Sue explains how the relationship with her husband changed after her fibromyalgia diagnosis.
I had been married for probably about 15 years, maybe less, and my husband had a real hard time with my illness. He couldn’t cope with it and so instead of hanging out with me and being with me, he checked out pretty much. He had his own business and he’d go into his office or he’d be traveling on the road and I would be home alone and he never wanted to talk about it.
So, when I realized how sick I was after Dr. Silverman had given me that diagnosis, I decided I needed to get away and I needed to get away by myself and try to get myself well. So I went to a small town in northern Michigan that I love. It’s very quiet. It’s very peaceful and I went there for a vacation with my girlfriend, but I knew in the back of my mind that if I could find the perfect cabin in the woods by the lake, that was to me Nirvana and that would relax me that I would be staying there and I did and I ended up staying there for a couple of months and I didn’t really talk to many people, including my husband.
We did email, but I realized that I couldn’t walk to the mailbox without effort and the mailbox was right in front of this house and I said to myself, “When I can walk to the road, which was two and a half miles from my front door, I will know that I am well enough to leave,” and it took me a couple of months but I finally did that. I would start walking. I did the pool thing. I went with all the old ladies that did these old ladies’ swim classes and I just moved around as much as I could.
A lot of these women were doing ten times more than I could do, but I got my body in the pool three times a week and then on the other days I would just walk and I would up the pace everyday a little bit more and the combination of the walking and the swimming aerobics really made a huge difference, plus it took quite a while to be able to back myself off of a lot of the drugs that I had been on and that’s a process, you can’t just go off of a lot of these drugs.
So I was thinking that it was time to end my marriage at that point because that was a real source of my unhappiness, but I did go back to my marriage and I did for about three years, and then it started to get bad again and I realized, it was about six months before I was turning 50, that my 40s had been a blur and I did not want to be sick anymore. This illness was not serving me anymore and I needed to figure out how to get rid of it.
I had heard many times over the years because I had read it all and researched it all, certain people that said that they got over fibromyalgia and I couldn’t even imagine that that was possible because if you listen to all the doctors they are going to tell you that there’s no cure. You just have to learn how to live with it, but I had gotten to the point where I decided that I was going to be done with it.