I sat in the silence of a cold sterile Rheumatologist office trying to keep the time line straight in my head, because I knew the drill and I knew it better then I knew my mundane existance these last 10years. It had been minutes to hours, days to months and than to years of fighting for hope, fighting for a diagnoses fighting to be just validated! However slowly my body was dying by various degrees and I missed my strength. The strength of being the superwoman I once was. I quickly took inventory of where this new specialist was going to sit and when I looked down to make sure I was seated in the proper place the nurse guided me to, I noticed my ugly brown flat round toe leather shoes. The old Deborah was gone I knew that, because she would have laughed at anyone in these granny shoes instead of the fabulous stiletto heels everyone at work once watched for, and envied when she came into work each day. Now my life was all about flats and my fashion sense was no longer evident anymore it was like I had given up on life, well actually I did.
I knew I could not cure my shame of the things that now were my “new normal” so I had to follow the lead of countless strangers on what would be the best flat shoes, best loose fitting clothes, best things to wear, I had officially became “labelled” even though I was not diagnosed with anything, time after time everything came back normal but today I hoped I got even a crumb of something, just anything I prayed.
Faith is all I had that morning when I saw this small framed white haired doctor much shorter than I enter ever so gracefully into the room. He took a seat, opened up my massive file and began to ask me questions. Some questions were extremely personal but at this point in my long journey I had lost all humility, I no longer was in control of my body it owned me. I answered all his questions with a yes or no as he seemed to be a little distant, I was just someone else who probably had psychosomatic pain or so I thought in my head.
I had officially became “labelled” even though I was not diagnosed with anything. Time after time my results came back normal, but I hoped I got even a crumb of something, Just anything I prayed.
The doctor proceeded to rub his hands together as if he was trying to warm them up, he asked me ” May I touch you?” My reply was “Of course” he than started to push ever so lightly touching with his first two fingers into certain pressure points of my body. I let out my first cry of pain and it startled him to the point he took a step back and recomposed himself. He reminded me of the Pope someone who took his job very seriously, so small talk was out of the question he was much to serious. He continue his pressure point test, each touch felt like shearing stabs of lighting shocks sent into my body. I continually started to raise my voice louder and louder with pain until I finally pushed him away because it hurt. It hurt to damn much for him to touch me from my knees down. This was my Achilles heel. He knew by my look and the light push I was not kidding and I was in pain, extreme pain.
Just like that he said” Okay you can get dressed now, I will be back in a few moments and please stay seated” I slowly got up from the laying down position as he didn’t have the courtesy to offer to help me up. I was in pain, my lower back was on fire, my body ached like it did everyday but my lower legs those were my biggest issue, some days I prayed to have them cut off, it hurt like nothing I ever felt. Than just like that with no knock on the door in he came with his white lab coat and white hair and took a seat infront of me. He proceeded to explain his findings in medical terms which served me no purpose because he was leaving me in suspense, until I finally heard the words ” You have Fibromyalgia!!” I sat there with a blank stare and looked at him thinking did I just hear him right? I asked him ” Do I have Fibromyalgia?” like I was shocked.
He proceeded to say” There is sufficient evidence of soft tissue damage, which when we touch all 11 to 18 pressure points to be diagnosed you have them all, all 18 of them!” He proceeded to tell me to reduce my stress, exercise, do meditation and eat healthy, as thats all you can do to treat this disease for the most part. It’s a neurological disease of ones nerves being overloaded sensory wise to your brain. Some people do well with Fibromyalgia and others are in a wheelchair and/ or bedridden!” Regardless I finally felt for the first time I was validated, that I had a face to an invisible illness, and its name was Fibromyalgia.