I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1995, but my pain goes back much further than that.
the early 1970's I took a hard fall on the ice.
Soon afterwards I started having cluster headaches three to five days a
week that continued for about fifteen years.
It seems like
I have always had an ache somewhere, but as I got older I ached more and got
stiffer. It was an effort to get up
in the morning. Everyone said it
was just arthritis. We bought a waterbed and that seemed to help for a while.
The warmth was great.
I found a massage therapist who specialized in deep muscle massage.
He was able to improve my range of motion.
After three years of therapy (at $400 a month) I quit because I could no
longer afford it. This therapist did teach me how to help relieve my pain by
placing a hard rubber ball in the area that was hurting and allow the weight of
my body to rest against it for maybe thirty seconds, then release and repeat.
I can make most of my muscle spasms go away by using this method.
1991 and 1993 we experienced a lot of stress in our family.
My mother-in-law had an aneurysm and nearly died, and at the
same time my niece was battling Hodgkin (died 2-92).
Also, my mom had a spell with her heart and my husband had to have
angioplasty twice. Here I was,
fifty-five, with three people depending on me to care for them.
My body hurt so badly I wanted to cry if someone just touched me.
the spring of '92 I started going to an arthritis doctor.
My pain had become unbearable. I
tried several types of arthritis medicines, but nothing helped very much.
I had lots of side effects, with the worst being a constant ache in my
stomach. I was also having bouts
with sinus and urinary tract infections about every three months.
came across an article on Fibromyalgia in a magazine.
It sounded just like I felt, so I took the article to the arthritis
doctor and asked her about it. She
smiled and said, "I’ve been thinking that is what you might have."
From then on I have been treated for Fibromyalgia.
years of medicine have taken their toll. I
have a very sensitive stomach and I have gradually gained about 60 pounds.
started to go to our Fibromyalgia support group in Rapid City in January of
1996. I have gone nearly every
month. I also subscribed to a
Fibromyalgia newsletter. I have
learned so much about why I feel the way I do -- the ringing in the ears, the
itchy eyes, the bouts with diarrhea and constipation, and the constant sinus and
urinary tract infections and sore throats.
the spring of 1996 I told my arthritis doctor I wanted to quit the prescription
drugs and go on a regiment of herbs and vitamins.
began taking a regiment of herbs in June of 1996.
I no longer have sinus infections
or urinary tract infections. My dry
eyes are not nearly as bad. I went
from ointment every morning to a couple times a month.
My irritable bowel is at a minimum.
I still have the ringing in my ears and an occasional sore throat, but
everything is so much better.
All this doesn't mean I don't have pain. I still have bad days, like when a storm front comes through, but most days are tolerable.
of the most difficult things I have to deal with is not being able to do things
I used to do, such as carpentry and furniture upholstery.
When I had a building project, I just did it myself.
Now I must wait for someone to help me.
It is hard to take.
I participated in the seven-week Fibromyalgia Self-Help Course that has been offered by our support group. This course helped me accept the fact I will never be the person I once was. With that knowledge and my faith, I will handle this condition. God promised me that I would never have to endure more than I could handle. Sometimes I have doubts, but then I pray for strength and I always come through.
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