Do you remember your first fibromyalgia pain? For me it was the shoulders, the neck and upper back area. Wow! Did it ever hurt. I couldn't even sleep laying down. I couldn't do up my bra and forget about even attempting to shower.
I mean, I didn't know that's what it was because I hadn't ever heard that particular F word before. As the pain spread and the list of symptoms grew, a string of lovely “Fibromyalgia Medications” soon followed.
At that point, I'm not sure which was wreaking more havoc the Fibro symptoms themselves or the awful drug side effects.
Wait a minute! Sorry about that, there I go again forgetting my manners…
I suppose a proper introduction is in order. My name is Shelley, I’m a daughter, a sister, a mother and a wife. I love animals and enjoy art. I’m Canadian, eh? I was born and raised in Montreal Quebec and moved to Vancouver Island in 2004.
Before my chronic illness and handfuls of Fibromyalgia medications started kicking my butt I was a proud over achiever and I enjoyed a rocking career. My life was all about setting the bar higher, clearing it and then moving it up another notch.
I loved being challenged by others, but I particularly enjoyed challenging myself. I know people like to say this, especially in resumes, but I truly did relish working in fast paced environments. Multi-tasking was the bomb. After all, variety is, as they say “the spice of life.”
I was originally introduced to the wonders of autoimmune disorders when I was diagnosed with Graves Disease in my twenties. My misbehaving thyroid lead to some pretty icky prescription medication and a whack of brutal side effects. In the end when all else failed I was left with the final option of radiation. That my friend, was anything but fun and failed miserably the first two times.
In 2013 I was in agony, I was exhausted and I started to feel like I simply could not do life anymore. I’m not even going to try and describe the level of pain and discomfort I felt. You can only truly understand it if you’ve experienced it. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t function. I was at war with an infection that was making its rounds through my body.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia by my Doctor who then referred me to a Rheumatologist. He confirmed the diagnosis and so began my new life of battling horrid side effects from medications on top of the chronic widespread Fibromyalgia pain, exhaustion and all the other agonizing symptoms.
My life as I knew it ended forever and my life with Fibro began.
I'm not going to lie, a lot of days really suck. I mean, REALLY SUCK! But, I've recently discovered that living with a chronic illness doesn't mean that we can't have some fun. Maybe not every day, and maybe not in every way that we used to but, we can do fun things that actually make us feel better.
For example I've started experimenting with essential oils for pain relief and aromatherapy for relaxation. My daughters and I are learning more about and cooking with healing herbs and spices. Digging in the dirt heals, and fresh veggies are healthy to eat so we've been learning to grow some of our own.
I've been seeking out natural alternatives for Fibromyalgia pain medications, especially those with worse side effects than the condition itself. At one point I was taking 11 different prescriptions with a tally of 25 pills per day.
Which brings me to today, a time when I am striving to re-introduce some fun back into my life. I'm also learning to accept that I have a chronic illness, to give myself permission to rest and to forgive myself my new limitations.
I remind myself (over and over and over again) that I am not lazy; the exhaustion I feel is real. Sometimes I just plain need to vent about how much fibromylagia pain sucks and so I do on my blog.
Thanks for reading about my personal battle with Fibromyalgia pain. I hope you join me on my journey of finding fun ways to heal and that you will share some of your stories with us along the way.
Gentle hugs to all you Fibro warriors out there...you are not alone.