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    Coming to terms...
    Nortter posted:
    I am styruggling with acceptance. I am a 49 year old Nurse and have been "officially" diagnosed with FMS for about 2 years, but associated symptoms have been present several years prior to that. I also have advanced Degenerative Disk Disease and recently had two lumbar disc surgeries within a 9 month period. My last surgery was May, 2010 and I have not been able to work since then. I have a really great physician who has been helpful and supportive. He has encouraged me to work towards acceptance--of my physical limitations and who I am now. I am mourning the loss of my career / profession, my previous ability to be available to all of those that I love (husband, parents, children, grandchildren, in-laws). My husband is now the sole provider and does most of the household duties. I don't know what my purpose in life is anymore. If anyone out there can offer me any insight or recommendations, I would truly appreciate it. Thanks.
    xperky responded:
    Hi Nortter,

    I too had to find a new identity years ago. I was too ill to keep my career as an engineer and felt devastated. It took some time and a whole lot of patience, but I finally found joy in new things, and value in what I could do. It's all about letting go of the old identity and creating a new, even better, one.

    I feel for you. Try to find joy in the little things. I imagine the FMS is making things difficult also. I was just diagnosed with it a couple weeks ago, and have been struggling with it for at least two years.

    Each day is a test but also a new beginning.

    annette030 responded:
    I don't have any magic wands, just keep on plugging away and you will find a new life. I am an RN also, and had to stop working back in 1998 due to FMS, I went through a terrible depression. I was suicidal for months. I finally used a book called "Feeling Good" by Dr. David burns, MD that my therapist told me about when I moved away.

    I found various types of volunteer work to do, that made me feel productive again. When I stopped volunteering as a nurse at a free clinic, I could no longer maintain my license in Oregon, as they do it by working so many hours every five years. However, I found myself unable to give up nursing entirely. So, I got my license back in Calif. where I was originally licensed. They do re-licensing by continuing education hours, I enjoy doing that. I subscribe to several nursing journals. Who knows maybe someday the research people will find a cure or a reliable treatment for FMS and we can both go back to work.

    Meanwhile, do what you can do, volunteer somewhere, somehow. Find a therapist if you can and/or try cognitive behavioral therapy. I have not been depressed since I read that book and started using their techniques. Even with FMS, and my son being deployed three times. Life is good.

    Take care, Annette
    angelswife responded:
    Hi Nortter,
    I understand, as I have been dealing with the same thing. I was just dxed in November, and I own a landscaping business. I am not sure yet how I will be able to handle the work this year, but I know I will have to work differently.

    I find it helpful to look at what I AM able to do and to celebrate that. Sometimes these things seem small in comparison to the "old" me, but they are still important. They tell me that all is not lost, although sometimes it may feel like it is.

    Also, I sit down every day and write a list of everything I am grateful for and all the good things that happened in my day. This keeps me from focusing solely on what I am no longer able to do. My life may be different, but there is still a lot of good in it.

    There will be a time of grief, and it is important to honor this. Having Fibro is a life-altering event. But you are still the same person inside and can love those around you as much as ever. That is one thing the Fibro can't touch.

    Good luck---you are in my thoughts. Please keep coming and posting. Sharing your experiences helps the rest of us too.
    fibroinsd responded:
    Hello and sorry you are dealing with all this..

    We have had several nurses on here...such as Annette...that have found what they did just too exhausting, but have found other ways to do things. One friend got a job doing research work...or something like that...more of an office job...and people like Annette are always so valuable here, for the good advice they give, as they understand the condition so much better than I.

    I do hope you will read the section to the right, called tips and toolbox has ideas of things that can help you. I also hope you have had your vitamin D checked. Please do realize that taking care of ourselves is important...making sure we are getting the right vitamins, exercise...or at least stretching.., and rest...There are medications that can help, but some of us have found we prefer to use vitamins.

    Please ask questions here anytime...and use this as a support group...

