Believing in my Mother

Angela - Mesa, Arizona
Entered on December 8, 2008

Believing in my Mother

The pain would be so intense it would wake her up from a dead sleep; there was nothing she could do to stop the pain, nothing, but sit and cry. My mother has Fibromyalgia. Her pain started in her arms ,unfortunately the illness causes you to ache all over, sort of like you exercised your body to complete exhaustion. I work at Chandler Regional Medical Center in the laboratory . I remember being at work listening to a conversation a nurse was having. She’s compassionate and a hard worker. She was telling a joke, “what does the Easter bunny and Fibromyalgia have in common? “Neither exists”, she and the other nurses standing around began to chuckle. I wished I had been minding my own business. I felt like someone socked me in the gut. How can people joke, how could this nurse I respected be so narrow- minded? I wanted to tell them someone close to me suffers everyday but I would be fighting a losing battle, but I believe my mother.

People can have their doubts, poke fun but I choose to believe my mother. I believe in the suffering I’ve seen her go through. The problem with this disease is that there is no specific laboratory test to diagnose Fibromyalgia. Doctors rely on a comprehensive physical examination and your medical history. Many suffers are misdiagnosed the chances of you being viewed as a hypochondriac or “drug seeker” are great. My mother started having trouble in 1986, fortunately she had been with our family doctor for years, he told her he wasn’t sure what was causing her pain but that he believed she was in pain. It took three years to diagnose, without his compassion and persistence I don’t know what my mom would have done. I always admired the way my mom could complete any task she put her mind to. She was able to paint, hang wallpaper, lay tile. She had many talent and wasn’t afraid of hard labor, sadly this illness was taking away her ability to earn an income and do the things she enjoyed.

I was young, still in high school when my mom was diagnosed, myself to be selfish; I just don’t think I fully understood what my mom was going through. I remember thinking when is this going to go way? Alright all ready snap out of it. I think that is the way society looks at the chronically ill. It’s hard to relate to someone who doesn’t function as the rest of us do. Maybe it’s easier to view sickness as a weakness or personality flaw.

This experience with my mother has taught me to have and extend compassion. I have carried this attitude into my work place, I try to remember this person is someone’s sister, daughter mother, grandmother. I plan to go to nursing school; I know that what I have witnessed my mother go through will play a huge role in how I will approach my patients. I can’t change people’s opinion’s I can’t force people to give my mother the respect she deserves, but I can learn from her struggles and the effects they have had on my life. I can take these experiences and let them mold and shape my character. This I believe.

Angela Kereluk

Professor Hohmann

ENG 101: English Composition III (T R 7:30)

4 December 2008

Believing in my Mother

The pain would be so intense it would wake her up from a dead sleep; there was nothing she could do to stop the pain, nothing, but sit and cry. My mother has Fibromyalgia; it is an arthritis related illness. Her pain started in her arms ,unfortunately the illness causes you to ache all over, sort of like you exercised your body to complete exhaustion. Sometimes your muscles twitch, burn or have deep stabbing pains.

I work at Chandler Regional Medical Center, I am a Phlebotomist; I have worked in the laboratory for the past five years. I remember being at work listening to a conversation a nurse was having, she’s the kind of nurse you hope you get if you ever have to visit the hospital. She’s knowledgeable, compassionate and a hard worker. She was telling a joke, “what does the Easter bunny and Fibromyalgia have in common? “Neither exists”, she and the other nurses standing around began to chuckle. I wished I had been minding my own business. I felt like someone socked me in the gut. How can people joke, how could this nurse I respected be so narrow- minded? I wanted to tell them someone close to me suffers everyday, but I didn’t., I would be fighting a losing battle, but I believe my mother.

People can have their doubts, poke fun but I choose to believe my mother. I believe in the suffering I’ve seen her go through. I believe in the changes the illness has brought to her life.

The problem with this disease is that there is no specific laboratory test to diagnose Fibromyalgia. Doctors rely on a comprehensive physical examination and your medical history. Patients are put through a trial and error form of treatment and diagnosis. Many suffers are misdiagnosed and when test repeatedly come back negative the chances of you being viewed as a hypochondriac or “drug seeker” are great. My mother started having trouble in 1986, fortunately she had been with our family doctor for years, he told her he wasn’t sure what was causing her pain but that he believed she was in pain, and he would search till he had an answer. It took three years to diagnose, without his compassion and persistence I don’t know what my mom would have done. I always admired the way my mom could complete any task she put her mind to. She was able to paint, hang wallpaper, lay tile, and refurnish wood furniture. She had many talent and wasn’t afraid of hard labor, sadly this illness was taking away her ability to earn an income and do the things she enjoyed.

I was young, still in high school when my mom was diagnosed, I don’t consider myself to be selfish; I just don’t think I fully understood what my mom was going through. I remember thinking when is this going to go way? When will she be better? Alright all ready snap out of it. I think that is the way society looks at the chronically ill. It’s hard to relate to someone who doesn’t function as the rest of us do. It’s hard to know what to say or know how to help. Maybe it’s easier to view sickness as a weakness or personality flaw.

This experience with my mother has taught me to have and extend compassion. I try to not to judge people from the outside; I have carried this attitude into my work place, I try to remember this person is someone’s sister, daughter mother, grandmother. I plan to go to nursing school; I know that what I have witnessed my mother go through will play a huge role in how I will approach my patients. You don’t necessarily have to be able to relate to someone’s pain in order to give them dignity and respect.

I wish that I could say that in the twenty-two years since my mom was diagnosed that things have gotten better for her but they have only gotten worse. Other symptoms that Fibromyalgia sufferers have include irritable bowel syndrome, chronic headaches, trouble sleeping, restless leg syndrome, dryness in mouth and eyes, inability to concentrate and fatigue my mom suffers from all of these and more.

My mother is not the only one who feels robbed at times I would love to see more of my mother and have her spend more time with my kids but often times she is tired, irritable and short. I can’t change people’s opinion’s I can’t force people to give my mother the respect she deserves, but I can learn from her struggles and the effects they have had on my life. I can take these experiences and let them mold and shape my character. This I believe.