Thursday, May 28, 2009


"Dear Gin,

Can you tell me what you know about demnta and altsheimers linked with fibro?

God Bless


Hiya Jackie! This is a common worry because of Fibro Fog. To ease your mind a little bit, I'd like to tell you that there are no studies that show Fibromyalgia leads to dementia or Alzheimer's disease. However, if you're worried about suffering from either, I have this vitamin advice to give.

Take vitamin D. I put your letter up today because I received the link below. In it, it states that there is enough evidence to show the lack of vitamin D can be detrimental to both conditions but no conclusive studies have been done.

As I've mentioned a ton of times takes money to do studies and if it isn't marketable (too common of a cure/treatment to patent like bee pollen---thank you David V. for that information) no one will bother with the study..because there is not money in it. Scientists don't have the kind of money they can just throw around for studies. They need grants and backers. We all know the pharm companies aren't going to spend money on a study that says something common like...vitamin D will help negate the need for their expensive prescription drug.

LOL.. more conspiracy theories from me today. The link is below.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Hi all!

I hope everyone had a great long weekend! I had a mild headache and was very happy about that. LOL Odd isn't it? But usually I have horrible migraines around my menses, so the fact I had a little one was awesome!

I have received a few emails about conditions that are related lately, to the point I decided to answer them on my blog than by individual mails.

A facebook correspondent recently asking me via private message: "Have you heard of anyone with fibro also having spondylosis - a form of spinal arthritis?"

I've also been asked about costochondritis (of which I suffer), and R.A, and back pain, and mysofascial pain syndrome. All recently.

The questions vary from the one above that came from a great lady concerned about her daughter's unfortunate condition, to other questions asking me whether or not these are symptoms of Fibro.

Like fingerprints, everyone's fibro is different...and no one knows what brings on Fibro.

For my Facebook friend B.T. the answer is that spondylosis is a separate condition, not related to Fibro. However...Fibro could have helped point out this existing condition or could be the direct cause of having Fibro.

What do I mean? I can almost hear some of you giving me a mental smack down to clarify. LOL

Fibro has no determined origin. Only theories on how and why and when people get fibro. With the Nov. 2008 study of blood flow to the brain, there is a theory floating around that lack of flowing blood to the brain is the reason why no one can find a pattern to the development of Fibro. Everyone has experienced the lack different ways for different reason.

Some of us maybe received it at birth...maybe our poor posture is cutting off blood flow...or our arthritis or bone issues are bringing it about. Accident victims might have compressed the flow or...well you get the point.

Blood flow makes sense and I'm leaning towards that but keeping my options open. A few years ago they thought chicken caused cancer...::shrugs:: so things can always change, new discoveries can be made.

In short...what comes first? Fibro or the other conditions? It is anyone's guess but for me it seems like Fibro reacts to stress in our bodies, whether it is blood flow or not. That is why we have flare-ups. It seems to reason that if Fibro reacts to stress so badly...perhaps that stress is what caused the Fibro in the first place. one can say.

To B.T. and her daughter...all of my best wishes for treatment and pain-free days. Here are a few spondylosis links that may be helpful... For treatment options. Definition of the condition.
And I really like the visual aid with this page

...and to the rest of you, My Friends...Be well, and as always, let me know if you find information that contradicts what I've said here.
We're all learning our condition, and though I've done a ton of research, there is always new stuff that slips through. And I do a lot of reading to keep up on the latest. Your help can make my advice stronger!

Love you all!
My best,

Thursday, May 21, 2009


What a busy week that was!

With the book release and the house party, my daughter's birthday and Dan graduating...the fun never stopped and neither did I. Now I have a new puppy in my house and my sleep schedule is suffering for it.

Sleep is so important to Fibromates, that if anything disrupts the pattern we manage to get ourselves into (which is hard enough) we get symptoms. Yippy.

I've had a few brain twinges the last few days. I hate those. I'm assuming they are related to allergies because I have noticed that they occur most often when I'm having a bad allergy day. Of course, I also notice it when I got too many days on the Alavert allergy meds. If I take anything stronger than Alavert the brain twinges are even worse. Not fun.

Then to add to my issues this week, I've notice those little circles of dead skin coming back with a vengeance. They're small, various sizes of small, and they are red with yellow tinted centers once the dried skin flakes off.

