I'm grateful my husband has a stable job with excellent health coverage. I don't know how we would survive without.
I try to tell myself that even though I have a messy house, it could be far worse. My son may get covered with hair, but he certainly does not live with filth. It still gets vacuumed at least once a week, and since the baby isn't allowed anywhere that needs to be mopped, that's not a huge deal. His bottles are clean, and he has a safe place to play and sleep. A little hair never hurt anyone, right? I've seen children raised in far hairier places than my home come out just fine. He is healthy, and his pediatrician says he is “above average” with all of his skills. And so what if I can't chase him around the park? His daddy can do that..... or a cousin or uncle or auntie. I may not always be able to play Rocket Ship, but he still loves me with his entire little heart.
And although I can't take care of my parents the way I'd like to, I at least spend more time with them and share more laughs with them than most people my age spend with theirs. They see their grandson once a week at the very least... and Roo has an incredibly close relationship to both of them and adores them. I do what I can for them, and they do what they can do for me. I can honestly say that I can call my Mommy my best friend in the world. There is almost nothing I feel I can't talk to her about or share with her... and part of that is due to our bonding over our chronic pain. I am proud to be a Daddy's girl and know that those arms are equally as open to me as they were when I wore pigtails. He has never doubted me when I said I didn't feel good, and has always been my favorite (although tough) nurse. Without him behind me, I don't know if I would have had the strength to push for a diagnosis... and I don't know if I would know how to if I hadn't watched him be my champion for all of these years.
So yeah, I'm angry and have every right to be.... but you know what? After re-examining only a small portion of the Silver Linings in my life I have to admit that the anger over all the little stuff just doesn't measure up to the power of the good stuff. So I'm gonna let the anger go. I don't need it anymore.