I've suffered from Fribromyalgia, in a documented sense, since I was 18 years old. I'm 43, so you do the math. My point is, it's a long damn time. Until 2001, I suffered not knowing what was wrong with me. If you're a person who has suffered from a chronic illness, you have an idea of what that is like. How it feels to run test after test, and then do them all again, just to get no answers. To have the doctors, your family, you friends, all look at you like you're the crazy cat lady because no one can figure out what's wrong with you. Inevitably, a medical professional will imply that maybe it's all in your head. This is often the same professional who originally agreed that there was something, indeed wrong with you, you have real symptoms after all. But upon being thwarted by his tests, rather than admit defeat, is looking for fault in you. It couldn't possibly be that maybe we just don't have the tests to determine the problem you have as of yet, could it? Once the medical profession starts to give up on you, you find that many family and friends will start dropping off. Those that do stick around will tell you things like, "Just get out of bed and decide you feel good. It will happen." and the ever popular, "Suck it up." As if you could decide to feel better. Who the hell would choose to feel like this? You get an idea of part of what I've dealt with emotionally during this process.
Yesterday, I got a Direct Message (DM) from one of my Twitter followers, "I didn't know you were a spoonie!" Um, neither did I, what the heck is a spoonie? She was shocked I wasn't aware of this website; But You Don't Look Sick? Ooooh! Now it all makes sense. I had heard of the spoons via Queen of Spain, (QofS,) but assumed they had something to do with her family, so I never really took much interest. Beside, I was trying to hold it together; between my back pain, my kids, & trying to keep my fibro in line, my sleep issues were creeping in about that time, I didn't really have the time/energy to go peruse blogs just for fun. Coincidentally, QofS posted this, a few hours after I got that tweet.
No, I don't have lupus, but like lupus many of my symptoms are hidden. I don't look sick, but I absolutely am. With all the back problems I've had in the last four years, my fibro has taken a back seat, thankfully. I seem to have been controlling it with diet to a degree, but it's been trying to sneak back up on me. When you feel better, you stop looking for resources. I suppose that's why I missed this site during my former forays looking for information/support/community. I'm excited to see it exists. I hope beyond hope that fate, God, Flying Spaghetti Monster or whatever you want to call it, isn't giving me a heads up that things are about to get really bad. I'm afraid to hope that it isn't just letting me know there's a community there if I ever need it. I really hope I don't though.