I have a dermatologist appointment in June. Boy is that helpful. What am I to do until then? Look like I have lesions I guess. If anyone has experience with this type of rash, let me know. Or if you have noticed it like I have, I'll let YOU know what I find out next month.

Supposedly, I'm allergic to the sun and I *was* out cleaning up my yard for a few days. Maybe thats it.


Otherwise, I'm feeling great. I'm keeping active. I'm going for daily walks and my energy is back to what it should be after the yeast pills. I think I still have a bit of yeast in my blood but I'm still feeling better than I was. Even though the pills made me sick to my stomach, it was worth it to feel how I do right now. I'd go through it once a month if I had to. I think I'm going to try a cleanse this coming up week. One of those natural candida cleanses and see if I feel even better.

The things we do to ourselves! lol

All my best, My Friends.

I'll get to the letters soon, I've just been swamped and you have my most humble apologies.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yay! Book Release Day!

Today, my ebook released!

I am very excited about it and happy to see my pen name scrawled across a beautiful cover. (A little on the naughty side because it is erotic.)

But today's post isn't about self promoting. Not in the "selling my book to my fibro friends" way.

Nope! Today is about overcoming our aches and pains to see our goals realized.

I know so many who have sent me their updates on what is going on in their lives now for the positive and I can't help but feel overwhelmed with pride.

Not because I have had anything to do with it personally, but just by knowing them. It takes super human strength to fight the pain, fatigue, and myriad other complaints to in the "outside" world.

Some of us...don't make it. Some of our Fibromates simply...can't fight their way out of the pain and that breaks my heart. It won't stop me from encouraging them, though. I don't give up on people.

However, there are others who push, push, push (mostly out of frustration) and find themselves in a better place and happy about life again.

These Fibromates (and you know who you are) are inspirational to me. I think of them when I have a bad day or a flare-up and I hope they can think of me too.

Draw strength by the inspiration of others and realize that life might be harder for us, it may take us 100 times as long to climb our dream mountain as it would the average person but we'll get there if it kills us!

Thank you for all the support these last few months!

Upcoming the week, I'll discuss my yeast battle and where I'm at with it.

As always, My Friends, have a great, 98% pain-free, day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

I have an awareness tea scheduled for today, in honor of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Today!

The plan is to talk about who it effects, how it effects them, and the best way to treat someone with Fibromyalgia, be it spouse, friend, or family member.

Because Fibro Awareness is not about telling a Fibromate all about treatment options and how they can help themselves.

No, that is every other day! lol. Awareness day is about making those who don't suffer understand those who do. It is about shrugging off the vicious lies and stigma attached to Fibromyalgia with a healthy dose of truth and statistics.

Today, at my tea event, I'm going to talk, too, about the myth: "All Fibromyalgia patients are fat, white, American suburban housewives looking for attention." Though I have a big speech prepared, I'm going to summarize it for you, My Friends, to spare you. ::winks::

Science is made up of theories. You get one in your head that seems logical and then you experiment and test until you prove or disprove it.

I'm going to throw out my theories and you can agree or disagree with them.

Let's look at the phrase "All Fibro patients are fat, white, American suburban housewives looking for attention."

I can see where this has become a popular myth because it is based on truth.

Let's look at the racial aspect. More white women suffer from Fibro than black, Latino, Arabic...etc. There could be many reasons for this. Not the least of which could be history. How much in the past did white folk sit back and relax while others did the work for them? If Fibro is hereditary, could the lack of exercise in our ancestors be the reason so many white women suffer today? I would say it is unlikely...but it isn't impossible. But we see cultural susceptibility all the time. It could be from diet, climate, heritage.

For example: According to "African Americans tend to have lower average cholesterol levels than the general population. As nearly 40% of all African Americans struggle with hypertension, black patients and their doctors often focus on controlling blood pressure not diabetes. "

Now how about countries where women are barely recognized as animals? How extensive is the testing for Fibromyalgia going to be there? So Arabic or middle-eastern women who suffer might not ever be diagnosed. I won't go off on a rant here, but I don't live there, so I cannot speak on the subject with fact, only speculation.

The point is that all bodies are different. Just because one group tends to suffer more than others with a certain affliction, does not and should not detract from its credibility.


"American suburban housewives..."

It is believed by some countries that American housewives made up the disease and the Pharmaceutical companies are making money pandering to them.

The United States is not the only country that has recognized Fibromyalgia, but we're the most well known. America can't sneeze without someone pointing a finger and mumbling "those damned Americans".

