By: Lauryn East
Will somebody care? In February of 2014 I was t-boned at an intersection by a texting driver. For nearly three years, I spent about 10 hours a month going back and forth between doctors’ offices and physical therapy visits. I even had 3 epidural facet injections in my neck! I was spending all this time at the doctor’s, but all the while I was being told, “we can’t figure out what’s wrong” or “maybe seeing a psychiatrist would help”.
I knew it wasn’t all in my head, and I knew the pain was totally real. So, I struggled to get out of bed every day and yet I still fell into a very deep depression. I just wanted to be “seen” and “heard”! I wanted people to understand my pain was real.
At the end of the battle with the doctors, I met another doctor. This doctor listened like no one had before, and she was willing to run more tests. It felt like she cared about me. Finally, someone did care!
She explained that sometimes the brain can cause pain to generalize itself in the body, and it is sometimes unexplainable— she told me I wasn’t “crazy”. The tests came back with abnormally high inflammation levels, explaining so much. She diagnosed me then, taking everything else into consideration. She validated what I was feeling and offered me help to cope.
More than 7 years later, here I stand!
The initial shock eventually wore off, I refused medications as they only ever made me feel groggy and unpleasant. I started reading books. I started learning how to take care of myself. I found Lady Gaga to be my inspiration. I found someone to be my partner in life (after searching and weeding through those that couldn’t care for me).
He is wonderful, he is a Firefighter/Paramedic, so he loves to look up ways to help and understand this crazy thing called Fibromyalgia. We got married in September, in the middle of a pandemic, and we danced all night. He spent the first day of us being married rubbing my feet on our flight to Alaska for our honeymoon.
I am beyond blessed with my “superpower” as my nephew calls it! He calls it my superpower because I’m “really good at helping him feel better when he’s hurt, and I take good naps!” LOL.
What my superpower is to me, is understanding my body, knowing it like I never could’ve. It is, living with this condition and respecting its boundaries. It is, loving those around me and helping them understand with grace and patience. It is, being sympathetic to others and showing kindness always.
When I thought my life was at its lowest, I was shown more love than I could have ever imagined. So today, I show love— I show grace— I show understanding— I show kindness (to others, and myself)— I show off my Fibro Spirit… because without Fibro, and its difficulties, I would’ve never learned how strong I am.