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As a young child, I can distinctively remember suffering from horrendous “Growing Pains”, as a young teen I remember continuously feeling unwell, “coming down with something”, swollen glands more often than not, always feeling so very tired, in comparison to my peers, there was always “something”!!
Then, I suffered a bout of Glandular Fever, in 1995, & being honest, I never came right after that, as bad as I had been prior to Glandular Fever, afterwards, I only had to walk into a room where somebody sick had been & I would have it hours later, It was just accepted, this is how how was, “prone” to infection, despite an excellent healthy diet, very fit, and young, I was never 100%.
I fought on, & my health settled, I was very involved in sport, & living a normal young girls life as much as I could.
In 2003, my health nose-dived, & I was a very familiar face at my G.P’s, “I’m so tired, I’m so sore, I’m in agony, my glands are swollen, I don’t feel right”, the continuous circle of symtoms that came out of my mouth, blood tests, clear, “You are run down”
I developed Psoriasis, something I never had prior to this, and I put it down to stress, I was feeling miserable, & trying to keep going with my job & all other everyday normal living.
In 2004, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis…. well this explained the womb/tummy pain at least.
As years went by, the pain all over my body, & joints continued to get worse, again, all blood tests were clear, I developed terrible IBS, & at this point, I was spending most of my time indoors, and in bed. With a strong family history of Fibromyalgia, my Gp suspected I also had this condition.
In 2010, I had a colonoscopy & it was this consultant who suggested that I may have Fibromyalgia, I was referred
to a Rheumathologist who agreed I was suffering from Fibromyalgia. I was 31 years old when I was diagnosed.
I did feel lost, & isolated, with no one my own age to talk to, as it is such an invisible illness, I looked completely fine, healthy, but my God, I was in so much pain, & struggling to stay upright!
I was so relieved to be diagnosed, but it didnt explain the excruciating pain in my joints.
In 2012, I was also diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis.
I am very very lucky, that I have two fantastic G.Ps who listened to me, & ALWAYS listened to me & believed me. They worked with me, they took on board what I thought, what my ideas were.
I do think that the top priority for Anyone, is to have a good relationship with your medical team.
I am alot better than what I was, I get times where I am bedbound, but it doesn’t last as long as it did before I started treatment. I think the biggest thing that has helped me is acceptance, and learning how to pace myself. Also everyone on the Facebook Closed Private Group keeps me going, I can talk with them every day, there is always someone there to help, give advice, or cheer you up if I am having a great day. I consider each and everyone of them great friends.
If you are newly diagnosed, please do not isolate yourself, if you do not feel comfortable talking about Fibromyalgia & all that comes with it, with your family/friends, join your support group or facebook page. You will soon learn that what you are feeling is very real, and You are NOT Alone