Some of us, as American sufferers, just have to do the same thing we did back in kindergarten. Ignore the idiots. In truth, there are some interesting treatments in other countries for Fibro, but you don't hear about them much because they're not "damned Americans".

And...fat, housewives. It does seem that way sometimes doesn't it? I look down and I see a woman who isn't super model skinny. I'm not out jogging my complex (I walk it. lol)and I'm a housewife. ::Gasp:: Oh my god! That must mean I'm making it up.

Or it could mean that those unable to exercise get Fibromyalgia! You often here people talk about how much pain they are in, and it keeps them from exercising, thus creating what I believe to be the vicious circle.

We experience a bunch of pain and therefore can't exercise which brings about more pain.

That isn't to say that exercise is the answer to everything. I am not one of those who believe in that. But I will say that being more active does make me feel better and it keeps the painful flare-ups at bay. (I still get the migraines and allergies and occasionally the costochondritis. Then there's this yeast bit...ugh. Maybe after I increase my exercise patterns? eh..who knows.)However, all it takes is one doozy of a headache to keep me down for days to start the pain cycle all over again.

Once we stop exercising, we start gaining weight. The medication prescribed to keep us from being in pain...makes us gain weight. Fat? Well not all of us but okay, the statistics do point to it. The real question is...if we were skinny, would we still suffer? Even though exercising and losing weight does make us all feel better, it doesn't take the fibro away. I am currently in the "healthy" range of my weight to height ratio. And I am capable of experiencing the same pain as last months flare-up when I weighed my lowest proves.

This isn't a life we chose, this is a constant battle and all battles have their ups and downs. If someone wants to be mean and call us fat, so be it. Karma takes care of those who judge.

Gin Note: With all the medications I've been on I've lost and gained 20 pounds back and forth the last few years. When I ceased chemical treatment, the fluctuation stopped a bit to be within 10 pounds of yo-yo. So it is my hope that the chemical treatments of the future stop making pudge pies out of us! It's ridiculous.


"...looking for attention."

Yeah. We talk. We try to find someone who can relate to all the pain we feel. We cry, we lament and you know what? So would non-sufferers if they had a moment of pain! We just do it more often because our painted with pain.

The more we talk about what ails us, the more we get labeled as whiners, so I often tell people to shave down how much they talk about their daily aches and pains. It gives the wrong impression. Non-sufferers just won't get it. Tell them how you feel, be honest, but be understanding too. Expect understanding from them but concede a little bit too.

Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our pain that we don't think about the emotional ramifications of our constant tirade. I'm hugely guilty of this, so I am not standing on a high horse here, My Friends.

I have to keep myself from babbling on about Fibro and how it makes me feel all the time. LOL I save it for when I talk to you fine people.

HOWEVER, I'm not ashamed to say I'm in pain...or that I have fibro fog and can't mull through a topic of conversation. I mention it openly. I have Fibro and I'm not going to shy away and hide it as though it is something to be ashamed of.

I'm going to make everyone aware of it!

And try to keep down my complaints.

It is not an easy thing to do. Haha.

So that is some of what I am covering today. Bet ya all are glad you're going to miss the full speech.

All my best and hopes for world wide Fibro Awareness,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and future mothers out there! I hope everyone has a glorious day filled with fun and without pain.

Always in my heart, My Friends.

Best wishes from me to you,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Aren't You Embarrassed?

I received one of the funniest letters ever and I'm going to share it.

"I dont know how you go on about your health stuff in the public. I expect it from my gran but your young and talk about guys still. Aren't you embarassed they'll see you talking about bowls & rashes & yeast infections?"

It came anon of course, and it isn't an email address I recognize, but I know you're out there! ::Laughs::

I wrote a post not too long ago about vanity. How looking good is okay, and trying to look better isn't something to be ashamed of.

But just because I joked around about my vanity doesn't mean I'm not a realist.

I have fibromyalgia. Any given day it will upset my stomach, make my head pound, over-produce yeast, and make my skin itch or hurt or both. Oh and don't forget the random spikes of pain in various places.

Those are simple facts.

The truth is, I care about one thing. Feeling good! And I do my best to find that end anyway I can. And I feel better talking with others about it, helping others with their own treatments, and fighting fibro in a positive way that I hope brings a few other Fibromates out of the dark depression and into the light of success.

Those are my goals.

