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Growing Old with FibromyalgiaMy eyes peel open like the lens covering a camera;
my limbs feel like it has been raining bricks in my sleep.
I rise, a soldier climbing out of a foxhole
after a 42 day battle.
I stand, a baby calf learning to walk.
How old am I today?
My body needs more sleep
addicteed to the 5 year old mattress,
but I can't satisfy my urges.
It gets harder to breathe.
Nauseas consumes every breath,
a cactus stuck to my chest,
feathers tickling air in my lungs.
My arms, blood replaced with lead,
attempting to do the morning routine;
put in contacts, scrub the teeth, brush th hair.
When did I beomce so decrepit?
The reflection in the mirror asks
with questioning eyes of a kitten,
"How will you feel when you turn 30?"
Abnormal, but unspecific
At 25, almost half of Riikka's life has been spent with being sick and visiting doctor after doctor. She would surely have better things to do. There's nothing she hates as much as doctors and she has nightmares about visits where she's humiliated. That hasn't been unusual. Even now, doctors treat her condescendingly, like a kid. It took over a decade to obtain a diagnosis.
There have been dozens and again dozens of doctors over the years, neurologists, opthalmologists, infection specialists and rheumatologists. It certainly feels like they couldn't care less what happens to Riikka. They're constantly trying to push physiotherapy, something Riikka has been doing for years, even though she doesn't have much mobility left any longer.
Riikka is sick with something many doctors don't even believe in and that officially doesn't exist in Finland, even though it has been included in WHO's official ICD-10 for a long time. In many countries it's known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). In Finla
The flu that didn't go away
When did you last see an interview of someone who has chronic fatigue syndrome? You probably didn't, unless you were reading about Laura Hillenbrand, the author of Seabiscuit. Hillenbrand was confined to her room for years and the result was a praised and prized novel. But most people suffering from CFS don't have that book to show others. They may spend years or decades homebound and the world conveniently forgets about them. There is no glamour about CFS. Someone just takes over your life and hits the pause button without asking you.
Jat is 20 years old and lives with his family in a suburban area near Toronto, Canada. It has been over a decade since his life was abruptly put on hold. "I got sick in March of 1993, just after we had the bathroom painted. Within a few days my mother, brother and I all became mysteriously ill. At first we assumed it was something that would pass, such as a nasty flu."
But the malady didn't go away. After a while two of them were told they had mononucleo
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