I sat impatiently waiting for the attendant to call my name. I am in the waiting room to meet one of the best Rheumatologist in the country. The initial screening with the Junior doctors went good, where my long suffering of body-ache, migraine and other issues were examined. The last 2 years were kind of hell physically – undergoing different medical treatments, lot of medications, temporary relief, physiotherapy, again the cycle taking you back to the initial stage.
I had started working, and travelling long distances were part of my day-to-day activities. And the back pain which I used to have during my college days started interrupting my work. The pain initially occurred when I strained in front of my laptop or during long journeys. Rest would make me feel better and then I hit back with double enthusiasm to complete my responsibilities. This phenomenon would again drag me to bed and finally I landed up in the hospital bed. All the tests and scanning were conducted. when the MRI reports came, there it was “Mild disc bulge, nerve compression”. The doctor looked at me and asked “My child, how did you manage to get into this? How old are you? He said, if I don’t care now, its going to be tough. The next stage is surgery and he is really afraid at the thought of a girl my age go through it. The company I worked with supported me in this condition, and I soon moved to a different department where my travels reduced. During this phase, my marriage almost got fixed. I went for Ayurvedic treatment which helped relieve a lot of pain, but again the needle went back to “0” the minute I hit back work. But this time, there were much more to it. I started gaining weight (a lot of it) – no dieting & exercise seemed to work, there was no energy in me (the vibrant me just disappeared), I feel so bloody cold all the time (during most meetings, I switch off the AC for a while till I see my colleagues sweating)…but the most terrified one was I lost my memory, I couldn’t remember names of people I met everyday, I can’t remember my password I changed the previous day, I forgot my ATM pin, I forgot my way back home and many incidents followed. From childhood, I had always been sharp in my memory – my ability to remember numbers and dates of historical events used to be my signature among my friends circle. All that seemed so different to the “NEW ME”. I still remember the day I realized something is really wrong with me. I took up my phone and called Aby (Mr.Abraham) to discuss some important issue and as I hear the first ring, I just thought what was the issue…I couldn’t recollect. At the other end of the phone, I heard Aby’s voice and all I could say was,”Hey, I called to say something important,but I forgot. Will call you soon” Though I ended the conversation on a funny note, it was the most difficult realization. It was not at all funny. The thought that your memory is fading and you know you are not able to perform as you were. You are just not YOU – the “YOU” you were and the “YOU” you are never used to. It was just so difficult.
It was then I realized what I had was not something small. It was much beyond my thoughts and much beyond what I really imagined it to be. That’s when I founded out,I had “Fibromyalgia”. It took me days to spell it correctly. The first instance on hearing the name was “I had WHATTTT?!?” But yeah, it was a relief to finally know what my condition was. It was a greater relief that finally I knew I was on the right direction. I suffered the pain of not knowing what is happening to me, I suffered the pain of not being able to explain myself to others. Physiotherapy, drugs, needling and a long list followed, which would pull me down, suck all my energy out, reminding me often how different I have turned to be. The pain that I have been battling depression.
The journey then on wasn’t easy. It was tough. You have to deal with it, maybe for life. It was not that I decided one fine day – “Am not going to let this change me!”. It took days & months for me to accept that I have to live with it. There are 2 options – either I embrace it and let it stay without letting it affect me, or I can pretend to ignore it and let it take “ME” away from me. Finally being so much different from the person I used to be.
Something life taught me during that stage – you can out-beat any condition. It takes courage, acceptance and will power. You are far beyond what you think you are capable of. Life is never going to be easy, but embrace it. And slowly you will feel life embracing you. I started my 2017 resolution when I decided that I can no longer stay brooding over what I cannot control. So, here goes my list – Be nice, Be positive, Think positive, Eliminate the negatives (be it people or situations), Eat healthy, Be active, Keep reading.
Fibromyalgia, Thank you!!! If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have known what it was to fail. If it wasn’t for you I would still be comfortable in my little world. If it wasn’t for you, I would never know the value of life. If it wasn’t for you, I would never ever experience what it is to erase the moment you freezed for future. Thank you for the Painful Enlightenment! I will fight every minute to keep you with me and not let you rule me.