True, there probably aren't many men out there that would read my blog and think "I wanna date her." But luckily, I'm not trying to pick anyone up. LOL

Besides, any man wanting to be with me has to be strong enough to be the rock I need to help me cope with living through the rest of my days with "surprise" pain, "peek-a-boo" IBS symptoms, and days of that "not so fresh feeling" we all know and love.

Healthy living is what is important, and I want a man who helps me on my journey by taking it with me. Not a squeamish pansy who is going to flinch if I use the word "bowls". (lol..and it is bowels my dear.)

Perfection does not exist. I'm a good woman. I push myself to the limits of pain to live normally. I try EVERYTHING in hopes of reaching 100% days but I feel good settling for 98%. I am confident. I am comfortable. I am in charge of my life to the best of my ability.

I don't worry about what people think, and neither should you.

I really hope you didn't send me this letter because you have allowed someone in your life to make you feel ashamed of the pain or discomfort your body feels. Ashamed of what you are afflicted with.

If you have a boyfriend, a husband, a family member, or friend who turns to you and says TMI!!! when you talk to them about your is time to reevaluate your relationship.

Never be embarrassed over what you cannot control. Learn to live with it, make it a part of your new life and be open about it.

Wishing you all the best on Mother's Weekend (::grins:: we all deserve a full weekend, not just a day!)

Be well, My Friends. Reach for those 98% days.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Yeast Of Our Problems

Yup! I've heard horror stories about trying to get rid of yeast. Some diets and the like to go on to "starve" the yeast out etc.

I can't really say I'm looking forward to going that far with this treatment to see if it helps my belly. But if I do...go that far...I'll let you all know how it goes.

Right now, I've only got a few more days of the chemical treatment and despite the last five days of feeling like crap, I'm doing a little better today. Is it a temporary rebound? I really hope not. LOL

Thanks, Shannon for your letter.

"Dear Gin,

I have a lot of yeast too and I tried a clenase the worked. Now I want to maintain and heard there are foods to avoid. Know of any?


I've heard a lot of different do's and don't's for food for a yeast sensitive person. I haven't tried any of them yet as this is my beginning week of yeast treatment.

I found this link helpful:

In it, he breaks down food and what has yeast, then gives you some suggestions towards the bottom. Reading this list I shook my head. Everything I eat is on it. I eat so much of it that yeast should be growing out of my ears by now.

I think it is unreasonable to expect to go on the diet and not eat any yeast containing foods ever again. Instead, ween yourself off the foods with the highest yeast content. Or pick a few yeast eating habits to give up. By starving yourself of all carb foods, you will only put your body under great stress and more than likely end up with your face in a trough of batter, sucking down as much yeast as you can.

Make small changes until you can make big ones, and as always my friends, my greatest hopes are for you all to be 98% pain free, (but not by starving yourselves!)


Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Yeast Within...

I'm going to be putting up a poll soon.

It's going to be all about yeast. Yippy.

Candida Alibicans are directly linked to many of the conditions Fibromyalgia Sufferers have. In fact, if you look at the monster list of Fibro symptoms and compare it to a monster list of Candida Albican symptoms, you'll notice very few differences.

So how do we know if we have a really nasty yeast infection or Fibro? Do we have both?

The beauty of it all (yup, that's sarcasm right there) is that Candida Albican disease has even fewer tests than Fibromyalgia, though they can test your blood and get your yeast count as well as take a stool sample.

Once it is determined whether or not you have an over abundance of yeast (I do, btw) your doctor is likely to tell you the same that mine did. Yes, you have yeast, but there's no study out there to support whether or not killing it is going to do anything for you.

Yet another disorder where it is hard to prove it is detrimental to my health? Nothing concrete?! Someone can still say "It is all in your head, Gin?"


Okay, I'm frustrated, obviously. But it isn't my doctor's fault. She isn't telling me there is nothing she can do for me, only that treatment is unproven. She's willing to give it a shot, though and she told me to call her if I decided to risk upsetting my stomach again, by taking a seven day course of Diflucan. (I think I spelled that correctly.)

The mention of stomach problems again, freaked me out. But then I remembered that I had IBS a few months ago, but when I took a yeast infection pill...I was cured.

Yeast infection pill got rid of my IBS. Huh. Maybe it could get rid of all the vaginal illnesses. The constant yeast infections I kept thinking I was getting, only to be told not enough yeast was showing up to treat it. So it was all in my head?

