Saturday, April 07, 2012

What is this pain? Could it be fibromyalgia?

I have been living with physical pain for quite some time, I believe my first chronic pain started when I was 11. I can remember falling onto my back from a great height for the second time in my life, the first time being when I was probably only 4. Since the 6th grade I have had back problems.

Everyday I have pain. Sometimes aches, sometimes a tremendous amount of joint pain after sitting for 1/2 hour. This has been my life for the last 31 of my 42 years, until recently.

Let me just say that having a baby at the age of 40 was hard on me, I strongly recommend you do NOT try it unless you are of sound body! I was very sick most of the pregnancy, living from my recliner and just standing for a few minutes had me contracting. This son of mine took me down, literally. I shrunk a whole inch while pregnant with Jacob. I ached, I struggled to move from my trusty recliner just to use the restroom or get a drink.

Nearly two years later, still feeling so very sick after he was born my surgeon discovered a whopping 30 gallstones in my gallbladder. But why I am I still nauseated most mornings? Surely I cannot live like this after being told that I would feel so much better after having my gallbladder removed.

And now, two weeks ago I started having aches and pains in my left shoulder which gradually escalated to full on fire and tenderness. Just gently wrapping a towel around my shoulders after a shower brought tears to my eyes just a few days ago.

The pain seems to have started in my left shoulder and each day after moved across my torso a little more. I don't mean that the pain was only in the new spot, I mean I was and am having simultaneous pain firing off at the same time throughout my body. It brought me to tears. It has worked it's way to my right shoulder now and my lower right back.

In the midst of this I realized that my mother had told me many years ago that she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I Googled symptoms and I seemed to have the almost all of them, which is unsettling and yet comforting at the same time. The cause of my pain now (possibly) has a name, yet the thought of living with this for the rest of my life is very depressing.

From WebMD:
Common symptoms of fibromyalgia -- also known as fibromyalgia syndrome or FMS -- may include:
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Concentration and memory problems -- known as "fibro fog"
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Morning stiffness
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Sleep problems
  • Swelling, numbness, and tingling in hands, arms, feet, and legs
  • Tender points
  • Urinary symptoms

I once again am sequestered to my trusty recliner while my house work and jewelry to do list seems to grow to unmanageable levels. I take care of my kids and do the basics like dishes, while the laundry piles up.

In the meantime, I have an appointment this next week with my family doctor. I am axious to hear what he has to say. 

If you have a history of FMS and you have some tips for me or websites that you would like to share, I would be grateful! Tell me what you are doing to ease your symptoms and what you are doing to cope.

Thanks for reading!
 Keeping it real, keeping it honest with a glimmer of hope,


kaney said...

Fibromyalgia message boards are excellent places to seek information online, conduct research or just simply exchange stories with other people who share the disorder. If you're looking for fibromyalgia message boards to join, here are some you might want to take a look over

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Mary said...

Thanks Kaney! I have signed up for a couple of online support groups. I find they are helpful for particular questions that I have.