    Let's put the fun back in dysfunctional !- Mary Englebright
    elizabeth1304 responded:
    I wish the perfect words were in my brain to make it all better but you and I both know that isn't the case. I am 50 years old and have been diagnosed 14 years and still try to make sense of my life. I would love to volunteer but I feel I cannot be "counted on" anymore. Getting out of bed and moving around hurts and it goes from there. I live a somewhat normal life with my husband being sole provider. I am on Social Security Disability but that is much, much less than what I could make as a fashion buyer. I miss my old life but so thankful to be alive. I have a 19 year old son and a 14 year old daughter and I want to be here for them. My mother died when I was 10 years old so I know the HUGE void it leaves. My son is in college and presently living at home and my daughter, well, she is the one my painful body moves for. I have to look at it as "I am doing my best" but my house stays messy ALOT and I can no longer have the luxury of a housecleaner. To be honest, we rarely speak about FM. I have to say he does and yet doesn't get it. He knows I am in pain but he is sick of it also. I felt very detached when I had to stop working. People went on doing it all and I felt I hit a major roadblock! I promise you this much: you will find a "new" way. Something and somehow. I do not have alot of support but whether you do or don't, you find a path. This is a fantastic support group and whether you post daily or monthly, FMer's are reading and responding. I am just trying to keep it real. Telling you all will be well etc., etc, etc., is just a plain lie. Adjusting is what I say about it. Best of luck. Also, about the disc, I had my second surgery in October. Mine are in my neck but have lumbar disease. Wonder sometimes if it doesn't somehow go together?
    Take care
    Beth in AL
    Dollbug responded:
    Hello Nortter.....and welcome....MiMi in NC.....I am one of the oldie goldies here who hang around and offer a bit of my experience and what I know about the wrath of the dragon, which is a very ugly and mean illness....I will also tell you that there is something out there that will also help you cope better....but it is NOT EASY to find....anything you try takes a "trial and error process" ....there are no quick must allow at least 6-8 weeks of whatever you decide to try...
    and since we are all different....what helps one may or may not help another....but you will certainly know when you have found something that helps you....I promise...

    With that being said....I would also encourage you to be sure and get your Vitamin D level checked....this is a simple blood test...but you MUST ASK the doctor to check it it is not (YET) included in the normal bloodwork that the doctors do...but it is so very important for a lot of people....low Vitamin D can cause additional pain for a lot of us...

    I also hope that you will learn all you can about FM...the more you know...the better you will figure out what you need to do to cope better with can start right here by checking out the info under "Tips" and "Resources" to the right of this sure and include "member toolbox" and "nutrition and vitamins"....

    I am one of the FMers here who has learned how to "control my FM pain" by taking vitamins and supplements...I tried different medications but did not find anything that really helped me without causing side effects...and personally, I did not need another thing to deal with...

    I do take Prestiq for depression...each and every day...but this is the only prescription that I take....other that this...I take Magnesium and Malate Combination supplements, Omegas, Super B Complex, Vitamin D, I do have other health issues...and I also use other things as well..

    I try to watch what I eat...doing some stretching and gentle exercises, use heating pad when needed....stopain spray if I can not get the pain to ease....and I take a hot shower at night with lavender bath salts....which help my body to relax so that I can sleep...

    Sleep is so very important to us...and I have not been able to sleep in a bed since 2005.....I have a brand new recliner though and we have become best friends recently....(catnapper brand...and it can NOT be beat)

    So....I am sure that you, too, will try different things that others use....and you will find something that will help you too...

    We, FMers, all have a purpose in life....and we must keep on keeping on....

    I hope you will post often, ask questions, make comments and/or suggestions....

    Take care and good luck...

    IN GOD WE TRUST....MAY GOD BLESS AND GUIDE AMERICA.... My personal exchanges are Vitamin D and Pain and Wrath of the Dragon....if you care to visit..
    wendogal responded:
    Hello Nortter,

    Welcome!!! I am going through the exact issues as you are. I am 45yrs old. A LPN who is now on disability. I have FM, DDD with cervical spinal stenosis and disc herniations and BPD. I was first diagnosed w/FM after having Lyme's Disease 13 years ago. After that severe bout of fm, I was able to resume my life w/minimal changes. However, after going thru some major emotional issues following a divorce, my fm hit me with a huge blast of pain. Between my back problems and the fm, the last year has been awful. In May, I was unable to walk...had PT and was again walking with a walker. I am now walking on my own. I am slowly getting better physically which has left me what?

    I have been doing so much soul searching. But, I am starting to realize that the person I was is not who I am now. But, that is ok. I am now searching for a new church. I am planning on doing volunteer work with the homeless. I dont know exactly what God has instore, but I am just following his lead.

    In the meantime, I do research and get on the boards. My fibro fog is very severe. I will read something and then forget. So, I just keep reading and talking here and try to absorb what I can. The people on here are wonderful.

    You will find your purpose. I will find mine. Your career was just a part of you. It can be utilized by volunteering. It will just be a little different. (easier on your back too). Focus on one day at a time. Each day gets a bit brighter, bringing you closer to whatever is instore for the next step in your journey. Good luck.
    Gentle hugs, support and inspiration!!!! God bless America, God bless us all. Wendy
    hopein2009 responded:
    Hi Nortter,

    I am an RN and have been a nurse for 14 years. I was diagnosed with FM officially 2 years ago but was suffering for a few years before that. I understand how you feel. When you are a nurse it is not just a job it is who you are. I am 41 and have many years left to work before I can retire. I am the main breadwinner in my family and my job provides good insurance that my husband and I need.

