Acceptance = Strength


     A few weeks ago it was our towns Homecoming week.  Our 7th grader is in the marching band for the first year (and most likely the last). We live in Northern Wisconsin and the weather had turned cold.  The high of the day was 43 degrees.  By the time the game had started the temperature was 32 with high winds making the temperature below zero with the wind chill.

I have never been a winter baby.  I hate the cold.  I have a harder time dealing with it now.

I have not attended a football game in 20+ years.  I dressed for warmth not fashion(which is hard for me to do). I layered with long johns, warm socks, winter coat, gloves, and even a hat. I didn’t realize part of game watching was to bring blankets.  You could tell those parents of the football players. They had blankets to sit on, wrap up in and lay across their legs. Then came the really good news ~ he benches are made of metal.

No matter how many layers I had on – when I sat down I was going to have one cold tush.

I tried very hard to watch the game.  My toes had frozen completely and a few of my fingers as well.  I thought it was going to take forever to get to half-time.

Once it arrived, I thought – Yes, it is almost over.  I suggested to my husband that we walk out of the bleachers and get by the fence where we would have a better view.  Cold, Sore and Stiff from sitting on the bleachers, I made my way down to the fence line.

My luck they had the high school band play first. Standing by the fence line, the wind whipping cold air.  My leg would not stop shaking.  It was uncontrollable and I could not put any weight on it.  The band kept playing…. and still no Middle Schoolers yet.  I got so bad that he said I needed to go to the car.  I needed to warm up.  I refused at first, this was probably going to be the first and last time that we would see her play in the marching band. As the minutes ticked away, I was getting worse.  I finally said I would go to the car.  He walked me back ( I would not have been able to walk back to car by myself).  He said that “you have to start realizing you can’t do everything now”, “some things you can’t do”, I kept telling him over and over again ~ “please, don’t let her know that I missed it”.. repeat, repeat.  Once we got back in the car, he ran back to see her play.  I cried and cried. Then called my Sister.  I told her what happened – she of course agreed with him then calmed me down so my daughter wouldn’t see me such a mess.

After the half time performance, they returned to the car.  My daughter, with an awful attitude because we had not let her stay for the remainder of the game.  She had definitely not dressed for the below zero weather.  My husband had told her that I was in pain and needed to go home.  At that point daughter who 80% of the time is my supporter turned into a lippy teenager.  “have to go home because YOUR in pain”.

The rest of the ride home, the two of them were silent.  I cried more uncontrollably.  Once we were home she was sent to her room.  We set in the car.  I told him I didn’t know if I was so upset because of the pain, the cold, her blunt comment, the realization that there will be things I won’t be able to do, that this is the first time I have missed something because of my health.

This is where I want to stop my feel and scream at the top of my lungs “IT IS JUST NOT FAIR”

I accept that I have Fibro and now 9 of it’s evil sidekicks.  I do my best to be positive and supportive of my fellow Fibromites.  I help others. I always have – It is me.

I follow a strict bedtime.  I watch my nutrition.  I see a Chiropractor, an acupuncturist, swim at a pool.  Do they help?  yes  Does it eliminate the pain? No

If someone were to ask me what is the worst thing about having Fibromyalgia and it’s awful sidekicks.

I would have to say that it is that I at times will have to accept the fact that there will be days that I will need to acknowledge that I have limitations.  I may need to have someone else be the Mom chauffeur,  and I may need days that I am the one that needs support.

Still today, she doesn’t know that I missed the Homecoming performance.  I know someday she will read this entry.  I hope she reads it and understands how much I love her, how much it hurt missing her play on the field and that if she takes anything from this blog – Is that I want her to always try to do her best, to be positive when faced with adversity, and to always know that no one is perfect and everyone has limitations. The true strength is knowing when to accept our limitations.

It  does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to  decide on what to do.Elbert Hubbard

Are you a man or mouse?

Are you a man or mouse?

We were instructed at my job this week to read the booklet – “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. If you have read the story this blog may make more sense to you.
I promise if you keep reading – it relates to “This is my live ~ Surviving Fibromyalgia”.
The opening states that sometimes we act like the 4 characters in the story.
The four characters show how they each react differently to change.
Change is the one thing that is inevitable. Our daily routine of going through the motions make us forget that life is constantly changing around us.
Our initial reaction to change is to resist it because we are afraid of the unknown. Then when change happens, we stress out and react or hide.
It is trying to teach us the following: “Quoted from Dr. Spencer Johnson”

  • Change Happens. They Keep Moving The Cheese
  • Anticipate Change. Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
  • Monitor Change. Smell the Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old.
  • Adapt To Change Quickly. The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese.
  • Change.Move With The Cheese
  • Enjoy Change.Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese

Keep reading – I’ll get there….
Our Employer’s told us to write how this story relates to us and our job.
I had several thoughts:
My smarty pants reply was ”Are they trying to tell me that there is better cheese out there and I should go look for a better and different job with more cheese?”
My written reply was that I have been faced with many work changes over the past few years and that though I am one that does not like change. I have learned to adapt and continue to look for new things that I can do to help my workplace.
I wanted to say that I have always been the Character that stayed put and watched the changes occur around him. I have stayed as I have watched good and bad policies come and go, watched both good and bad employee’s leave, seen friends move on to look for their new cheese. They were like Haw. They too were scared but excited with the new change. I stay because I don’t like change. Fear has been the driving factor most of my life. I like comfort.
I have moved a total of 2 times in my life. I have worked 2 jobs in the last 20 years. I will be at my current job for 19 years this June. It is safe to say that I don’t like change.
If you have not read “Who moved the Cheese”. I encourage you to go online and read it:
After you read the story – Ok… stick with me – Here it is… this really does relate to Fibro.
I could not tell them (my Employers) that while reading the story – I was internally screaming – “This guy is getting paid to write this “Inspirational” story”. While writing and re-writing this – I tried verbally to get my thoughts across. All that I could manage was tears while I was explaining it. I feel so strong about the last paragraph. So upset and frustrated at the hidden illness and struggle that is endured by so many. Don’t get me wrong – I understand the purpose of the story. The past 2 years of my life – I have had to work my way from being a person that resists all change like Hem to strive to being a mouse.
I like my other Fibro Friends have no choice. If we do not react like the mice (searching for something new – willing to adapt) then we will not only become like the Character Hem (not willing to change) but much more worse. We will end up not leaving our homes, we will be swallowed up in our pain and our depression. Fibro and it’s evil sidekicks love to surprise us all the time with new symptoms and new diagnosis. We have to live the story. We have to anticipate not only what could happen in a reaction to what we have done but what we have not done.
We have to be ready to change to not find our cheese but to SAVE OUR SPOONS.