6 Aug 2013

So, what the feck is Fibromyalgia?

As many of you may know I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus in 2010 and in June this year I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  Fuck my life.  Anyway, before my Lupus diagnosis I had no idea what Fibromyalgia was and I don't think I'd even heard of it.  Having Lupus opened up my eyes to a whole new world of illnesses so prior to my diagnosis in June I'd pretty much self diagnosed anyway.

So what is Fibro? Well in a nut shell its a neurological disorder that causes widespread pain and extreme tiredness. Doctors do not know what causes it or why people get it but personally I think I have it because of Lupus.  I think Lupus effed up my brain.  That's just my theory.

Symptoms of Fibro include:

Widespread pain and aching all over
Stiff muscles and joints
Muscle spasms
Cognitive dysfunction such as memory loss, trouble processing information and confusion
Insomnia (is a bitch)
Poor quality sleep or 'non restorative' sleep so I can sleep for hours and still feel tired
IBS (Oh the joys)
Tingling like pins and needles
Problems regulating body temperature

I pretty much experience all of the above on a daily basis - some days are worse than others but I can't remember a day without all or some of those....plus I have lupus to contend with too - jeez I  thought Lupus was bad enough now I got this fibro arsehole to deal with as well.

I reckon I had Fibro for about 2 years before my diagnosis.  The trouble with it is painkillers don't really work because the pain is coming from within your brain (yep it is actually all in my head) they tried to give me anti-depressants as they are supposed to help with the pain signals but I refused to take them - I take enough tablets already and wasn't keen on the idea.

Someone once described the pain of fibro as though your blood is poisoned with burning acid.  That is a pretty accurate description in my opinion.  The pain can sometimes be all over your body and varies from burning pain to aching - a bit like how I imagine arthritis to feel.

When I was diagnosed the doctor pressed on certain points of my body that are known to be tender points in fibromyalgia sufferers and let me tell you, I wailed with the pain each time he pressed one of those points. My poor mother was in the room with me wincing.  Not nice for your Mum to see.

I don't know why Fibro causes IBS but IBS on it's own is a pretty shitty thing to have (excuse the pun) I won't go into how IBS affects me because I'm pretty sure most of you don't want to know about my bowel habits but lets just say I have some kind of stomach issue most days!

Obviously stress makes all the above a lot worse so since giving up work I have noticed an improvement but as I said the symptoms are there to varying degrees everyday.

It will never go away but I think you learn new coping strategies to make life a bit easier and I always try my best to stay positive which I think helps a lot.  Quite often I don't know whether I'm suffering from Lupus or Fibro. Or both! But hey I've handled Lupus so I can handle this too.

So there you have it - isn't my life wonderful?!


No comments:

Post a Comment