Trisha from Notes from the Fog has been a strong supporter of the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Campaign from the beginning. Throughout the campaign she will be sharing her own Foggy Frog stories on her site, but today she is sharing her story here for us.
After the birth of my youngest son in January of 2000, I started feeling really awful. I was tired. My back hurt and I felt a constant, dull ache throughout my whole body. My mind got muddled and fuzzy. Sometimes I felt dizzy or like I was dreaming instead of awake. Nothing felt real but everything felt overwhelming. At first I thought it was just from lack of sleep but it continued. And worsened. I wondered if everyone felt this bad, that maybe all parents were this tired and achy, even though no one else mentioned it. I had no idea that Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang were working on me, preparing for a takeover.
In the spring of 2003, Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang made their big move and completely hijacked my life. Two days after getting my first massage, they hit me like a ton of bricks. Foggy Frog took up permanent residence in my mind, making me feel foggy and groggy all the time. I was so tired, my body feeling so heavy that I could barely move. I had difficulty staying awake to watch my kids. The Gnawing Gnats crawled all over my body, gnawing away on my bones and muscles, causing intense, constant pain. They were joined by the Stabbing Spiders, the Burning Bats and the Needling Nematodes and together they attacked my back, my hips, my neck, my shoulders, my feet, causing many different kinds of pain, all severe and agonizing. My whole body felt achy, like it had been run over by a big truck. I realized something was very, very wrong.
I went to the Naturopath I’d been seeing and she tested me for a few different illnesses, most of which were terrifying. While I was online researching the deadly blood disorder she suspected, something told me to look up fibromyalgia. I did and my jaw dropped. The description of fibromyalgia was describing me and everything that I was experiencing! I went back to my Naturopath and told her my theory. She reluctantly tested me for tender points and seemed irritated when I flinched as she prodded each tender point. She did more blood work to rule out other illnesses, (and thankfully that deadly blood disorder) then finally, very reluctantly agreed that my symptoms fit a diagnosis of fibromyalgia…which, in her opinion, wasn’t a real diagnosis and, therefore, couldn’t be treated.
I ditched her and went to an allopathic doctor, who also ran some tests to rule out other illnesses, then prescribed several medications that didn’t promise much relief. This doctor told me that fibromyalgia is something that doesn’t progress but never really gets better either, so basically I would have to learn to live with it. Lovely! I read and researched on my own and everything I read pointed to the same conclusion: Frog and the Pain Gang were here to stay. This was very discouraging to say the least. They were making my life miserable and I wanted them gone!
Over the years, I’ve learned ways to keep Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang from getting too far out of control. If I pace myself and don’t try to do too much (which translates to less than half of what a healthy person does in a day) I can keep the pain, fatigue and brain fog to a level low enough that I can semi-function…most of the time. But if I left my guard down and do too much, Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang quickly remind me that they have the final say in how much I can do. They are always ready, waiting to launch an attack and cause a flare-up of symptoms. With lots of rest, the flares do eventually subside but the reality is that every day, even the days I call “good” days, I feel Foggy Frog muddying up my mind and the Pain Gang chewing on my bones and bruising my muscles. They are a part of my life now and there’s no ignoring them, only learning to live with them.
In her own words, Trisha is a 43-year-old, foggy-brained stay-at-home mom who has struggled with health issues since she had mononucleosis at 16-years-old. Notes from the Fog is her journal of learning to live life well while living with the pain, fatigue and brain fog of fibromyalgia, plus all her favorite distractions such as pets, squirels and birds, her herbalism course, aromatherapy, teaching herself to sew and whatever else happens to strike her fancy.