Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A stepping stone, not a stumbling block

Fibromyalgia affects the brain. They call it brainfog. A fitting term for it, as my brain feels quite fogged up sometimes. I look at some of my posts and can see how disjointed they are and yet my brain cannot organize my words properly. A few of my followers can probably relate to this. It has become the source of much laughter in our house and my husband and daughter are quite good-natured about it. Sometimes my husband may find the butter in the freezer or the ice cream in the closet :) I lose things. I write myself notes and then lose the notes. My niece always giggles because I'll drive off in my car with a tea or water bottle on the roof. When I was pregnant, I kept losing my pocketbook. Sweet husband that I have would often carry it for me. It takes a real man to do this ;) Along with the brainfog, comes muscular and joint pain and also a deep and chronic fatigue. My brother-in-law's nickname for me used to be "napster" because in the early years I would have to take naps after work each day. Fibromyalgia certainly has it's humorous side.

All humor aside, fibro is a very painful disease. Because it is misunderstood, it is often mocked and considered "all in one's head." I can assure you that this is not the case. Sometimes it hurts to even breathe because it can affect internal muscles, too. My bladder has been extremely affected by it. I used to get up anywhere from 3 to 16 times per night to use the bathroom. Medication has reduced this to 1 or 2 times per night. My immune system is affected by this disease, also. Another common symptom is thickened body fluids. This can make it difficult for some women to conceive. It can also cause a chronic thirst because the saliva is thick and doesn't keep the tissues of the mouth and throat moist. Many with fibro will wake up in the morning with swollen faces and eyes glued shut. I use cold , wet, cloths and icepacks to reduce this. The list goes on and on...

I am writing this post because I have friends, relatives and have met wonderful people online who are suffering. Some have fibro, some have other diseases that cause chronic pain. I just wanted to tell you that I understand and pray for you all. Someone else understands, too....Jesus. And he cares. He has walked in the shoes of suffering and suffering is highly redemptive when united with His. Use your suffering as a stepping stone to Him.

Jesus, this disease that scourges me so, I unite with your scourging at the pillar. In the garden of my suffering, I lay my head against you who suffered so much in the Garden of Gethsemane. Like you, I am mocked in my suffering and I place this too in your loving hands. Thank you for holding my hand while we walk this painful road . I unite my thirst with yours. When I am suffering internally and externally, I see you stretched out on the cross and  I feel a love so fierce and strong it gives me strength and hope for the journey. I know where this one ends. When my time comes, my final breath will be united with yours and your words will be my words: "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit."
Utterly Thine O Lord


  1. Informative post, Mary, I love your words:
    'He has walked in the shoes of suffering and suffering is highly redemptive when united with His. Use your suffering as a stepping stone to Him'.
    You're in my prayers.

    Happy feastday MICHAELA!

  2. Thank you for this post. I too, have fibromyalgia along with chronic fatigue syndrome and renauld's. The pain and exhaustion are my constant companions. Sometimes just moderately but always there. I had to stop working because of it and am not allowed to venture out of the house in the winter due to the renauld's since any exposure to cold can cause me to lose a foot. Combine that with chronic migraines and you have my life in a nutshell.

    People don't understand how resistant these conditions are to pain medications, how they can just wear a person down physically, mentally and emotionally. It's nice to know there is someone out there who really knows.

  3. Rachel,
    I know that you have these and other sufferings too. You were on my mind as I posted this. I am covering you in prayer because I know that your pain is far worse than mine. But, the Lord is always with you and looks down upon you tenderly. May God bless you.

  4. Mary, what an honest and "oh so true" post! Thank you for sharing about your struggles. It was good for me to be reminded that Jesus does go before us. He has walked in our shoes and he carries us when we need it!
    Blessings to you and I will definitely keep you in my daily prayers.

  5. Thank you, Nancy. You are in my prayers, also. I know that you have suffered a lot, too. May God bless you and your family.

  6. Sorry for your pain Mary, I will join you in prayer for a complete recovery. I know this disease is real as I have a friend who suffers from it.
    I have arthritis quite badly so please add me to your prayer list.....blessings....:-) Hugs

  7. Bernie,
    I will pray for you, too, my friend. Meanwhile we can unite these sufferings to Jesus' sufferings [and everything united to His suffering is powerful indeed] !

  8. Mary, I have just gotten to last Sunday's Sunday Snippets and to this post. One thing in addition to what I've been writing about at my web site is the need to drink large amounts of water, which helps with the thickening body fluids. I wrote a post this week on natural approaches to treating depression and covered the water angle. After reading Dr. Brownstein's books I have to agree that most people are dehydrated - or maybe unhydrated. It's part of my therapy.

    The bladder issues drove me nuts. I now don't have to get up umpteen times a night because I take amitryptilene, which is a very old drug for depression. Somehow it settles down nerve irritation everywhere in the body. A lot of doctors don't like to presribe it because it slows down the intestines, but I've found that eating vegetables solves that problem. I surely wish you the best.

    People may think I'm nuts because I rejoice that God has given me this to suffer, but I thank Him because I could never on my own, figure out good ways to mortify myself.

    God bless you.