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Friday, November 2, 2012

The personal search for a cure . . . or do we write our next life chapter?

Autumn colors in Lori's yard in Missouri
I keep informed about the latest news on fibromyalgia research and I'll bet you do too.  There are books available that claim they know the answer for a cure.  From my experience there are fibro flares or excacerbations and there can be varying levels of remissions.  When people experience a significant remission they rejoyce and celebrate their victory and welcome the return of wellness.  They believe they have reclaimed their "life" defined as a youthful exuberance.  But fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue lurk in the background waiting to strike again with a vengence.  Being in denial does have its benefits, but as this illness marches on the reality of our lives becomes clearer and more difficult to avoid.  Current research indicates that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are due to central nervous system sensitization, but what causes the central nervous system to be overly sensitive to stimuli?  So we still don't know the root cause of this illness, therefore treatment continues to be focused on symptom management.  The reality of symptom management is we must spend every hour of every day managing those symptoms.  Each of us is familiar with our own particular fibro rhythm that we experience every day with little variation.  How productive is it for us to wait for a cure so we can return to our previous wellness plateau?

Rose in Lori's garden in Missouri
It seems to me that life is lived as a series of chapters in a book that is continuously in the process of being written.  Some chapters are longer than others and there are times when chapters are frequently revisited and revised.  When chapters are revisited and revised that means that new chapters fail to unfold and that life book becomes stagnant.  Reminiscing about the past means existing in a static state and new life chapters fail to be written.  There are no dramas, no adventures, and no comedies added to our rich life experiences.  It's as if we have chosen to hang in a sort of suspended animation that is equivalent to being in a self-induced coma.  That seems to be a sad choice for any of us, but I see people that have chosen that path as they put their life on hold and wait for a cure that may not come for decades if at all.

Our hope for our life book must be centered on living our lives and adding more chapters so we can look back on a life well-lived despite the challenges and obstacles we have faced.  No one ever guaranteed an easy life path.  So let's get back in the game and write some more life chapters.  What is it that you hope for your life?  Whatever that hope is, don't let your current limitations rob you of your opportunities.  There are ways to make it happen.  You may have to modify your dreams, but don't give them up.  We are sometimes the very people that place obstacles in our own way, which is self sabbotage.  When you think you can't accomplish something ask yourself if it is you that stands in your own way.  It's surprising how often we do set up road blocks for ourselves.

So instead of putting all our hope on waiting for a cure, let's refocus our hope on the present and the future.  Let's place our hope on our lives and not on an illness that seeks our complete attention and tries to put our lives on hold while we live in the past in a life chapter that was written so many years ago.  Our experience includes this illness and is a chapter in our lives that should not be denied.  We can't afford to wait for the fibromyalgia cure to live our dreams and write our next chapter.  What is your next chapter?  Send me your thoughts about your next life chapter so I can write about you in my blog.  If you send a picture I will include that in my blog too.  Blessings to you as you write all the chapters of your life that are yet to be!
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