As I lay in bed unable to keep my legs from spasming in response to the intense stabbing pain I am experiencing, I am overwhelmed with a intense feeling of respect and love for my mom. Not only am I a mom fighting against chronic pain, I am the child of a mom fighting against chronic pain.
In my earliest memories my mom hurt. I cannot remember a time when she did not have pain in her back, her feet, or her hands. I remember wrist braces and chiropractor visits... On one of which I screamed at the chiropractor to "Stop hurting my Mommy!!" because she was yelling every time her cracked her back. (I think I was about 4.)
I remember being a teenager and growing frustrated at her for not wanting to take me to the mall, or for never having the stamina to keep up with me. Her feet hurt, or her back... And we would have to stop and go home. (Granted, about half the time we had to go home in order for dinner to be on the table when Daddy got home.)
We didn't always have the best relationship... looking back I think some of that can be attributed to the fact that I didn't really understand what an hour on her feet could do to her... I didn't really understand the pain. And the fact that I was a teenager probably didn't help much either.
But now, I'm grasping what she went through. Oh boy, I definitely do.
I find myself filled with a new-found appreciation for her strength now that I am facing my own battle with chronic pain. I am thankful for each second she gritted her teeth and pushed through that one last store for me... And I am selfishly thankful that she still does it, because I have more fun out in the world when she is by my side. I am extremely grateful to her for every move that she makes to play with my son and spend time with him... I know it is hard on her physically, but watching the joy on their faces when they are together makes it obvious that it is worth it to her.
While my body is not coping well with Fibromyalgia and CFS, my soul is. And I can credit my mom for showing me how to keep pushing through the pain to keep my family taken care of... And for teaching me that I need to let them take care of me, too.
I am grateful to her for teaching me that you can still laugh even when you hurt, and that it is okay to cry when it hurts too much to laugh. While I wish that neither of us had had these experiences, the closeness that pain has brought us has become another Silver Lining of Fibromyalgia.