My Experience as a Young Adult Living with Fibromyalgia
By: Bethan Jones
Living with Fibromyalgia
It all started when I was 13 years old with pain in my knees. Doctors either thought I was a hypochondriac or that it was growing pains and would go away with time. Well, it never went away.
The pain spread to different parts of my body, the worst being my back, but it got to the point that any part of my body could hurt at any given time.
Eventually I found a doctor who listened and looked further than the normal blood test results. I was referred to a rheumatologist and finally got my diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Even this specialist wasn’t very good. I had already done my research and suspected I had fibromyalgia before I was diagnosed, and the rheumatologist told me it would go away by itself. I know that is not the case. I was left to it to learn what worked for me.
Many don’t understand how horrible living with fibromyalgia can be. Whether I overdo it or not, I am in pain 24/7. Stress only makes it worse as do most things. There are so many triggers it is hard to keep up. The fatigue can be so crippling I can’t even string a sentence together.
I started a blog a few months after diagnosis and it opened up a whole new community of bloggers and those in the same situation as me. Social media has become my best friend as I am able to meet others with fibromyalgia online and we support and help each other.
I am quite open about my health with others now, thanks to my blogging and the social media groups for fibromyalgia and chronic illnesses. Beforehand I would have just kept quiet and carried on, but now I am as honest as possible so others know the best way they can help. I was always the one to go above and beyond, but I now have to take a step back and ask for help.
I am learning that pacing is the best way to prevent a flare up,
but sometimes I just have to forget it to have a good time, knowing full well I will suffer for it the next day. I cannot let it rule my life, but it is a part of me whether I like it or not.
Together we are stronger, we can support one another, we can be more than our diagnosis.