I have a lot to thank my parents for when it comes to the diagnosis with and ongoing management of my fibromyalgia and related conditions. The biggest gift my parents gave me was right at the beginning. They made sure I saw the best doctor in our area and when he diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and recommended specific prescriptions to be taken daily (and indefinitely), they agreed with me that something just didn’t seem right. I was too young — 13 at the time — to make the choice to put a medication that was relatively new on the market into my body indefinitely. We didn’t know what the long term effects of a choice like this would be and they supported my decision to avoid treatment at that time.
Later, as my symptoms continued to worsen, they patiently supported me in going to acupuncture, trying different nutritional plans, seeing physical therapists and chiropractors and naturopaths. They were patient and they let me go my own way. They always trusted that I was the best judge of what would help me get to feeling my best. I chose how I handled it and often I didn’t handle it well. They loved me anyway.
When I discovered Pilates could be helpful my Mom helped me pay for my certification to become a teacher because we realized that it would be more cost effective in the long run than paying for classes. Plus, it would allow me a possible way to make money helping others with similar symptoms.
My parents have continued to be helpful with my choice to go gluten free and I remember how much care they put into my first Christmas after making such a big change to my diet. No one wanted me to feel left out.
They have continued to support my choice to use and share all natural food based supplements and have been excited with me as my energy has improved and my symptoms have disappeared. Now, they support me as I share my story with my documentary film project about fibromyalgia: Invisible the Film.
Above all, my parents taught me by example how to be entrepreneurial. When I was at my sickest it was nearly impossible for me to hold down a traditional job. When I was faced with creating an entrepreneurial lifestyle that allowed me to work less hours per day and days per week, often from home and on my own terms, I could draw upon what I saw them do with their businesses as I was growing up and I could turn to them for advice and support. I still do!
I am very lucky to have had their support — something I’m sure many people suffering from a chronic illness hope to have along their journey toward healing. I know the way my parents have been there for me has greatly impacted my ability to thrive and live a healthy lifestyle in the face of a difficult diagnosis.
Thanks, Mom and Dad. I am eternally grateful.
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