Today I had a strange pain in my arm throbbing and aching in the same spot randomly throughout the day. By mid afternoon I was beginning to get a little annoyed with it. But right then, on the verge of frustration, I was reminded by a little voice inside my head about how far I’ve come and how grateful I should be for just this little pain in my forearm.
Shortly after my daughter was born I started having a constant aching in my hips. The ache began to keep me up at night. Sleepless nights turned to daytime exhaustion. Within a month, the pain spread throughout my body. After going to the doctor and receiving no diagnosis after many tests, I gave into the pain. I hurt so bad my kids couldn’t hug me without it making me cry. I went back to the doctor again and again with no diagnosis and no sense of hope. I went to a specialist, finally got a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia (which my grandmother and aunt also have) and got started on medications. None of them worked. In fact, if a medicine listed five side effects on the bottle I probably got at least three of them. So they’d put me on a different one to help with the side effects of the first. I had side effects from the second one as well and they’d take me off of both and try out a new one. REPEAT from here.
I began to wonder if this is what life was just going to look for me like from then on. Maybe I just had to live with the pain. Or maybe, I thought, I should just keep trying new medications until I found the right one…because how could I just keep living like that. Finally I started a medication that was supposed to be oh so great. I had the worst experience yet and he immediately took me off of it because “I was having adverse reactions.” All this process up to now was about two years of agony. Two years of not being able to be active or play with my kids. Two years of waking up in the morning and dreading having to start moving. Two years of fearing someone I met would squeeze when shaking my hand. When I tried that last medication and realized it was the worst one yet, I through in the towel on medications and doctors. What I didn’t throw the towel on though was life.
I decided then that I couldn’t rely on the doctors for this. Medicines weren’t working and I had to do something new. We started eating healthier, I cut out all artificial sweeteners and I started walking. I began reading about the power our minds have over our bodies and how our thoughts create our world. I found hope. I found determination to not accept the pain as reality. I felt powerful. I reminded myself that I was worthy of a great life and my body can heal itself. I began telling myself every morning when I woke up, “Today will be even better.” The amazing thing is, it was. I didn’t just wake up one morning miraculously healed but over time, my health has changed and so have my thoughts. Some days I have some aches like today. Sometimes as the weather changes I have a flare up and there are multiple days in a row of those aches. I never give up though.
So today I had this pain in my arm. After all I went through several years ago, this pain seems so silly now. I’m grateful for all the great days. I’m grateful that I am basically healed and pray for those that aren’t yet. I’m grateful for my body supporting me through daily activities and now through exercising and running. I’m grateful for every hug I get that feels so amazing and pain free. (I LOVE hugs!) Every morning I wake up I go through a list of things I’m thankful for that day. I still say, “Today will be even better. You know what, it is. And for that, I am grateful.