When my rheumatologist sat down, took a deep breath and asked me how my childhood was, I thought he’d lost the plot. “Well,” I answered, “Good, really. Mum, Dad, Brother, Pets. I was happy. I was a bright kid. Parents stayed together til I was 16. Nothing mega.” I almost asked why but then I realised where he was going with this. The same way my psychiatrist went back in 2009 when he verbally pinned me to the wall asking me repeatedly “Were you abused as a child Helen, tell me, you need to tell me.” His secretary tried to hold my hand. How many times did I have to tell this crack-pot “NO” before he’d get the picture. I thought I was the mentally ill one. Anyway the rheumatologist clarified that he was wondering the very same thing as the overbearing psychiatrist. The look on his face clarified that he, too, didn’t believe me. What the hell did this all have to do with being tired and in pain all of the time?
Well apparently, it is believed by some that Fibromyalgia is ’caused’ by some significant trauma, either physical or emotional. It could be something that happened during childhood and has brewed deep within for years, only to rear it’s ugly head once you’re an adult. It could be the result of a motor vehicle accident, a spinal injury, the unexpected death of a loved one. All something to do with long term exposure to certain stress chemicals within the body causing changes inside your noggin. But this is all theory.
It was suggested to me by my rheumatologist that I figure out what traumatic event led to me developing fibromyalgia, and I should “deal with it.” Right. Erm? Hmph.
What exactly is one supposed to do armed with that pearl of wisdom? I’ve been wracking my tired little brain.
- Minor whiplash
- A few sprained ankles
- Bipolar disorder – currently well managed
- Death of loved ones – happens to everyone
- Mother/brother kidney swap (transplant)
I’m afraid I can’t see exactly what he’s on about. Unless of course the bipolar disorder is something to do with it, although the rheumatologist didn’t seem to think there’d be a link – anyway that’s hardly something I can just “deal with.” It is dealt with, I’m medicated and getting on with my life. So why, when everything in life was going swimmingly did this beast sneak up on me and wipe it’s arse on it all?
I was the happiest I’d been in…as long as I can remember. I was living in the back of a van in outback Australia and having the time of my life. Life; I was full of it. I was exhilarated by it all. I’d found a purpose and a drive and I went to bed every night absolutely dying to jump out of it again the next morning. I was so so happy. So why did fibromyalgia choose then? What stress chemicals caused that? If some aspect of my life was so traumatic that my body chose to respond by sending me into chronic pain and fatigue (a ridiculous response if you ask me) then why did it kick off at that specific point? I don’t get it.
In fact – I don’t believe it. I think it is complete bullshit. I refuse to believe that some responsibility lies within me to “deal” with something. What ‘something’? Am I being blamed here for my bipolar disorder, for my fibromyalgia? Sorry, am I not “dealing” with things correctly. That’s exactly what I need when already trying to cope with an exhausting, debilatating condition – blame.
Do you know what? I have dealt with everything negative in my past, I’ve dealt with it all. I’ve accepted everything, moved on. That’s why I’m half way around the world trying to live the life I want to. The only thing stopping me, the only thing getting in my way, is Fibromyalgia. So please Mr Rheumy, you deal with it.