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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/8/2008 4:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone!

I'm so glad I found you. I've been reading your posts for hours now, and I don't feel so alone anymore. I'm 35, divorced, and have a wonderful 10 year old daughter, 2 cats, and 2 rabbits, and we're currently living with my mom (who also suffers from fibromyalgia among other things) and stepfather.I naturally feel awful about this because I feel completely useless and haven't been able to hold a stable job. Things are OK for a while, but I miss too many days and wind up having to resign. I started experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia (I felt like I was sore from overdoing it at the gym, and the feeling wouldn't go away, and kept getting worse) after the second of two car accidents, which left me with 1 herniated and 1 bulging disc each in my neck and lower back also (the second disc in my neck may have slightly herniated also as a result of the second accident. The MRI was hard to read). The herniated/ bulging discs don't bother me too much, at least not that I know of. I was officially diagnosed by a really understanding rheumatologist in August of 2005. I recently returned to school and finished a certificate program in PC Repair and Installation, have passed my Network + exam, and am studying for my A+ exams with some difficulty (so many numbers, and my memory certainly isn't what it used to be), but I feel pretty determined to pass them and turn things around. I have so many questions, and I hope you'll be patient with me. I've already received a very warm welcome from Marlee, and I appreciate it. I'm sorry if some are repeats...
First and foremost, I'm trying to get back on my feet employment-wise. I feel like a horrible mother for not being able to support my daughter on my own, or really at all, and I'm not sure what to do. I have had a very difficult time finding work in Miami and am considering moving in with a rather new boyfriend I met as a possible roommate where work is more readily available, which would mean moving about 4 hours away from my daughter, and the thought just kills me inside. I currently share custody with my ex husband, who isn't always pleasant to deal with, although I've heard much worse stories. I think I could work out reasonable alternative custody arrangements, or at least I hope so. Is this even an option? Are there any others? It seems I'm running out of choices here, as the health of both my mother and stepfather is getting worse, and I'm an added burden on them. Things aren't easy as is. Rent would be very cheap, allowing me to work only part-time, which I feel is all I can handle right now. I can make the drive on a good day given a couple days to recover afterward. How do you mothers feel about this? What would you do? Is there another viable option that would allow me to work from home? My background is mainly in customer service with a bit of technical support.
Other questions... My doctor prescribed Lyrica (I take 1 50mg capsule per day most days), but I was already taking Xanax for insomnia. The only other medication I take is Verapamil to help with a rather annoying irregular heartbeat. Does anyone take them together? My doctor wasn't certain if I should do so, but I hate having to choose whether to ease the pain a bit or sleep. If I still have difficulty keeping a job, am I eligible for disability? For the women out there, rather personal question: Do your symptoms worsen with PMS? I don't know if it's hormone fluctuations or water retention or exactly what, but that week beforehand is usually awful for me. This is worrisome, as I'd like to have another child someday, if I can get my life back in order, and I worry that things will get worse with pregnancy. Here's a sort of silly question: Does anyone else require both hands to brush their teeth? LOL, I feel so funny doing it, but I have to hold my elbow with one hand while I use the other hand to brush. My arms always feel so week when I have to lift things above my waist. Also, recently, my knees have been making odd crackling noises with accompanying stiffness. Is this "normal"? Also, do symptoms vary in severity between individuals, or do we all go through the same things? I guess that's subjective and hard to tell, but some people seem to do so well, and so do I at times, but at other times, I feel like I'll never make it through the day and wind up screaming into a pillow just to let it all out. Am I just overreacting? Sometimes I wish I was. I've heard Pilates exercises were beneficial. Has anyone tried? I know I need a good 20 minutes or so of stretching before I even consider getting out of bed in the morning (or early afternoon). I know I'm asking a lot here. Thank you so much in advance...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1279
   Posted 10/8/2008 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Fibrofog and welcome!

Oh, your plate is full like many here- I can relate to you on alot of things you talked about. I have been a single parent most of my life and it's a tough, tough job.

