Everyone’s chemistry and experiences are different and completely unique. I am opening up this blog to hear all of your stories. Whether you have Pulmonary Fibrosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, or another disease in which you are willing to share your disease onset, I think it is a great way for us to learn about each other and give support to one another. Please write in and tell me your story. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org You are welcome to share a photo if you would like.
Many thanks, Brad.
Fibromyalgia Day Jan 4, 2011
Looking back on my childhood and early adulthood, I may have had fibromyalgia in a mild form during those years. I remember in childhood, feeling a bit achy while sitting in classes. I remember not having lots of energy during recess. In early adulthood, I remember needing to drink lots of hot cups of tea to feel good on cold winter days. My shoulders and back ached frequently and I often asked my kids to step on my back to “pop” it. There were times, however, even in early childhood and early adulthood, when I would feel very energetic. I think during those “healthy” times, my thyroid and body system was working at its best.
When I was 44 I learned I was severely hypothyroid. I went on thyroid hormone.
During my late forties I joined a gym and while being taught to use the Gavitron machine I had an accident that may have compressed my spine. I started having sciatic pain after that. I also started having cramping in my abdomen. If anything touched it,my abdomen would cramp up. I would often come home from work and lay down on the floor in front of the wall heater and just curl up in pain.
I went from doctor to doctor trying to discover the reason. I went from gynecologist to gynecologist until one said I did have a fibroid tumor but didn’t feel it would be the reason for the odd spasms. I decided a hysterectomy with ovaries removed may help me out. I had to push for it as the insurance would only approve of removing the fibroid.
I was also depressed during this time. I was on all kinds of medications for pain, for depression and for inflammation. I had tried cortisone shots in the painful area, went to physical therapist, chiropractors and massage therapists. I tried mind-body massage therapy, pyschotherapists and did much mind-body research.
After I had my hysterectomy my symptoms became even more severe. I had “electrical” feelings running down my legs, into my toes and pelvic area. The sciatic nerve pain in my back continued. I was treated with hormones since my ovaries had been removed. I continued on the antidepressants for depression and pain. I always had hope that one day I would figure out how to crawl out of my dungeon of pain.
When I turned 50, I decided things had to change. I was going to a great therapist who recognized my realization that I was entering the “wisdom years” of the second half of my life. I knew I had to sart making changes. I had always wanted to ballroom dance and I found I could take lessons reasonably at the local college. I enlisted my “then husband” into taking lessons with me. It was painful at first. I remember the skin on my hips was sensitive to feeling the blowing air from the fans and would cramp up painfully. But I persisted. After a while, my body responded to the exercise and increased endorphin levels from dancing. I had less and less pain. I weaned myself off the pain medications. One day, I decided to stop all antidepressant medications too.
It has been twelve years now since I first learned to ballroom dance and went off all medications. I still have fibromyalgia but it has improved greatly. It doesn’t overwhelm my life like it once did.
My body is at its best when I am getting quality sleep, eating nutritious foods like salmon and green leafy veggies and my stress level is low. When I get in regular weekly dancing, daily hour-long walks and stay physically active during the day, I feel good.
I feel my worst when I am under stress, don’t get quality sleep and don’t eat quality foods, along with sitting for hours at my computer. I have a theory that chemicals build up in my tissues and that exercise washes them away. The endorphins are also needed to help the nerves feel less pain.
As I sit at my computer now and write this, the backs of my thighs burn. I have been having a lot of shoulder and neck pain lately. It has been cold recently and I haven’t been walking or dancing often enough. I also haven’t been eating well during the holidays. I have gained some weight lately and my body just isn’t working at its best. Time to get back on my healthy regimen! I am confident now that my body knows how to respond to the best of care!