Did you ever play with string cheese as a child? The fun was pulling it apart and watching as the cheese tear into strips. The day I walked into my doctor’s office I used string cheese to describe what my muscles felt like every time I moved. My doctor has kids so I knew he would immediately get a mental image of what I was feeling. My joints were on fire, my muscles were paying me back for every dance step I had ever taken during my 2 decades of performing but felt like they were ripping apart every time I moved, the headaches were increasing, I was almost bordering on being narcoleptic due to how exhausted I was, suddenly I found myself having no memory at all, the increasing pain in my abdomen was just getting to be too much and it was starting to feel like breathing was too painful to be necessary; welcome to a day of living with Fibromyalgia.
Although I was happy to find out what I was up against, I was heartbroken to hear that there is currently no end to the pain and exhaustion as no one knows how to completely make it stop. However, I had a choice to make…sit on the sofa and let it take over my life or start the battle and refuse to give up. I chose the latter and the uphill battle has been challenging but very rewarding. Just recently I started to fall back into what I like to call a “fibro-funk” and slowly let the dark cloud try to pull me back in. It has taken me a few weeks to see through the fog, but I woke up today and realized that I need to remember why I chose to battle against this.
On the day of my 25th birthday I ran my very first 5K. I did it just to prove to myself that I could and told myself I would take on a farther run in the near future. Well here I am, three years down the road, and I never completed that challenge I gave myself. It’s time to shake off the fog and set my sites on a goal once again. I’ve decided that I am going to start training again so I can once again complete a 5K and now take on a half marathon this coming spring. I have no goal race time in mind as just completing the race in one piece is what I strive for. In my world, where there are challenges just trying to get up off the sofa to get something to drink, completing a half marathon is an amazing accomplishment. I hope this means that I’ll continue to push myself so that the year I turn 30 I can hopefully take on a full marathon or maybe a bicycle race.
I plan to raise money for Fibromyalgia research during my runs as they are still searching for what causes this and until they discover that the chances of finding a cure are slim and fleeting. There is so little they know about the cause, symptoms experienced and treatment. I know that October is the month that we all focus on “saving the ta-ta’s” since, as my mother pointed out in one of her blog entries, it has a much catchier slogan. However, I am a perfect example of how the awareness of Fibromyalgia is slim. It’s time for me to contribute to the answers I demand on an almost daily basis and this is how I have decided to do it. I’ll be donning my purple, the official color for Fibromyalgia awareness, both in my clothes and the color of my face by the time I finish these races but it will be worth it every step of the way. In January Matt and I will be taking on a 5K and debuting as team “D.W.A.R.F.F. Awareness” and then a half marathon in February. We’ll be “Dancing, Walking And Running For Fibromyalgia Awareness” in 2012 and I hope that you’ll chose to support us on our endeavors.