Making sense of it all : Fibromyalgia
If you are a good friend of mine on Facebook or have been following me for a while you will know that I have been dealing with chronic pain for the past 2 ½ years. It has truly been a journey being confused on what is going on with your body and even worse: being misdiagnosed in the past to be told that it is something else.
As you will read an old blog post of mine you will see that I wrote a post comparing my “arthritis” pains to weight loss check it out here. I was talking about the pain and how I couldn’t just sit there and take it. I talked about how I would still have to get on with my life and deal with it.My doctor has been so confused that she doesn’t even remember telling me I had arthritis. She said since your bloodwork came back and it shows no inflammation then it’s not rheumatoid and osteoarthritis is for the elderly. However, I have been experimenting with medications that are prescribed for people with arthritis and have found no relief. Since then my pains have become worse. I have tingling in my hands, feet and legs that stops me in my tracks. I could be walking or standing in the kitchen washing dishes and I have to sit down because my legs go numb. Just 2 months ago I stopped working out because I felt like I had thrown my back out with every simple move. I can barely lift my kids without feeling like I got ran over and injured really bad.
I have also had problems on my internship with falling asleep during conversations with my supervisor and even while observing counseling sessions. Some other complaints were that I was not following through on tasks because of memory and focus problems. I have actually delayed internship until summer so that I can rehabilitate myself. It wasn’t until the past few months when I knew that something had to be done. I went back into the doctor and because none of the medications (pain medications and antidepressants) were helping. I went to see someone in the sports medicine department to get an Xray and it came back normal. I was really happy about it because right before the sharp neck and back pains began I was doing P90X/Insanity hybrid and relieved to know that I didn’t injury myself. But anywho, after listening to all the symptoms and the tender point test it all makes sense now.
For the past 3 years I have had a “brain fog” I remember after having my first son in 2009 and rejoining the dance team the next year I would have trouble remembering simple dances. My memory has been really bad since then. I used to say it was “mommy brain” but it all makes sense. Now my memory and focus issues has really shown up in business, school and parenting life now more than ever. In fact, my fiancé gets really annoyed with me because I am always losing things or not remembering things he has asked me to do. Lol Most fibromyalgia patients have issues with concentrating and remembering things and from my research it has a lot to do with the sleep issues of fibromyalgia patients. Most fibromyalgia patients are usually suffering with a sleep disorder or in too much pain to sleep. I constantly wake up through the night because my legs just go numb or either my pains throughout my body are bothering me. There has been such an impact on my life that I fall asleep in class, fall asleep while watching my children and as I already discussed I have been falling asleep in meetings, observing counseling sessions and any circumstance you can think of. I used to think that just maybe waking up at the night breastfeeding Jordan has contributed to my lack of sleep. As I think back to 2010 while I was a student in undergrad and mother my now 3 year old was 1 at the time and he slept 12 hours every night and so did I! haha I remember falling asleep in class back then too. I was never rude to put my head on my desk but I remember dozing off for long periods of time and waking up with my professor standing over my head. My professors never said anything but they would stand over my desk so that I could hear their voice and wake up. It never occurred to me then because I didn’t know it was Fibromyalgia. It wasn’t until the pains became worse that all this craziness in my life is making a little bit of sense. Fibromyalgia is very complicated and most doctors don’t understand it because there are so many different components. Pain, depression, sleep problems, brain fog and memory
So want to know how my doctor visit went? Well we are gonna start you off on Cymbalta and see if that helps and follow up in 6 weeks. I was very frustrated that diet or exercise was not discussed. My doc knows I have a fairly healthy diet and exercise but it just bothers me that it seems that all some doctors want to do is give medicine.
I am glad I did my own research and got her to test me for vitamin D and Vitamin B12 deficiencies since I read about it in a fibromyalgia book. And I am working on starting exercise again. I have practically cut out the majority of inflammatory foods about 2 years ago and the only thing left to cut out would probably be wheat or gluten and see if it makes a difference. I am also working on eating more whole foods. I don’t eat a whole lot of processed foods but there is room for improvement. For a while I was trying to determine if chocolate was a trigger food or if I was having a reaction to the protein it. so I stopped drinking Shakeology for a while and now I am back on it. So excited that Shakeology will help me meet some of my nutritional needs and so far I haven’t had issues with it! I also started a supplement called Cordastra that has astralugus root in it which is good for your immune system and stress relief. I am also taking a multivitamin and calcium supplements so I am trying my hardest to manage the fibromyalgia symptoms.
I am also ending breastfeeding with my son. It has been such a hard thing for me to do but it must be done so that I can try this medication. Outside of the medication I have been doing research on fibromyalgia and breastfeeding and it never crossed my mind that my chronic fatigue could be reduced if I stopped.If I felt that the pain was minor I would have gone a full year like I intended. 8 months in the game and that is way longer than I thought I would. I have stuck it out long and hard. I have had a really hard time with breastfeeding and trying to pump enough for my son when I am gone. I learned that lots of mothers with Fibromyalgia have problems with pumping so I feel good knowing that I have lasted this long. It doesn’t end the sadness that I feel because I really love the natural bond we have but its time to take care of myself.
So my main reason for writing this was to share my life with you and let you see that in life we can’t expect doctors to know it all and we can’t expect other people to figure things out for us. We have to do things ourselves. We have to demand what we want. I demand a life that is not limited by pain ,fatigue, sleep problems and feeling “slow” in the head. I won’t accept going to the doctor and just getting prescribed a medicine and hope things will be okay.
With that said you shouldn’t be satisfied with your weight if you know it is causing you problems. You shouldn’t accept feeling sick or depressed all the time. It can be changed and no matter how hard it is you have it in you be better.
So if you have read this whole thing I thank you for listening and I ask for your prayers during this journey of pain that I live with. Thanks for caring and I hope that you have learned a little bit about me.I hope that what you took from this is that we have a choice in life to do what we can with what we have .We deserve good health to be happy and lead fulfilling lives and we shouldn’t stop until we have it!
Don’t give up on your journey!