23+ years of fibromyalgia and still going strong!

by Colleen M.
(New baltimore, MI)

Hi! My name is Colleen. I have had fibromyalgia for over 20 years. I was diagnosed after I started having hip pain that would't go away. My doctor checked to see if it was arthritis, but of course that was ruled out. That's when he told me I had fibromyalgia. At first i thought he was giving me a diagnosis just to get me out of his office. At that time it was a new medical condition so I just walked out of there thinking 'ok i have fibromyalgia'.

So it has been many years later and what i have learned is that doctors don't do much for you other than give you pain pills. I also have learned that a positive attitude does wonders to help alleviate symptoms. It doesn't take the pain away but it lessens the severity so i don't have to take any pain meds. I also learned that fibromyalgia is hereditary. Both of my sisters got fibromyalgia about seven years ago. One sister takes all sorts of meds while the other sister diets and exercises.

I also realized that as my body changes so do my symptoms. Initially it was just hip pain on the left side. Then it went to both sides and the neck and shoulders. Also after i had knee surgery the fibromyalgia started to affect my knees. The newest problem is stabbing pains in the bottom of my feet into my toes. My sister gets non-cardiac chest pains. We both have brain fog and a host of other issues. I am about 40 pounds overweight because i crave chocolate and carbs. And all this is just a basic normal day for me. This doesn't even add all the bad days i have when the depression sets in.

So after watching my sister get skinny even with the fibromyalgia i realized that i needed to do something for myself. I started going to a gym. I work with a personal trainer once a week. I do isometric exercises, lots of stretching, and walk a mile on a treadmill. It has helped me with my energy level as well as increase my mood levels. It is very tough but is well worth the time and effort i put in. I work in retail which is long hours so that involves lots of walking. If i didn't go to the gym i would never get through a day of work.

Sometimes I have days that i don't want to work but I know it would make me feel miserable. Since I started exercising and changing my eating habits I have lost almost 15 pounds. I am glad i found this web site because it will give me other exercises i can do when I can't make it to the gym or I am having a bad fibro day. This site also gives me a place to go when I need inspiration...something I went years without.

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Apr 27, 2013
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YOU GO, SISTER!!!
by: Beth G

Very eloquently put, Colleen. I see more strength in you than I have ever seen you have in all my life. My gains are your gains and your gains are my gains. Together we can make this work for us and not against us. I hope everyone can take as much of the fibro knowledge and make it work for them, also.

Apr 01, 2013
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You girls are champions!
by: Eric Suarez,CPT.

Great comments above. Colleen keep at it. You are inspiring! JJ Keep staying positive, Eric.

Mar 30, 2013
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Thanks for sharing your story
by: JJ

Reading what you wrote and just nodding the entire time...it's like I wrote it myself, except my pain started in the right hip/side. It's comforting to know that I am not alone.

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