There are many thieves of time. There is the “swallow you whole” busyness of day to day life that finds you breathless and slightly discombobulated at the end of the day. You think to yourself “how is it THIS time already? Where did the day go?”. There are the milestones that surprise us, so mired in the minutia of the many steps to achieve them that we suddenly find ourselves face to face with the moment and asking the universe if we are sure we should be here already? It all goes so fast.

Then there is the fickleness of the human body, succumbing to something that diverts our plans entirely, railroading you into plan B, C, or any number of other “not plan A’s”. These moments are frustrating. They grab you by the shoulders mid dash and set you down on the bench. You’re not going anywhere for a while. I am not a patient woman by nature. I am passionate, irreverent, prone to living my life at speeds that cause my friends and colleagues to shake their heads and attempt caffeine-free interventions, so certain are they that I’ll likely put out an eye at the pace I keep.

I have a dubious relationship with my body. I have written before of the precarious balance of love and loathing I have for both its amazing capacity for strength, and its antagonizing predilection for failing me when I just don’t have the TIME. I have stymied the experts in several fields as to just why my body does the things it does. One of my sister in laws encouragingly suggested to me after countless neurologists, rheumatologists, endocrinologists, and many other “ologists” after repeated and often unpleasant tests and treatments that yielded little relief and even less insight to say “Cheer up, maybe they’ll name this after YOU!” *for the record, after glaring at her darkly, I decided she was an ally I could not do without, forgave her such cheekiness, and still talk to her to this day.


This decade long dance has landed me with the diagnosis my initial Doctor informed me would be my fate, should the medical community fail to figure me out: Fibromyalgia. I resisted it strongly when my lovely, patient and brilliant rheumatologist at Tufts gently explained it was in fact, a real diagnosis despite the body of people who insist it’s a made up malady, one that your are coined with when all else fails. A nice general “everything hurts but we can’t figure out why” label. I was pretty sure that despite all of her well documented education and experience, and the team of doctors equally impressive around her, that it was all hooey. However, it is not. It is real. The Mayo clinic defines it as:

Fibromyalgia; a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

I define it as a thief of time. I’m a busy girl. I don’t sit still, in fact if I sit at all at work, I sit on an exercise ball! Then yesterday..Ugh. I woke up to a massive flare up of fibromyalgia, my feet won’t work and are painful, my hands are swollen and useless, my whole body hurts and the fatigue is at a 9 along with the pain. I’ve given in and slept but really need to move to work through this pain. Yoga usually is my go to, but my balance is non existent because of my feet. I’m still in bed because of this and it’s day two! DAY TWO! I don’t have time for this. I have a job, kids, a race coming up, a half marathon I’m training for. I have things to do, people! I left out the disaster area of my house that needs cleaning, also at this rate it looks like it will be Christmas here on our funny farm for a few weeks longer. I haven’t slept like this since, well, the last time. *sigh. A thief of time…

And yet. And YET. My minions have poured in to make dinners, lunches, tidy, feed animals, drive siblings where they need to go. My family and friends have made me laugh and feel loved over texts, knowing that talking is tiring when pain levels are high. I look through my bedroom window at the slice of winter sky visible and while I long to be out on a nice long run, today is not that day. But tomorrow…tomorrow is another day closer, and another story entirely.

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Blogger, life enthusiast, queen of chaos. Author and star of #closertocrazy, and Hairbeast Productions. I live in north central Massachusetts on a tiny misshapen, entirely accidental farm. Life is always an adventure! Available for freelance writing and social media Brand Building consultation Contact me at to discuss projects and fees

4 thoughts on “STEALING TIME”

  1. I love you Habibati! You will be treated like a queen by your beloved children and I, until you once again KICK THE CRAP OUT OF THIS THING!!! Ladies and gentlemen, Wesley Snypes missed by a few words: “Always bet on THIS curly black haired lady!!!!”

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  2. You articulate so well how we can all become blind-sided, knocked down, kicked in the stomach, have our feet literally knocked out from under us, all the while, our just wanting to be able to do the simple things seem to vanish, replaced by levels of pain that no number can accurately describe, and with no choices to pick from, we “listen” to what our body is yelling at us – whispering is not an option – “I need you to stay horizontal … I need you to give in for just a while … ” and all the while our mind is screaming back, “NO! I WILL NOT GIVE IN! NO!” Then you realize that getting horizontal is not giving in, or giving up, but giving credence to the reality, that for these moments, you will sleep, let others do for you what you so often do for many, you will sleep, and those “numbers” will in time abate, granted slowly, but they will … at least that’s the prayer that becomes a constant. And while it may seem a cliché, should it be possible, I would take your pain from you, with love, always.

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  3. So sorry, Elizabeth. I was diagnosed with Fibromyositis years ago. I always thought it was a “catch all” for not knowing why I was in pain. But, it was described to me as having rheumatism in my muscles. As a young woman I loved to run. I did whitewater kayaking, and took a ten-day backpack trip to the top of Mt. Whitney. Whenever I got in the water to swim I wanted to race my friends to the other side. I also worked as a school secretary and would come home exhausted. Yet, I never had the energy that you have. I can’t even imagine raising 5 kids and doing what you have accomplished. I would go, go, go, and then I would crumble. I would be in so much pain I couldn’t even lie down. I would sit propped in a lounge chair with soft pillows in a darkened room and call it a “body migraine.” There were times I couldn’t stand it, but I knew that in two or three days it would be over. I have learned to manage my pain quite well. I try to moderate my activities, get plenty of rest, and watch what I eat. Age is creeping up, as well (will turn 70 in a few months). I haven’t had an episode in a long time, yet I am constantly in some sort of pain that I can tolerate.

    Jerry and I went to a Fibromyalgia workshop years ago where a nurse showed us certain pressure points that responded well to massage. I still go for occasional therapeutic massages. I also have my exercise ball that I use. I never used it at work, but I do like to sit on it and watch TV. Stretching, yoga, moderate daily exercise all help. Sitting does not help. I watch the acid in my diet and I drink plenty of water. And, by the way, I cannot drink caffeine. Not sure it is related, but other than clearing the brain fog, it does not make me feel good.

    Elizabeth, I hope you are back on your feet soon. Hang in there! Mine got better with time and with a more moderate schedule. I’m still not sure my diagnosis was correct or whether it was a “catch all” diagnosis for me, but I know that I have found a way to make it better. I hope you will too. Listen to your body and hopefully you can control it, and not let it control you. But, sometimes, you just have to give in knowing that it will pass. Hope you feel better soon.

    Sent from my iPad


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    1. Thank you so much! I would never have known….that’s exactly how it feels in my body during flare ups. It started back in 2002, and I stymied doctors for so long…the diagnosis came two years ago with the caveat that it was still open to potential Lupus, MS and other things. Every 3 months I go for blood work to see if anything a changes and I breathe a sigh of relief that those other possibilities stay on the side lines. I write about it because I think so many people struggle with different equally challenging crosses and knowing that others share their struggle may help lessen the frustration and isolation and even despair that suffering with chronic pain can bring. Thank you for your love and your prayers! Xoxo

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