Nope...probably all in my blood. According to my research (Still in the baby stages, granted), yeast grows into fungus (ewwwww) and that fungi takes over the bowels and makes life hell. Okay I'm paraphrasing.

Still, despite the lack of evidence, the lack of research, and the general lack of faith in a Candida Albican disease (is that even what it is called? sheesh), I'm going to try to treat it. I'm going to try to get back the days where I'm not terrified to eat a piece of bread. I'm on day four of my seven day treatment and the pain in my lower pelvic area has dissipated but I still don't feel up to snuff.

I'll let you know after the "chemical" treatment whether or not it works. I'm also checking out a few natural cleanses and pills if this doesn't do it.

I'll let you all know.

Feel free to send emails about your experience with yeast, I'd love to hear it.

All my best, My Friends,

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Rash Bash

"Hey Gin,

I was wondering if you have any advice on rashes. I get them alot but they aren't always there.


Gahhhh. Rashes.

I chose this question today because last week my daughter had a rash. And I mean... a HUGE rash. From the soles of her feet to the top of her head, covered in blotches of all shapes and sizes. She received no less than three diagnosis by three different doctors and what I believe she really had, was a severe allergic reaction to her antibiotic.

When I asked the doctor why no one could give me a straight answer, he said "Rashes are hard".

That still makes me giggle, but it is true none-the-less. When my daughter broke out in her hives, I went online to look at pictures so I could try to tell myself whether it was chicken pox, fifth disease, or hives. Almost all the pictures looked the same, and the variations of each condition made it hard to pin point.

Fibro works the same way. Each one of us has different symptoms and intensities. So guess what that means for our rashes too.

I wish I could say: "Oh, rashes with small red bumps could be 'such and such' and you treat it by and oatmeal bath."

What I can do is give you ideas and hints that I have employed or heard about.

Seborrheic Dermatitis. If your skin is flaky and red, (face, ears, nose, scalp) area, you might have this condition. You can get a cream from a dermatologist and it clears it right up. There's even a shampoo called loprox (I could be totally screwing up that spelling but you get the point.) and it really does help. It isn't something you get rid of, it is something you keep at bay.

The itchy bumps! Sometimes they are red, sometimes they are white...for me they plague my biceps and I scratch like mad. Also my chest is itchy as well.

I should go to a dermatologist but it comes and goes and lately I have been unfortunate in the timing. It's like my rash knows I'm trying to get rid of it and it vanishes on Dr. Day.

I soothe the itch by either oatmeal baths or oatmeal paste (equal parts of pulverized oatmeal or powdered oatmeal and water). I also keep a bottle of Dermarest Eczema medicated lotion about and it helps really well.

I have little red circles around tiny patches of dried skin that pop up too in random places and nothing I have tried helps them much. Sometimes neosporin.

What causes the rashes? Stress. Pain. Medications. Allergies. You name it! Your best bet is to try to keep track of the medications you take and the days your allergies flare up and see if there is a correlation. As far as stress and pain...well we have Fibro so that is a little harder to track. LOL

The best thing really is to go to a dermatologist instead of a general practitioner. They are the people who know the most about the skin and the funky things that can happen to us. Of course, like treating Fibro, it is most often a "try this" "okay now try this" hit-or-miss diagnosis but it's all we got.

I wish I could be more helpful on this subject but all I can say is "Rashes are hard".
All my wishes for 98% (itch-free) days,

Friday, May 1, 2009

Meet Fibro Helper Gin.

Hi, My Friends.

Throughout the course of my blogging experience, letter answering, website critiquing, and Fibro Patient interviews, I have managed to simply allude to the inner workings of who I am without actually exposing too much of what is inside.

I almost feel the need to apologize for that. I have interviewed others (obviously I've not managed to get them together and post them all yet) and they have bared their hearts to me. I should be willing to bite the bullet and do the same.

I'll blame my paranoia. "What if I say something that I can't take back?" The object of this post isn't to hurt anyone in my life who might read this, but I have to be as honest as I can about as much as I dare in order to feel "right" about publicizing others' thoughts and feelings.

How has Fibro changed my life?

The disorder is a negative, but the diagnosis was a positive for me. Why? Well, let's start at the beginning.

