Hello: My name is Amy, I live in Colorado. I wanted to make my first blog a bit about me. I’m 40 years-old & moved here with my husband 2 years ago. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 2 1/2 years ago while living in Phoenix. My mother had it, I just found out my Aunt has it & we figure that my maternal grandmother had it but that was back before anyone had really “discovered” it & you were called crazy & nuts for complaining about it. Those poor people. When I lived in Phoenix it was pretty manageable but let me tell you … when I moved to Denver – what a different story! Between the change in elevation (5,280 feet above sea level) and the cold weather, we moved in November, my first winter was BRUTAL! But I had an amazing Dr. who recommended lots of warm baths, Epsom salt, massage & some good NON NARCOTIC medications. Things were under-control … until … I fell in July of 2011. That’s when things went downhill – “Faster Than the Speed of Love” (for those of you Family Guy fans you’ll get the reference). I ended up in the Emergency Room where they did an MRI of my back which showed Degenerative Disk Disease. I was placed on bed rest, given the normal dosage of steroids, pain meds, ice, heat, & muscle relaxers. Didn’t help so after a month of misery I was enrolled into a pain program – BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE by the way!!! Luckily we have amazing insurance & I went to see the Pain Specialist who was finally able to prescribe the medications I needed to keep my pain under control, I learned ways to control my pain without needing to be drugged up all the time, guided & unguided meditation – may sound silly but it really does help take your mind off the pain & control the muscle spasms – I also learned my “catch phrase” Hate the disease, don’t hate yourself, it’s not your fault. Now, here’s the most important part! What we’re here to blog about … EXERCISE!
We worked with Occupational Therapists & learned stretches, yoga moves, walked on the treadmill, lifted weights & the importance of exercise. Most of us were freshly injured so we learned to take it S L O W L Y & most importantly to be kind to ourselves. We also did some talk therapy in groups. If you’re fresh into an injury & your insurance will pay for it & you’re able to attend I highly recommend it. It gave me the mental ability to cope with what was going on & the new diagnoses that had been thrown upon me as there were no surgical options at that point.
It’s now a year & 1/2 later. I’m still on pain meds, being overseen by the same pain Dr. who is amazing. I’m not some strange, overly medicated, addicted person who can’t function. I am able to live my life in a smaller capacity to what I would like, I can’t go on long hikes like I’d like to, I’m not able to climb 14,000 foot mountains BUT I am able to hike for a few hours. I can’t ski BUT I can go & walk around the ski towns while my husband skis & meet up for lunch. I take things one day at a time.
I have a consult with a surgeon at the end of January to see where I am at, my herniated disks are pressing into my spinal cord in 3 vertebrae which are causing issues so it appears surgery is now going to happen. That scares me & I’ve been cleared by our Fertility Dr. to begin Hormone Treatments once we figure out the back issues so hopefully things will fall into place. (We’ve been trying for 5 years for a baby & this back thing put a “wrench” in the mix so to say)
The exercise that I am able to accomplish helps! I’ve come along way, I wasn’t able to walk from my bedroom, down our stairs & out to the mailbox & back a year ago. Now I’m hiking a few miles on good days at 11,000 elevation. Baby steps. Follow Dr’s orders, be kind to yourself but do tell yourself you CAN do this. It WILL help.
Even if you have to do 4 bouts of 10 minute walks, hey, that’s a long way when you think about it! You don’t have to do it all at once!!! Most of all know you CAN do it. Be proud of the small accomplishments. You’ll get there. Just be kind to yourself. You’d be proud of your child if they took baby steps, why shouldn’t you do the same to yourself? You matter too.
Until next time. Stay strong & just try, that’s all I ask. Try. You will succeed. 🙂
Much love, Amy