Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rubber bands, paperclips, and staples

Rubber bands, paperclips, and staples
I am in a weird place at this time, I am tired and exhausted and frustrated, and yes I am not the one that actually has the fibro. I have this inside joke with Lynn; we always say we should do a scientific experiment to see if ________ works. Well I think I am doing a life long scientific experiment to see if fibro can rub off on the spouse. I know it sounds corny (or however you spell it). As I have stated in previous posts I do a fair amount of research every week on news and research for the invisible disease and here is what I have decided, I think I am going to send someone a letter in Washington asking them if Fibromyalgia can have its own awareness month. Every time I turn on the TV, I see people talking and raising money for a cure for cancer (as they should it is a horrific disease in its own right) heck every time I fire up the computer the main page this month has some article on cancer, wouldn’t it be great to fire the comp up or turn the TV on and see true information on fibromyalgia? Wouldn’t it be great to have real articles on ways to make the person suffering with this disease better, wouldn’t it be great to have comedy central do a telethon for finding a cure. Instead we search and search for information and if you are lucky after you get past the voodoo doctors selling a cure, and you weed out the guy who just wants to profit from your pain and you are truly lucky you can find one little nugget of information that makes you go hmmm I wonder if this will work to make my wife feel better.

Rubber bandsOk lets be honest here if you’re a man you have done this, if you are a women you may not have but you should try it, take a rubber band and stretch it and then slowly rub your fingernail across it, not hard just apply a bit of pressure, as you do it you see the rubber band slowly start to shred in front of you until there is that remaining last little bit holding it together then snap its broken. I think this is what fibro does to our relationships, let me explain what I mean, it’s the pink elephant in the room it is always there, I want to go to the zoo, so I say hey lets go to the zoo this weekend and I usually get a response of I would love that ( this is where the rubber band is being stretched out), the week passes by and Saturday comes and it’s a bad day so we are staying home (rubber band is slowly being rubbed here) so a few hours later because the pink elephant has reared its head tension has started to creep into every conversation, I am afraid to say anything because I may say something that is wrong (more rubbing) she is tense because she feels bad because once again fibro is dictating what we can and can do (even more rubbing) so by 4pm the awful question is asked what’s for dinner and snap the rubber band is broken and an argument, intellectual disagreement, fussing you name it, it has started and when the conversation is over you look at each other and say what are we arguing over? Why are we arguing over this? Maybe this is a bad analogy but what I seem to have found is that everyday dealing with this disease I see the rubber bands getting stretched, sometimes it’s a quick snap other times it’s a slow rub and it takes a week to snap but it always happens. The hard part is when you stop and realize it isn’t the stupid thing I am upset about it is really that I feel guilty, or hurt or _______ that this disease is actually controlling our day to day lives.

Paper ClipsHere is the problem with paper clips, they hold things together but not nessacarily in the right order, have you ever had a stack of papers and while going through them you move them around and then you have to take care of something so you grab the clip and put it on it? Only to come back 15 minutes, a day or week later and try to figure out how in the world did this get disorganized, where was I in reading this? Well this is the down fall of the paperclip it holds things together but not always in the right order papers can get disheveled, pages get missing, and sometimes when the stack is to big the just pop off.
We do fibromyalgia some days with paperclips, we are battling this today so it goes to the top of the stack, tomorrow we do that so it gets to the top, well lets do this so its on top now, we are arguing with the insurance company trying to get this medication, we are arguing again with insurance for this kind of treatment. Today is this doctor’s appointment, tomorrow it’s a different doctor. Before you know it a week has gone by or a month and all the pages have been moved around and what is supposed to be on the top of the stack which for me is loving and supporting my wife has been spread somewhere else in the pile so if I dig hard enough I may find that page and put it back on top, before you know it you no longer can tell what the proper order is so you try harder to figure it out put them back in order and clip them together, there are so many pages and things to be done that the paperclip just pops off, you cant get it to stay on, this in itself causes us to make a new page a page on how to deal with ourselves when we can no longer keep it together. So what is your paperclip what holds it together for you is it your spouse, is it a friend, what are you relaying on to hold things together for you?

StaplesI love staples here is why, they do the job, they keep things together, you flip to a page but things never get out of order the things that need to be upfront stays up front no matter what it is it will stay in the proper order. I know I am using pages and paper as analogies but what are the pages I mean your spouse, your loved ones, your doctors, your meds, your treatment, your understanding of what the other is dealing with, yard work, special times, and the list goes on. The problem I deal with is that some days instead of using a staple to hold it together I use the paper clip and the rubber band, I lose sight that it isn’t lynns choice some days I lose sight some days that I am supposed to be supportive, I lose track of time that should be spent just enjoying life with my bride, I get consumed with fighting the battle, I get consumed with my selfish desires, I get consumed with frustrations that I cant make my wife better, I get angry that there is no real true help out there for her, well that isn’t true we do have God and each other so there is true help but there doesn’t seem to be relief. I have offered to sell my motorcycle to help pay for treatment, and new meds that the insurance company will not pay for, but in reality that will just make Lynn feel worse. When was the last time you looked at your pages, when was the last time you reorganized what is important, when was the last time you prioritized the pages, when was the last time you honestly sat down and said are my pages in order, are they in the right priority, how do my priorities match up to the needs of the ones I love? I think in the end that is the problem we get so caught up in all the stuff we don’t flip back to the front of the book to remind ourselves and our spouses often enough what that front page says so let me flip it now and read the first page as my parting thought:

Lynn I love you with all that is in me, you are a beautiful, vibrant, sexy, funny, and wonderful women.
I was a blessed man the moment you said you would marry me. I know things are not easy but remember I love you and together we will get thru all of our difficulties.


  1. Wow...Jim & Lynn...I love you guys...and am still praying!

  2. That sir is an awesome husband is very supportive but its like that rubber band thing..and some days it doesnt take much to set me off. I too feel soo guilty that I am not well enough to go to the zoo, or sea world, or any of those fun places. I can barely walk through a few stores at the mall without total meltdown. what I wouldn't give to feel OK. But as much as I want it to be, it is not going to happen in my lifetime. I hope they do find a cure for this blasted syndrome. I also wish that more people would believe that this is an honest to goodness illness. I am way tired of explaining why I can't go out with my friends for an evening of fun and frivolity. Or dinner. I hope when my disability case goes before a judge in the next couple of months, he or she actually believes I cannot work. I want to work, I would love to contribute here to the income, but I can't. The rest of my life is riding on someone else's decision and I personally think that's really unfair, too.
    My husband loves me for sure, if he didn't he would have been gone long ago

  3. Wow! What a powerful post! You really do have a way with words!! I understand how frustrating this illness is for you and I think it's wonderful you realize how frustrating it is for Lynn too. God Bless You!!