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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Putting a smile on....

I know the heading in my blog says " The Pleasures of life" ... and actually I have often thought I should get rid of that part and just put  " musings on the day to day life of one woman " or just leave it off completely. Some days there are subjects I wish to "muse upon" that are not in least bit pleasurable. This is one of those days. So be warned. This is not about a day-cation, or what face cream I am trying or a new hat, or even what book I am reading and sharing with you all. This is real life, my life. What I deal with 24-7, and have for many, many years, even before I actually knew what I was suffering from. Pain. Non-stop, OTC pain pills will not touch pain. 

  I live with chronic pain. I have Fibromyalgia , I have arthritis in many of my joints and I have had iron deficient anemia most of my life, and it too causes many physical issues . To look at me , you would not guess. I always try to put a smile on; really is just a mask. I take my pain with stride, but there are those times when it becomes to much to deal with, and I just become so very tired of the fight, tired of faking it, tired of trying to ignore it.

Right now, I am hurting so much I could easily break down in tears or cry out in discomfort. Yet no one can see it. I even went on a Hard Hat and Pearls adventure today ( will post tomorrow) , and enjoyed an afternoon spent with my husband and middle daughter, laughing and smiling. I have become so good at putting that mask on, I often can fool myself , for a time. I can not get comfortable or pain free in bed, on the couch, or even while writing this blog, in fact writing the blog causes so much shoulder, neck, back, and arm and hand pain that I often have to take quite a few breaks during the writing of it so as to make it through.

I have written of the dental issues I am dealing with, they are all complicated further by the fibro. I was just reading what advanced periodontal disease will or can do to you...increased rate in strokes, heart attacks and so many other health ailments,  I simply do not know how many more I can take.But then I remember my family and the mask gets adjusted and put back into place, and despite what my teeth look like ( and they are scary if you really get close) I put a smile on.

I read up on all the procedures I face to try to save my teeth, that by definition are not worth saving and only prolong things....may make things worse. The alone scare me more than the health issues to some extent. The pain that is described...the long healing times. My body does not heal properly, never has. The chronic pain I suffer from day in and day out, at times makes it so that getting out of bed, after a night of tossing and turning from the pain, so no sleep, harder and harder. I am often so glad that no one is around till I can muster up that smile on my face . The mask of jokes and brushing off that I put on.

I have written into every TV show I can think of. Ellen, Oprah. Rachel Ray, The Doctors, Dr. Oz.  I even got on my knees to pray last night, that in itself is very hard for me to do. I enter Publishers daily, hoping to win. I just want to have a pain free, beautiful smile when I put it on to mask the rest of my day to day physical pain. But down deep , I fear none of the effort will have resulted in anything. Each day it becomes more painful to eat, my neck, jaw, ears and face hurt from the throbbing of my teeth. Imagine a constant tooth in and day out and there is nothing you can do for it, and you know that soon your teeth will fall out, and then new problems will arise from that....this causes mental pain and stress and of course that effects the is a vicious circle.

You may ask what fibro is , you may not understand it. Many say if they can not see that you are sick, then you must not be. Well the easiest way to describe it is a giant bruise that aches....all over. Head to toe. It is over active nerves. It effects so many things besides how your body feels. You also are exhausted, because of the nerves being on over drive all the time. You get G.I. Issues, your muscles feel tight and strained. You get out of breath, you can feel pain in your chest like a heart attack ( I do, comes and goes, but is scary) it effects your bladder. You swell and bloat with water no matter what you do. The list goes on and on and it mimics so many other horrible health issues, and all doctors do is shove anti-depressants and pain meds at you. There is little more that they can do. You can not recover, and you will always have it. This link gives an uncomplicated over view, but there is more to it, one site has enough side effect links you could spend a month or more reading all of them. Not everyone has everything and not everyone hurts at the same level....though it is known that it gets worse with age for some.

I do my best to put that smile on. I have , as I said become a pro. You will not see me without one in my photos here , and if you were to meet me in person and ask how my day is, I would say "good/great" , and smile.  I get up , I do my walk, my chores , still try to live a normal life, but I am not sure I remember what that really is. I have friends that have walked away from me as they can not deal when I let the mask slide off. I have family that does not truly understand and often forget because I play it all off as if I feel fine. Truth is, it is getting worse.