Just my opinion, but I would not move in with a brand new boyfriend. It could be "from the frying pan into the fire" situation. And you would have to be so far away from your daughter. Not an option. She needs you. I don't know how Florida is but in Minnesota they have numerous agencies that can help rehabilitate you back into the work place or maybe even working from home. Also they have financial assistance, food assistance and medical. You are not a bad mother!! You did not ask for any of this and it sounds like you are doing the best you can.  

I am now just thinking of what I can do too. I got hit hard with fibro this last spring and have been off work ever since. I have also applied for disability and was turned down. Now I get to jump through more hoops and am appealing it.

I take this one day at a time and try not to let this overwhelm me but it has been "hard." The group here have been my "rock" as they know exactly what your going through!

I have an appointment over lunch and need to get ready- but hang in there and keep posting- we'll be here for you. GamJill  

Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 10/8/2008 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Fibrofog you are under so much stress and that just makes fibro worse. Your not a horrible mother cause you have fibro, it's not like you asked for this DD.
I find if I write out all my problems and go over them one at a time and explore options to solve the problem it's easier than having all that going a hundred miles an hour in my brain. Prioritize, I'm sure your daughter comes first so what is best for her??? You said the thought of leaving her kills you inside. If something is going to make you feel worse it's not the right decision. I do a lot of self analysis and if the thought of something causes me anxiety I know it's not the right thing to do.
Your lucky to have your parents to take some of the financial burden off of you even though I'm sure you hate having to live with them but think of it as temporary til you figure everything out and can get on your feet again. Many mothers on here work full time jobs and I'm sure they will have suggestions for you. You may not be able to work a full time job so you need to explore disability.
I do not take lyrica but I take both verapamil and xanax together, been doing it for a long time.
I'm glad you found us and hopefully we can get you to relax and figure everything out. Take some deep breaths and we will help you.
I don't think any two people with fibro feels everything the same. For me the fatigue is the worse part most of the time.
luv and hugs
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 10/8/2008 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Fibrofog and welcome to the family! You have found a wonderful haven of support, understanding and love here and I'm so glad you found us too! I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with so much all at the same time. Sometimes I wonder if even Job from the Bible could handle this fibro stuff on top of everthing else he had to deal with.

First off, you are NOT a horrible mother. You can only do what your body and mind will physically and mentally allow. You're not a superhero nor are you superhuman! Understanding that and finding out what you CAN do are so important. Try to get to YOUR best physical and mental capability and go from there. Don't be hard on yourself because stress IS your didn't ask for this potentially-debilitating disease so patience, understanding and treatments are your best allies. I've had to be reminded of that myself from time to time over the years. Your daughter is the lucky one because you care so much! Ten is still a good daughter is 13 and thinks she should have the privileges of and be treated as if she was 16 or older!!!!!!!(LOL)

Gentlest of hugs,
John (53)
Dx'd June 2008 with Fibro, CFS and CEBV (Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus) after many years of ongoing and worsening symptoms......also, previously dx'd sleep apnea, high blood pressure, hypothyroid, low testosterone, high cholesterol, heart arrythmia & headaches (all types). Several meds too numerous to mention!

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 10/8/2008 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome aboard,

I know the feeling of being a horribe mother because I feel that way about being a grandmother. I could not wait for grandchildren and now have them and cannot enjoy them the way I want to, In fact my 4 year grandson says he likes grandpa better thn me because I can not play with him, football, baseball, racing etc, it makes me feel bad but I know I will flare myself. I cannot even hold the grandchildren long if they lean against my chest it gets sore for days.

I have been on this board a few years ago, I left and have been on other boards. I am now back because here I find support and people that understand and care. I find most boards to have a clique.

I agree you should really think about moving in with a new boyfriend at this point.

