The following are poems and journal entries and notes about Katies struggle with Fibromyalgia. Katie has been an avid contributor to HopeDance in the days of its printed publication. I was moved bu these stories... hopefully you are too... and for the healing. Good luck in Boulder, Katie!
This Little Light of Mine
body tilted, tortured, throbbing. bones crying, muscles frantic, tissues giving way- mind numbs.
i will migrate within you
i am relentless
i am pain
my address is your body
angry knots of pulsating pain pounding and wailing against the outside
This the kind of pain that gyrates.
its intensity is fierce, ferocious, sexual and searching.
wild drunk and binging...procreating
it descends on the hips, clawing and throbbing- swirling and gnawing.
A gluttonous anorexic...a sexless prostitute...
this is the kind of pain that rages silently in the caverns of marrow and suffocates hope
a parasite upon the mind it drowns out the voice of God
journal entry april 2011
One day can bend your life.
He sits at the end of the bed. Back rounded- heart protected. He faces the wall. He does not look at me. His coconut dreadlocks are pulled back into a brown elastic. I am curled up on his side of the bed- knees propped up holding a journal in which I am list making all the ways to reinvent my life. It is Sunday. He says he has to talk to me. I am slightly curious. He is not one to need. He is not one to talk. I twirl my engagement ring around my finger and put my journal down...Head hanging he begins...
"You aren't happy. This isn't working. I don't think we should be together." He says breaking out in sobs. He is not one to sob.
my world goes black.
*** ****** **** ***** ***** ****
I am walking in circles. There is not enough air. I am walking in circles looking for air. I begin to pack my things. The dog's toe nails tap tap tap on the wooden floor. He thinks we are going for a walk. Jeff tells me not to go. I have to go. That is the only thing I know. The other dogs are riled now. They circle round and round. It is not walk time. It is go time. I pack ridiculous things just to feel like I am making some sort of decision. The wind is knocked out of my chest, my heart, my kidneys, my spleen. I cannot feel my feet but I know they are moving. They are moving yet not by my volition. Oh no, I am breaking. I want to leave before I break. Its too late. I shut the door carefully and rest my back on the white wood of it as I slide to the floor in heaves and heaves of violent
I need an angel. I ask God to send me and angel. She comes and we pick myself up off the cold wood. Come child. I empty the bag. I listen to the voice. It tells me what to put in the bag. Pajamas, toothbrush, work clothes, journal book, vitamins.
As I walk down the driveway I ask her to come back. She does. She sings "This little light of mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine" while fierce salty tears drain out of me. She sings me all the way to a friend's house. Six years of my life fold into white as she sings me softly to sleep.
*** ****** **** ***** ***** ****
People often say, "If I only knew then what I know now." I am glad I didn't know. I am glad I didn't know that the day my wedding plans dissolved into heart break would be one of my better days over the next couple months. As my life fell to pieces around me, chaos reigned over my body and the fibromyalgia that I had been managing for four years flared into an inferno of pain. It was as if the pain had its own heart beat, its own rhythm, its own battle song as it mocked my pathetic attempts to defend my bones. In desperation for relief, I used my curled fists to bang upon my hip bones in attempts to rattle the pain out of my body. I bought every type of pain patch imaginable and covered myself head to toe while massaging electrical toothbrushes into my jaw and hitting my shoulder blades with wooden spoons. I was a mad woman. My madness, my mission, my single pointed obsession was upon one thing alone: relief. Yet nothing- no pill, no herb, no supplement, no massage, no therapist, no book, no class, no diet, no mantra- nothing provided a degree of that which I sought.
the hunt for relief from fibromyalgia is riddled with hope and madness. From reiki to colonics there was a different approach each week with each one targeting something as a scapegoat to the pain. First was the medical goose chase in which my uninsured self spent years worth of savings on thyroid, hepatitis, hormone, mono, Lyme disease and a multitude of other tests. Then it was toxins. Toxins like bed bugs were now the invisible and malicious culprit that needed to be purged out of my blood, bones, and bile. So off to the spa I went with unemployment check in hand to spend money I didn't have for a kind over tanned lady to stick tubes up my bum and flush my intestines clean. Ten colonics later, I was thinner and more regular but the pain raged on. I circled back around to the medical world in hopes not for a diagnosis but for a magic pill. Thus began the pill popping goose chase that drained hundreds and left my body a sad empty shell of serotonin and dopamine. There was Celebrex, cymbalta, lexapro, vicodin, hydro codeine, and good old xanax. Give it six to eight weeks the doctors said and thus I went online and verified that statement every morning to plant seeds of hope in me that the answer was on its way and would make a debut appearance in six to eight weeks. In the mean time I continued the splurge for relief through massage, herbal supplements, chiropractor adjustments, reiki, and a tower of books from The Healing Code to Sacred Contracts.
All of this, instead of relief resulted in me three months from the break up lying weak and lifeless in a hyperbaric oxychen chamber in Dr. Isseles office for Alternative Cancer Treatment receiving oxygen therapy treatments that a magazine article recommended for fibromyalgia. If I was an alcoholic this would have been rock bottom. Instead I was a fibromyalgia patient and this was hell's foyer. The exhaustion had heaved its way into my bones making me too tired to pursue the hunt for relief. Instead I succumbed into the warm world of hospital gowns and linoleum floors as I surrendered into the spaceship looking oxygen chamber and felt the embrace of the maternal nurses covering me with blankets and asking if I needed the lights dimmed.
*** ****** **** ***** ***** ****
It is 14 months later. A woman offers me eight dollars for the hand painted fish bowl I am selling at my yard sale. I smile and take the money. She asks where I am going. I tell her I am moving to Boulder as my sister is having a baby. Her eyes widen "Boulder is a great city" she replies with a look of nostalgia. She is tall and thin. I think she may be smart and musical and I trust her with all my heart. Out of the twenty people at my yard sale almost all of them are not just Boulder fans but Boulder enthusiasts. Are the Gods giving me a sign? I don't know and for the first time in my life that is not only okay but it is exciting. I have been fibro free for 14 months. Through what can only be called divine intervention, my skeptical and whittled self entrusted my fate upon a healer: Viviane Oberhand, and my fibromyalgia was eradicated, decimated, dissolved. In the past year, I have touched a dolphin, earned a yoga teaching certification, launched a yoga for kids business, had love affairs with tan skinned boys who owned fishing boats and read Castaneda.
I experienced healing on a cellular, neurological, DNA level. A level I didn't know existed.\. As I pack up my life and close the chapter of my life in Santa Barbara, I have three people to thank the heavens for: Viviane Oberhand, the angel who helped me find her, and myself for listening to the angel. Cradled by God and drunk with excitement, I head to Boulder both terrified and free. The open road and wind in my hair is like flying and I understand that when I responded eight years ago with the words "That just isn't true" to a kind strange girl who was comforting me teary eyed over the death of a friend with the words "Everything happens for a reason." I was certainly misinformed.
I don't presume to know why things happen as they do but I do know one thing for sure: A miracle is a perfectly reasonable thing to ask for.