Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Something Wicked This Way Came...

I want my body back. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but somehow I lost control of it and some demon spawn or something is wreaking havoc on me.
About 15 years ago or so, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. For the uninitiated, this is an auto-immune disorder that is characterized primarily by migrating joint pain and sleep loss. They don’t know which comes first: the chicken or the egg—is it the joint pain that disrupts the deep restorative sleep cycles or is it the lack of good solid sleep that causes the joint pain. Either way it’s no picnic; sufferers tend to spend their waking hours in a “Fibro fog.” Oh for the days when I could blissfully sleep for 8—10 hours, dream wonderful things and wake up raring to tackle the day ahead….

Fibromyalgia can also so totally compromise your immune system that you fall prey to every bug that comes down the pike—also exhausting [and a bit depressing]. I have lost track of the colds and stomach viruses that have caused me to miss work and social engagements. Treatment for Fibro is still nebulous at best. It primarily strikes women in the 30—45 age range, but some men have been diagnosed. There is no “cure,” and the ailment is strongly linked with chronic fatigue syndrome. Are ya jealous yet?

Okay, then when I was about 44, I started with night sweats and irregular cycles. So, off I go to my GYN, who chirpily informs me that I am “peri-menopausal” and this could last for 10 years. Ohhh, sign me up!! [As it was, the “factory shut down” about 8 years later—but just to add to the fun, the night sweats have hung around. And I generally wear lots of sleeveless tops with sweaters in the dead of winter to combat the permanent daytime hot flash].

Throughout all of this, I am trying hard to be active and stay in shape, but… well let’s just say “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” After putting in an 8—15 hour day [I worked 2 jobs for 10 years in order to keep my head financially just barely above water], I had absolutely no energy to think, let alone exercise. Then, I went through a very painful and protracted divorce….
Okay, ya still with me??

I start reading health articles and see numerous references to how lack of sleep causes weight gain. Strike one. Then a little while later, I see articles about how stress causes the body to store more fat than it needs. Strike two. And we won’t even go into what menopause does to a lot of women…..

To complete my trifecta of physical fun, I took a nasty fall this past March and damaged the crap out of my left knee. I am still gimping around following surgery—and going to physical therapy twice a week. Needless to say, I can’t even go walking for exercise at this point. I avoid mirrors so I don’t have to see what I look like these days. Fortunately, though, my sense of humor has stayed intact.

But what I keep thinking is: What gods did I piss off to create this storm of physical (and mental) limitations I find myself in? I’m a nice person. I try to do good deeds, I floss. God, I miss the 2 decades post puberty where I had a pretty good figure and could dance and jog—and even do an occasional cartwheel. At this point, I feel my only option would be a trip to Lourdes…. Anybody got any suggestions?

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