Friday, January 2, 2015

New & Old Transition {& a fibro update}

I usually don't get really into the new year reflections, goal setting, etc. This year, though, I really truly think great things are happening and I want to set goals to work on and set attainable steps for myself to achieve my goals. If you want something, go for it! I've been processing the past year and getting excited about what 2015 may hold. 

2014 was a key year for me, and I achieved a BIG goal I had set for myself and really honestly, had no idea when I would achieve it. It's getting off prescriptions I was taking for fibromyalgia. A year ago, I was taking I think 8 meds (most daily) for fibro. I still wasn't feeling well, and felt helpless following the doctor's plan for me. It hit me last spring when I was at my doctor's office and she had no new ideas. She said I was taking what she would have me take, and though I still had chronic pain, chronic headaches, chronic fatigue, etc., she said to call her back in a month or two with an update on how I'm doing. Well, since she didn't change anything, nothing would change. That was my moment when I loudly told myself I'm in charge of this journey (not my doc), and she doesn't understand the impact these symptoms have on my daily life. I was determined more than ever to find a natural homeopathic doc to help me transition OFF my RXs, and find something natural to help. Even just getting off the prescriptions would get me back to my baseline, to see how I feel without meds for the first time in 3 years. 

The naturopath I saw helped me review my diet, make changes (I noted many of those changes here), and helped me realize I was taking ALL of those meds, with all the symptoms I started with. Only now, I had high blood pressure issues, and didn't know which symptoms were from me, or the meds anymore. Just about every med had fatigue as a side effect, which made me question my growing chronic fatigue - was I getting worse, or the meds adding to it?

As a young person with chronic (nonstop) pain, headaches, fatigue, etc., I wasn't living my life. I was surviving it. I was getting through each day - trying my best to be great at work, and was laying low (in bed, on the couch) most nights and weekends. So many depressing seasons. I also knew how much Nick helped me, but inside I know deep down it's not fun for him to take care of his seemingly 80-yr old wife when most our age are living their lives. It just felt like mine was paused, and I was trying to tiptoe around my pain to not fall into a flare. I lived in fear of a flare a lot, not wanting to push myself too much and wind up in bed for a few days. 

Some of these things, I still deal with to some degree. My fibro is not gone, but I've entered a new phase. One where I'm feeling a bit more control over it, and less a victim to it. Part of it is getting off the meds. A huge goal I accomplished. I did it! After not being in control for so long, I did something I wanted to do for me. I realized I wasn't getting anywhere with the path I was on, so I changed it. That was huge for me in itself. I continue to journal, pray and lift this to the Lord, I'm just taking active steps myself now. 

I can now say, my pain comes and goes (but it goes!), my headaches come and go (which means I don't CONSTANTLY have a headache!). The fatigue is still there - I don't really get breaks from that. I wake tired, go throughout the day tired, and am tired at night. Still exploring that one. 

All that to say, 2014 was a pretty empowering year for me. Now that I've made progress, I know I can accomplish goals, achieve things I set my mind to. That's what makes starting a new year exciting this time. 

I will say, after seeing the naturopath last year, I started by taking off 1 prescription (tapered it off to reduce side effects from getting off it). I told myself I'd see how it went, but getting off 1 would be great. After adjusting to that balance for a few weeks, I'd do the same with another. It was really baby steps. I did 1 at a time and throughout the process, I didn't know for certain I was getting off all of them - I just knew I was taking one step at a time. Goals can be that way, and are probably more achievable, when we break them up into little pieces. It's easier to table one small step every few weeks, than a huge overwhelming goal. 

Cheers to setting goals and achieving them, friends! You can do this. 

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