My Fibro story starts back in 2001. After a period of illness, with every other possible illness eliminated I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Fibro is a complex condition for which there is no treatment and no cure. There are many theories as to the cause but usually it occurs after a prolonged episode of illness, or a traumatic event such as a car crash. It is identified by several tender points in the body that are monitored over time.
Once I had a name for what was going on, I began a journey that has taken me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I have experienced severe mental health challenges – depression mainly but that deep black hole that seems impossible to climb out from, and I have also had periods of time where it felt as though Fibro has gone into remission and I’ve been able to live a normal life – hold down a demanding job whilst caring for my son.
In the last 5 years my condition has been all over the place. I have an underactive Thyroid which takes away much of my energy, and 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME.
Living with Fibromyalgia isn’t easy and it doesn’t help that I have a stubborn personality! Recently I have had to start using a walking stick, and I rest more days than I work. I am self-employed now as I don’t think I could hold down a full time or even part time job as I spend most of my time sleeping.
On a good day I can get out of bed, work for about 4 hours then sleep for 2 – 3 hours. On a bad day I can just about make it to the sofa and turn on Netflix!
I try to stay positive, when I have the energy and little pain I try and make it to the gym. Swimming is immensely helpful and relaxing, and I’m lucky enough that the gym I go to has a huge hydrotherapy pool which my body loves!
I try to help myself in small ways everyday. I’ve spent years with the condition now and I have learnt to listen to what my body needs. It’s not easy, especially when you’re as stubborn as me.