Living with a disability like fibromyalgia is a never ending lesson in adjusting and making the best out of a tough situation. Take this morning for example. I woke up feeling rather good, a bit of shoulder stiffness, but otherwise bright-eyed and chipper. I prepared for church and found that the fatigue that often hits just prior to leaving the house at 9:15 AM was absent. I was really quite pleased because last week the fatigue hit just as church was starting. I find hiding a bout of pain is relatively easy compared to hiding a bout of fatigue. While it may be acceptable for small children and old men to doze during the congregational meeting, it is usually frowned upon for middle-aged ladies to do the same. So by comparison, shoulder-joint pain was manageable and I was looking forward to enjoying the meeting.
Alas, to my great dismay, I found myself becoming queasy and lightheaded not more than 10 minutes into the meeting. Sure I had arrived 10 minutes early to get a good seat, but 20 minutes sitting in a pew should not have been enough to have cause discomfort-induced nausea, regardless of the fact that my shoulder pain had been joined by a stiff neck and sore back. By the time the sacrament had been passed and the bishop was thanking the deacons for their efforts, I knew that I had to leave. I asked my husband to carry my overly large purse as a precaution, and I proceeded to leave the chapel. Upon reaching the foyer, I discovered I was struggling to breath much like I was having an asthma attack, but upon stepping outside, my breathing began to ease. Oh and the gooey eyes that I had been doing my best to ignore, cleared almost immediately.
It would appear that I was having an allergy attack. Since I am not terribly susceptible to airborne allergies and perfumes usually only give me headaches, today’s strange reaction left me flustered and a bit frustrated. It is when the unusual, unanticipated, and odd physical symptoms hit that I find myself most severely struggling emotionally with my health issues. It during those moments that I want to weep. It is during those moments that I do my best to find a reason to smile. Today’s reason to smile – fresh baked cookies.
I am now sore and tired, but I am not frustrated or emotionally weary. If I do get weepy by the end of the day, at least I now can dry my eyes with one hand while I eat a cookie with the other.
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