I went to the Fibromyalgia support group meeting a few nights ago. I have to say that it's a marvelous group of women. It's nice to be around people that understand what Fibromyalgia does to your body as well as your life. We live with chronic pain. Chronic pain is described as pain that lasts for longer than six months and affects how you go about your daily life.
Putting it more succinctly: You're a prisoner in your own body.
I always took my body for granted. I knew my back would go out a couple times a year and during that period of time I'd be immobile. I'd get a couple of shots and have the chiropractor adjust my spine and I'd be back to life as usual. It was excruciating but I knew it would have an end. Just suck it up, put on your big girl panties and deal with it.
Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate living a life where pain would be my constant companion. Pain has affected my life, relationships, career; everything that meant something to me. Even on my best days where the pain level is very low, it's still there. It takes effort to go on and try to live a somewhat "normal" life. The problem is that this pain is forever. There is no cure for this invisible disease so this is a life sentence.
Knowing and the acceptance of that fact can really screw with your head.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss chronic pain and depression which seem to go hand in hand. I can totally understand that one. There were days that I didn't think that I wanted to deal with this illness any longer. It was a black hole that kept me isolated and down. I didn't have the strength, of mind or body, to deal with it. It was at my worst that I realized that letting go was the way to find my strength.
I can't go back to the way of life I had before the accident. I have come to realize that I will have some level of pain with me all of my life. I now know that there will be those that will never believe the pain and your limitations and there will be those that will look past it and see the person inside. What was interesting to me was talking to some of the women at the meeting. We all look at each other and think the other has it all together. Someone actually said that to me. Me? I have it all together?
Not even close.
I was really intrigued by this couple at the meeting. They had a very powerful and moving story and their use of this kind of feedback seemed very encouraging. I'm so curious that I'd like to have a consultation with them just to see how this works. I'm not sold yet, but very curious. Can chronic pain change the neuro-pathways in the brain and, if so, is neurofeedback a viable option for treatment? I understand that it has generally positive results but I'm a little concerned about fooling around with the brain. There's so much that is unknown yet. If this can change the way the brain functions permanently could there be real adverse side effects if something should not be done correctly?
What it comes down to is that I'm gradually moving into the acceptance phase here. I'm realizing that I can't do anything about the pain but I can manage it. I don't know how it happened but I seem to be at peace with all of this.
Can it be?
Am I really progressing?
I still don't know how it happened but my thoughts seem to be moving in that direction.
Well, at least for today.
Tomorrow may be another story all together.