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.