I was born into a strict, religious family with feelings that I didn't quite fit in. Growing up I felt this constant nagging, a strong emotion that told me I didn't belong to "this" family. It was very confusing being young and unable to logically deduce why I felt the way I did. I remember climbing out of the bathtub, around the age of seven, feeling...displaced. It is that point that I believe I had the first anxiety attack, the first "mental illness" indication that maybe my brain might not be 100%.

A few years later, my parents began to fight a lot. My father had a drinking problem and my mother is not an easy woman to argue with. The sparks flew as well as the slaps and pushings. The constant fighting, arguing, and physical abuse led to a divorce and the subsequent BS that followed, I'll spare you. Suffice it to say, my father stopped talking to my sister and I for years which he still blames on my mother to this day.

I had my first migraine before my parents were divorced and had a few here and there throughout my teens. My biggest problem through school, though, was IBS. It plagued me until 11th grade when finally it just...stopped.

I was really skinny back then, with a height of 5'8 and a weight of 105, so it was quite easy for my ex boyfriend to throw me around a bit when I was eighteen. He was two years younger than me and I loved him so much, I took on the responsibility for him. Still in high school, I talked my mom into letting him live with us and go to school in our neck of the woods. It sounded great to both of us at first but in the end, the life changes had an adverse effect on him, and he began to get physical.

Worse, I became pregnant after one of our bad break-up/make-up sessions. I was young, I knew, but I really wanted to have it. Unfortunately, I was the only one. My boyfriend told me he wanted to go back to high school (he had quit a few months earlier) and get into football again and a child wouldn't allow him to do that. My mother's reaction was slightly less calm.

I waited a long time before making my decision, and because of that, it was made for me one night when my boyfriend decided to body slam me on the hard concrete floor of my basement and kick me in my swollen stomach. My next doctors visit it came to light that the child I carried had "something" wrong.

It was a year after that, when the boyfriend still did nothing with his life and the abuse began to escalate into attempted murder, that I finally took the plunge and threw him out of my life.

Depression set in. And despite my positive and outgoing attitude, it didn't go away. I started smoking a huge amount of pot (more than I had with the boyfriend). It was a daily habit. 1-3 Mari-cigs a day. The men I dated where nothing special to me and when it was over I usually cried because I lowered myself just to feel a moments pleasure, not because I felt anything for them.

I met my husband online around this time and fell head-over-heels. Of course, he was too logical to let himself fall in love over the internet, or even pay much attention to someone he met there. It took a lot of manipulation and cajoling, a lot of fast talking and seduction, but eventually he came out to meet me and the rest, I would like to say, is a happily ever after.

Unfortunately, this isn't one of my romance novels. We were best friends, and I knew the moment I met him he was the one person who would always understand me and stay by my side. He was comfortable and perfect...a little pretentious but no one was perfect! He was just perfect for me.

He dragged me out of my depression and for the first time in ...well ever!, I felt loved. I moved to be with him.

That is when the panic attacks started.

Away from my family and all I knew, I had a melt down. My body gave out and I had the sensation of floating above my body looking down at the top of my head. I laid on the floor of the bathroom and my poor hubby (boyfriend at the time) was helpless to do anything but watch me as I lay there. It was a weird sort of paralysis and I'll never forget the experience. (The stuff our brains can do to our reality is just CRAZY)

I became a hermit. Afraid to go anywhere or do anything. I quit partying, assuming at the time that I was just having a bad reaction to a bit of the Mari-cigs.

Nothing helped. I thought it was just because I wasn't settled. "I could die any day and not have anything, no family here...nothing." I even told my boyfriend: "You could leave me tomorrow and walk away and I would have lost everything. We should get married or I should move back to my home."

A few months later, my boyfriend asked me to be his wife. I agreed, and then pushed to get a nice house instead of our ratty apartment. We bought a house, got married, and moved in all within six months.

I still had panic attacks and then a few migraines. Doctors prescribed me just about every anti-depressant in the world. Nothing worked. Everything made me feel more depressed, more despondent.

Then, one of the worst things happened. My grandfather died. (My entire childhood and early adulthood was surrounded by death. My grandmother Shirley died, then my uncle, then a few honorary uncles, then when I was 21, my grandmother Lillian died. She was a second mother to me living in the same house. Then my grandfather's third wife died, a few of my friends throughout the get the picture. Death and I are well acquainted)

Other than when my grandmother Lillian died, my grandfather was the most devastating blow to me. My father, as was discussed earlier, was not around much so my grandpa (who lived a few houses down from me as a kid) carried the mantle as best he could. He was the patriarch of the family. He owned a collision shop and always took care of any needs of mine that he could. He wasn't Superman...he was THE Super Man. And then he was gone, and I missed his passing by hours.

