Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Five long years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This is a cruel and selfish disease. It robs you of most everything you hold dear. It robs you of time with your children. You watch them play from the couch and feel shame as they ask you to come play with them. You explain to them that mommy hurts and cry quietly while life goes on around you. Fibromyalgia is wide spread body pain that at times can be so deeply painful that it's hard not to want to make it all end. There have been times of great sorrow and depression for me. There have been times that I knew I could not last another moment with this pain but there have Los been great moments of relief. 3 years ago in Arizona my doctor prescribed what seemed to be the answer. They put me on fentanyl patches. They are a 72 hour patch that you wear on your skin and for once in a very long time I was pain free. I remember the first morning waking up with the patch. I got right out of bed and installed into the kitchen without limping down the hallway. I was not stiff or sore, there was not shooting pain in my legs or back and as I told Matt that I didn't hurt he began to cry. He had seen what this disease had done to me. Fentanyl is an opioid medication so it is pretty heavy duty but it did what it was designed to do and I felt "normal" again. This past year living in Utah we have had a great trial. Someone has decided that they too would like t be on fentanyl and my patches have been disappearing. We have our ideas about who it might be and although I am angry I am more hurt because it must be someone who knows me well and knows the pain I endure without them. So once again an entire box of patches has gone missing and I have made the decision that I am going to manage this disease without narcotics of any kind. It has been hard and for days now I have felt the effects of the narcotics leaving my system. It is going to be a long hard road but I know that I can do it. It will not be painless like it was but it will be worth it. We are on day 4 and this morning I was not groggy as I got out of bed. I was stiff but I pushed past it and by 9:30am I was dressed, had fed the kids, swept the kitchen and watered the dry spots in our lawn. I am going to have to pace myself and I am going to have to limit what I can do from day to day. I am going to have to rely on priesthood blessings to get me through the hard days and celebrate like crazy when there are good days. I look forward to living my life narcotic free and having energy to at least go outside and watch my kids play even if I join in.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Yesterday was Sunday and it was the first Sunday that I had been to church in a while because of the seemingly constant sickness or ailments in our family! We all made it however and I am so glad we were able to make it. It was my week to teach relief society. I thoroughly enjoy my calling. I am positive that the Lord knew this was the calling for me. I know there is so much that he has in store for me to learn from teaching his gospel, I just hope that the women I teach can get as much out of it as I do and if not I appreciate their patience as I learn what I need to learn. For some reason I really didn't want to teach this last Sunday. It was a hard day. I was in pain, you think that after 5 years of living with fibromyalgia I would be used to it but I don't think chronic pain is something you ever "get used to." It's an unwelcome constant companion. Between the pain and sporadic social anxiety I have been experiencing since Matt's stroke I really didn't want to teach. The lesson was on missionary work. I have a tough time with this subject because although I find it easy to make friends and talk with total strangers, I hesitate to bring up the gospel. I'm not sure why and I suppose it is why I needed to teach this lesson. When the lesson began and we started reading through the story and words of George Albert Smith it took a turn that I had not anticipated. We talked about teaching the gospel to non-members but we focused a lot on missionary work within the people we know whether they are members or not. The spirit led us into a discussion on not only preaching the gospel but performing missionary work through showing love to others. We are constantly learning and progressing in the gospel. We learn not only through scripture study and prayer but through the love and examples of others. When we moved our little family back from Arizona I fell apart. I'm not exactly sure why but my theory is that I no longer had to hold our family together by myself and without that responsibility I fell to pieces. My heart was broken and my soul was tired. I could not face the Lord and admit my anger and resentment toward him for our situation. I have since learned that he was not punishing us and through the infinite blessing of the atonement and the love of others who showed incredible service through missionary work on our behalf I have come to rely upon my savior rather than resent him for lessons he knew I must learn. In the words of President Monson, "There are no such things and coincidences" because he said "As you look back you see the Lord's hand shifting the way the journey must go." I have seen his hand in our lives now more than ever. We have felt his love through our ever vigilant home teachers and friends who have brought meals, tended to our yard work and come to our rescue when it was needed. I have had the opportunity to share my testimony with a wayward friend and solidify what I know to be true. This last Sunday as we talked about the many ways we can share the gospel and do missionary work, I felt the love of my savior and the presence of his spirit in the room. It was such a learning experience for me. I am so thankful for my calling and for the love I feel from the sisters I teach. It has been through their willingness to pick up the pieces of this tired soul that I have begun to heal and my heart has turned once again to my savior.