Fibro Warrior of the Week (#62)
Location: Farmington, New Mexico, USA
Mantra: I’ve been dealing with Fibromyalgia for a while now. My goal in life is
to educate others who may question what the illness really is. My name is Cassie, 22, and this is my story!
Fibro Warrior of the Week #62 is Cassandra Velasquez, who received her Fibro diagnosis at a young age. Learn how Cassandra deals with her diagnosis as a young wife and mother, all while working and educating others about Fibromyalgia!
FD: When you received your diagnosis, how did it affect you?
Cassandra: I was young so I didn’t quite understand, but when it finally sank in I cried for a few days. I was overwhelmed with the fact that I had an illness that had no cure. It honestly scared me. I felt like my life was over. It became an emotional struggle for me ever since then.
FD: Since then, how has your outlook on life changed?
Cassandra: I became sad, depressed, and felt like I was no longer a normal 17 year old girl. It did give me the passion to learn more about the disease and spread awareness. I no longer could run, play sports, dance or even function in class. I started college around that time, and I felt like I could barely get out of bed to get there. As soon as I became diagnosed, it almost felt like my symptoms worsened, especially every year that I get older.
FD: How does Fibro affect your day-to-day life?
Cassandra: I work full time right now at a loan company, but I find it hard to get out of bed or to be motivated while working. The hard part is that I work ten to twelve hours a day and it takes a lot out of me so my mom watches my daughter for me since my husband works out of town. I feel like I barely see my daughter and when I do, I’m way too tired to play with her or even cook big meals. On my days off, I just want to sleep all day, but I can’t because I have to clean my house, do laundry and care for my daughter. Luckily my mother—who also has Fibro—comes to help me whenever she can. This illness definitely keeps me from having fun or even enjoying my downtime. It sure does bring me down.
FD: What can’t you do anymore because of Fibro?
Cassandra: I used to make handmade jewelry, but I barely can anymore. I used to write poetry and draw, but that’s another thing I can’t do. I can barely hold my arms up to do my hair. I can barely pick up my two year old daughter. I have trouble sleeping due to insomnia and even though I’m tired I still feel like I cannot rest.
FD: Name something you do now that you never would have imagined happening before your diagnosis.
Cassandra: Taking medicine all the time! Even though it doesn’t work! Also, being sort of lazy or too tired to play with my child. Never before in my life have I felt like I was useless to my own family or even my job!
FD: : What has been your experience with seeking medical treatment for Fibro?
Cassandra: I’m 22 years old so the doctors don’t really believe me.
They won’t give me pain medication because of the risk of addiction. Right now, I don’t have insurance so I’m seeking help for that, but something else I would be interested is medical marijuana. Right now, I’m taking Cymbalta. I was taking amytriphtaline, but it didn’t even help! I’ve taken all the none narcotics, but they don’t help at all. Right now I’m waiting for insurance to go through so I can see a pain management doctor that my mom sees.
FD: How has Fibro affected your relationships, friends, family, partners?
Cassandra: I have mood swings and some days are worse than others. I try to be nice instead of grumpy, but it’s so hard because the pain hurts so much. My mom understands because she has it; my husband does his best to understand and gives me the support I need, although sometimes I feel like nothing helps. My closest friend knows how I am and she does her best as well. I tend to stay away from most people because I like to be home and rest. I do some times flip out and yell at people even when they don’t deserve it.
FD: What is the biggest challenge you face living with Fibro?
Cassandra: Trying to get insurance and find a doctor for treatment. My biggest issue is hurting to the point where I can’t move. I feel like most people either don’t care or don’t understand.
FD: What inspires you to keep on fighting?
Cassandra: My family. They’re my everything! Also, one day I hope a cure can be found, but for now I spread my knowledge about what I do know and go through with this horrible illness.
FD: What advice do you have for other people who are living with Fibro?
Cassandra: Keep going! Don’t give up! I know it feels like the end of the world but it’s not! There are people just like me who understand! It’s important that that all of us Fibro Warriors stick together and share support among one another. You’re not alone!
FD: Sometimes humor provides relief when dealing with chronic illness. Do you have a funny Fibro story you can share?
Cassandra: I don’t seem to have any funny stories off the top of my head right now except when my hands go numb and I nearly drop everything, even if it’s the size of a pencil. LOL, sorry, my humour sucks!
Follow Cassandra on Twitter: @Dopeylokka
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