The best way to start this off is to write about how my journey began. I’ll make this the shortest version possible 🙂
In the fall of 2011, I began to suffer from lower back pain. I wasn’t concerned at first, thought maybe I pulled a muscle. I was working as a reading tutor at the time and sitting down constantly made it feel worse. Months later, the pain was still there and it was much worse. I had an MRI and it was “normal”. My orthopedic doctor told me to go for 6 weeks of physical therapy. Yeah, ok…
So when that didn’t work, I muddled along with the pain. I took Motrin and other pain relievers, but nothing helped. It was frustrating and it started to have an effect on my daily life. Several months went by and the pain spread down my leg and even in my arm, but it was all on one side. In addition to the pain, I wasn’t sleeping well and I was having anxiety attacks. I had anxiety since college but it was something that had been under control. At this point, it came back in full force. I left my job in the spring of 2013 due to both the severe pain and anxiety. This was a new low.
Months later, I had yet another MRI done (brain and neck), and it showed nothing (no complaints there). I also had a nerve test done, where a neurologist basically zapped my nerves to test their reaction, and she said everything was “normal”. (By the way, I preferred the MRIs over the nerve test. It was that awful.) I then had blood work done that showed my rheumatoid factor was slightly elevated. I was referred to a rheumatologist and I was almost excited thinking I might actually get an answer. I went to the appointment, the rheumatologist reviewed my blood work and x-rays and told me I didn’t have arthritis. He suggested it may be fibromyalgia, but he couldn’t diagnose it for sure because my pain symptoms were still all on one side, and fibro symptoms are widespread. So I walked out of there with a prescription to “try”, and still no diagnosis. Awesome.
At this point it’s late spring, 2014. It’s been 2 and a half years of pain, tests, appointments, and unanswered questions. My symptoms are now widespread and much worse than ever before. I was about to get married in August, and all I wanted was to enjoy the big day without all this pain. I decided to go back to the rheumatologist, as I thought that’d be my best bet. I called to make an appointment and they got me in right away due to my pain. The doctor went over all my symptoms, physically examined me, and right away he diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. OMG. A DIAGNOSIS. I felt like I was cured! That happy feeling didn’t last long though…
As of right now, early spring of 2015, it’s been close to a year since I was officially diagnosed. It took a bit of trial and error to find a medication that not only agreed with me, but actually worked in terms of improving the severity of my pain. There was so much that went on within those few years of trying to become diagnosed, but I’ll talk about those instances in the future.
This being my first post, I will end it here. I wanted to get the diagnosis story out of the way so I can focus on more specific stories, feelings and daily occurrences. Looking forward to writing more. Thanks for reading.