I wanted to share the stages I feel I went through when I finally accepted my fibromyalgia diagnoses. Just wondering if anyone else went through similar stages and how are you copping with it now?
I had an auto accident back in 2005 with my husband. I was in the passenger seat with no seat belt when a car ran into the stop sign at the intersection and my husband swerved to avoid the car but we hit him by the left back side of his 4 door sedan. With the impact of the accident, I flew on top of the dash board and back on to my seat. My neck and back was never the same after that……
My back pain really started in 2006. I started to notice that I was getting a lot of pain in my neck & lower back to the point where it was difficult to bend over, sit straight or even sit for long periods of time, etc. As I got older I noticed that the pain got stronger. The weird part was the pain started to move, now it wasn’t only in my neck and lower back, it was all over my body; the muscle/tendons above my knees, above my elbows, top arms, wrists, fingers, entire back, shoulder blades, ankles, feet, face, side boobs, jaw and under my ears. These are all the main areas the pain attacked me. When I finally found a doctor to diagnose me, I went to many other doctors to get a second opinion. Many doctors would do an office visit exam and at the end of the visit I received either a referral to another doctor because they couldn’t help me, a prescription or just a “I’m sorry there’s nothing I can do for you” speech.
The first phase I went through was, confusion. I was very confused on what I was feeling, going through, and what the doctors diagnosed me with. I’ve never heard of Fibromyalgia. I started to research, ask questions and everything made so much sense. All my symptoms, what I was feeling, it was fibromyalgia. I was happy!
Second phase, Happy. I was happy because I finally had a name for what I was feeling. It wasn’t all in my head. I wasn’t the only one suffering with all these different types of pain. Now, I can get help and go back to normal. I was so happy and hopeful things were going to be just fine. That’s when I was told there’s no cure. We can only treat the symptoms. My happy phase lasted all of maybe one month. From one doctor’s appointment to the next. My symptoms at the time were really bad, I felt every symptom to a level 10. My mind was overwhelmed with pain and I couldn’t focus on anything else. Everything I had tried was not helping and none of my doctors actually cared enough to listen to me longer than five minutes.
Phase three, Sad- I couldn’t find relief within the treatment and I’d tried everything. I tried, physical therapy, massages, acupuncture, pharmaceuticals, manual therapy, heating pads, cold packs, etc. I even tried holistic treatments like, herbs, oils, energy work, crystals, etc. Even though the holistic treatments did help a little, it didn’t last long enough. For example, acupuncture helped to relieve the knots in my muscles but I had to go twice a week for the treatment to last the entire week. I felt acupuncture went deep into the muscle and it gave me much more relief then a massage. A massage only helped to loosen the muscles on top. The oils, energy work and crystals helped create a positive environment and that is always helpful, but I felt as if I was being followed by a black cloud that just never stopped pouring rain.
The pain was so intense I couldn’t stay hopeful and positive every day; I was being ripped apart physically and mentally. The sadness did take over for some time but I had to fight myself out of it. At the time, a close friend had committed suicide and that put so much hurt in my heart that it woke me up to the suffering of those around us. We are so consumed with pain, anger, grief that we do not realize that our families are affected as well. My husband told me something that touched me so deep, “If you’re sick then I AM SICK TOO and so are our kids, the entire family has fibromyalgia because you have it”. That made me realize that I wasn’t alone in this, it gave me the courage to stand up and fight back, fight for my life, fight for my happiness again.
Final Phase, Acceptance- I’ve finally come to the terms that I am sick and will probably always be for the rest of my life. I will probably take pain medication for the rest of my life. My doctors and treatment centers will become my second family but that doesn’t mean I gave in or gave up. It means that I will not let fibromyalgia take my joy out of life, I will continue to be open to finding and trying other treatment options to better my quality of life, and I will not let anger, hurt, sadness or fear, cloud my judgment on treatment options. I know they’re people who choose not to take medication or they’ve tried and their bodies do not accept certain medications or just have bad side effects to them but, I will not let that affect my judgment on being open minded on any treatment or medication. Some things are not for everyone and I respect that but please hold the judgments on my choices for choosing to accept my condition and take medication that is actually helping me improve my quality of life. I refuse to lay down to Fibromyalgia and all the doctors who don’t believe or treat this illness. I will stand up and have my voice be heard, continue to raise awareness, fight for a cure, inspire those who feel like their world is now over and be a voice for the voiceless sufferers because I know you’re out there, I was once a voiceless suffer.
Please let me know your stages and how your coping with your Fibromyalgia diagnoses.
With Love, Light, positive vibes and gentle hugs to all!