Hands Across the Water

It is Poverty Awareness Week here in Saskatoon, and one of my favourite annual events is Hands Across the Water.  Unfortunately, due to my pain level, I wasn’t able to participate this year.  I have to admit, it broke my heart a little.

Hands Across the Water brings people from across the city together.  We all gather at one end of the Broadway Bridge, and in silence, make our way onto the bridge – holding hands.  The goal is to make a chain from one side of the bridge to the other.  We hadn’t made it the last two years…  but I’m hopeful that the people who gathered today were able to make it across.

As some of you know, I’ve suffered from FMS for the last decade.  It’s typically diagnosed in women who are between 40 and 60, but I was diagnosed in my early twenties.  Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that effects the muscles and soft tissue.  I’ve gotten used to the daily pain, and cope quite well.  You’d be surprised what can become “normal”.  😉  I don’t like to dwell on the negative, so don’t focus on what the pain has taken away from me, rather I choose to look at the opportunities I’ve had because of it.

Earlier this year I found myself in the emergency room because of debilitating back pain.  We don’t know the cause yet, only that it doesn’t seem to be going away.  I hate taking medication, and always try to wean myself off of prescriptions as soon as I’m able…  unfortunately it’s looking like I’ll need a higher dose before that happens as I’m finding I’m having breakthrough pain more and more often these days.

It hurts my heart a great deal when I end up missing events like Hands Across the Water.  My city, my community, is so important to me.  And awareness events, and political activism are how I demonstrate my commitment.  Poverty, equality, human rights…  these things need our attention, our focus.  And I feel badly that my pain has kept me from being as active this month as I’d have liked.

I am also sorry that I didn’t feel ready to share this before now.  Even as I type this blog post I’m wary about sharing it.  Chronic pain, and Invisible Disabilities, are not well understood…  and those of us who deal with them on a daily basis often feel a lot of guilt associated with each.  They take us from things that deserve our focus, and despite our best efforts, they take over completely from time to time.

So.  I hope you’ll understand.  And I hope you’ll forgive my absence tonight.  I was with you all in spirit.

temporary relief in a blue bottle

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About Tobi-Dawne

Tobi-Dawne Smith is many things to many people... photographer, canine behaviour expert, equal rights activist, green politician, lactivist, intactivist, writer, crafter, dog handler, third wave feminist, etc. But most important in her life is her role as mother to an amazing five year old. Learn more about TD at http://www.tobi-dawne.com/ follow her blog at https://td365.wordpress.com/ get to know her daughter at http://lilyannslemonade.wordpress.com/ or check out her work at http://tdphotography.me/

Posted on October 22, 2010, in BlackBerry, Just a Note, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Aw, get well Tobi..and until you do..don’t stress about what you can’t do..think about the things you do so well.

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