Photo Credits: Wikipedia: Stairway of the Opéra Garnier. (not the stairs I fell on)
I recently decided to start Life in the Fibro Lane blog after much debate and consideration (expecially since I already blog daily at www.kat-collins.com ).
Why, you ask? Good question. Fibromyalgia is such a part of my life now that I can’t deny it or hide it. It affects every facet of my life. But I can not let it define me and I can help others by sharing my experiences.
Let me tell you my story.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2007, two years after a horrible fall down a flight of 20 wooden stairs and a huge amount of emotional turmoil happening in my life at the same time. Combine it all together and it added up to immense pain: physical, emotional, and mental. I had reached a level of despair and physical pain like I had never had before.
That morning, on August 30, 2005, was not how I wanted to start the day. Leaving for work carrying 2 shoulder bags, a cell phone hooked to my hip with an earpiece in my ear, talking to my soul friend, Greta, and a laundry basket full of clothes, I started down the stairs from my apartment.
I lived on the 2nd floor in a one bedroom apartment. The stairs to the main entrance are hardwood floors, about 20 of them. Pretty slick.
Well, about 4 steps down, my foot slid out from under me and I turned head over heels to the bottom (sounds more graceful than what it felt like or I’m sure looked like). All the contents in the basket went flying, the basket broke and gouged my arms a few times leaving some nasty cuts. My flip-flop of the foot that had slid was lying on the step that I slid from and I laid sprawled at the bottom of the steps in agony. Banged my head on the hardwood floor, felt like I had smashed every body part known to man and then some, then blacked out. As I came to, I heard an odd moaning wailing noise. As my foggy brain cleared, I realized it was me making the noise.
Not so much crying, although there were tears, but wailing…a loud, keening cry of terror. I was afraid I had broken something or worse. Thoughts of a snapped neck or spine…protruding bones…confusion of which way was up. My cell phone started ringing, the doorbell began singing…and all I could do was wail, “help me”.
Finally, I grabbed enough courage to answer the cell phone. It was Greta whom I got disconnected from. She was panicked, wondering what happened…I couldn’t answer her completely. I was still disjointed and confused, slowly taking stock of my battered body. Moving limb by limb, assessing the damage. I seemed to be okay. I answered the door…it was the neighbor who had heard me fall (my apartment was part of a duplex…or half a house). He wanted to make sure I was okay. I reassured him, I think I’m alright…I’m moving…nothing seems to be broken. Greta said she was on her way to help me.
A little later, bandaged, iced and reclining on her office couch, I took a deep, shaky breath. Not the way I wanted to start my day. But, I can say that I was grateful…grateful that all I seemed to be was deeply bone-bruised and cut. Everything was relatively intact, but my body was definitely letting me know where I hit the floor and steps.
I thought it was ironic and very symbolic of the way my life seemed to be going at the time, filled with uncertainty, unstable paths. Yet, I arrived at the bottom of the steps whole and in one piece, albeit deeply bruised and sore. A reminder to myself that even though I was beaten, wounded, bruised and I felt like I wasn’t going to make it at times…I came out the other side…with reminders of my battles, but nonetheless, still whole and in one piece.