I can say the 1 good thing about my uber intense type A personality is that when I got sick there was no doubt in my husband’s head I was sick. Watching me struggle up the stairs with a laundry basket, empty the dishwasher, cook a meal, make a bed, he knew something was seriously wrong. So simple and basic. I used to do those things in my sleep, with my eyes shut AND one hand tied behind my back! I thank God he never doubted me because everyone else I knew just did not get it. I know many of you struggle for spousal or partner support or have been left in the lurch by someone who “did not sign up for this”. I can only imagine the pain and heartache and ANGER that must incite. But I know beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt that I would not be sitting here today if it were not for the fact that he needed me as much as I needed him and we clung together through the storm of CFS and Fibromyalgia. Two little dinghies out at sea, sputtering to stay above water while a riptide was pulling us down. Somehow we made it to the other side and washed up on the shore barely intact. Bruised, beaten, and battered, but still alive. He has been to doctor appointments with me to try and convince the doctor this was not just depression. He had seen me depressed and this was something physical. Lots of good that did.
So riddle me this, all you former type A Fibrates. Does sitting around in pain and watching your life flush down the toilet of, well, life make you feel good? Does the fact you can barely work, sleep, cook, clean, parent, or do anything else you did with vigilant ease before making you happy? I cannot for the life of me figure out why we are doubted and questioned so by those that knew us before we got sick? A person’s personality does not change that much, it just does not! And how has the medical community pushed us aside, millions of strangers all complaining about a similar set of symptoms? How have they not by now recognized the multitude of Neurological illnesses that were “blamed on the patient” until science was finally able to source something concrete and stopped that practice? Are we all sitting back on our laurels laughing and rejoicing that we have pulled off the greatest hoax known to man? We have “gotten” out of all of our responsibility in life because we were smart enough to make up an illness no one can prove? Oh don’t get me started, don’t even get me started!
To me the A’s are the doers in life, the B’s the thinkers. We need them both. When I got sick I tried so hard to turn this A into a B. I tried so hard not to notice every little spec on the carpet I was too sick to vacuum. I tried to ignore the pile of dishes needing to go into the dishwasher full of clean ones. I pretended laundry did not exist. I tried to mellow out! I may have succeeded a little but then had 2 strokes and 6 months on Prednisone sent that “A” monster into overdrive! I was walking 7 days a week after springing out of bed at 7:30 every morning, doing strengthening yoga right after without a second’s hesitation. My house was clean, dogs were bathed, laundry was done, bills were paid, I was cooking complex and delicious dinners every single night, oh it felt oh so good. For the one second, manic overdrive would let me think of it! Then it was on to the next thing. I do have to thank Prednisone for 1 thing (besides saving my life after the strokes) and that is The Fibromyalgia Crusade. Had I not been so full of YANG I would not have whipped up this awareness campaign and gotten it established to the point that we are ready to springboard into action! I am now off steroids and my repressed A is making peace with her default B. For now, the pain is back, the stiffness, the fatigue, and fog and I am moving much slower. But it is different now because it is not just me. We are building and growing and there is a whole army behind me. They will soon find out they messed with the wrong personality!
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