FAITH & FIBROMYALGIA

by Jeanne Hambleton©
NFA Leader Against Pain-Advocate

I have just spent 5 days in hospital, bed rest, and I am now temporarily confined to a wheelchair and crutches for 3 months, after my wonderful St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, found I have 3 fractures of the pelvic bone and one fractured wrist, which the Spanish doctor where I was on holiday failed to see. So five weeks after the accident I am told it will take months to heal, no walking or weight bearing and behave yourself.

But in spite of all of that I am not crying over spilt milk or broken bones – there is just no point. But I must say this has been a major eye opener for me. Not only have I discovered what life must be like for those confined to a wheelchair, but I have realized there are folks so much worse off than myself. I will get better and be mobile again. Some folk get so low and depressed they give up fighting.

The lady in the next bed had been given steroids by her doctor for whatever ailed her until she bled inside. Another had a leaking heart valve and waited two weeks for some action. She was fretting about her elderly mother in law at home who relied upon her. There was this lovely lady, aged 49, who had been a doctor in Hong Kong who was suffering with senile dementia. How unkind the world is. I wondered what have they done to be suffering this pain and anguish. Although I can only shout about the unfairness in the world from my wheelchair at the moment, this will change and I can look forward to that. But what is the prognosis for these other poor folk?

Before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2002, I was one of those people who rushed everywhere with never a moment to spare. My dear late Mother used to say I never had time to stop and talk. Now she has gone I realised how stupid this was. I should have made time. I did not make time to ask about her schooldays – her home town – her boyfriends before she married Dad – about her job as a barmaid. Regrettably there are so many questions unanswered.

More recently God or someone has changed all that for me. My fibromyalgia means a slower pace of life and I am able to pass the time of day with elderly widows and gent gentlemen who I meet while shopping in the warmth of our local supermarket. Some say I am the only person they have spoken to all week.

Another gentle woman said she felt guilty when her grandchildren visited as her neighbour next door had devoted her life to her parents and now they have gone she had no-one. I suggested she asked her neighbour if she could pop in with one of her grandchildren and take some cakes for tea. She agreed it was a good idea and would do that.

But this situation does not only happen to people who live alone. It also happens to fibromites whose families have to work and leave them alone most of the day. For those who are lucky enough to have Internet connections, emails can become a lifeline to the outside world – Diane, Linda, Joan, Carolyn, Rosie, and Kathy to name a few. I know as many of us send each other funny emails all the time.

If you talk to people who are old enough to have lived through WW II, they will say they miss the comradeship – the caring – the good neighbours. What happened to all that? If we read about neighbours in the newspapers, they are usually at war over a hedge, a path or something else not really worth worrying about. As our son says, “Nobody has died!” It is true – most things are trivial and not worth raising your blood pressure for.

But how do we go about changing all this? I smile at everybody, talk to anyone, and if they open a conversation I ask about their day, family and anything else they want to talk about. Many folk just want to pass the time of day and share their thoughts. If you smile or say good morning, they may welcome your friendly smile. We can usually agree that if you are standing, shopping and breathing, this is a bonus.

It is a beginning and it could be your first New Year’s Resolution – be kind and smile at elderly folk and people who are disabled. Unless we try we will never make the world a happier place.

I receive emails from various places in the world and this arrived on my desktop today from a fibromite. It really set me thinking. When I am walking again I AM going out in the rain,

The story goes –
A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Zellers She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just outside the door of Zellers.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because it messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in.
“Mom, let’s run through the rain,” she said.
“What?” Mom asked.

“Lets run through the rain!” she repeated.

“No, Honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: “Mom, let’s run through the rain,”

“We’ll get soaked if we do,” Mom said.

“No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

“This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?”

“Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his fibromyalgia, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!'”

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few moments.

Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life: a time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

“Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD lets us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,” Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and, yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And, yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions. They can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories. So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

I hope you still take the time to run through the rain.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. Send this to the people you’ll never forget and remember to also send it to the person who sent it to you. It’s a short message to let them know that you’ll never forget them.

If you don’t send it to anyone, it means you’re in a hurry. A pity! Take the time to live!!!

Keep in touch with your friends. You never know when you’ll need each other and don’t forget to run in the rain!

You might not be up to moving mountains just yet, but we all have to start somewhere. From little acorns and all that….keep smiling and remember laughter is the best medicine.

Talk again soon. Jeanne

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3 thoughts on “FAITH & FIBROMYALGIA

  1. Thanks for your comment. Yes it is tough but you learn to live with it – no other option really. I know lots of people in the UK with FMS but I see you are based in the States, so I am not much help.
    Sorry. I am however happy to help anyone anywhere who wants more info about FMS having spent 5 years doing research and now I am writing a book about fibromyalgia. I find most folks with fibromyalgia look for a site dealing with this problem as it is so complex and they want to share similar problems. I regret I am not much help to you but happy to hear from fibromites or fibromalgics as they say ‘across the pond’. Hope all goes well for your group. Jeanne.

  2. My wife was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago and our lives were changed forever. I am developing an online community for people suffering from fibromyalgia. The online community, “You’re Not Alone” ( http://fibromyalgia.ning.com ), will allow members to participate in fibromyalgia-related discussions in the Forum, share their thoughts and ideas in their blog, and post their personal photos and videos. There is no cost to join. Members of the site follow a simple process to create their profile page, which they can later customize including a profile photo and additional details about themselves. I created the project while participating in a Landmark Education leadership program. Part of the coursework was to create a project that benefits the community. When I had the opportunity to create a project that would make a difference in the community, it was only natural that my wife’s illness would be the inspiration.

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