My husband and I were already having problems at this point. The toll of everything, all my panic attacks etc, hitting us hard. We separated but decided to give things another try. I was at home with my husband, in a different state, picking him up to go back home to be with my ailing grandfather...when he died.

That's when I decided I wanted to have a baby. And I told my husband it was now or never. I quit smoking and a few months later...I was pregnant. I gained over 40 pounds and though I had bled almost the whole pregnancy and I had gestational diabetes, the baby girl was born and healthy.

Cue the migraines!

After the baby, all the symptoms throughout my life came at once. The migraines, the depression, the anxiety and panic, the belly pains...even female issues. For the next few years I was diagnosed with just about everything...and again...the flow of drugs came at me like waves. Nothing worked, and those that did work gave me horrible side effects.

I was on Topamax and lost a bunch of weight...and nearly my life. I had to call my husband and say "I know where your gun is, and I want to use it. You need to come home."

It was a very scary feeling, being out of control like that. I'm ashamed to say I used to think people who committed suicide were weak. But they are not. What if all of them felt the same impulse I did that day? It was as if I were being puppetted by an unseen force, made to try to take my own life. I'll never judge another victim again, nor will I stand by and let someone else be as stupid as I was with my assumptions. It didn't matter that I had a baby that depended on me. It didn't matter that I wanted to live!! My brain was telling me to take my own life and if I hadn't clung onto the rail of my bed, telling myself I was cuffed to it (can't remember if I actually did use the handcuffs or not)...I would not be here, My Friends.

Eventually, I was able to manage my panic attacks and anxiety...all on my own, but it took me years and there were a lot of sleepless nights. There still are some now, when I'm feeling down, but back then, every night I needed to be coddled.

My husband had a very horrible job description. ( ::smiles:: ) I don't know if I would have been able to be as strong as he. But as the time went on, and my migraines became worse, I did nothing. My house was always a mess...I took care of my daughter with inventive ways that made moving minimum. (I would make instant ravioli daily for my daughter and feed her lots of precut fruit and veggies...anything I could buy that I didn't have to spend more than 2 minutes making I did it.) I made her a huge playpin and lined it with padding and put a ton of toys inside of it so I could lay down and watch her play without having to actively participate.

Things were bad. I had no energy, no passion for life, and no idea why. The only joy I found was in playing World of Warcraft, where I had a life that didn't need me to be energetic.

In that world I met friends, had fun, had the only interaction with others outside of my husband and a few out-of-state calls from my mother and sister. I lived in the mountains of New Hampshire still, with my daughter and my husband (who worked far from home and didn't have a lot of time off). I was lonely and bored and My hubby was starting to get...angry with me.

He treated me differently. If I had a headache he would support me to our family and say I couldn't help it, but when I heard him complaining to his friends, I was sorely hurt. Just as he was hurt long ago when we had our first bad fight and he spied on my computer conversation with a friend and read where I wrote "I'm so sick of seeing his face!". (It was a mean thing to say...and I will forever regret it. I have a bad temper and an even worse way in handling it. He deserved better than for me to say that.)

This general disrespect he had for me, grew to epic proportions. I wanted to have another baby and he didn't. Eventually, he told me we could try, while secretly he was making sure that we couldn't. When I figured out what he was doing, I felt betrayed. Someone I trusted went behind my back to make sure we couldn't have another child while telling me to my face that he was ready to have one.

That was one of the reasons we separated. There are a few more, but in all honesty, My Friends, I can't share more than that with you. My husband is a decent man who made some bad mistakes as have we all, myself included. I'm sure the frustration of having a wife plagued with maladies that seemingly are all in her head had an affect on his actions.

As I was saying, we separated. And I found comfort in a friend of mine I knew through the game I played, World of Warcraft. Over time, when things were rough and I was unwilling to forgive my husband, I began to date my friend. I was very scared. I knew I was still suffering from migraines and aches and pains in various spots but my anger carried me through it. Of course, I was in physical therapy too and that really helped me.

I had a new lease on life. Why? I was dating a guy MUCH younger than me, and he wanted to do things...go a part of my life. He encouraged me to keep living mine and I did! I started writing again, this time with a purpose. I WOULD get published. I would become an author.

