Who? Us?

We are two disabled, oldish women who have been adventuring through life for years. We are talking about how disabilities, both visible and not, change the way we enjoy our retirement.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Donna Speaks: The Invisible Ones. What Next

The Invisible Ones: What's Next?

OK.  So I get a diagnosis (diagnoses, to be exact) from my md; I've got antibodies for some of those auto-immune thing-a-ma-jigs.  Like Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Scleroderma, Sjogren's, etc.
I think, "Thank goodness... I'm NOT crazy after all." and, "Well, my life need not change so much."  Anyway, only a couple are "active": only the Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia are giving me real problems.  The rest are just hiding in my body, waiting to display their ugliness on some future unknown day.  Those, I am sure, I can totally ignore.

In fact, I decide, I'm gonna ignore all of them.  I've always worked like hell and, by-golly-gosh, I'll continue to do so.  I'm not gonna like this crap get me down.

And, I do just that.

I set up physical therapy threes times a week and earnestly apply myself.  My massage therapist comes twice a week. I continue working at my same pace with my psychotherapy clients.  I do my meetings, my gardening, my weed-eating, my swimming, going on outings with my partner, playing with my dog, etc.   

I concede to take Cymbalta.  I know about antidepressants and this one's "off-label" use for fibromyalgia pain.  The self-administered B-12 shots are also ok to kick my butt outta the fatigue and 12+ hours of sleep. I do some natural remedies when I have a flare-up, e.g., echinacea. 

Then my md has the audacity to prescribe an anti-viral: Acyclovir.  Whoa!  That's what folks with HIV/AIDS and Hep-C take.  That's heavy duty stuff.  I balk at this and take it a while, then quit.
A couple of months into this routine, I am feeling worse. I hurt all over.  

I am so tired and need so much sleep, I have to cancel appointments on occasion. Sometimes my muscles are so weak, I'm not sure if I can, like I hear people say, put one foot in front of the other.

I realize I am trying to make my invisible "conditions", invisible.  I am The Queen of Denial.  Yea, baby, I've got it down pat.  Not to worry about other people not realizing I'm "ill" because I have no crutches, no wheel chair, no scooter, no oxygen tank.  I'm not accepting the facts of my life myself.

That's what comes next: Denial.


  1. I started on Cymbalta about six months ago to help with arthritis and fibro pain. Taking a very low dose, but do believe it is helping. My greatest relief comes from the warm water exercise in the local hospital's pool.

  2. Thanks, Karen. Donna is still sleeping and will be there probably until noon. She can feel this cycle ending a little bit and never knows when the next one will start. We have a pool here and indeed, that is the best therapy.


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