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Fibromyalgia

What you don't see

Invisible Illnesses, a lot of us have them but you can't always see them or how badly they affect our lives and the lives of those around us. Fibromyalgia is one of many invisible illnesses, that cause chronic pain, that most people don't understand. Not everyone knows that Fibromyalgia is something you are born with. The difference between people is the severity of their symptoms and when they show up. Most people start showing symptoms after age 30 or 40.

I have had symptoms for my entire life but I wasn't diagnosed until I was 20 years old. I was diagnosed because every single part of my body was hurting. My body felt the way that image looks. You could touch just about anywhere on my body and I would be flinching or yelping in pain. Someone would accidentally brush my neck with their hand and they would practically have to peel me off the ceiling because I leapt so high up into the air. They did a tender point test on me, even though it isn't always accurate because not everyone has pain as one of their symptoms. I reacted to every single one of the 18 tender points in that test.

One of the main symptoms that most people deal with is Fibrofog. It is when they have trouble with their memory. Sometimes I will forget something that someone said to me five seconds before. I forget to do a lot of things because my short term memory is horrible. They can't get their words to come out correctly. I have a tendency to start and stop when I'm talking because my train of thought will get mixed up and the words start to come out in the wrong order. They have trouble finding their words. Normal words that you say all the time will be forgotten for no reason. They get confused or frustrated easily. I am not good at following instructions at times because if you aren't very specific then I won't know what you want me to do.

Fibromyalgia causes an unsteady gait. I have always been told that I move kind of funny and it doesn't look quite right. Some people have problems with bruising easily. I have bruises all the time and I have no idea how I got them. Many people are sensitive to cold with Fibromyalgia. These are symptoms that I have to deal with. I had to start walking with a cane at 19 years old because I was afraid of falling over and I was so unsteady on my feet. There were times when my cousin literally had to catch me because the wind took my unsteady feet right out from under me. It causes extreme fatigue and it makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning and you spend the entire day wanting to go back to sleep.

Many people with Fibromyalgia also have problems with depression or anxiety. I have problems with both at times. The pain and other symptoms make it nearly impossible to believe that it will ever end. Many people have problems with falling asleep or that they never feel rested. Some have restless leg syndrome.

The one thing I found that has helped me was reading a book written by a doctor who also has Fibromyalgia. The book is called What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia by Dr. R. Paul St. Amand. In it he explains more about Fibromyalgia and the one medication that has helped me. It causes you to go through reversal cycles and eventually the symptoms will go away as long as you follow what is in the book. So far, what I have read in the book and done has helped me to feel better and have more energy.