Still hysterical – I’m well practiced

1995: The end of life as I knew it:. I began experiencing excruciating burning pain in my hands, arms and legs. In 1996 fibromyalgia was not recognized by the medical community as a “real” ailment. Doctors considered it to be a syndrome: unexplainable, unverifiable and in all probability psychosomatic. Their unofficial diagnosis was “Hysterical Middle Aged Woman’s Syndrome”.

Doctor after doctor, told me, test after test after expensive test came back negative, that nothing was wrong with me and to go home and “Get a life”. Some looked at me knowingly, like we shared a secret “You’re a psychotherapist. You know about psychology” – Wink, Wink. The only reason I winked back was to blink away the tears that were threatening to disrupt the façade that I wasn’t a hysterical middle-aged woman.

I just wanted someone to put a name to what I had. Gynecologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, environmental specialists, acupuncturists, immunologists, chiropractors, Yup you are reading right! They are ALL in the plural. I didn’t just see one of each. I saw private practitioners, researchers, and heads of hospital departments. I’m sure each of them wrote “HYPOCHONDRIAC” on their charts.

Over two-plus decades later I’m no longer middle-aged, just hysterical.  I still struggle and some mornings I wake up feeling like a locomotive hit me and the bottoms of my feet on fire even tho the only thing they touched for 7 hours was a sheet.  BUT now that the pharmaceutical companies have realized there’s over 10 million people, in the United States alone and millions more world-wide, with this condition the research is progressing.  

 Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue/ME are finally recognized “officially” as an illness.  The research now points to the possibility these conditions are auto-immune, neuro-inflammatory disorders in the brain.  

Those doctors were right after all — it IS all in my head!

judy

14 thoughts on “Still hysterical – I’m well practiced

    • I agree, IBS is the same way. People with chronic conditions follow often frustrating and lonely paths. It’s hard to listen to our bodies when all they seem to do is complain or scream for attention.
      Thank you for taking your time to point that out.
      judy

      Liked by 1 person

      • Still doing some art but mostly writing poetry. I think you know I released Chopping Wood Carrying Water two years ago and now I’m working on a book of poems from the years we lived on the ranch in Claremont. We have been in San Clemente 6 years, I cannot believe it’s been that long! Fibro is an experience of adaptation and going with the flow. I always quote John Denver when people ask how I am: “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.”
        Nice to be in touch.
        Laura

        Like

  1. We are all “head cases”, sadly fibro/ME manifests in the body. I send daily good vibes for relief for you and the 10 million+.

    Like

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