My journey started in 1989 with overwhelming fatigue and horrendous stomach pain. At just 25 years old and a newlywed of 6 months, I had no energy and life consisted of all work and no play, most days I was asleep by 6pm.
In 1992, my one and only child was born and still I had no diagnosis other than the acknowledgement I was suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The doctors told me I needed more exercise, needed more fibre and despite endless blood tests, x-rays, diagnostic tests they could find nothing wrong. How do you explain to your toddler son that you can’t get down and play with him in the middle of the day because you need to nap on the couch? So life continued with me working full time and bringing up my little boy. I knew there was something wrong with me but it was clear I was the only one who believed it.
By 1998 my marriage was over, I think Fibromyalgia played it’s part in the breakup. Understandable really, how could I keep on saying there was a problem when all the medical evidence proved otherwise? In a way there was a sense of overwhelming relief. I could go to bed at the same time as my son without having to explain myself, at a weekend I could nap in the daytime without feeling guilty. I didn’t have to answer to anybody else and I suffered in silence.
The final straw came when my GP prescribed me anti depressants and sleeping tablets without any real concern for what I was feeling, he wasn’t listening, he just wanted me out of his office. The long and short of it, for various reasons the tablets ended up down the toilet and I changed doctors.
In 2000, I had a new partner and a new doctor. Both listened and were incredibly supportive. My GP sent me off for the all the usual tests…….again!! The results all came back normal…..again!! Was it really me? Could it be that it was all in my head? I knew deep down I wasn’t imagining it but you do start to question yourself.
Then the doctor examined me and I flinched as he touched various trigger points (I know that now) and then he said the word “Fibromyalgia”. My response was to break down and cry – not because I knew what is was, not because I was scared but the truth is they were tears of joy, tears of relief and the realisation that I wasn’t mad, I was vindicated – it wasn’t all in my head, it was real, I was right and there had been something wrong all along.
I responded to him by asking “How do we treat it”?
Then he said “We can’t, there is no cure”. He offered me the only recognised treatment of strong painkillers and anti depressants which he assured me were for the pain and not for depression. I declined!
To date, I have not resorted to medication because I didn’t want to be reliant on tablets. I continue to work full time and lead a pretty normal life given that I still suffer overwhelming tiredness and pain. I have to listen to my body and have found my own coping techniques.
At age 50 I decided to make some big life changes as I felt that at some point I could kick Fibromyalgia into touch. Through diet, exercise, meditation and massage I have felt better than I have in years. I am in a good place now and want to share my experiences to help other sufferers of this most frustrating of conditions.
I am proof that there is hope after diagnosis, that you can function like a normal human being, hold down a job, look after a family and have a decent quality of life. I decided that I would like to use my life story to reach out to fellow sufferers, in the hope that some of the techniques that I have used, would help them.
I undertook further studies and qualified as a Health & Wellness Coach in 2015. I then went on to get further qualifications in Raw Food Nutrition and Meditation. I then made the decision that I wanted to use my experience and knowledge to reach out and help fellow sufferers but also ultimately to help educate medical professionals who I believe still have a lot to learn about this condition and the people who suffer from it. I am constantly teaching myself new things and would love to share the information with you.
Whether you are recently diagnosed or like me, have suffered for years, this blog, I hope will offer you practical help and advice.
I am ready, willing and able to stand alongside you on this journey to be your best you.