By, Susan Kepler

My Fibromyalgia started with a rather short period of strength loss in my legs, mostly the right leg.

I was a dedicated social dancer who loved any type of dancing, especially ballroom, and Zydeco dance. My right leg is my “plant leg,” which I used for support when I was getting, “dipped,” and requiring any strong movement such as going in an up and down fashion.

Rather suddenly, I was able to do these movements less and less often. This symptom, along with decreasing energy and stamina, happened very fast until I could not complete a single dance number.

Unable to dance or even feeling too weary to get dressed, a previously unfelt all-over body pain and deepening depression took over my life. After visiting several M.D.’s the word, “Fibromyalgia” became who and what I am. I had never before cried when given a diagnosis. My life as a physically strong and generally upbeat person was over.

All of this started about 18 months after my dear husband’s death.

Medicine knows that the onset of Fibromyalgia frequently follows severe trauma. I was 59 when that happened, and now I am 74. I feel that Fibro has ruined my life!

My at the time boyfriend and dance partner was supportive to a great extent, but he couldn’t understand why I would not even let him touch my skin on some days. The pain on those days is so severe that I cannot let tight, heavy, or rough clothing touch me. Even my fingertips coming in contact with my skin is excruciating. My son and niece keep me on track with my “Fibro-fog,” and since finding out that I have several food allergies that account for a lot of my pain, life has gotten somewhat better.

Due to soon to happen changes in my living arrangements, I expect to decrease pain levels and lessen fatigue and depression. I know a new medication plan will help accomplish this, and I can start using my body. My current Rx plan is about fifteen years old.

I know advancements in Fibromyalgia treatment have and are happening. Please try to keep current with reputable information from sources such as the Mayo Clinic website, book, and newsletter, WebMD, and, “The Fibro Manual written by Ginevra Liptan, M.D. who has Fibromyalgia. This book helped me know that I am not going crazy! I have just joined the National Fibromyalgia Association, and so I’m sharing my story with you.

If you personally have this diagnosis, my heart goes out to you.

If you love and care for a soul who has this, try to be strong as we are working towards a better quality of life for both you and me.