Quick question; what were you doing last Tuesday? Don’t worry if you don’t know or can’t remember. Those of you who can remember, what were you doing four Tuesdays ago? I have no idea what I was doing and whether you know or not is not the point of this piece. For those of you with good memories so far, one last question, what were you doing 365 days ago?
If it was your birthday, anniversary or other significant date then you are disqualified, anybody else know the answer? Sometimes I can’t remember what I did last Friday but I will never forget Tuesday May 31st, 2011. The memories of that day aren’t good so I think I’ll have to get married on that date to override the bad associations that day has for me!:)
I’m not trying to make too big a deal of today but I do think it’s important for me to acknowledge what happened and hopefully continue to move forward. I already had a diagnosis of fibromyalgia but I was still working and getting on with my life as best as I could this time last year. As a result of pushing myself too hard, I had a fairly serious seizure (what seizure isn’t serious?) 365 days ago.
It happened in the bar while I was on duty and not only did I scare the crap out of myself, I did the same to the other barmen and the owner who was also there. If I do something wrong, I make sure I do it right! A couple of people with fibromyalgia who I have met since then, have said that they have also had some seizures but it doesn’t seem to be an overly common symptom of fibro but maybe you know different?
I had two seizures in 3 months last year but the first one 365 days ago really scared me. When my mates told me afterwards that my eyes had rolled back in my head and I was unresponsive, I realised how awful it must have been for them. Strangely enough I didn’t notice that at the time, I had bigger things on my mind at the time like an inability to turn my head or speak.
As I said I don’t think this is too common with fibro fighters but if it is then I know what you guys are going through. I had very little knowledge of fibro before this day last year but ever since I have devoured information and research pieces on fibro to educate myself on what is happening to my body. I have a much better understanding of fibro now but every single day throws up a new challenge or obstacle to be overcome and, no more than in life generally, we have to keep evolving and learning about ourselves and the world around us.
Life has changed immeasurably in the last 365 days. Writing this piece today it feels like only yesterday but I know in some of my darker times in the past year, a day has felt like an eternity of pain and suffering. Pain and fatigue are massive issues but the rollercoaster of emotions we put our bodies through can’t be forgotten either.
I think I’m actually a better person now than I was a year ago before being humbled by the effects of fibro. If there is a silver lining to be found then that has to be it. I have always felt close to my immediate and extended family but fibro has given us the opportunity to share our feelings and emotions better than ever before. My friends and colleagues have stood up and helped me immeasurably and in allowing them to support me I have become closer to them too.
Then there are my new friends. Building a network of people around me who understand exactly what I’m going through and have been there themselves has been fantastic. It’s sad to see so many people, particularly around my age and younger, going through difficulties but at least by meeting each other we all now know we are not alone.
I started off this piece feeling pretty down about today (I know it’s only the 29th but the 31st was a Tuesday last year) but I think I’m changing my view on it the more I write. In the past year I have learnt about myself, learnt about life, learnt about overcoming difficulties, learnt about welcoming the support and help of others, in fact I have probably learnt more about myself as a person in the last year than any single year before.
Tuesday May 31st, 2011 was a nightmare day for everyone who was involved. It stopped me in my tracks and forced me to pay more attention to what was going on in my body. I learnt tips and tools to help me out physically but thankfully I’ve had an open mind and though it’s still a daily struggle, I have grown as a person in the last year.
As silver linings go, I think that’s pretty fecking good!