Getting more mature with these DDs

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, May 24, 2003.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Ace's post about premature aging brought to the fore of my brain (yes I do have one somewhere) how I feel about getting older.

    I'm 52 on Monday and as the numbers get bigger I find myself having different dilemmas than my peers.

    They tend to worry about getting "older", the grey hairs, receeding hairlines, wrinkles, the years seeming to pass more quickly.

    Many agonise over the turning of each decade. Some would even end up with depression whilst others choose to have a second adolescence.

    Me, well it's all so different. I was 29 when things went wrong, 31 when full blown CFS reared its ugly head.

    Like so many of you life carried on in 1st gear. Ocassional periods when things improved enough to go into 2nd gear but never further than that. Times when I was in neutral.

    I've watched others do things I really wanted to do; enjoy hearing about, or seeing it, all. Glad to experience it even if it is second hand. Being human there are times when I just wish so hard it could have been me. But I have to quickly move on from there.

    But I don't worry at all about my numerical age. It means absolutely nothing to me. Having had my life on hold for so long it is as if it's totally irrelevant. I'm sure that if I recover sufficiently I will relive those lost years in a different and more enlightened way.

    Also having to deal with the grieving process that accompanies any life changing chronic illness brings us closer to our true selves and what's important in life. Consequently our numerical age figures pretty low down in our lists of priorities and concerns. I find myself having to bite my tongue when others keep on and on about how awful it is to be ..or .. years old.

    Does it matter?

    No of course not.

    We are where we are at any given moment in our lives.


    [This Message was Edited on 05/24/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 05/24/2003]
  2. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    I never knew why age did not bother me, maybe you just answered it.
    Mine started at 29 also, and at 45 gray hair and numbers on a calendar have no effect on me as my concerns are so much greater.

    Happy Birthday Tansy
  3. bejo

    bejo New Member

    I agree with you.I have never worried about my age.Inside me I am just me,no age.I have neighbors who are older than me that are just starting to have arthritis and are complaining about their aches and pains.I don't say anything but I sometimes wish I could say-how lucky they are to have lived without pain so long.Yes, we have learned early what is important in life, and it isn't how many years we live. bejo
  4. Myth

    Myth New Member

    And yet it is different. I am 26 years old, and maybe that means nothing. But I have had FMS forever, started really going down hill at eighteen. In blinding denial of how bad it could get I continued in university- aiming for my ideal job. Like everybody I do mourn the loss of acitivies I once was able to do, the loss of brain functioning even more so. But because of my age- as insignificant as it may seem- I know that I will never have the career of my choice and maybe no career at all since now I can barely work. A very profound disapointment that was I might add. It is not awful to me such and such years, it is just from my perspective it feels as though all the things I had wanted are now impossible for me and this is how it is going to be for the rest of my life if not worse.
    And this is a distinctly different feeling than that of my father who developed FMS when he was thirty-two. He had already gone to school, already had a career, already had a family. For him the story involves a determined and desperate attempt to keep all he has gained while his health rapidly went down hill. It is entirely different to get FMS at that age because he has at this point lost the ability to function at the job of his choice and the financial security that provided. He has numerous stresses over bills and his families wellfare. And then he had a nervous breakdown. Our symptoms are exactly the same but the effects of our condition has limited and influenced our lives in dramatically different ways. Sometimes I think I am luckier to had hit a dead end before I even began when I think of the pain he is going through.
    And what about the sixteen year old out there who is bad as I am now? They too will never have a real career and they will be lucky to ever suceed in university. At least I was able to function for school for enough time to get a few degrees. That youngster that is quite ill already probally will not. They will be hard pressed just to interact with their peers. They will have a hard time developing a relationship and an even harder time revealing their disability to that person. And for them they will not expereince the losses that my dad and I have gone through but they will also not have the many great experiences we had before we became too ill.
    And then there are those of us that got ill quite a bit later in life. They have a family that is grown and gone. They had a fullfilling career that they are retired from. they are not losing any of those things, but they are still losing their quality of life in a time where they ought to be free to do many things.
    The point is we are all losing quality of life. We all have the same symptoms and some of us are not even that bad off yet. I don't care that my hair is going prematurely gray- and I doubt that is FMS related anyway. It is the other things I mourn. The shut doors, the lose of dreams and such. And age does matter for that because at different stages in a human beings life we have different prorities, responsibilities, obligations and dreams. When you get quite ill these will be affected, and it depends on what age you are as to what is going to be affected and what it 'is' you will be mourning. This mounring process is important before we can get to acceptance. I just got out of denial and anger so please let me mourn the loses that I consider to be significant at my age. Therefore I would say that the numerical age has a lot to do with the grieving process- the two are twined right together.
  5. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    My thoughts about age not mattering is referring to healthy people complaining that they are another year older or getting gray hair, when I wish that is all I (and other people dealing with chronic illness ) had to worry about.

