badge-of-honor

It started in my right hip, on a cold day in November of 2012. My husband and I were walking to our car with a cart of groceries, the parking lot slushy with heavy Ohio snow.

I stopped walking and stood there a second, wiggling my pelvis to and fro.

“What’s up?” my husband asked, a few feet ahead of me.

“It felt like my hip popped out of socket for a second,” I said. “And it feels like it’s full of glass. Hard to explain.”

I didn’t think much of it until it happened again a couple of days later while I was climbing the stairs at home.

I did the pelvic wiggle again. I’ve dislocated sockets a few times over the years. I was told that I was double jointed by a doctor when I showed him what I could do with my thumb. I used to love to gross people out by popping my thumb over so that it touched the top of my hand. I can’t do it anymore because it hurts too much.

The hip coming out glass sensation continued daily, until it was accompanied by muscle pain that ran down my leg, with pins and needles shooting into my toes. It seemed that almost with each day that passed, I started having more pain and weird sensations throughout my entire body.

I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1999, although it never kept me from working. I could walk, bend, stoop, and lift with the best of them for many years. I had only a year prior been cleaning houses to make a few dollars while I hoped for my depression to get better, although it didn’t. My disability case was still being decided when my physical body started to deteriorate.

My old doctor sent me to a couple of specialists, who both sent me away because they couldn’t find any reason to explain my worsening symptoms other than it must be the fibromyalgia catching up with me.

My energy levels started to decline. I found it almost impossible to stay awake all day long. My mind started becoming fuzzy, something called fibro-fog, which affects a persons cognitive abilities.

I also became weaker. I could no longer lift my legs or arms more than a few inches. Muscle spasms became a daily occurrence, plus full body pain that I had never experienced before. I could no longer take my dog Maggie for a walk by the lake in our condo development in the evenings.

Within a few months time, I was residing in a body that I no longer recognized.

It is now almost 2017 and I am still trying to comprehend how quickly I went from a somewhat healthy woman to a disabled person. My depression seems to be in remission for the most part. If it weren’t for the chronic pain/fatigue there’s an excellent chance that I would be working once again.

I know that it’s pointless to say how unfair it is but there are days when I wish I could climb to the highest hilltop and scream at the top of my lungs.

I wish that I didn’t feel envious when I see people walk the way I used to, on strong legs, with confident strides.

I hate that I can’t be spontaneous anymore.

I miss the old me.

But, nothing in this world stays the same. Life is constantly evolving and we are just along for the ride. We hide behind our walls, whatever they may be.

For some, like me, it’s humor.

We persevere, carrying our broken pieces like badges of honor.

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