Fi-bro-my-al-gia. Fibromyalgia diagnosis. Five syllables and two words that I never thought would be uttered regarding me. Sure, things have been hurting for no reason at all. Yeah, you barely poke me in places and I wanted to punch someone, but it was just a quirk I had not an actual “condition”. Right?
Remember, when I shared about the day the bread died? I decided to go gluten free to see if it would help this weird leg ache I’d been having. Plus the fact that I have MTHFR (fondly known as the mother*cker gene) leading a gluten free lifestyle couldn’t hurt.
About four weeks after going gluten free, and four weeks of physical therapy not doing a hot damn thing, I decided to go to a rheumatologist. Lots of fun things run in my family, so since physical therapy didn’t work it was time to dig deeper.
On my birthday of all days, I headed over to the rheumatologist. It seems to be a hobby of mine to go to doctors where I am the youngest patient. My ortho doc always used to laugh that I was the youngest person getting knee injections when I was 28 (way to speak to a gal’s heart doc). Scanning over the rheumatology waiting room this was no different even though it was 8 years later.
The doc asked the usual questions. “Where does it hurt?” “How long has it been hurting?” We talked for about 20 minutes, and she turned to me and told me the good news and the bad news. The good news is that she didn’t think I had something rheumatology based, but the bad news is she had to do some tests to confirm (five vials of blood later) and need to see a physiatrist. At first, I thought she said psychiatrist and was telling me I was whacked in the head, but a physiatrist is a medical doctor that knows a lot about how the body moves.
Leaving the rheumatologist I wasn’t quite sure how to feel. The only thing I knew was my back hurt, my legs hurt, and I was too young to feel this damn old. Nevertheless, doctor’s appointment number 4,321 was made with the physiatrist.
Today was the day I saw the physiatrist. Since seeing the physical therapist, my primary doctor, and an orthopedist I figured she might give me some injections in my SI joints. Everyone kept telling me something was wrong in them, and that was probably causing my pain. Definitely wasn’t looking forward to getting tortured, but if it helped I would do anything.
The nurse did my intake, and told me that the doc would probably want an MRI to see what was doing on in my body. She handle me the ever so fashionable open gown, and some gorgeous hunter green shorts that made me really glad that I shaved the day before. Hopped up on the table, and now it was time to wait.
After waiting what seemed like forever, and in fairness was probably 1 minute, the doc came in. She was kind and seem genuinely interested in helping me since she was at least the fourth doctor I’d seen trying to figure this out.
Off the table, I hopped and was asked to do walk back and forth in the office. Nothing like strutting your stuff in some smexy green shorts and a gown opened to the back. After my modeling debut, the real “fun” began. She started poking at weird spots on my body.
Some of them weren’t to bad, others it took everything in me not to punch her. The nursing staff might’ve thought she was torturing me because there were several times I cried out in pain just from her slightest touch. My back had had this issue ever since Keiran was born (almost 16 years ago), but the other places I didn’t even know where an issue.
After the torture was done, that’s when she sat me down and brought up the computer screen. In big bold print was the word “fibromyalgia.” It was then I knew what my issue had been off and on for years. I was about to get my first fibromyalgia diagnosis.
The doctor asked me how many of fibromyalgia sypmptoms sounded like me:
- Brain fog
- Trouble getting restful sleep
- Restless leg
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Chronic Widespread pain
- Tender Points
Um yes, yes, yes, and yes. UGH! The more she kept talking the more it sank in that this made a lot of sense. I’m always tired and achy. Morning stiffness is the worst, but thank goodness isn’t every day. The brain fog was one of the main reasons I decided to go gluten free.
As the visit came to a close, reality started to settle in. I knew I would be ok,, and I could handle this but at the same time I wanted to cry. This meant my life would always be spent in some degree of pain. What I was feeling right now, there was no cure for. My fibromyalgia diagnosis meant that things were going to change permanently.
Going through these doctor’s appointments, I never thought it would end in a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. When the first doctor mentioned it, I thought she was crazy. Maybe that was just my way of coping. It’s not clear how things are going to go from here, but two things are obvious to me. It’s time I put my health first, and that I won’t let my condition define me. I’ve probably always had fibro, now I just have a name to all the craziness my body does. Now it’s time to research it, and empower myself so I can live the best life I can.