    At this time, my husband is not working as he is trying to get his SSI. He has severe DJD in his entire spine and many other painful conditions due to years of working construction work. He is also Bipolar and he struggles with this also daily. So we are a pair! Two people living in pain at a relatively young age. So you see, I cannot be off work for a long period of time.

    That is not to say that I have not made some changes in order to make life easier for me. I went back to night shift because the workload was easier and the stress level is so much less. I had gotten to the point that dayshift was KILLING me. We could have a patient ratio of 7:1 and we do direct patient care. Or I would be in charge with noone at the desk to answer phones or call lights. I would leave at the end of the day with my brain fried and my FM flaring so bad that I it would take my whole two days off to recover enough to go back for more!

    I applied for FMLA so I am allowed 16 hours a week to call in when I don't feel well and it doesn't count against me. This has helped as well as going to night shift. I still struggle with the pain and and extreme fatigue. My plan is to continue with my education so I can leave floor nursing and work as a FNP. I am curently working on my Master's. But sometimes the stress of school along with work makes for a hard time, I have a good doctor who has me on a good regime of medication that is helping to keep the worst flares under control. My house is a mess most of the time, but hey no one comes over often anyway! I only have one child left at home and he will be 18 and starting his senior year of high school next year. My daughter is 19 and going to college and has her own apartment. My oldest is 21 and has a good job and has been living on his own with his girlfriend for 2 years. So the issue of kids is no longer as sressful as it once was.

    You will have a time of mourning who you were and who you are now. That's ok and it has to happen. Anyone who has major health problems has to go through this. Keep reading here and any other info about FM. Understanding it is key to living with it, we all have different ways of coping but coming here to a place where everyone understands and will support you 100% is very comforting. You can ask questions or just vent and we wil listen and comfort you.

    I wish you luck on your journey and I will pray for God to comfort you in your hour of need.

    Lisa in WV
    NeNe_11 responded:
    I am also struggling with accepting this plight called Fibromyalgia. It has caused life of uncertainty & insecurity. There are more struggles with this illness(both physicalyl & mentally) than I can even list here but I can tell you that the only thing that gets me through each & every day is putting my life in Christ's hands. Serving others-focusing on others needs-staying positive helps me not to dwell on my pain.

    I thank & praise God for giving me the strength to get through each & every day & for giving me a sense of peace & assurance in His promise of protection & everlasting peace.
    God Bless
    Booch007 responded:
    Good morning,
    What a statement. I am no closer to coming to terms with this dragon then when I started. I have learned how to walk the walk though. Dr P has a great line of "Arms stay home" that is my mantra now and had been without knowing it......

    I was an ICU Nurse for my whole career. The charge nurse, not a clipboard carrier, in the trenches. But I had to leave, pain is a great motivator...I had started finding alternative physical the med cart vs. the CPR and chest (ugh)....

    I now work with my attendings in their office and look for blessings eachday. I alternate my muscle groups but I also cross the line and get into trouble. My meds and distraction are what gets me through. I think Annette's volunteer idea is great, you chose your pace. I worked in Hospice too when I ended up hurt and I volunteered with them for a short bit. GOOD brain food. doing good for another comes back to you twice. There were times I had trouble driving in in the morning but once are in the ZONE and I have less pain and I move more then if I was home.

    This is the hardest thing I and you probably have ever fought. BUT fight you must. we must get up...stretch, warm the muscles, drink our water, take our meds and try to have a life.

    A new life......I often will come out with "I hate you" and the dragon hears me. I apologize to my husband that I am sorry this has happened...BUT it is what it is.

    I am dealing with this 15 years now. I consider it "Groundhog Day" I make headway and get younger as the day goes on...then if I nap or go to bed...I have to start all over again, like Ground Hog day (the movie).

    Because I work still, I have a grounding. If you can get a hobby, projects or something that adds to your value in your will get better inside. You are so important to the people in your life.

    I still get lows, bad lows at time. Pain can pull you into the dark side. I give it 2 days and then push to get out in the sun and up in spirit......always a fight going on.

    I am hoping to never accept that this is it. I adjust and try things all the time to tweak it to be better. I just lost 50lbs and that wasn't an answer to help the pain...I just fold up better... :) In fact it was a trigger of more muscle congestion with all the fat breakdown debris ! But that has quieted a bit.

    Stay here on the board....use their shoulders to help you through the rough times. CRY here and YELL here...that is what it is for. Gentle hugs to you and good luck, Nancy B

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