In the Beginning
Perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. As Elyse has navigated through her fibromyalgia journey, we’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve learned a lot and she eventually was able to come to a place where she can manage her fibro and function as a wife, a mother, and as the matriarch of our household. Every day she is in some degree of pain, experiences some degree of brain fog, easily exhausted, and easy to irritate, BUT she is able (most of the time) to find a way to get through most days just fine. I’ve adapted as a husband and we’ve adapted as a family. But it wasn’t always this way, it’s taken a long time. It wasn’t easy – it’s been a long hard road. My perspective has changed, rather, evolved over the years.
The first time I realized that something was wrong with Elyse was when she was pregnant with our third child. The first time in my life where I felt powerless and helpless. I never felt so scared and weak. I don’t remember when EXACTLY during the pregnancy that it started but around the first trimester she started experiencing indescribable pain. I don’t believe it started off immensely severe, but indescribable in that she couldn’t describe exactly what kind of pain it was. It escalated and grew to the point where she would just lay in bed and cry because the pain was so bad. From my perspective, this was the scariest part. I didn’t know what was going on. None of the doctors we went to knew what was going on. I didn’t know if or in what way this was affecting the baby. I didn’t know if she (the baby) was in immense pain also. And it wasn’t just pain; the difficult part was that she experienced a multitude of different issues during this pregnancy, we and the doctors couldn’t figure out what could be attributed to the pregnancy and what (if any) was due to the pregnancy. There are the obvious ones such as fatigue, irritability, moodiness, that we attributed to the pregnancy. But the brain fog, the heart palpitations, the extreme lethargy, and most certainly the pain – nobody knew what was going on.
Fibromyalgia changed my life too
I tried to be a supportive husband and partner, tried to be there for her and support her. I was fortunate that I was working at a job that was very flexible. I was able to take time off when I needed to be home with Elyse. Most times it was spur of the moment – I’d wake up, take a shower, get dressed for work and then have to make a decision to call in or not based on how Elyse was feeling. However, it got to the point where I’d be able to tell the night before if the next day was going to be a rough one for her and I’d call in that night. I’m very grateful for having the opportunity to do that. If I didn’t have that flexibility I can’t imagine any other way I’d be able to take care of Elyse and our other two boys. From my perspective though, there were some days I’d (selfishly) rather go to work than stay home and take care of everyone. The household was stressful, chaotic, and full of tension. Going to work was my “getaway”. Our two boys were a handful (still are) and I didn’t really know how to take care of Elyse and the baby. I’d try, but a lot of the time it’d be the wrong thing, or not what she wanted, or done in the wrong way. It was a lot and in hindsight, I could have been better. I attribute a lot of it to just not knowing.
During that time, I had to become responsible for a lot more than I ever had to do before. I had to balance work, kids, and a sick pregnant wife. Things around the house backed up; laundry, dishes, cleaning, food, etc. The two boys (ages 2 and 7) still needed a lot of attention. Elyse needed a lot from me. It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t always want to do it. I know there are “super moms/dads” out there, I’m not one of them. But, I’ve learned from that and I’ve grown since then. Elyse is a strong and determined woman, she’s endured a lot and I admire how much she has grown.
If you are looking for information on having fibromyalgia and being pregnant please follow the link in the second paragraph under when she was pregnant Melissa with melissavsfibromyalgia.com is a great resource.