I began this blog when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and HMS with the idea that I would document my battle with and research into both illnesses. Well it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Chronicling “the journey” wI began this blog when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and HMS with the idea that I would document my battle with and research into both illnesses. Well it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Chronicling “the journey” while I was travelling was too raw, too onerous. I am now at a place where I feel happy and in control, so it is from this place of safety that I will, with the blessings of hindsight, restart the blog.
It seems an entirely appropriate point at which to resume as this time a year ago I was beginning a new term teaching. I had reduced my hours so as to work part time, which I hoped would give me time to pace myself across each week so as to manage my fatigue and pain adequately. Unfortunately not many weeks into the term I found myself struggling, my pain and fatigue levels rising to unmanageable levels which meant that I had to start taking time off work again. Suffice it to say it led my family and I to the conclusion that the job was overwhelming me and the best thing to do for my health was to retreat. By Christmas I was no longer teaching.
Now, as the new school year begins, I feel nothing but relief and gratitude that I was able to make that decision. With the support of my wonderful family, friends and doctors I have been able to come to terms with the decision and “move on”. It has given me the time and space to work out how to manage both of these chronic illnesses, to come to terms with my (perceived) shortcomings and weaknesses, to regroup and reorganise.
For the last months of 2014 I was flooded with negative emotions. I felt guilty, inadequate, helpless and pathetic. I had abandoned the children in my class, their families and my work colleagues. I wasn’t strong enough to work, I had failed.
I had a very unsatisfactory and painful appointment with my rheumatologist in early January. He discharged me saying there was little he could do. Basically I had to take responsibility for my own health and learn to manage my illness. It was time to retreat, find a safe place and learn how to get control back.