It felt so good to have purpose! But after one of my trips to Vegas to see my boyfriend, I started to get severe pain. My arm was going to fall off!! (See delayed pain post) Then it was...womanly problems. Pelvic pain, cysts, yeast infections...gahhh! Hard to feel sexy and loving life when you're being kept down by illnesses. I went to the doctors and had every test run possible.. nothing. I went to the foot doctor because of a wart on my toe and I mentioned the arch of my foot was bad.

He noticed a rash on my face and asked me if I'd been tested for Lupus.

I went right home and went to my computer, bawling my eyes out as I noticed all the similarities between Lupus and my symptoms. I tried to break up with my younger boyfriend, not wanting him to be weighed down by a woman with so many health issues.

He pretty much told me I was being a fool for jumping the gun, so to speak.

Luckily the test came back negative, but that brought another question. Fibromyalgia? I was sent to an RA who confirmed the diagnosis. I told her my bad reaction to pills but she gave me some anyway. I had more bad reactions and haven't gone back to that RA yet.

Once I found out I had Fibro, I was happy. I wasn't insane...I wasn't incredibly lazy!

....But I was sick. And I wasn't going to be able to do the things I wanted to do WHEN I wanted to do them. Again, I tried to break up with my boyfriend...who once again put my in my place.

He wasn't giving up on me. But what was I going to do?

My husband, around this time, was dating another woman and spending time away from home, which was good for him. I wouldn't dare begrudge him that when I was dating too. However, I found out he had been lying to me about who he was going out with some nights when he left, and for me that just sealed the deal for us. No one likes a liar. And for me, it is a pet peeve especially since I told him all about my boyfriend and where he and I stood. Always, I made sure to be honest and as a direct result of being truthful, I was painted as "the bad guy", the one who had given up.

I was so mad! Everyone looked down on me and felt sorry for him because I had started dating someone in search of that elusive happiness. And here he was, secretly dating. That was a big fight between us that led to the ultimate horror for me. He told me he hadn't respected me for a long time and never would.

It was devastating to hear, even though I was with someone else. My husband had been...everything to me. I always felt as though I wasn't worthy, as if he felt I wasn't worthy! Now I was to learn he really felt that way? I had his child! I pushed through suicidal tendencies...I fought every damned day just to get out of bed and I finally had a diagnosis! I wasn't crazy. I deserved respect dammit!! But I didn't have his.

A few months later his girl went back to her ex boyfriend and My husband began to "respect" me but I have to admit, that it is too little too late.

In the beginning he was there for me, and that is the only reason we are still able to maintain a friendship...because I do remember that, and I do appreciate the fact he is taking care of me financially until I can do so myself. It is why, every day, I try to earn my keep by cooking and cleaning, something I wasn't able to do when we were married.

We've been able to get back the friendship lost to some degree and I will always love him. I don't know what the future holds. I don't know if I'll be able to let go of the bitterness over some of the things he has done. I just...don't know anything really. I still get teary-eyed when I think about what could have been if I hadn't been ill. But for me, you really find out the depth of love someone has for you when something like this comes at you.

I respect the fact he hung in there at first. For five years we stood as a team and I can't compare that to what my boyfriend has recently done. It wouldn't be fair. I am very grateful that my boyfriend hasn't allowed me to crawl into a shell and consider my life over...especially since I am now published and feeling great most days. But I realize he also hasn't had to live with me either, and he hadn't been with me through all the years of illness without explanation. The level of frustration my husband had to feel, my boyfriend will hopefully never know.

That isn't to demean what he has done for me, which is more than I could have ever thought possible. It would have been so easy for him to walk away from me. We have a long distance relationship, a billion obstacles in the way of our happiness, and an open "if it ever gets to be too much, just tell me" understanding between us that would make it very easy for him to skip quietly away without hassle. And he hasn't.

Yes, Fibro cost me a marriage, a few friends, and a lot of respect...but I have gained too:

A diagnosis, a hope, a determination, love, and an understanding and appreciation of life and ambition I never had.

There will be times where I'm brought low, but I will always stand up again.

All my best to you, My Friends, and may life bring you a strong resolution and a sense of hope.

P.S. There are a lot of holes in the story but I had to write fast before I lost the nerve. Most of you know I went natural in my treatment to feel better when my daughter stirred me out of bed. She is at the root of my determination and deserves to be acknowledged by me on this post. ::Hugs all around::

Thanks for reading.