By: Carol Barendregt

I was diagnosed in 2002 but I had pain way before I got the diagnosis. At that time most doctors just thought it was a mental disorder. I was fortunate enough to have a doctor who was up on new diseases and knew what it was all about. He tested me for everything, lime disease, arthritis, Lupus etc. Which all came back negative.

He finally told me I had Fibromyalgia. Then we had to figure out how to treat it. I felt like a test subject by then. He tried several different drugs on me some were even combinations. We finally found what worked and stuck to it. I have never been completely pain free but I got it were I could still function. It was a very terrible time in my life were people with Fibro were considered mentally ill and that did not change for a long time. So, I basically kept it to myself. So,

I was a closet Fibro suffer.

I was so happy when other people started coming out of the closet and it was recognized as an actual disease. It was a long lonely road before but now I feel justified and am happy to share my experiences. I had one doctor tell me I would never be able to be a nurse. I stood up to him and told him watch me. I graduated in 2005 and got my license June 2005 and went to work as a nurse at a long-term facility. This had been my dream for 10 years and I got the opportunity to go and with a lot of pain and tears I got through it.

I am older now and I have other health issues along with Fibro that forced me to retire. I have good days and bad days but no matter what I get up and move no matter what. I worked as a nurse for 16 years but the Fibro and arthritis and brain fog and my body told me it’s time to retire. So, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something you really want to do. Take a deep breath take care of yourself and go for it.

Thank you, Carol Barendregt LPN.