I have Fibromyalgia. This has got to be one of the most frustrating diagnoses that one could ever be given, because no doctor is sure what causes it, exactly how to fix it or make it better, and there isn’t even a universal medication for it. It’s also frustrating because you can be completely fine and feeling awesome one day, and the next be laid up in bed with so much pain you wish your mattress would swallow you alive.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2012, but I believe I first started showing symptoms the summer of 2008. There is a theory floating around that says that a trauma to your body, such as a bad car accident or a major surgery, can trigger Fibromyalgia, but not everyone can identify a trigger. I believe mine could have been my C-section and the birth of my pre-mature son.
The year of 2008 is really fuzzy for me. I know I slept almost the entire summer away. I was always so exhausted that I would spend almost all day and all night, every day, in bed sleeping. I didn’t know why I was so tired. I couldn’t really explain it, and I even secretly thought my mother was right when she’d come over and get on my case about being “lazy” because I was always in bed. My self-esteem took a nose-dive. I couldn’t help it. I felt worthless because I slept constantly.
This was also around the same time I started having a lot of problems with back pain. I now have a diagnosis of scoliosis, but back then I just knew my back hurt. It didn’t hurt just a little bit, either. If I’d pick my son up the wrong way, pain would shoot up my back or my sides, and I’d be laid up for days, trying to deal with it.
When I got diagnosed, my primary care doctor had sent me to see a spine specialist, who told me he couldn’t find anything wrong with my back. The night before the appointment, I had found an article online about Fibromyalgia. I think one of my friends who also has it had posted something about it, and I’m the curious type, so I started reading up on it. I found a little questionnaire to fill out to help identify if you suffer from Fibromyalgia or chronic pain, and I was actually astonished when I started going through it and realized how many of the questions I personally identified with. So, when I went to my appointment, and the doctor told me that my MRI looked fine to him, I asked him if he thought I could possibly have Fibromyalgia. He, of course, told me that wasn’t his expertise, but he said it was entirely possible, so he called my primary doctor and asked her to refer me to a Rheumatologist.
It didn’t take my Rheumatologist more than ten minutes to diagnose me, and on top of Fibromyalgia, he also said I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis in one of my knees, because it crackles when I bend and straighten it. He prescribed me Lyrica, which in the beginning was a godsend for me.
Another thing that was extremely helpful for me, was getting the diagnosis of scoliosis, because I was referred to PT for ultrasound massage and subluxation. I’m not shy to say that ultrasound massage hurts like a royal bitch! But, it’s totally worth it. After around twenty sessions, we were able to get my back all straightened out, which lessened a lot of my pain.
I no longer take Lyrica. It quit working for me. I already experienced what people call “brain fog,” and there towards the end, my head was getting even foggier, and my doctor wanted to increase my dosage. I didn’t feel like the higher doses were helping at all, when I tried them, but I was feeling even more confused than before, so I made the decision to titrate off Lyrica. I know it wasn’t helping anymore, because my pain severity hasn’t increased at all since stopping the medication. I am, however, a lot less foggy than I was while taking it.
I could go on and on and tell you so much more about Fibromyalgia, but I’m following the Daily Prompt, which asked us to write for no more or less than 10 minutes. If you have any questions about my experiences with Fibromyalgia, or are even wondering what it is, feel free to comment.