Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Fibromyalgia Story, Part 1

On this special "holiday" that is used to raise awareness for Fibromyalgia, I thought I'd recap my story for those who are new to my site.

I started having some strange tingling in my left arm on August 17, 2006. I went straight to one of my coworkers because I was completely freaked out. I'm no small cookie, so I was scared, of course, about my heart. This coworker thought maybe it was a pinched nerve though, and not to be too worried because I didn't have any other heart attack type symptoms. (Whew! Although I know that can be a bit of a guessing game....) So he immediately recommended a chiropractor nearby, and he was able to get me in just about an hour later.

I was again a bit freaked out, never having been to a chiropractor before and having heard horror stories. But the guy I met was a really nice, gentle, Christian man who really helped me feel better. He also believed it was likely a pinched nerve, and started having me come 3x a week. Thankfully it was close by and I went for a couple months very regularly. But after a while, I started to have doubts that it was helping me, and I was getting close to hitting my limit for chiropractic care, so I backed off to once a week and then once every other week. Eventually I stopped going altogether because I didn't see much benefit.

I started to wonder how this could be a pinched nerve that eventually led to all over body pain. I was surprised he hadn't taken any X-Rays. I was hearing some things that made me wonder about what good this was doing, and instead concentrated on the bad things. I had to really be assertive about certain things, and didn't understand why he wasn't more proactively telling me things to be thinking about or looking into.

I'd been researching online a lot. I didn't understand all that was happening with my body. I started having horrible IBS and acid reflux. My doctor sent me to a gastroenteroligist who sent me in for a gastroscopy to make sure I didn't have an ulcer (I didn't), later sent me in for a gallbladder ultrasound after having a lot of pain in that region, then a gallbladder scan, and eventually sent me away with just some meds for the acid reflux and a "hope it goes away" and some slight diet restrictions. After months of avoiding tomatoes, orange juice, and other highly acidic foods/drinks, I slowly tried them again and seemed just fine.

But I still kept experiencing strange things, weird sensations, tingling, numbness, sleep disturbances, groggy feeling, lessing in my alertness, utter fatigue; sensitivity to light, smells, and spices; and various other odd things.

After 7 months of this, my husband and I ran across some chronic illness information. We decided to go to the library to look at some books to learn more about my symptoms and what was going on.

I don't remember all the details of why/how we got there, but I remember vividly picking up a book that Saturday afternoon (that now I don't recall the title of), sitting on a chair in the library, opening up to a particular section, and literally sobbing right there (thankfully no one was nearby and telling me to shhhhh!).

I had just read the story of someone almost exactly like me. Same symptoms. Same problems. Same attempts with doctors. Caused by a car accident.

I had just read about someone with Fibromyalgia. And a turning point in my life happened right in that library. In February of 2007. With my beloved husband beside me... both of us happy that it finally had a name... probably.

To be continued...


Marj aka Thriver said...

Thanks for sharing your personal story. This really gives me an idea of all the things someone goes through to get a diagnosis. I got my post up today, too.

Susan said...

Hi Rochelle. Your story sounds familiar, indeed. It’s funny and somewhat sad...the things we have to go through in order to get that medical advice that puts our mind at ease. I few month ago I had gallbladder symptoms and my doctor advised me to get surgery. I was reluctant so I started looking into alternative medicine and found a solution to my problems. And kept my gallbladder in the process. So I urge you to inform yourself and look into natural medicine as well. You never know...

Adrienne said...

I came here from pinterest for your sausage & biscuit recipe. I am from Canada and on a recent trip to U.S turned my sister onto sausage gravy so I thought I would make it for her.
Anyway, I got more than a recipe. It is 4:30 a.m. and I am still up because I dread going to bed and rolling around and waking up all stiff and sore. I was diagnosed in 1996. I feel for you and applaud you for this blog.