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Day 308: Confronting My Foes

I woke up very sore this morning.  I looked at my cell phone and thought, "Ah, one more hour of sleep." I smiled and dove back under the covers. Then I remembered the time change. I have an old school flip phone. Not an iPhone, not a smart phone. A dumb phone. But it works. I can call people. But it does not automatically change the time.  And I had hit the snooze alarm already on my clock. So I had overslept!
I jumped out of bed and got myself together and out to door, intending to make it to church on time.

But it was pouring rain. The wind was howling. It was also quite chilly.  I apologized to God. Turned around and head back home, back under my comforter.

It was what I needed. I have been quite irritable, tense and tired lately. I got a nice mid morning nap and then hopped on the bus to the gym.  I just walked on the treadmill and stretched, but it lifted my spirits.  I stopped at the grocery store for food for dinner. I am making gluten free pizza with a ground turkey and mozzarella cheese crust.  Topped with mushrooms and salami.  Coleslaw with yogurt dressing on the side.

This morning while I reclined in bed, I did some thinking. I think a lot. SoGopoe say I overthink. I was thinking about the cycle of chronic pain that I have been living with for many years.  It first got my attention in college. I was 19.  Stressed out about finals.  All my joints hurt. Especially my neck and upper back.  And jaw.  I went to a joint specialist. I feared I had arthritis. He told me I had "fibromyositis". He explained that it was inflammation of the muscle sheath. He told me if I could afford a three month vacation in the Bahamas, that would help. It is exacerbated by stress. But if I could not afford the Bahamas, I could take up to 8 aspirin a day. But that might hurt my stomach and make my ears ring. 

His best advice? At least 30 minutes of sweat producing exercise 3 to 5 days a week.

I never questioned him or got a second opinion. Because the exercise helped tremendously. So did relaxation methods like massage, acupuncture, prayer, breathing. Over the last few years, and especially over the course of this blog, I have discovered that diet helps.

But I still hurt.  And I am getting weary of this.  I am going to make a doctor appointment tomorrow to discuss my sore self. But I did some research. There was no Google when I was 19. I never even used a computer back then.  But there is now.  And when I Googled "fibromyositis", I discovered that I have a lot to learn!  It seems that fibromyositis is sometimes considered the same as the dreaded fibromyalgia. I definitely need to research and talk to my doctor, but here is what I found on

"Fibromyositis, also known as fibromyalgia, is a common illness that affects approximately 2% of the United States population and is characterized by widespread pain in the muscles and soft tissues. The illness causes patients to experience multiple tender points, which are locations on the body where only a slight amount of pressure is required to cause pain. This pain often closely resembles the pain of other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with fibromyositis, however, do not exhibit any of the other features of the rheumatoid arthritis, such as swelling and deformity of the joints. Most patients who live with this condition also consider chronic fatigue to be a defining symptom.

Other fibromyositis symptoms may include sleep difficulties, cognitive problems, memory lapses, and exercise intolerance. It is difficult to say whether these symptoms occur concurrently with the widespread pain of the illness, or if they are a result of it. Headaches, dizziness, and sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as noise, odor, and light are also frequently reported symptoms of the illness"

I exhibit most of these symptoms.  But I must say exercise does help.  I am going to resist any kind of medication, if at all possible. But I am reaching a point where I am having trouble dealing with life because of constant aching and fatigue. I also have a foggy brain sometimes. 
Spring break is coming up, so I will make an appointment and confront this beast!

In the meantime, I am meditating on my psalm of the day. Psalm 3.  

Psalm 3
How many are my foes, O Lord!
How many are rising up against me!
How many are saying about me, "There is no help for him in God."

But you, Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory who lift up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord.
From his holy mountain he answers me.

I lie down, I sleep and I wake,
for the Lord upholds me.
I will not fear even thousands of people
who are ranged on every side against me.

Arise, Lord; save me, my God,
you who strike all my foes on the cheek,
you who break the teeth of the wicked!
Salvation belongs to the Lord;
may your blessing be on your people!

In my book, The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter, I discovered that Psalm 3 is recommended as a morning prayer.

In the foreward, Francis Cardinal George, OMI, says: 
"One way to become acquainted with the Psalter is through seeking effective ways to express our human need for God. We find ourselves in different situations in life that compel us to communicate our situation to the Lord. As we come to realize that all blessing comes from God, we experience the need to lift up words of praiseand thanks to god...Turning to the Psalter to give expression to our need before God is a good way to become familiar with the prayers that people of faith have used for centuries both in their private prayer and in liturgical celebrations."

This was timely for me this morning. I prayed this lovely prayer in bed while I contemplated my pain. 

As I was praying this psalm, I substituted the word "foes" for "issues" - like pain, anxiety, fear, depression, doubt, guilt... It was like a light bulb going on in my head.  I have heard about fibromyalgia for years. I know friends who suffer with it.  But I told myself I had something quite different and milder, fibromyositis. I was determined to overcome. Deep down I reasoned that I contributed to it with my anxiety, depression and poor eating and exercise habits.  

Perhaps. But then again, maybe fibromyalgia is the new fibromyositis?  There are still many questions about this disease.  

I am still determined to lose weight and get healthier. But I need to confront this issue. 

And I shall!

Happy Sunday!



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