Fibro Warrior of the Week (#42)
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
Mantra: I cannot worry about my past, nor agonize about my future. I can only live in the now through my Lord’s Grace (ams 12/2/13).
Alyssa (Lissy) Stobaugh changed her life after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Our 42nd Fibro Warrior of the Week lost some “friends” along the way, but gained perspective and discovered her inner artist…
FD: : Tell us a bit about yourself – Where were you born, where do you live now, family, interests, etc.
Lissy: I grew up in California for most of my childhood and early adulthood, but have lived in Oregon, Washington, Missouri, and Arizona. I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I now live with my sister and mother in Phoenix, Arizona. Also known as Hades in the summer. I moved around a lot as a child and always remember the drives through Arizona. When the Northridge earthquake hit in 1994, I decided it was time to move somewhere else. I chose Arizona mostly because my father had moved here for work. Now, almost fourteen years later, I am here. (There was a rather lengthy three years in Washington, but all it did was rain so not much to talk about).
FD: When did you first suspect that something wasn’t right? What happened?
Lissy: When I was thirty-nine, I began to train for 5k’s. I was asked to do a half marathon and found that I could not train without pain and constant fatigue. Not your normal “I just worked-out” tiredness. This was something else. I was told by people I was just being lazy, but I knew in my head and heart something was just not right.
FD: When were you diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?
Lissy: In September of 2012, after going to two different doctors, a naturopath recommended I see a rhuematologist and he confirmed Fibro.
FD: When you received your diagnosis, how did it affect you?
Lissy: I was thinking in my heart I already knew what I had, but the confirmation made me feel validated. Not that I was lazy and looking for attention, but that I truly had a chronic condition that I now had to learn to manage.
FD: Since then, how has your outlook on life changed?
Lissy: It took several months to accept my illness. Once I did, I began taking better care of not only my body, but my whole being.
FD: How does Fibro affect your day-to-day life?
Lissy: Some days are wild and full of activities for which I pay for the next day. Summers (extreme heat) are my roughest days and I have learned no matter what is going on I have to carve out one day a week that is just to relax and regain my energy. Without that, I will over do and flare more often.
FD: What can’t you do anymore because of Fibro?
Lissy: I am no longer considered a partier and those “friends” have chosen to see me as boring. Lucky for me, I have very supportive family and a best friend who completely understands my diagnosis and all that comes with it.
FD: Name something you do now that you never would have imagined happening before your diagnosis.
Lissy: Find the time to learn about my inner artist. I have begun working specifically on my blog and working to educate others regarding chronic & invisible illnesses.
FD: : What has been your experience with seeking medical treatment for Fibro?
Lissy: It took months to get my primary doctor to listen. Each time I went to see him, he would just give me another anti-depressant. After he gave me Xanax, I decided to seek out a naturopath. It was with her that I learned that I had chronic fatigue, but when she noticed my symptoms were familiarly Fibro related she recommended I see a rheumatologist for additional conformation.
FD: How has Fibro affected your relationships, friends, family, partners?
Lissy: I lost “friends”, but I think that is because the dynamic of the relationships changed. I was a party girl who drank and was fun. I became someone who needed to have more that eight hours of sleep and could only be available to them on the weekends at 8am because that was when I was at my peak. However, other friendships have grown stronger and I am very lucky to have a very supportive family.
FD: What is the biggest challenge you face living with Fibro?
Lissy: Working forty plus hours a week. I go through way too much sick time and that bothers me as I want to be productive.
FD: What inspires you to keep on fighting?
Lissy: I am a tiny little warrior who is not going to let a illness keep me down.
FD: What advice do you have for other people who are living with Fibro?
Lissy Rest. Rest. And when others complain, go rest. It is the most critical element of taking care of yourself. No one will truly ever understand what you are going through unless they have it as well. Do whatever it takes to take care of yourself. Delegate household responsibilities to your children or hire someone to help clean. Your life is different, therefore changes will have to happen.
Powered by Facebook Comments