Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fibromyalgia Support Group

This weekend, we (yes, this includes myself and my wonderfully supportive husby) attended our first fibromyalgia support group. I heard about this center from my new doctor here to check into for water aerobics and I saw support groups on their site. I was amazed to see they have a specific group devoted to people with fibromyalgia and similar autoimmune conditions. On our way there, I told Nick I was thinking I would be the youngest one at the group. Lovingly, he reminded me to not let those concerns/worries enter my thoughts. As we entered the group, my theory was confirmed. We were definitely the youngest ones there with most of the ladies (yes, Nick was the only man in the room :) isn't he amazing for being there with me?!) being retired or a few decades older than us.

It was nice to relate to others and hear their stories of dealing with daily pain and other things associated (sensory sensitivities, digestive disorders, depression, anxiety, etc), yet heart breaking to hear so many of the struggles people are dealing with. Divorces, job losses, and pain leaving to them unable to work, putting their finances, homes, and stability of life at risk. Some single moms struggling to grasp the overwhelming reality of their newer diagnosis and the impacts this has on their family and lives. One younger woman shared many other conditions she faces and that doctors have given her less than a year to live. It is so heartbreaking to see and hear this kind of pain.

I'm glad we went to the group, but it is also hard to see how many years and decades they have been facing daily pain and to see that many are still facing it today. Some have found a life balance to help the symptoms (many end up being a balance of meds), but it was slightly disheartening to see the impact it still has on their daily lives. Even the smallest daily tasks can seem too much to bear with so many symptoms present at the same time. Always trying to see the optimistic side, I have felt as though I will find a balance and I will not let this diminish my life. It's a daily mental battle to endure this pain long term, but having such a supportive family and friends helps me not lose hope. It's been a year now since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and I've gone through a handful of medications to help and am still searching for a balance where the medications' side effects don't make it worse than it was to begin with.

All in all, I am assured I am not alone in this journey. I have a supportive team and the Lord guiding me step by step. It doesn't mean it's easy. I have days it feels like Nick carries it all (and he does so without missing a beat) while I lay down trying to pass through some migraines, pain flares, or fatigue. I cannot let myself worry about future impacts on my work, family, or health and am trying to live looking at one day at a time to avoid being overwhelmed. I have yet to find that balance, but am seeking, reading, and learning what I can to get there as soon as possible. 

Life is a journey for us all. There are good days and bad, but we put one step in front of the other and love those around us seeing joy everywhere possible. 

I had to add a photo with my new necklace from Charming Charlie - I love it:)

We've also been loving the warm weather this weekend- It's been gorgeous and so nice to enjoy the fresh air outside. We were able to soak up the sights of one of Minnesota's beautiful lakes, which is where the photos in this post are from. The snow and ice is melting with all of our warm temps - I'm welcoming Spring with open arms.

I'll also share two songs I've been loving lately. They're encouraging for so many situations people may be facing and I've found a lot of comfort in them lately.

MercyMe: Keep Singing

MercyMe: Beautiful

Easier said than done, but something I'm striving for: 
oh boy.

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