Hugs, Linda


Post Edited (PALMY) : 10/8/2008 6:40:14 PM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17056
   Posted 10/9/2008 11:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome, again, Fibrofog!  I think I welcomed you in another thread but can't remember right now.  shakehead    Anyway, you sure do have a lot going through your head these days.
I live in Florida...the Tampa Bay area...and it is definitely not as costly as Miami.  So, you might check the smaller communities around Miami to see the costs of apartments, etc.  Perhaps you could find something very close to your parents home...maybe 30-45 minutes away.  But, I would suggest that you get established in a job before you start to move. 
I know that my "gut" feeling is that you should not move in with a new boyfriend....especially if it takes you that far away from your daughter. I think you would miss her terribly and it really isn't the best for you or for her.  Families need to stick together and I think the heartache would be unbearable and you would have much more pain because of it...physically as well as mentally.  There are other options.  You just have to keep looking.  And, if things didn't work out with that boyfriend, you could be stuck hundreds of miles away from your daughter and your parents.  I personally think that's an accident waiting to happen.
It's great that you are getting established in a good career.  As you complete your education, your jobs and positions will improve.  This will help with your financial problems.  It's wonderful that your parents can be of help right now.  I have older children and I know I love to be able to help them when they need the boost.  Just because your parents are older doesn't mean that you are a burden.  I'm 61 years old with Crohn's, diabetes, fibro, etc., and I still can help my children.  I'd hate it if they ever stopped asking me for help.  It makes me feel needed and it also helps keep me busy and more active which, in turn, helps me really enjoy my life.  So, please don't feel like a burden.  I'm sure they would be surprised that you think that!
Meanwhile, we are here to help you with  your fibro and other ideas.  I'm very glad you joined us and I hope to hear more from  you.
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 10/9/2008 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I think that living with a new boyfriend is a major mistake. One red flag is that quickly formed relationships are signs of impending domestic violence.

If your first spouse is difficult the chances of your entering a new relationship with an abusive person are high. Besides your daughter may suspect that you are leaving her for a man.

I now this is not your intent but children tend to think family difficulties are their fault.

Congratulations on studying for the A+ exam. I would speak to a counselor at your local community and technical college about getting an IT associates degree. It would open up a world of job opportunities for you.

The schools have assistance for displaced home makers. The financial aid that you receive will help you with your finances.

I know this because it took so long for me to be approved for disability that I returned to school for a bachelor's and a masters degree, which I received last year. This gave me enough family to have a home for my children.

Take care, Donnaeil

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 10/10/2008 8:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Fibrofog and welcome...

My first thing to say to you is....breathe. (And I thought I had a rapid fire way of thinking. lol) I know that you have a lot of questions, a lot of worries, and a lot of decisions to start making. But if you don't take the time to stop, breathe, and then logic it out the only thing that's gonna happen is that you're gonna end up spinning yourself up and probably in a word of trouble of some kind or another.

I have to agree with the others, I don't think that moving in with a really new boyfriend is going to be the answer. Even living with your parents is a better situation. At least in their house you know who you're dealing with, you already know how they live (if they're neat freaks or what), you know that they don't have any ulterior motives, and as you yourself said, it would keep you with your daughter. With their health in decline, you may even be able to seek some sort of state pay as a caretaker for them. (I'm not sure how well they are or are not functioning)

There are options for financial assistance via education, and as you may have already discovered, there's a lot of cities that are flooded with network admins and sysops. So the more education you have the better of an advantage you have. And congrats on passing the network+, I'm still having trouble just retaining all 7 layers of the OSI model. rolleyes

I'm glad that you found us and that you can get some ideas and answers. People here are very kind, caring, and knowledgeable. All of us are willing to listen and to try and brainstorm together about solutions. Collectively I don't think there's anything that we as a group can't figure out. idea Hopefully you will be able to start finding some solutions and implementing them. It takes some time to get used to the fact that you can't do it ALL now, but with some planning and preparation you can do ALMOST everything.

Fibro does have some common characteristics in everyone, but it's got so many variables that there's not a straight across the board experience with it. It's something that we just learn to work around and makes us rather inventive on getting to where we need to be.

I'm wishing you the best of luck in getting this all figured out and feel free to post and use us a sounding board to ponder ideas. We're all here to help.
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