Well, I had my special doctor's appointment this morning. It ran super loooooong, and I ended up missing math class (and a big test). I did, however, get a doctor's note, and I can make up the test, so it's okay. Between a test and a diagnosis, I think I made the right choice. (Even if I did have to call Mom to help me decide whether to stay or not!)


I have Fibromyalgia.

The doc's are also doing auto-immune tests to see what kind of involvement is going on there. They suspect connective tissue disease (but there are over 200 specific diseases under that umbrella, so we'll see where that leads!).

While conversing about this with J, she pointed out that I sounded really optimistic, and was I really okay with this?

Well, yes and no.

Part of me is ecstatic. I have a name for this soul-sucking nonsense. I can focus my energies on managing something real. Most importantly, I'm not crazy. This is a legitimate illness, albeit "invisible". And I can do research, figure out what kind of lifestyle changes I need to make to manage this better. I can manage something I have a name for. It's no longer that nebulous, nameless sickness that steals so much time from me, but something concrete that I can fight, manage, and work with. It's hard to fight a faceless enemy. You never really know if you're doing the right thing... or if it's all just chance.

Part of me though, is a bit crushed. I'll be honest. To be laden with the mantle of "chronic illness" at 24 is... well, it seems unfair. Why is my body so fragile and broken? I have my whole life ahead of me, and now it's tinged with the expectation of pain. It may go away, but it may not. It could be pain like this, every day, for the rest of my life. Fatigue, crippling me... keeping me from being the kind of mom that I want to be, the kind of wife that I want to be... the kind of employee that I want to be.

Will I be able to hike the Grand Canyon next summer? I don't know.

Will I end up in a wheelchair because it hurts too much to walk? It's a possibility.

Will I have days that I can barely muster the physical energy it takes to walk from my car to the classroom? Likely.

And the thought of facing that for the rest of my life is... daunting.



I'm sure some good is going to come out of this. Do I dare call it a tragedy? It feels a little like one to me, but on the other hand it doesn't. Maybe it's an opportragedy. Mostly opportunity with a little tragedy thrown in :)

So the docs put me on this antidepressant that's been proven to help with fibro. As uneasy as I was at the thought of being on antidepressants earlier this year (when I went to beg my doctor to help me overcome my horrific depression, and was told by my employer that if I got on antidepressants they'd have to let me go, which STILL irks me to no end), I don't mind so much now. Probably because it's not a mental thing that I'm working with, so I don't feel like "I can fix myself given enough time". It's physical, it's here, it's "permanent", and I know I can't go on living like I am.

And hey, this'll probably help with my depression, too. Two birds, one stone :) (Also, it's non-habit forming. Wheee-hew.)

I think more research is in order. I'm not just going to be like, "Okay, I have this, life goes on as normal." No way! I bet there are lifestyle changes I can make that would help... beginning with regular massages ;)

Also, I'm seriously asking questions about the role of seratonin now... Why does a Seratonin and Norepinephrine Re-uptake Inhibitor help with fibro? Is there some connection with chemical imbalance and the likelihood of fibro? Why is it mostly women in a certain age bracket that get it? What connection is there between depression and fibro/overactive nervous system? Because that's what fibromyalgia is, basically-- a hypersensitive nervous system. There's a bust in the chain somewhere that keeps pain signals going when there's no stimulus or reason for pain. A broken feedback loop.

It makes me want to go into neuropsychology even more. Oh, how I want to research these things!!!!

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