One day, many years ago, I had a premonition of my future with fibromyalgia.
I was working as a dietary aid at a nursing home, washing my dishes from breakfast. That particular morning, I was so exhausted, grumpy and my body hurt terribly. Each plate seemed to weigh like a ton and all I wanted to do was go home so that I could pop a Tylenol 800 mg (that’s what my doctor gave me back then) and sleep.
I was only 28 years old and a newly single mother, trying to support my young daughter. I had been diagnosed with fibro at the age of 24, so it was all relatively new to me and only played a minor role in my life, an occasional pain in my ass. It wasn’t something that I ever disclosed to my employers, because I figured that they wouldn’t hire me if they knew that I had a funky, difficult to spell disease.
I finally finished my dishes (thank God!) and then grabbed myself a cup of coffee so I could take my smoke break. (Although I quit, I still want a damn cigarette sometimes!)
I was sitting there resting my weary bones when it hit me like a tidal wave of foreboding; what if someday, I couldn’t work anymore? What if this complicated and invisible illness became worse as I aged?
What would I fucking do??
A coworker came and plopped down next to me, lighting her cigarette and then exhaling dramatically like she did on a daily basis. She was much older than me and her personality was always over the top.
“What a morning!!”
I nodded, distracted by my own thoughts.
I couldn’t tell her the truth, because I knew that she’d spread the news around like cow manure on a cornfield, so I just said that I was having a really bad day.
“Yeah, we all have those. Maybe you’re coming down with something?”
Then at the age of 37, the fibromyalgia and my mental illnesses finally caught up with me. I had to stop working as a daycare cook (fish-sticks, anyone?) and
apply fight for disability. I miss being able to earn my own living and being home each day gets old really quick, especially when you feel like pigshit on pumpernickel bread.
Maybe I just pushed myself too hard or I didn’t take my disease(s) seriously enough.
But there’s no sense in going back, is there? The what ifs in life are what do us the most harm.
Have you ever had a premonition of your future? If so, did it end up becoming true?