    You are right, we do have to mourn our losses and they are different types of losses depending on the age you became ill.
  6. Myth

    Myth New Member

    Oh I agree. Healthy people are an entirely different story. I find I have little tolerance for the complaints of the average person. I too wish all I had to worry about was the aging process, or a sore back or the occasional bad headache...
  7. RedB

    RedB New Member

    In case I forget on Monday!

    From a 53 year old,
  8. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I agree with so much Myth has written, as well as others. I , too, have no patience when healthy people
    complain about fleeting aches and pains. I am 41
    and I have been disabled due to severe back problems
    since I was 27. However, I had back problems all of my life and took two weeks off of college during my senior year. I was newspaper editor which I gave up because
    when I returned I had to double up on courses to
    graduate. I took many college exams flat on my back
    in my dorm room. The professors knew I couldn't cheat because I couldn't move! I also missed weeks in
    h.s. too, due to back problems. When I graduated
    college, I was in too much pain from my back
    to work. When I did apply later, I would be badgered
    about if my back could take it.

    I had failed back surgery when I was 29 and developed
    FMS shortly after. My FMS has been much worse
    the past five or so years. My illnesses have taken my
    life away from me. I grieve for my life. I feel as though
    all I do is exist. I had aways longed for a husband
    and children most of all. I cannot even hold a child
    due to my back and FMS. I feel that I have lost all the
    best that life has to offer. Sure, I had boyfriends who
    were quite serious about me- even when I had severe
    limitations due to my back. Had I known then that
    I would have been out of the dating scene due to
    severe problems maybe I wouldn't have been so

    The ages that we reach do matter to me. I guess
    it is a lot to due with wanting children. However,
    backwise and fms, I wouldn't be able to be pregnant.
    Adoption if I find the right man? Who would give
    me a child in my condition? I would also need a maid
    and a nanny.

    I just feel so cheated. I think it's different if you got these illnesses after you are already "settled" in
    your life. However, when it keeps you from getting
    the life that you long for it is very frightening.t
    Who want to be with someone who is so sick? I have
    heard from men that my personality is what matters
    the most and they haven't cared about the illnesses.
    However, I am much worse now and have neither
    the health nor the energy to meet anyone. Nor
    do I care at this point because I feel so awful.

    It is very depressing when my neighbors, who are
    in their 80's, can do so much more that I can.

    Friends my age have everything I want. They can't
    possibly understand how much it depresses me
    to see them living their lives to their full potential
    while mine is non-existent.

    Age may not be a factor for some of you with this illness, but for some of us, every year that we see
    no improvement and are even worse just reminds
    us of how much we have lost and where we
    "should" be if we were healthy. I don't feel sorry
    for someone in their 80's who has arthritis and
    feels pain and gets tired. To be healthly until
    that age much feel like winning the lottery.
    That's another thing. People place too much emphasis
    on money. Money wouldn't make me any healthier.
    It wouldn't take away my mother's cancer. Health
    is what is really important. Not material things.

