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04/25/2012 03:48 AM

Surviving Fibromyalgia

Posts: 13096
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Originally posted this in Fibro & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome SG, yet, felt it may help some of you here too!


Surviving Fibromyalgia- smwoody

My Background and Other Clarifying Info

I was 27 when I was first "Dianosed" with fibromyalgia. I didn't have a clue what it was. The specialist informed me that the medical professionals didn't know very much about my condition and there was some discussion about whether it was a disease or not. He said I was too young to have it because it only occurred in women over 40. During the process of elimination before I was diagnosed, the doctor had learned that I had no recollection of not having pain & weakness. Since my earliest memory was when I was 2 and included fibro symptoms, he concluded that they had probably started when I was much younger. It was then and it is still the thought today, that fibro is triggered or activated by an illness or injury. I fell off a changing table when I was about 6 months old. The doctors concluded that the fall was the incident that triggered my fibromyalgia.

The doctor said that I should learn as much about my condition as possible and then proceeded to hand me a tri-fold pamphlet and a prescription. He also suggested that I find a support group. He suggested I call the arthritis foundation to find one.

The internet was not readily available to most people at that time. Windows had not yet been invented and we didn't even have a home computer. I called the arthritis foundation who did help me find a fibromyalgia support group and then informed me that they had no other information for me. They suggested I go to the library.

I went to the library and again, found very little information. Finally the night came for the monthly fibromyalgia support group. I had to drive 45 miles, after dark to get there. I walked into that meeting full of hope that someone would have some answers. What a disappointment it was!! There were about 25 people there, they were all much older than I was and worse, all they did was complain about how badly they felt. No answers, no words of encouragement to each other, nothing I had expected. I asked them how long they had had symptoms and none of them were even close to as long as I had. Most had only had symptoms for less than 5 years. Needless to say, I walked out of that meeting and NEVER went back. It was way too depressing!!!

So, I had a choice to make. I had to decide whether to take the mind-numbing drugs that the doctor pushed at me, and lie around hurting and feeling sorry for myself or I had to choose to live. I chose to live.

Each Person Chooses Their Own Path

I had to choose my own path and so do you. Which one will you choose? The Choices We Make Determine What Our Lives Will Be...

I insult you by telling you that I never have days that I feel sorry for myself, nor will I tell you that I never have bad days. The truth is I have plenty of both. You can't have a disease like mine and not have them. It just isn't going to happen. No one person is that noble. I know I'm not!

What I will tell you is that you have a choice. The pain, the fatigue, the fear and the frustration are a part of life. Even healthy people face them sometimes. People with fibromyalgia just face them every day.

When I say I choose life, I really mean that I choose to live my life in the best way I can. I adapt myself in ways that let me be kind to my body, yet active in my community, with my children and my friends. I stay up to date on all the latest research and explore holistic as well as more traditional approaches to treatments. I take vitamins, exercise as much as I can, and I rest when I have to. I spend each day looking for the good and trying to minimize the bad. I also look for ways to keep my mind active.

One of the major problems with fibromyalgia, is what I call fibro-fog. There are tons of terms for it, that's just the term I use. It is where your head feels like it is filled with cotton and you can't think straight. Sometimes you may know what you are trying to say, but your mind is so fuzzy that you can't get the words out correctly. Its very frustrating! Probably more so for me, who loves words, than the pain or fatigue. I do puzzles and mind exercises to combat this. Logic and number problems work best for me.

I can't tell you that if you have fibromyalgia, you will ever be cured. I can't tell you that there is one perfect treatment. I can't even tell you that your life will ever be like it was before. What I can tell you is that it is your life. You have a choice how you live it. You have a choice whether you look for the joy that is still there, or whether you choose to wallow in the pit of despair.

As for me, I choose joy! I look for the little things that bring it. I make sure I find a few every day and if they don't just happen, I make them happen. Sometimes its as easy as smiling at another person and having them smile back. Maybe its giving someone your cart at Aldi and and not taking their quarter. Maybe its just holding hands with your spouse and maybe...its as simple as looking at the sky and knowing that you got through today and there will be a tomorrow.

You can choose the good. You just have to have the courage to find it.




04/25/2012 06:58 AM
Posts: 739

Thank you, Clarita, for posting that article. I thought it was very uplifting. It's something we have to remember everyday!

Thanks again....Liz


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