Location: Bayonne, New Jersey, USA
Facebook: Lynn Crimaldi
Mantra: Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.—William Shakespeare
Lynn Crimaldi wrote a piece for our Fibro Daily Facebook page called Fibromyalgia……Who are you??? which received an overwhelmingly positive response. (We also featured it here on the site!) We are very pleased to have her as our 47th Fibro Warrior of the Week! In addition to writing, Lynn is a mother of two boys, designs jewelry, and designs spectacular nail creations for her friends. Read on to find out more about the woman who created the piece so many of you love…
FD: : Tell us a bit about yourself – Where were you born, where do you live now, family, interests, etc.
Lynn: My name is Lynn Crimaldi. I have lived in New Jersey all my forty-four years of life. I am a single mom, with two beautiful boys, David who is twelve years old and Christopher who is almost ten. My youngest, Christopher, has autism. He was diagnosed at age two. Because of my son’s disability, as well as having immune system issues, he is on a home program which has me staying home with him. I do my best to work from home doing nails and making homemade jewelry. I strive through the chronic pain and do my best to care for my young boys and continue to work, as not to loose myself to this illness. Some days I loose, but the days I win, I create beautiful jewelry and make someone else’s nails very beautiful. My boys keep me going, truly. They are my heart.
FD: When did you first suspect that something wasn’t right? What happened?
Lynn: I first noticed something was wrong six years ago this coming August. It started with a sharp pain in my joints. Then progressively, it got worse as we all know this illness gets. I developed Chronic Fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain as well as all over pain. It has been the worst for me the past five months, unlike any pain I have ever felt before. But I would like to say, I attribute my Fibromyalgia to my past circumstances. Maybe if I write about them, someone will take notice and study more in depth. Please, let me explain what I mean… I had my youngest son, Christopher on March 30, 2004. Then two moths later, I had an emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder. Then that November, I had my kidney removed due to a mass that was determined to be cancer which was found by accident during a scan because I had a stomach bug— all within a year! My boy was not even one year old!! I thought I was going to die. I truly believe in my heart that these circumstances and then the diagnosis of my son with autism caused such trauma to my body and soul that I developed this illness.
FD: When were you diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?
Lynn: I wasn’t diagnosed until about a year ago, but suffered for the past six years. I had gone to over seventeen doctors ranging from rhuematologists to neurologists. Had more blood removed from me and more tests done then twenty people put together in their whole life time would endure.
FD: When you received your diagnosis, how did it affect you?
Lynn: Honestly, anger. I was angry that I have this illness that there is no cure for, and that it is robbing me of my life.
FD: Since then, how has your outlook on life changed?
Lynn: Well, I went through all the stages, just like with my son’s diagnosis: pity, grief, loss, anger, denial… Then I realized this illness will not go away, regardless of my outlook. It was in that moment I knew that I have the power, NOT Fibromyalgia. I have the will to survive and look at everyday with grace and joy. It is MY choice, and that’s one thing Fibro cannot take from me.
FD: How does Fibro affect your day-to-day life?
Lynn: It is very debilitating. I am presently under the care of a pain management doctor who has me on a pain patch and taking pain meds for break thru pain. It’s the only way I can get through the day and take care of my boys. Like I said earlier, it is the worst lately, it hasn’t always been this bad, and that gives me hope that I am just going through a flare and I will get better again.
Lynn: This is a great question. I still do everything I use to do, BUT it’s extremely scaled down. For example, I cannot clean my house, do laundry, work on clients’ nails, make jewelry, take care of my boys, cook dinner, etc., all in one day. Nope, I tried that and found out my super woman cape had many holes in it, leaving me unable to fly.
Instead, I choose one room to clean that really needs it, usually the bathroom and kitchen, then leave the rest for another time. I put both my boys first so everything else is secondary. Some days— actually most days lately— I only have the energy to get up, get dressed and care for my boys, then spend the rest of the in-between time resting.
And as far as nails, my friends are my clients and they understand when I hurt and are so flexible. I owe them such gratitude for that. When I work on my jewelry, it is relaxing for me. It takes me far away, to a place of peace, and i truly enjoy that time. That is when my Christopher doesn’t need me and is with his therapists.
FD: Name something you do now that you never would have imagined happening before your diagnosis.
Lynn: Listening. I was forced, yes, forced to stop!!! I went kicking and screaming mimd you, but none the less, I have stopped going a million miles per hour and now I listen with an open heart to the world. Inviting all the beauty I see around me into my heart. And once you stop, and truly listen, you will hear the most beautiful songs, in all you do.
FD: : What has been your experience with seeking medical treatment for Fibro?
Lynn: It has been a roller coaster. I have been to over seventeen doctors; had so many tests and exams that I can produce my own medical TV show— a very bad TV show at that!
FD: How has Fibro affected your relationships, friends, family, partners?
Lynn: This one I was waiting for… Well, I am divorced. Not just because of Fibro, but it played a huge role, I will admit. I have lost many people in my life due to this illness. All of them because they showed NO compassion at all for my pain. I thought about this, long and hard, through therapy… thinking I was wrong for putting that kind of expectation on another, but after much soul searching I realized I do not want anyone in my life that does not understand or show compassion or kindness for someone who is hurting. Because when someone is hurting, they are the most vulnerable, the most weak and needing. That is the time you NEED someone to be extra compassionate and caring. Yes, it hurt, and I cried many nights over the losses. But when I look around me now all I see is the MOST pure of friends who love me and my children and support me in everything I do, especially on the days when I can’t get out of bed and need them.
FD: What is the biggest challenge you face living with Fibro?
Lynn: Taking care of my boys, especially Christopher.
FD: What inspires you to keep on fighting?
Lynn: My boys and my faith.
FD: What advice do you have for other people who are living with Fibro?
Lynn Find your peace! Yes, I know you are reading this, saying out loud, “Lynn, I have no peace because the pain is too much,” but I’m here to tell you that it will change if you stop and look deep within. Find something you love—and I mean FIND YOURSELF—and make that person shine! He/she is inside of you!! This illness cannot dull your sparkle. All it can do is slow you down. But just maybe that is it’s sole purpose, to slow you down, so you don’t miss out on life. Even if it’s a new direction, take it, embrace it, and find the good!! There is always good in everything we experience. Find a good pain management doctor and TALK to them and if they don’t HEAR you, find another until you have someone who understands. It took me six years!!! And some I’m sure longer. DON’T GIVE UP!!!!! Never give up!
Follow Lynn on Facebook: Lynn Crimaldi