This time last year I was raising funds for FORCE: The Monument Quilt through the Hike for Healing and going on a beautiful hike with incredible friends. This year I just got my very first wheelchair.

Since I can’t really hike for healing right now, someone I love suggested that I write for healing instead.

See, last year I was diagnosed with pre-fibromyalgia. The specialist that ‘diagnosed’ assured me that there was no treatment out there for me but exercise. He told me I was “just more sensitive to pain” than other people. He sent me on my way with an advertisement for aquatic therapy and no follow-up appointment. Not too many months later my symptoms progressed to the point where by the end of Spring 2017 I could no longer walk long distances, my depression deepened into an echoing cavern at the pit of my stomach, my anxiety attacks became incapacitating, and I was having intrusive memories daily.

I finally took the plunge and visited my primary care physician. She told me the specialist actually had diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. I began treatment with a therapist and a psychiatrist immediately.  I’m still in treatment, and will be starting physical therapy soon. It’s hard not to wonder if I had gotten treatment when he had diagnosed me, maybe things wouldn’t have gotten as bad. But hey, I’m trying to stay positive.

As I’ve been in therapy and learning more about myself & my past, I have realized that I probably could’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and PTSD nearly a decade ago. It hurts that so many people in my life, including family, friends, teachers, and MANY medical professionals could have stepped in to help me. But hey, still trying to live in the moment, still trying to stay positive.

My health has gotten to the point that I ran out of sick time at work and made the difficult decision to leave my job.

I have to try to heal, now. I’ve lived my entire life with trauma and pain. It’s time to put everything else on hold and focus on healing myself. I’m incredibly lucky to have a network of people willing to put me up for free, willing to help me grocery shop and cook and do laundry. And most importantly, I’m lucky enough to have the ability to keep my health insurance through COBRA.

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