Where does your story begin and what were the symptoms that concerned you prompting you to see your GP?

I had always been a fairly strong fit person and then I reached a point when I had a lot of stress.  During this time I started to notice I didn’t have the motivation or strength to do tasks and I was forgetting things and getting confused. I was feeling fatigued and pains when I bent my wrists like a weakness.  Then I started to get very painful soles of my feet I couldn’t even walk down the stairs properly. I found that my wellies were the most comfortable to wear in the day as it hurt when I walked. I had to stop my long dog walks because my legs felt like I had bricks on them. I visited the
GP several times.  

Approximately how long did it take and how were you diagnosed?

I would say almost six months and then I was referred to a Rheumatologist at the hospital.  I was asked a lot of questions about my past illnesses and
the consultant diagnosed me with Fybromyalgia and suggested I take an epileptic drug, I had already just been prescribed Lamotriguine.

Out of 10 being the highest what level of stress and anxiety did this
cause you?

I was already going through a stressful time, I was a bit relieved to
know what was wrong with me.

How did your diagnosis impact on family / friends / work / social ?

To be honest I’ve told very few people and just soldiered on, but there are things I don’t do any more because of it, I made excuses.

Did receiving a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

  1. help to turn things around for you to help you find a way
    forward,  or
  2. did it create a debilitating label for you?

It’s only recently that I have come to terms with it and I’ve started to make adjustments in my life to help myself and to follow and seek help and advise from other Fybromyalgia sufferers.

What were your symptoms?

Heavy legs, painful joints.  I also suffered with terrible fatigue in my mind and body almost painful, memory loss, vertigo.

What medication were you prescribed and any side effects?

Lamotriguine and I tried Pregablin and Gabapentin feeling sick, dizzy.

Were you given any information explaining Fibromyalgia Syndrome and / or
referred to the NHS Persistent Pain Clinic?

In the early days around 2013 I was sent to Occupational Therapy. It did help but the appointments were scheduled when I had work shifts so I had to stop them. Iv been offered nothing since.

To this present day, has your fibromyalgia diagnosis caused you to make
significant changes to your life and how has this affected you and those close
to you?

What steps have you taken to cope with these changes in your life?

I try to have a balanced diet, and take vitamins, eat plenty of garlic and
spices, herbs

Have your symptoms changed since your diagnosis and if so in what way?

No, they just cycle

What are your main triggers and how do you do to manage your symptoms and flare-ups?

Pain in joints and stiffness, Fatigue I slow down and rest.

Do you take supplements or use natural remedies?

I take a BetterYou Vit B12 and Vit D.  I’ve tried many over the years

What type of support do you have?

Presently none

Have you noticed changes in your sensitivity to environmental or emotional
triggers such as noise, light, smell, stress, or certain foods and chemicals?

Definitely,  I’m more sensitive to chemicals, perfumes, cosmetics and dust allergy, I also struggle with air con.

Do you feel that in general people understand the daily challenges you
have to face living with Fibromyalgia or judge you?

I think more understanding is needed, and awareness, for a healthy fit person to understand the problems fybro puts in your day to day life.

What is the worst aspect for you of living with Fibromyalgia?

Managing work,  home and family.

Has having Fibromyalgia increased your awareness of the connection between mind and body and emotional state? Would you describe this as a good or a bad thing?

Yes I practise Meditation, Reiki Healing and Crystal’s it’s been a god send.

Do you have any Fibro related Top Tips you would like to share?

Enjoy the good days and make the most of them and take it easy on the bad days, don’t be hard on yourself.

What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed?

Go by your own instincts and research the medication.

I hope this is helpful and thank you for letting me share my story, Andrea. 

Thank you for helping others by sharing your story and raising
Fibromyalgia Awareness.  We always appreciate your comments and if you would like to add your story to the Fibromyagia Chronicles, please get in touch.  Leave a comment below.

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