Posted in fibromyalgia

My Battle with Fibromyalgia

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Most of you know that I struggle with fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that causes widespread body pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties (“fibro fog”)

So what CAUSES fibromyalgia? Doctors don’t know for sure what exactly causes it but do believe a number of factors play a role:

  • Genetics
  • Infections (like mono which I contracted in college. The Epstein Barr Virus, which causes mono,  stays in a person’s system for the rest of their life but .)
  • physical or emotional trauma (like the seizure I had which resulted in me breaking my collarbone)

Common Symptoms:

  • widespread pain
  • jaw pain and stiffness
  • stiff joints and muscles in the morning
  • headaches
  • irregular sleep patterns
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • difficulties with memory and concentration, known as “fibro-fog”
  • fatigue

They are so many more symptoms. Not every person who has fibromyalgia deals with the same symptoms as someone else. It varies from person to person, which is why I believe it’s so hard to diagnose.

Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain’s pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals.

—-Mayo Clinic

It’s a daily struggle, that’s for sure.

For anyone who has a chronic illness, some days can be just plain awful. Once in a while we’ll have a good day but I know for me, that after that “good day” the next few are bad. And why? Well for me,and probably most people, it’s because we did too much on that “good day.” We did more than we should have

I’ve been struggling with fibromyalgia since around 2008 when I was living in Nashville, TN. My doctors there were ruling out other illnesses and trying to come up with a plan when I had to abruptly move back home to Norfolk, VA.  So as I tried to  transfer my medical records to a doctor here, I discovered the doctor I chose didn’t believe in fibromyalgia and told me it was all in my head.

Photo by Marc Schäfer on Unsplash

The doctor after that told me the same thing. I couldn’t find a doctor who would believe me. It was all in my head according to them! Until 2016. This doctor finally believed me! He told me that fibromyalgia was indeed a real illness. I am currently being treated by him. He’s a great doctor who takes the time to listen to his patients. He genuinely cares for his patients.  I told him that if he ever left to start his own practice, I would be following him. LOL

I think my biggest frustration with fibromyalgia, besides the body pain and fatigue, is the memory issues. I have the worst memory. I get words mixed up and half the time can’t remember what I was trying to say. It’s so annoying. That’s why sometimes I go for days without a blog post because the words just won’t come or they get mixed up and I just get so frustrated that I don’t write.

(Maybe I should write through the frustration! It’s a thought! I’ll have to give it a try!)

I don’t understand why I must have fibromyalgia and all these other health problems (bipolar disorder, ADHD, PCOS, anxiety, depression) but I know that God is in control and will help me fight these battles.  Perhaps He’s allowing me to go through this so that I may grow closer to Him, reaching out to Him always. To learn to depend on Him always.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you

I Peter 5:7

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “My Battle with Fibromyalgia

  1. Leigh, I understand! Two of my closest friends suffer from fibromyalgia too. It is awfully hard and misunderstood. Having TBI is also an invisible chronic thing which lots of people judge as all in my head….well, it is but you know what I mean. I’m so sorry and I will add you to my prayer journal. Big hugs🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Leigh, Thank you so much for sharing what you face and being brave enough to allow others to see you, all of you. I, too, suffer and live with chronic pain. I have good days followed by multiple bad days. I am continually describing something to someone because I cannot remember what it is called. I can tell you everything about it but I cannot I name it, well you know. I have always been a communicator. I have always been gifted with words until now. I hate the fog. I am a good soldier, and I move forward telling everyone that I am fine when the very opposite is really true. I don’t suffer from fibromyalgia, but many of my symptoms are similar. I use tools like Grammarly, Online Dictionary/Thesaurus.com and BibleGateway. Honestly, I cannot even get through responding to you without there use. I don’t know if you have read my most recent blog, it is short only six minutes, but it is in a way as deeply personal as yours is and I can feel the pain that went into writing it. I suffer the way that is described in that blog. I say all of this to say that your last sentence in your blog post right before the I Peter scripture is precisely right. You nailed it, dear sister. We face what we do because our precious Savior is allowing us to walk close by his side. Jesus lived a life of suffering and died a death that cannot be compared to any other
    because he loved us. Embrace that when the world goes dark, and everything hurts. He loves you enough to want you to walk close by his side and know the suffering of Christ. “Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his suffering in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17 (NIV) I like you my dear sister longingly look for the day when my savior will call me home, but until then I will walk by his side holding tightly to his hand. Until then and after your brother, Gary

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally understand how tough it is to have a chronic illness that isn’t well understood. So thankful that God understands it all and is looking out for you. Keep fighting beautiful girl! You are a warrior and fibromyalgia doesn’t define you at all! 💗

    Like

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