I became ill at the end of 1995, my diagnosis came in the fall of 1996 and I started living a life out of bed in the spring of 1997. I made changes in my life to maximize my physical, mental, and spiritual health. I slowly added more things to my life, but only the important things. I didn’t have room or energy in my life for things that were’nt essential. I learned to say “NO”, a very helpful skill for anyone with chronic illness! I found ways to handle the bad times and flare ups, which were many. Sometime around the year 1999, I started with the pain of fibromyalgia on top of the CFS. Many of the symptoms overlap so it all just runs together, but I have had to deal with both.
I don’t have enough space to tell you everything that transpired in my life from then until now, but here’s the highlights: I went back to school and got my Master’s Degree. I enjoyed part time employment as a private piano and voice lesson teacher. I fell in love with singing opera and had quite a few professional gigs before I started having my babies in 2002. I had five kiddos in a span of 6 ½ years, including a set of twins. Pregnancy agreed with me and my symptoms of CFS and fibro were greatly reduced during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This may be a BIG reason I wanted to have so many kids in such a short time! The sleepless nights waking up with infants is what about killed me, but I have lived to tell about it. : )
I am currently a stay at home mom. I love it and I wouldn’t change it, but running a household of seven is a 24/7 exhausting job. It would be for anyone, but for one who has CFS and fibro it is HARD! I couldn’t handle working outside the home even if I wanted to. My body would never allow that much stress and energy output – I’d probably end up back to being bed ridden. I grieve the fact that I will never have a career outside the home. Illness would never allow that, even during the good times. I had such great ambitions too, but I accept that God knows best and perhaps He will allow me to fulfill my passions in less stessful ways.
I have learned over the years what sets my body into a flare up and I try to avoid it. I’ve discovered many ways to help my bad days improve. (Tuesday Tips) I have grieved and still do grieve a picture of the way my life could have been or would have been without illness. I have accepted that I will be ill for the rest of my life unless a cause/cure is known. I find ways all the time to improve my quality of life and I won’t give up seeking answers. I take care of myself and try to stay educated on the latest CFS and fibromyalgia research. I take one day at a time.
This has been my journey. It’s been long and hard, but I have had the loving support of my husband and family through the whole thing. Not everyone is blessed enough to have that. I hope through this blog I can share ways that God has shown Himself to me and given me peace. I will share with you what inspires me and I hope it provides encouragement to you. I want to embrace the life I’ve been given and live it fully as it was intended, even with illness. This life is full of bumps and course changes along the way, but one thing remains constant and that is the mercy, grace, and love of my Saviour, Jesus Christ.