I am normally not a very emotional person and I don’t cry a lot. My son and I were just talking about crying the other week and I told him that it was okay to cry and he said, “But mom, you don’t cry”. I told him I have cried and I do cry sometimes, I’m just not the type of person who cries often or who cries frequently. I also am the type of person who pretty much keeps my emotions to myself and on the occasions where I have felt the need to cry, I will go off somewhere alone, cry, and try not to do it around others. The very rare occasions where I have cried in front of others where I wasn’t able to control my emotions (with the exceptions of funerals, weddings, and those types of events), I felt totally out of control and those occurrences were completely out of character for me and I would feel completely embarrassed for them afterward.
This is one of the main reasons I write this blog – so that I have an outlet because I am not verbally able to express how I feel often and I know that not getting out those feelings and emotions is not healthy and further can add to my health problems. Probably the one area in my life that I have shed tears over the most has been grieving over my health. I think every time I experience a period of time where I am doing really well for a while and then I have a relapse, it is like being slapped with the diagnosis all over again. I had this hit me yesterday when I was at my doctor’s appointment. As hard as I tried, and with as sick as I’ve been, the tears just started flowing at the doctor’s office and I couldn’t get them to stop.
I went back to the doctor’s office because my sinus infection and symptoms have not improved any since I went to see her last week and she confirmed that my:
- ears were still just as full of fluid and mucus.
- my head and nose were still full of sinus pressure.
- my throat still had the signs of a lot of sinus drainage.
I found out that my urine test came back sterile so I do not have a bladder infection – it is indeed an Interstitial Cystitis flare. She also confirmed (which I already knew) that my other symptoms were definitely a CFS relapse and Fibromyalgia relapse. When I was talking to her about my flares and symptoms, I broke down in tears. You would think that after being sick for so long that I would be used to these flares by now but the truth is, you never, ever get used to feeling so totally helpless and so totally out of control of your life. Crying to the doctor may help relieve some of the stress I feel from being chronically ill, but there wasn’t anything she could for me for the flares. She gave me some really strong antibiotics (she called them “big guns”) for the sinus infection but the only thing she could tell me to do was to “go home and rest”.
I told her that up until December, I had gotten to a point where I had struck a balance with work, exercise and stress levels, and diet where I was handling everything pretty well and my health was improving. Then when my husband lost his job, everything went haywire and I’ve went downhill since.
I explained to her that now I feel like I don’t have the choices I had before when my husband was still working. If I was flaring, I could take off work and financially I wouldn’t have to worry about it. But now I feel like I can’t miss work and that I have to push myself even though it is almost impossible because we need the money. I’m fighting a losing battle right now and there is no way I’m going to get any better unless I have time to recover but I can’t miss work because we need the income coming in. Our financial responsibilities have increased dramatically over the past year and our income has decreased dramatically and it has just been a very stressful situation all around.
My options are limited because of my illnesses and there is only so much I can do in a day. I’ve spent the past three days, with the exception of going to the doctor, doing nothing but sleeping and trying to get over the flare and I still feel no better than what I did. CFS is even more stubborn than I am and it refuses to leave until it is good and ready. It’s hard to tell how long the flare will be here.
But while I am flaring, I need to try and focus on all of the good days I have had over the past months and remember all of the fun I’ve had with my son and husband. Those times are priceless and those memories can’t be taken from me. I need to focus on the good things in my life, focus on what I can do, and be thankful that I am still not as sick as a lot of people are with ME/CFS. At least I am not stuck in bed every single day of my life. Maybe I needed that breakdown at the doctor’s office so that I would have this breakthrough in my life!