Phrases I hate!

I have always been a rather independent femalepouty girl.

Okay, that is a nice way of saying that I am stubborn.

The phrase ~I can do it myself!” has left my mouth on more than one occasion.

I have always offered help to others and reminded them again and again to ask for help if they need it.

I have accepted the fact that every day will be different.

I will not know the level of pain or energy that I will have day to day let alone hour by hour.

The other day at home I was in a flare.

Sitting in my chair watching TV and instead of getting up for a glass of water,

“Would you get me a glass of water?”waiter

Later, I heard myself again asking

“Could you get me an ice-pack?”

After the third time I thought how much I hated hearing myself ask those questions.

       “Can you help me a minute?” 

Will you do me a favor?” “Would you get me…?”

At work recently, I noticed that I had asked someone to slow down when giving me credit card numbers.

My brain doesn’t process things as fast as it once did.

In order to file in my bottom file drawers at work I need to sit on the ground.  It hurts too much to bend over for the amount of time it takes.  So, when I sit down on the floor I need to be sure I have a hard chair next to me or else, I need to ask someone for an arm.

It bothers me enough that I have to wait until I see someone free and ask for the help but I also need to teach them how to do it.  The arm needs to be extended out and held stiff so that I can lay my arm on top of it and use it to push myself up.

How does one learn to ask for help?

We start out as infants needing someone to do everything for us.  Almost immediately they begin teaching us to be independent.  I remember how proud I was when my Daughter could feed herself, take her first steps, tie her own shoes.  I have been told that parents love it when their children can drive and take themselves places.  I can’t imagine I will ever be happy about that I love our time spent going from place to place we have the best conversations.

It doesn’t take long for the phrase to come out of a childs mouth “I can do it”.  Teen years arrive and there is no way we want anyone to see us with our parents helping us.  We want to do everything by ourselves.

“You can do anything, but not everything.”  —David Allen

I have worked at nursing homes and have had plenty of aging relatives to know what happens.  As we age, we revert back to the start of our lives.  After spending our entire lives to be independent, we have to swallow our pride and allow others,  sometimes complete strangers do things for us as personal as getting dressed, eating and using the bathroom.

“The strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it.”- Rona Barrett, columnist and businesswoman.

I think it is something that we take for granted that we won’t reach that stage in our lives until we had reached a “certain age”.

We don’t think that at 40, 30, 20 years of age we will be needing to ask someone to help them get us out of a chair, lift something from the shelf at the grocery store, help position us (with heathing pads, ice packs, pillows) correctly to go to sleep, helps us remember to take our medication and the list goes on and on…..

“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent.
It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.”-Anne Wilson Schaef

I think this quote really explains it.  We have to be honest with ourselves.  It takes strength to ask for help.  We can’t do this alone.  It really does ultimitately come down to our own inner strength but we also have to be strong enough to know when we need to ask for help emotionally and physically.

I am a Fibro Warrior ~ Living Life!
warrior

Phase ~ What?

I belong to several online support groups & pages.  It is getting easier for me to tell by the questions people ask what Phase they are in or how long they have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  I like that no matter what phase we are in we can offer help to others.

By now, you are probably saying WTH is this girl talking about?  We haven’t seen anything about Phases.  Well, you are right.  It’s something that I have thought about for quite some time.  I believe that their are 4 phases that we hopefully will go through on our journey through Fibro land.   If we are lucky we will have the support from Family & Friends to reach and stay in Phase 4.

Phase I ~ Tests, Tests & More Tests

Every Fibromite reaches a point when we have to find out why we have been enduring the pain, headaches, depression, and exhaustion.  We undergo blood tests, body scans, and a long list of Doctor appointments.  After each test we hear the same thing from Doctors, Family & Friends that “It’s all in your head” & “There is nothing wrong with you”.

This phase can take years sometimes most of your life to get through Phase I.

After finally finding a Doctor willing to look at the whole picture ~ we are diagnosed.

Phase II ~ Acceptance

Once diagnosed we and the others around us need to accept the fact that the pain and tiredness we have been experiencing is never going away.  We have to accept the possibility of what other symptoms and evil sidekicks may develop.  Most importantly we need to accept that our lifestyle will need to change.  We may not be able to do everything that we want or have been doing.

Phase III ~ Education

We need to first educate ourselves.  The internet gives us access to unlimited information.  Personal blogs and online support groups allow opportunities to see you are not alone, to ask questions, get suggestions and ideas.  We need to do research – to keep looking for what might work in helping manage our symptoms/evil sidekicks.  Next, we need to educate those around us. We need to try and describe how we feel in ways that others will understand and what we need for them to do to help us not just daily but when we are experiencing a flare.

Phase IV ~ Living with Fibromyalgia

We should all strive to reach and stay in Phase 4.  Phase 4 to me means looking at life from a positive approach.  To be accepting of what I can and can’t do, that I will have good & bad days, that there will be some things I won’t be able to do and somethings I will have to do.  Also, I feel it means we choose to be as positive as possible.  We need to not give up, to continue to learn and try new forms of treatment, adjust activities and surroundings so that we can continue to Live life.

I am a Fibro Warrior – Living Life