    Hope this makes sense. My brain is foggy.

  9. Jannie

    Jannie New Member

    Very well put TANSY,also all the reply`s you have received just shows us that there is so much out there to think about and talk about,age,circumstances,anger ,grieving,thats without all the different facits of the DD it`s self.I`m 61 years young,loved my hillwalking,shopping for the day with lunch and dinner[tea] out before returning to sit and watch tv,had just bought a new mountain bike,was age 55 when ME/CFS/FIBRO,took over,i still do a little bit[not cycling]of most of these,but i can sympthise with those of you that have lost alot of these important things.To me the hardest thing was not being able to work,one side of my brain said no you can`t work,no way!the other side of my brain said you have to work,you have always worked,you can`t give up work,you can`t afford to give up work,my wife said listen to what the doc.said,if you want any "quality"[i use the word loosely]then you will have to give up work,so i gave up work!None of these losses are easy[not to me anyway] however i as i expect you all are the same,have no real choice,if we push things then we suffer all the more,so it`s a case of bend with the breeze,because if i don`t then i`ll break,there are no easy answers for any of us,but for myself i can see that there are some of you suffering alot more than i do and my heart goes out to you,it really does!I think joining this board was a coming of AGE for me!TAKE CARE ALL,JOHN
  10. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Tansy, that was an excellent post. You said a lot of what I mostly just think about. Thank you.

    John, being a woman, I cannot presume to really understand how you feel. My husband is a man who would be lost without working he is a Chief Engineer on a diving/ underwater pipe laying barge for the oil compaines, and loves the sea and his work.
    That much I can relate to. I do tell him, that I am glad its me that is afflicted with Fibromyalgia, and not him. He is younger than I, and super healthy.

    We have been married for over 30 years now, and I have been diagnosed with the FM for 20 years. But I was not well when we married. I have three children of my own, and he helped me raise them. They all turned out pretty good, thank the Lord.

    He is kind enought to pace all activities that we do together to suit me, even when we are just walking through stores. He always gives me his arm, opens doors for me, buckles my seat belt, and continually tells me to 'watch my step' when there is a curb, an odd step etc.

    He does everything to make life easier for me, changing all light bulbs that are high, mops and vacuums when he is home, cooks food and freezes it for me as I cannot cook without having severe back and shoulder pain now, and fast food does make me sick, and a million little things that would be such a struggle for me to do when he is gone on the job.

    If this was him and not me, I could not imagine how much help I would be to him!

    Yes, pushing beyond our strength is just foolish, I have done this so very much, then I am all but disabled for days or weeks afterwards. I try very hard not to do this anymore.

    I also came of AGE when I got to this board. I learned so much, and like you said, I am not as bad as many that are here.

    I read your profile, and you have a lot more to deal with then I do. My main problem is the Fibro and all that goes with it. But you my dear suffer have a lot more to deal with.

    Age does not bother me, its only a number after all. Sometimes I feel like a kid, other days I feel like I am a hundred years old! But I do enjoy the good days to the max now.

    My teenage grandson asked an unusual question of me, he wanted to know how it feels to be as old as I am?

    I had to think about this one before I answered him. But finally I told him when I have no pain, I forget how old I am, and when I pass a mirror in the house, I wonder who this lady is?
    Than I remember that its me, but the real me is really inside of this body and mind, and thats how it always will be, no matter what the numbers say. I think I will always be the 'me' I once was, no matter how old I get or how much pain I have!

    This boy always tells me I am 'one fine chick' for my age! This is the sweetest compliment anyone could give a grandma.

    You do sound like a great guy, and I know you must have a wife as fine as my husband.

    Take care, and stay with us, we are learning from one another all the time.

    Who knows? maybe some day one of us may come up with the 'cure'!

    Shalom, Shirl

    [This Message was Edited on 05/24/2003]
  11. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    I never cared if I got married or had children so in that way I am lucky. I imagine it would be very hard if those were the desires of your heart.
    I also love being alone and i know others get very lonely because they don't like it.

