Fibro Warrior of the Week #53 requests to remain anonymous, but that doesn’t make her story any less powerful. Please read and share.
FD: When did you first suspect that something wasn’t right? What happened?
FWOTW #53: I first suspected that something wasn’t right with me after the birth of my first child in 1993. I was having extreme back pain and muscle weakness. I had no energy and was having ringing in the ears and hearing loss.
FD: When were you diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?
FWOTW #53: May 2013
FD: When you received your diagnosis, how did it affect you?
FWOTW #53: I was relieved to finally know that it wasn’t all in my head. Then my anxiety and depression increased and has not gone away yet.
FD: Since then, how has your outlook on life changed?
FWOTW #53: My outlook on life hasn’t changed because my body hasn’t changed. I am still living in pain daily. I can no longer work full time (since March 2012) because of all of my medical problems. Having Fibromyalgia has been very difficult to live with the last twenty-one years, and my body just can’t take much more.
FD: How does Fibro affect your day-to-day life?
FWOTW #53: From the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep, I am in pain and fight horrible side effects from medicine or the lack of medicine I take. I can no longer work full time and provide an income for my family and that is depressing in itself. When you are sick and can’t do what you used to do you lose your pride, self-esteem, money, hopes, and dreams. I have suffered for twenty-one years now, and I will continue to suffer because there is no cure.
FD: What can’t you do anymore because of Fibro?
FWOTW #53: I can no longer peel potatoes because I have too much pain in my hands. I get dizzy all the time so I can no longer get up and down from the floor. I can no longer exercise without being in extreme pain for days at a time. My hearing has gotten worse and I can’t hear much unless I am reading lips. I can no longer enjoy going outside because facing sunlight is painful for my eyes and creates headaches constantly. I can no longer enjoy sex anymore because of the pain. I am very depressed and have extreme anxiety, too.
FD: Name something you do now that you never would have imagined happening before your diagnosis.
FWOTW #53: I constantly rest and sleep now because I have to.
FD: : What has been your experience with seeking medical treatment for Fibro?
FWOTW #53: I see a nurse practitioner because I have no insurance. I know more from reading and research than the NP does. I print out information I find online about Fibromyalgia and give it to her when I go to the office. I feel helpless and hopeless that NO ONE knows what I am going through and that there is no cure for my medical issues. I need to see many specialists and can’t without insurance. Every time I go to see the NP, I feel as if the NP and RN think I am CRAZY because all of my tests come back negative. I am getting nowhere quick, and feel like I am slowly dying every day…yet I never die.
FD: How has Fibro affected your relationships, friends, family, partners?
FWOTW #53: Yes, Fibro has affected my marriage. My husband does not believe that I live with all of these symptoms, and thinks that they are made up in my head. I have lost many friends because they, too, think I have just given up on life and I am waiting to die. My daughter thinks I gave up on life too. You can’t prove to someone you have all of these medical issues without a test that concludes, “YES: Positive” for Fibro. No one believes that you are really sick.
FD: What is the biggest challenge you face living with Fibro?
FWOTW #53: : Coping with all of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Everyday there are mysterious painful symptoms that Fibro brings on in your body. No matter what you do to ease the symptoms, you have no control over what happens next. Most times, the prescription drugs given to help us in our suffering just make matters worse for our bodies. I can barely cope dealing with this life sentence let alone work, clean, cook and provide for my children and husband.
FD: What inspires you to keep on fighting?
FWOTW #53: I attempted suicide back in March, 2012, due to Fibromyalgia pain. I have asked my NP why I have to suffer through this life when I feel like I am dying inside to which she answers, “I know you’re in pain, and I am sorry.” I promised my oldest daughter that I would not kill myself. I will try to cope the best way I know how. It has been almost two years now and I am still alive and fight everyday to stay alive.
FD: What advice do you have for other people who are living with Fibro?
FWOTW #53: Be your own advocate. Go see specialists. Help find your own cure. Keep fighting for yourself and those you love.
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