22 Nov Living with Fibromyalgia
When asked to talk about my battle with Fibromyalgia I am perturbed as where to start as it seems to have been a part of my life forever.
I was always more tired than my friends even at school, I always put it down to not being very athletic or the sporty type. As I reached my 20’s it was starting to become an issue I seemed to be in pain for no reason at all and was not just tired but exhausted I was a mum of 3 before I was 30 so each time I went to the doctors I was told it was “just the way it is” or to “get some more sleep” or the worse of all was being told it is in my head. I started to believe them, I mean these are doctors right? You can trust them and they will always tell you the truth.
I tried pick me up tonics, vitamins and herbal remedies and nothing helped I would go back from time to time and hope that the bloods would show up something but they never did so I just pumped pain killers into my system and got on with it.
Let me fast forward to 2007 I am 32 and have moved from my home town of Birmingham to Hampshire. I go to see my new GP for an “MOT” and to go over medical history, that day changed my life in many ways. We did the usual chatted about the birth of y children any family history blah blah blah, then I mentioned this severe pain I was in, how I needed help from my husband to get out of bed each morning, how I was exhausted. My GP looked at me and then to her screen it was quiet for what seemed like forever the printer started powering up and she handed me some papers the heading “fibromyalgia”.
After a brief chat she told me to go away read through the information and come back tomorrow in a slight daze I left the surgery and went home, reading through this information was like reading my life. All of it made sense, going back the next day I felt almost lighter, it wasn’t in my head, I wasn’t making it up it was real and that relief was immense.
Now don’t get me wrong its not plain sailing I have seen doctors who don’t believe this condition exists, I have seen doctors who have told me I am like this as I am overweight. But my GP has stood by me every step of the way, I know how very lucky I am to have a supportive and helpful health practitioner. I can go to my GP with some research I have done and if it is safe to do so she will let me try pretty much anything.
When it all sank in I was almost bitter that I finally had an answer but it was still something some people believed it was in the patient’s head, why should I have to convince people I have an illness?
I will break it down to the parts that I feel Fibro has had the biggest impact on my life
My family have been amazing, my kids know if I am in flare up and do all they can to help, my husband struggles seeing me in pain but he knows what I need and how to deal with me. I feel guilty when I have to miss things, football match, golf tournament or a class assembly those are the times I break my heart and feel sorry for myself.
Well this is a tricky one as when you have fibro you do have to cancel plans a bit and that is hard for some people to understand, they assume you will let them down and even fall out with you for not making a birthday night out. I had to learn the hard way “those who mind don’t matter, those who matter don’t mind”
I had to give up my own cleaning business which I had built up from scratch and was all mine, I was devastated to give it up but I physically couldn’t do the work anymore, after attending an assessment with DWP I was deemed unfit for work completely and put into the ESA support group, it was such a blow to my confidence especially when my blue badge arrived. I was all for giving up to be honest, I had piled on the weight and thought what’s the point. But I don’t go down easily so I went to my trusted GP and said right what can we do we tried all sorts of meds and finally found a combo that works for me.
9 years since I was first diagnosed, as well as the fibromyalgia I also suffer with severe IBS, General anxiety disorder, panic attacks, ademyosis and rheumatoid arthritis in my hips and knees. So it’s a challenge most days but I will say now I am not a victim, I am a warrior of Fibromyalgia!! You can still exercise as it can have a positive effect if you build up gently, it doesn’t have to stop you doing anything you set your mind on, I love nothing more than proving medical science wrong. I like to keep up to date with the research out there and finding people who suffer as well. I have good days and bad days but I am eating well walking when I can and taking my medication to at least allow me to enjoy my family and friends.
A bad day is just that a bad day not a bad life