Dealing With Fibromyalgia

You may have seen me mention that I have fibromyalgia.  It isn't something I talk about a lot, because I feel like people would completely discredit and ignore me since that is what I have dealt with for years.  The thing is, I know I'm not alone.  According to Women's Health , there are as many as 5 million Americans suffering from fibromyalgia, around 80% of them women.

I was officially diagnosed with fibro when I was 15 years old.  After years of complaining about various aches and pains, and being told to "suck it up," my mom finally brought me to a doctor.  I had shin splints, headaches, neck pain, and morning stiffness so bad that I could hardly get out of bed.  My step-dad always said that I was just lazy, that I was making excuses to not have to do chores or be active.  My mom used to joke and say that I got around worse than her grandma, and then tell me they were just "growing pains". When my doctor referred me to a rheumatologist 2 hours away, my parents finally realized that my symptoms might actually be real.

After tons of blood work checking for rheumatoid arthritis, junior arthritis, thyroid problems, lyme disease, and lupus, and then ruling out anything that could be medically explained - the rheumatologist threw out a word we hadn't heard before.  Fibromyalgia.

The main definition of fibromyalgia is chronic widespread pain.  There is no specific area of pain, there are days when everything hurts and days when nothing hurts.  The pain almost migrates around your body, like it's trying to find a place to settle.  And yeah, Pain is a separate entity here - it acts like it has a life of its own when it takes your body over.

They say that the best treatment for fibro is exercise, but when it hurts so bad to move - exercise is pretty much out of the question.  Starting small and working up to around 20 minutes a day will increase your energy levels, help reduce the pain, and helps release endorphins that can help combat the depression that comes along with fibromyalgia.

Do any of you deal with fibromyalgia?  I'm thinking about starting a weekly fibro post about small steps to take to help fight the pain.  Would this be something you all would be interested in?

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