Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Life with Fibromyalgia - Part One

This is my story and is in no way intended to diagnose, treat or advise anyone on Fibromyalgia or any other medical disorder, only a qualified health professional can do that. 

My Life with Fibromyalgia

I spent my days trying to think, to function, but it felt as if I had cobwebs in my head (aka...FibroFog) or like trying to think/move through pea soup. I’d sit at my computer with every intention of writing but by the time I turned it on I’d forget what I was turning it on for. Or if I was able to get as far as writing, I’d forget words that come naturally to me, spending much time looking through the dictionary only to forget what word I was looking for in the first place. And the dizziness/vertigo I was experiencing on a daily basis with no rhyme or reason was frustrating to say the least. It was a scary way to live day after day, month after month...scary enough that I started to wonder if I was developing early Alzheimer’s or had developed a brain tumour.

Insomnia had become as regular a part of my life as breathing. I would fall asleep rather quickly but then awaken every couple of hours raring to get on with my day only to look at the clock and realize that only an hour or two had passed. Then I’d toss and turn trying unsuccessfully to get back to sleep. Most nights by three am after staring at the ceiling and feeling almost panicked, I’d give up, get up and try to get on with my day.

Each day felt like my body was betraying me on every level yet I couldn’t explain it to anyone else...or at least not accurately. I mean, how do you look at a loved one and tell them it hurts to wear your winter coat or that hugging or being hugged is extremely painful when you don’t understand yourself?

When the burning, shooting, tingling and/or dull aching pain that greeted me on a daily basis persisted for months, pain that wrapped around my shoulders, back and chest (aka...FibroHug) and seemed to migrate throughout my body I believed it had something to do with having osteoarthritis. Even when visiting my oldest son and daughter-in-law who’d just bought their first home, having fun helping them weed and create their new yard/gardens (gardening and yard work have been a regular part of my life for many years) when I woke up one morning with swollen hands, wrists, ankles and feet, toes and fingers that were numb and tingly I believed it was the osteoarthritis in my spine acting up.

Well, it made sense to me at the time. My body was used to doing High Intensity Interval Training three or four times a week so the day I was doing cardio and felt like I hit the wall after ten minutes I knew I would have to visit my new Dr and hope she took me seriously.

I had been to see my previous Dr who blamed everything either on thyroiditis (with no blood work to support the diagnosis), menopause or osteoarthritis. Other than basic blood work there were no other tests done. It seemed like if what you were there for would take more than the allotted ten minutes, longer to hear me than to write a prescription, she, like many Dr’s these days, just wasn’t interested. I was understandably reluctant to walk in for my appointment with the new Dr (who replaced the old one at our clinic) but she far exceeded my expectations.

Part Two on its way!