Yesterday was bad. I was so exhausted, I could barely move or function. One minute I was sweating to death, the next I had the chills. I felt like I was moving in slow motion. My head was spinning and I could not think or concentrate on anything.

When J- came home from work, I started crying for no reason. He took pity on me. He took the girls to a fast food restaurant for dinner and left me home alone to rest and have quiet. By the time they came home, I had finally stopped shaking, but I still had no energy and I still felt dazed.  Today is a little better, but rough. I am still tired and my whole body hurts. I lack motivation to do much of anything, but I have already started some chores. When I say my whole body hurts, it is a deep ache, all the way through my bones. My pelvic bone feels like it is on fire inside of me. My entire back feels like a car windshield that has been cracked like a spider web and each link of that web is burning hot. My arms feel like lead and when I hold my toddler, I swear my arms will rip out of their sockets. Bending over to put my shoes on makes my head feel like it is going to explode from pressure and I see spots.

A few years ago, my doctor told me that I have to stop over doing everything and stop pushing myself so hard. She sent me to see two different specialists. There was a concern that I had an autoimmune disease. Turns out they diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. I get tired easily. The more wore out I become, the harder it is to function or focus on anything. As my body becomes drained, my immune system does weaken. The pain I deal with increases exponentially when I push myself too hard.

This part is hard to talk about. I am hiding my body again. The more tired I become, the weaker I feel, the more exhausted I become, the easier I bruise. The bruising is what started the discussion with my doctor in the first place. I asked her if I had a vitamin deficiency because of how easily I bruise. Dark black and purple bruises, some the size of golf balls, some larger than that. No idea how I get them. I do not feel them. They do not hurt. After initial testing for vitamin deficiency, she immediately sent me to see the specialists. People have asked me if my husband beats me. It is embarrassing and demoralizing. Anyone who knows him would never ask that in a million years!

He has never raised a hand to me. I have never had to worry about him becoming violent with me or the girls. I am the one with the temper, not him. So I have learned to hide my body with long sleeves and pants. I only wear shorts at home and not out in public. Currently, I have a bruise on my left thigh about the size of a grapefruit. It was not there when I woke up yesterday, but it was there when I got undressed for bed last night. It is black, purple and red. It is also swollen and tender to the touch. This is the part that bothers me because my bruises normally do not hurt or swell. I never feel them. My right leg and arm have a total of about 9 bruises on them, the smallest one being the size of a golf ball. I have no clue why I have so many! The look on his face yesterday when he seen them was right about the time I burst out crying. Right now, I do not want anyone to see my body, not even my husband. This makes me feel gross, insecure, ugly, weak and pathetic.

I have always been afraid of ending up like my dad-sick and unable to do for myself. Yesterday, J- looked at me and said “you are not your dad, so stop thinking about it”. He just knew what was going through my head. Yes, my dad had cancer. Yes, I have already been tested for cancer and was told there are no signs anywhere in all of the medical testing. That was about 3 years ago. No, I do not think I have cancer.

I am too nervous and scared to go back to the doctor and discuss any of this. While I was seeing the specialists to determine if I had an autoimmune disease, certain family members called me a hypochondriac. That was actually the nicest things they had to say. I was called a useless bitch, a dumbass, hysterical, pathetic, and told I was seeking attention on purpose. I just wanted to know why I was bruising so bad all of the time. I never thought it would result in 5 months of doctors appointments. I thought I could just change my diet and voilà! Problem fixed. I remember telling my doctor, “yes, I have seen commercials on TV about fibromyalgia, but I have no clue what it is”. I do not want to be sick. I was so scared of people’s reactions and the things they would say to me, that I never told anyone about being tested for cancer until months after the fact. Most people in my life still do not know I was tested. Just like most do not know I was tested for breast cancer in high school because of lumps that were found on my left breast. I didn’t even tell my husband about it until I was half way through the screening process. Given my families medical history with cancer, my doctor was testing me for three different types of cancer. The whole process felt like it took forever. No doctor has been able to tell me why I bruise like this or what I can do about it.

I am uncomfortable in public when I look like this. People see the marks and sunken eyes with dark circles and automatically think the worst things. Today is going to be a long day. Tons of chores to do and several errands to run. The shaking is minimal. I can hold a coffee mug without spilling, but my grip is weak and I am dropping things easily. Washing dishes is a challenge today. If I stay on my feet for longer than a few minutes, I get light headed and dizzy. My natural reaction is to load up on caffeine to combat this. FYI, not what my doctor recommends. Life does not stop just because I feel like this. Responsibilities must be taken care of, which means I must deal with it. I hate myself when I feel this weak. No one can make me feel worse than how I make myself feel when I am like this.