My name is Jeff and I have Fibromyalgia. I’m one of the less than ten percent of males who contract this illness.
I had throat surgery in 2000 which is, I believe, the trauma which caused this illness. I continued to work driving 60 miles a day, to and from work. As many know, who have this Fibro, sleep is never refreshing nor is it easy to get a good nights rest. On the way to work one day, I drifted off only to wake up before I would have crashed. I realized then, I was going to have to give up working. No so much because of my driving, that was just the last CCC straw, but my ability to work was just not there anymore. Just a few short years before I had hundreds of hours of leave time. I had no time left the day I went off the road.
I had, for years, worked full time and had part-time jobs for fun. The summer before I got sick, I worked part-time doing construction, just for the exercise. I was healthy and happy. After I got sick, my roommates teased me relentlessly. Every time I called in sick or cancelled on an outing, I would be called a pussy and whimp. I was to sick to care. I had to invoke the family leave act and take time off. When I tried to come back to work part time, I was let go.
I met my wife shortly before my illness and that really was the only saving grace in a very dark time. It took almost four years before I was granted disability. If it hadn’t been for my wife, I would have been living under a bridge. For a guy who always paid his way, never depended on another financially, and had always been independent, this new reality was and still is very hard.
They say Fibromyalgia won’t kill you but I’ll tell you some of the side effects sure can. I ended up in hospital with pneumonia, had surgery to scrape the lining of my lung, then contracted c-diff in the hospital. I’ve had kidney and gall stones, and dang near died with a pulmonary embolism. Each event, in some way, seems to be tied to Fibro.
Now each day is a struggle. The battle against depression is never ending, and the search for relief continues. And, each day I’m thankful for my wife who is very understanding and I’m thankful for people like the owner of this blog, for trying to raise awareness