    Maybe it's because I feel so bad physically that I am grateful I have no husband or children to depend on me because I could not be the wife and mother I would want to be.

    I have had rare occasions where I see a baby and get a little twinge in my heart but of course there is so much more to parenting than holding a cute little baby.

    I also hear about all the spouses who just do not understand. I am so glad that I come home to a house of peace. Sometimes the world can be so hard on us that I think man it's nice to come home and not have to be put down in my own home and not to have to put on the smile I wear out in the world all the time. Of course then there are the exceptions where people have a loving, caring spouse.

    What does bother me is that no one seems to understand the reason I do not have a family. (except my mom) They can't imagine that this DD is so bad that it would stop me from having a family.

    My biggest regret is that I did not have grandchildren for my mom . She so deserves them and it would have been one of the main highlights in her life. That does make me sad.

    Take care !
  12. pinkquartz

    pinkquartz New Member

    happy birthday Tansy.

    i am just 2 years behind you. well in august i will be.

    i am havin trouble with brain swirling today and yesterday.. due to hormones all over the place and so cannot read much or write much.
    yet i know we are feeling some thing similar.

    i got sick at 26.....had ups and downs like being bedbound for 9 months at age 30...and mobility problems that have really finished off the life i had totally 11 years ago.
    i have remained interested and caring about my friends lives, living life vicariously rather than not at all.......
    but to hear them now start their moaning at aging brings on a bit of panic in me.

    i want to be well again before i get old.

    i still have my fantasy of running on the beach where i live instead of looking at it from my wheelchair.

    now my friends laugh at me and say they walk not run , but i want to run !

    cheers to you and me and all of us .....
    we are living now.....
  13. tansy

    tansy New Member

    and I think your message was so true to how many of us feel.

    It's not the chronological age that matters it's the fear among some of us that we won't to get better, or at least make a substancial improvement, before the aging process has too significant an effect.

    Like you I am very ill and severely disabled but I too try to have some semblance of a life. It's a weird one true, not what I'd have chosen. I cannot be a full member of the local community, I see myself on the borders, crossing the lines whenever I can.

    Was chatting to my musician friends who really appreciate my photos of them when I can do them. I told them I felt honoured to be so included within their "circle" when it really felt as though I was apart from it in many ways. They know I used to play guitar, percussion, and sing but can't any more.

    Their reaction to these comments was just so warming and uplifting. They think of me as being very much a part of their world, that I contribute to it in many ways, that my understanding and acceptance of them is important, and of course I understand what they are trying to do. They recognise my frustrations and feel frustrated too that they can do so little to involve me in more of their activities. But, bless them, they do try.

    I too often mourn the loss of those years, but I have to deal with those emotions as quickly as I can because they can end up being so overwhelming. I have to concentrate on today and find a way of making my tomorrows more liveable.

    Pinkquartz I believe, that despite all your problems, you do manage to take those oh so necessary steps to be a part of the real world. I know how much courage that takes. It may exhaust us, there's nearly always a price to pay, but oh doesn't it make you feel good for a while.



  14. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Dear Spacee,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I really
    appreciate them.

    Unfortunately, I do not have the honor of being
    an aunt. I seem to get the short end of the
    stick in everything relating to life! Well,
    that is not quite true. I have a wonderfu and supportive mother and brother who would do anything in the world for me. My best friend just emailed me and said she
    would give her blood or bone for me to get better (LOL).
    She thinks there just has to be an answer for all of
    my troubles. Some people do not realize that there
    are many diseases that have no cure.

    I am so desparate that I am the godmother of a sweet
    little goat!! LOL I met a woman online who was waiting
    for weeks for her goat to give birth. I asked if I could
    be the godgoat mother! LOL She had quads and I
    am the godgoat mother to the only girl - Pebbles!
    How is that for a solution?

    Take Care,