I do not want to be the drama queen or the downer that everyone avoids. But I find myself that is who I have become. Between the stress of the last two years, our current lot in life, and there no real light at the end of the tunnel . Now a major "flair" as it is known when the pain increases, the realization that I will loose my teeth, sooner than later and it more than likely will shorten my life as well cause I can not do a thing about it...and realizing as well that my husband, who is also my best friend and my support, may face the same thing, as he too is in need of dental work...well that of course adds to my discomfort. It is making my mask, my smile slip more and more.

I am finding it harder and harder to see that cup half full, to have a good day, to get past things, to make the best of it, to put the smile on. It is chasing friends away, has even chased  a couple of my family members away as well....I only have online friends as it is,  as the fibro has isolated me, or made me isolate myself in not being up to dealing with joining clubs, churches, or getting a job, all places you make friends. Now I find that the harder it is for me to put the smile on, those , even those with fibro as well are turning away, distancing themselves from the negative...who can blame them. I once did the same..."running " away from fibro support groups because no one on these groups were positive....I wanted to be positive about my lot in life, no matter what. I have become all that I shied away from over the years. And I do not know how to reverse that. Do not know if I can. I have a friend, she too has fibro and she is so positive, so filled with cheer and light, she is a fighter...I envy her, cause try as I might it is becoming nearly impossible to muster the energy to be that way. She not only sees the glass as half full, but over flowing. I so truly want to be that way. To be able to keep the mask on, the smile on my face and believe it myself , fool myself in a way to be able to ignore the obvious.

I am not depressed.Though many suffer as a side effect and thought it sure sounds like it many of the times when the mask falls. I am not even blue, though there are times , I will admit, but it is not every day. I still find joy and happiness and pleasure in each and every day of my life on some level, I have a harder time expressing it, but that has always been my way. I am a serious person...not goofy, never have been. Just my nature. So it is even harder, more work for me to keep the smile on my does not come naturally for me. I had to work on it, long before the fibro.So keeping the mask up is two times as hard now.

  I just want others to understand . Not to gain pity, not even to gain compassion, simply to gain understanding. To see, if only by words, what living with chronic pain is like . I wanted to share, the way so many others have when I have been in support groups, but share with those that are unfamiliar with it , even while it effects more and more people in all walks of life, all ages. So if my mask , with the smile slips from time to time you too might understand . I would hate to scare you off( as you all make me smile quite easily)  by what hides behind it. But I promise to work as hard as I can to put a smile on when we share time here. BUT if it slips....hang in there with will not take it long to be back in place.


  1. Oh Ruby, I'm so sorry. I haven't been able to check in with you for a while and I certainly hoped you were doing better than you are. Keep fighting!!!

  2. Know that on the days of your most intense pain, my thoughts and prayers are with you... There are no words that can be said to change anything or to even "understand" what you're going through... We all, each of us, have a story and a life that we must go through before the end... But, the support of others during the most trying times can at least lighten the load... as the old, "Joys shared are doubled; Sorrows shared are halved"... {{{Hugs}}} Come visit when you can...

  3. Darling, I don't normally comment, just read, but since this is something about your health and pain, I've got to ask... Have you tried nutritional therapy approach? Do you need advice on this? If you ever need any help or info, just let me know, promise. I will always do my best to help you. x

  4. There are not any words to say, please know that thoughts are with you. From one of your online connecting friends - we are with you.

  5. I just want to give you a big hug. I will pray for you, friend. I totally understand's the same with MS. Sometimes the symptoms are horrible but invisible and nobody thinks you're sick.

  6. I too have nothing to say except that I'm very, very sorry. I do know others who have dealt with pain that doesn't stop; it's so tough. Just know that many people are hoping that your symptoms give you some peace, and soon.

  7. ((((Ruby)))), I am so sorry! Sending you healing energy and prayers, hoping the Universe sends a solution..and soon!



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