Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My FIbromyalgia Story, Part 2

...continued from previous.

After that day at the library, I lose track a bit of the timeline. I just remember feeling sooo relieved to have a name for what seemed to be going on within me.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't immediately pretend to think that's all there was to it. I did a lot more reading, digging, exploring, searching, and discovering. I got more blood tests, more pokes, more prodes, more crazy testing, and more evaluations.

My doctor and chiropractor both indicated it could be Fibromyalgia (at this point maybe April or May of 2007), and that I should go see a rheumatologist for an official diagnosis. My doctor gave me the info for one, and I politely accepted it.

I know it's a bit odd, but at that point I was fairly confident that it was Fibromyalgia, and I wasn't sure I wanted more poking and proding right away. So I set the card aside for another day.

And it stayed there... for months. While I attempted to just get by and live a "normal" life, continuing to hide my symptoms and how bad I was feeling from most of the people in my life. I was embarrassed and frustrated. I didn't want people to know what was going on in case it really wasn't that, and in case it really was a result of my weight issues.

As I met more people with Fibro, did more research online, and tried to figure out what might have caused the Fibro, I decided my weight certainly wasn't the issue, and that I didn't really need to be embarrassed.

For reasons I won't fully go into, I didn't want to reveal any of this to any of my coworkers outside of just a handful of my closest friends there. I was mostly afraid it could possibly jeopardize my job or people thinking it might affect my ability to do my job. Not that those thoughts were necessarily founded, but that's what I thought nonetheless. (I'm a bit of a sensitive gal.)

Finally in Dec 07, I called that rheumatologist. She wasn't covered by my insurance and cost nearly $450 for a first appointment. Yipes!

This time instead of giving up, I decided to check online and see who was covered by my insurance in a nearby location. I found someone near my husband's work which was also in the same facility as a lab, so dealing with blood tests would be fairly similar (or so I thought). I set an appt for Jan 29, 2008. I was more nervous than I'd been in a long time and it was still weeks away.

Despite being pretty sure I knew what it was, as weird as this may sound, I was terrified to have it official. Like somehow it changed things even more.

After lots of praying, more doctor visits, 2 changes in chiropractors, and my official but unofficial self-diagnosis, I finally decided to make a big step and tell my boss. He wasn't my boss when all of this had started happening, but had, at this point, been my boss for 8 months. I knew he'd be understanding, but still, I was pretty nervous. But I knew I needed to finally know.

And, surprise surprise, he was very understanding, listened attentively, and offered assistance. I'm very grateful to work at such an amazing company and to have such a great boss. I've read so many other blogs now that tell such a different story about their Fibro journeys and how quickly many of them had to stop working outside the home.

Next I took another huge step and told 3 of the ladies working closest with me over a group lunch. And it went better than I ever could have imagined. Despite some differences, I love those ladies to pieces, and it formed one of the best friendships I've had in a long time.

At that point I started to gain confidence and appreciated being surrounded by people willing to help me, encourage me, push me on, and support me. It was amazing. I didn't realize just how freeing it would be. I felt like a new person.

Was it still difficult? Yes. Would I go back and do it differently? I doubt it, unless perhaps tell people sooner and get an official diagnosis sooner.

I continued to go an occasional chiropractor appt, get a rare massage, and await my first ever rheumatologist appointment on that dreaded day last January.

To be continued... again...

1 comment:

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