(As a two-year resident of Athens while completing my graduate degree, I just couldn’t help it- even though I was never blessed with my own personal “Michael Stipe Sighting”, like other people I knew.)
So, anyway-onwards to the point of this post.
October used to be Way Cool Awesome for me, because it is the month of my birth. And the month when fall was most definitely here. And cool, fall Youth Group activities. And new beginnings.
But unfortunately, it now has a lot of awful anniversaries for me. So the bulk of October, and the first couple of weeks in November are really hard for me to get through.
Because it was at this time three years ago that I got the horribly wretched and awful illness that eventually tipped me over the edge into fibromyalgia. I haven’t been able to write about it or really talk about it until now. But I think I’m ready now to tell you my story. I guess we’ll see.
I have always had a weird relationship with my body. I think I always resented and denied the fact that I even had to have a body, and couldn’t actually survive as a disembodied brain just floating through the world and collecting experiences-even though that is exactly how I navigated my way through this world.
There were some understandable reasons for this. For example, I got sick ALL THE TIME as I was growing up, pretty much from birth all the way through my life until October of 2007. I was in pain, a lot. I was ill, a lot. I didn’t feel good, A LOT. So it was actually pretty understandable for me to flee my body and spend all my time up in my mind. I have always had a very vivid and entertaining inner world, so it was really no problem for me to entertain myself in there.
And I never said anything about it, because I though that’s the way everyone was. As a matter of fact, when I’d first seen my rheumatologist and we were waiting for the test results, my husband did not understand why I was so excited that I might actually have A Real Thing. So I told him that every single day, as far back as I could remember, there was always something in my body that hurt, or that didn’t feel well. But for one thing, the doctors rarely ever found anything wrong for me, so they really couldn’t help me. And for another, I thought that’s what it meant to be a grownup. I thought everyone felt bad every day, but that you just sucked it up and never said anything, because that’s just what happened when you were a grownup.
And then my husband looked at me, horrified, as though I had just sprouted four heads.
And I said, “You mean, you don’t feel that way?”
And he said, “NO, I DON’T FEEL THAT WAY!” (I think his head might have exploded a little bit at this point, because what I’d just said was so far outside his experience, that he couldn’t even begin to comprehend it.
And I said, “Well I do.”
And then he looked at me with compassion and concern, because he’d never known that before. Because I never told him. Because I didn’t think there was anything that anyone could do to help me feel better.
But that actually comes much later in the story.
The point where this story starts is the part where I somehow contracted the most god-awful, potentially fatal (although, THANK GOD I didn’t know this at the time) illness known as C DIFF.
And apparently, that is all I’m able to write about this for right now.
To be continued…