"No, really," I told the Universe. "It's OK. I have more than my share already."
But the Universe can be heartless. It silently, and without apology, handed me another one.
It's called fibromyalgia. It sucks. But it explains almost all of my symptoms since the winter: pain everywhere, enormous fatigue, GI stuff, revved-up anxiety, and depression. I had a brief reprieve -- maybe two months -- and now the symptoms are back with furious intensity.
This fibromyalgia is most likely the result of persistent and prodigious stress over the many years of trying to keep my child safe from his own self-injurious impulses. Of trying to keep him alive and happy (the latter quite unsuccessfully) and never knowing from one hour to the next when or where the next bomb was going to strike.
Man, that is one hard job. I kind of feel like I've earned a ginormous salary but someone forgot to cut my checks. At least, when I let myself think about it, which is not often because it is too damned depressing.
So I have to figure out how to manage these symptoms AND live this new life that is not bounded on all sides by disability and crisis. (Although I guess it is -- my own and not Benjy's.) I started a medication last night because there is only so much sleep you can do without until you start obsessing about Fatal Familial Insomnia (remember that? Yes, I am obsessed with it and have written about my obsession in the past. That has got to be one of the worst ways to go. I'll spare you the agony of a link to a site about it. You're welcome. ;)
Pain all over = no sleep. So I started this new med and of course I feel like crap today -- completely drugged up and still in pain. Because meds and I apparently DO NOT MIX. Kind of like Vicodin and Vodka.
I find it all very confusing. So off I go into the world of medical research once again. I'll let you know when I figure this stuff out. I think I will, if I can muster the energy to put in some effort.
If anyone out there has any ideas, let me know!