Well, I promised to keep you all updated on what was going on with me health-wise, so here it is (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this post).
I thought I’d have to wait until September to get any results, but over the summer my condition started to get worse (I hadn’t thought that was possible, but apparently it was). The pain I’d been having in my hands and wrists moved into my feet and knees, so my doctor finally agreed to refer me to a rheumatologist ASAP, instead of waiting for the Carpal Tunnel test.
Long story short (too late!), the rheumatologist is pretty sure I have fibromyalgia (he’s not willing to make a definite diagnosis as yet, since there’s no easy test to diagnose it, it’s more a case of ruling out other things…most of which we’ve ruled out).
For those of you (like me until recently) who don’t know what fibromyalgia is, it’s a chronic pain condition where one’s brain misinterprets pain stimuli and sends a message to the body that things hurt way more than they really do. (More info can be found here, if you really want to know)
Basically, my brain is a bigger drama queen than Draco Malfoy.
In a way though, it’s good news.
You see, there’s a few conditions/symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including: IBS, endometriosis, poor sleep, headaches, memory loss, fatigue, and what they call “morning stiffness” (which is basically waking up every morning feeling like you’re 180 years old).
Why is that good news? Because I already have all of these. So now, instead of feeling like I’m utterly falling apart because I have *everything* wrong with me, I know it’s all just one thing that’s trying to break me in a bunch of different ways. (Seriously, though, that’s better news than it sounds.)
On top of that, fibromyalgia isn’t degenerative. It doesn’t break down your joints the same as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus or MS (which were the other contenders in the “What’s Wrong With Kaye” lottery.)
Of course, it’s not all good news.
There’s no cure for fibromyalgia (although my doctor says sometimes improving your sleep can help with symptoms, so now I take a nightly dose of melatonin on his orders – turns out it might not be a coincidence my symptoms got drastically worse when we adopted a puppy and I basically stopped sleeping).
The other bad part? Convincing people (including myself) that just because the pain is caused by my brain being a drama queen, it doesn’t mean it’s able to be willed away by putting mind over matter. The pain is *real,* even if it’s disproportionate to whatever injury triggered it. (Seriously, guys, I wish I could just close my eyes and convince my hands they have no reason to ache, so they should just quit it.)
What does this mean for my career?
It’s still early days, so it’s hard to say. My hands were doing a lot better in August, while I was away, but the pain’s been worse since I started typing all day again. Mind you, my sleep’s been pretty disrupted this past week, too, so here’s hoping I stop flaring sooner rather than later.
If not, then I’m going to look into voice recognition software to help with drafting. Right now the idea seems kind of scary (seriously, speaking my horrible first draft words out loud? Yikes!) but I had hesitations about audiobooks at first too, and now look at me!
As for social media, I’m keeping my Facebook page closed, and sticking with Instagram, since writing has to be the first priority for my hands, over crafts (but I promise to post any crafting I do over there, so you won’t miss out).
So, now you know what’s wrong with me. I was a bit hesitant about sharing, but I figure if being public with what I’m going through helps even one other person out there suffering from fibromyalgia, then it’s worth it.