Thanks to Guaifenesin... I’m learning how to live again.
The world seems so new and big in so many ways, it's nearly overwhelming. In some ways I seem to have become well overnight; the chronic fatigue that devastated me, especially in my last year of illness, seemed to lift away like fog burning off of the Coast. In other ways, magic keeps happening.
Every day I experience the ability to do something that until very recently I only dreamt of. I find myself now thinking several steps ahead in problem solving when a singular thought through fibro fog was like trying to clear cobwebs off of my brain. I can multi task efficiently. I can read and comprehend the news. I feel smart again! I’m processing more information daily than I ever could when ill. It’s wonderful and exciting being able to be creative again. Allowing new thoughts to form and observing my new life take shape is incredible!
Throughout the years of this illness, I have read everything I could find regarding Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. I belong to numerous supportive groups on Facebook, yet nothing has adequately prepared me for what it feels like to be well again after 12.4 years of chronic pain and illness. It’s overwhelming and it’s FABULOUS. I’m navigating myself through my renewal day-by-day. I feel again like the me that existed prior to becoming symptomatic. I’m 12 years older, but my psyche doesn’t recognize the aging process that has occurred - I completely get Rip Van Winkle!
I recognize the youthful version of myself currently emerging. The passionate, opinionated, carefree me. I also have the ability to view my behavior and thought processes from my more mature age and can reign the younger side of me in.
When I was desperately ill, I had several goals that kept me going.
The biggest one by far was becoming well again for my marriage. I was so consumed with that primary goal, that I hadn’t the ability to pay attention to my marriage in the moment. I only had energy to fight to become well again. Well, I accomplished that! My husband and I are enjoying becoming acquainted. We are really able to talk now and share in each others lives. We take long walks together, dine out and taking long weekends away together.
The next was the thought of being able to hike again and be in nature. That was how I relieved stress and felt my spiritual connection. I sorely missed it, as I was even too ill to sit outside on my deck surrounded by nature. Several days ago, for the first time in 12 years, I was able to walk 2 of the 4.6 miles along the Yahi Trail in Upper Bidwell Park, the 3rd largest park in CA. I was in awe of my surroundings, of the sound of the water flowing downstream, of the feel of the rocks on the path, enjoying meeting other hikers along the way and exchanging hello’s. Hiking always made me feel so alive and it did again.
My third goal, something that I never really thought I would attain again, was to be able to lift weights again. From age 18 to 38, I was a bodybuilder. I loved feeling strong and being toned. At times during my illness when I had a reprieve from the worst symptoms, I tried exercising and lifting weights, only to end up with increased headaches. Never say never! For the past six weeks, I have been walking on my TreadClimber. I started at 5 minutes and have worked up to 23. A few weeks later I was able to incorporate doing upper body exercises with 3 lb. dumbbells, and I just increased to 5 lbs. It’s a far cry from working out up to two hours four times per week, but it’s an excellent beginning. Next week I’m meeting with a personal trainer!
What a difference two months can make in the recovery process. That is the difference between my last day of being chronically ill and my enjoying every moment of every day. If you're currently on the Guaifenesin Protocol and feeling like you'll never reach the other side... please, don't lose hope. It can be a long, strange process, but is well worth it in the end. I’m finally living again!
~ Lynn Phipps