Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The start of my journey

On October 30, 2009, I went to visit my doctor about some health symptoms that I was concerned about. Through internet research, I had self-diagnosed myself with Fibromyalgia after years of pain; most particularly because of some recent developments in my health. But, to be truthful, I knew that I had Fibromyalgia about seven years ago.

Seven years ago I was working in an occupational health clinic. Prior to that, I had spent 4 or more years working in pharmacy. That said, I knew just enough about medicine to be dangerous to myself. I was having what I thought was minor back pain and went to a doctor that had an office just across the hall from my office. I was hoping for pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs to ease my back pain. What I got was an antidepressant or anti-anxiety drug. He also told me that he suspected that I had something called Fibromyalgia. I was 22 or 23 years old at this time; I knew everything. And, I knew that I didn’t have Fibromyalgia. At this time, Fibromyalgia was just becoming an acceptable diagnosis in the medical field. Until then, it had been a stamp that doctors gave to women they thought were depressed. I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t a hypochondriac. I didn’t have Fibromyalgia. I just had back pain. Give me drugs!

He told me he thought that I had high anxiety and that I carried my stress in my back. He gave me Lexapro to control the pain. It worked – kind of. The pain has always still been there. But, now I had a reason; anxiety and stress. If I could just de-stress then the pain would go away. Right? Of course, how do you “de-stress” your life? You can’t, or rather, I can’t. I am a type A personality. I like to have everything just so. My way. I couldn’t get rid of my personality so, I dealt with the pain.

Recently, I have started to forget everything. I have also started to have “Charlie horses” in my legs on a regular basis, symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS and extreme fatigue. That was enough for me to start researching my symptoms. Thankfully, before I drove myself crazy with hundreds of possibilities of various diseases, I remembered the appointment I had with a doctor seven years ago. I remembered he told me about Fibromyalgia. So, I started there.

My search on the internet began and ended with typing this phrase into Google; “Symptoms of Fibromyalgia”. All my symptoms were there. I was done. I had figured it out. Yeah me! I called the doctor and made an appointment.

On that Friday, I printed out my symptoms (being type a, I had done that so I could go in organized) and off to the doctor I went. I had not only convinced myself that I had Fibromyalgia, but I had convinced myself that I was going to be thrilled to know that I was right just so I knew that I wasn’t crazy.

I was crazy. But, not because I was wrong; because I was right. I have Fibromyalgia. And I am terrified. I spent the first part of my doctor’s visit “convincing” the doctor I had this then spent the second part of the visit trying to convince him that I didn’t. Once he agreed, I realized that this was forever. I was going to have this FOREVER. I don’t want to have a “condition”. At 31, I didn’t want to have something to battle for the rest of my life.

He calmed me by telling me there were drugs. If I had done more research before going, I would have known this. He was going to start me on Lyrica. Seven years ago they didn’t have a drug that could ease Fibro pain. Now, they do. I was to take it twice a day and I would feel wonderful (at least that is what I heard). My second dose (Saturday morning) scared the beegesus out of me. I felt like I had drunk an entire bottle of Vodka on my own. I couldn’t stand without swerving; talk without slurring; walk without stumbling. It was awful. I had to sleep it off. Not what I had in mind for a nice Saturday afternoon. When I woke up, I even had the munchies like I had been drinking all night. It was awful. So, Sunday morning I started my in-depth research into Fibromyalgia.

More to come soon!

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