I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in May 2016. I am not only struggling with a non-visible chronic illness, but with other non-visible aspects, including financial abuse, social isolation, and poverty.
It is difficult to push past the tears and write this. I hope that by sharing others will somehow be helped and know they are not alone.
I have read that one theory is that we develop fibromyalgia from exposure to prolonged stress, physical injury, extraordinary emotional stress, or viral infections.
All of these factors apply to me. After experiencing epic female-in-jeopardy-TV-movie-of-the-week violence, I developed Complex PTSD. A very misunderstood and stigmatized diagnosis. I became disabled with it, and daily functioning became difficult. Which began a spiral of shame, poverty and social isolation. How I believe Complex PTSD relates to fibromyalgia is that it permanently elevated a lot of stress-related biochemistry; physiology that is never effectively eradicated through medication or psychotherapy. Stress upon stress feeds the biochemistry and eventually your body is going to develop problems.
Three years ago, I fractured a rib and injured my lower back. It was disconcerting that I never seemed to be able to recover – I still experienced a lot of pain, even though my fracture had obviously healed.
This past February, I began to realize that my relationship with my boyfriend was toxic. This was the first intimate relationship I had in 14 years. There was a lot of emotional stress.
At the same time, I developed what could best be described as a cold from hell that wouldn’t go away. After 2 months of misery, increasing unrelated symptoms and unexplained pain, I caved in and saw a doctor, which led to the fibromyalgia diagnosis.
When I look back retrospectively, I believe that I probably had fibromyalgia at least 5 years prior to the diagnosis. I just tried to power through the symptoms and avoided the Medicare nightmare hassles associated with seeing a doctor. I could write a book about my distaste for Medicare!
Two weeks after the fibromyalgia diagnosis, my boyfriend dumped me after relieving me of my settlement money from the rib and back injury.
I am now facing a $644 bill for lab work that Medicare refuses to pay, and I got a call from a collection agency today regarding another bill that Medicare didn’t cover. My physician assistant wants to test for co-morbid conditions, including Lyme Disease. With my unpaid medical bills mounting, and disability income below the federal poverty level, further testing is a luxury I cannot afford.
I don’t have family. I am dealing with this entirely alone. Yes, the pain is chronic and sometimes excruciating. All the other symptoms seem unaddressed by the researchers and medical field. Nobody seems to agree on what causes fibromyalgia or how to effectively treat it. I find I am entering the scene just as the misguided war on opiates is warming up.
That’s my story in a nutshell.
Just know that if someone is suffering with an invisible illness that is misunderstood and stigmatized — that they are most likely suffering with a lot more than the illness itself.
more on… fibromyalgia
- mayo clinic- what it fibromyalgia
- fma aware- dedicated site to those with fibromyalgia
- pros and cons of 10 treatments
- what to eat, what not to eat
- 11 ways to beat fibro fog
- 8 ways to manage a bad day
If you have a chronic illness, you have a story too. Share it to help others out there who are struggling know that they are not alone. Share it to raise awareness so outsiders can get a glimpse of what you are going through. share it here
Now, it’s your turn to talk:
- did you enjoy this article?why or why not?
- Do have fibro or know anyone with it?
- Do you think this article is a good representation of fibro?why or why not?