How my Fibromyalgia made me a different person 

Six years ago, the one and only worry I had was that I was unable to get pregnant. I had no symptoms of Fibromyalgia or being chronically ill, not even a slight headache. I wasn’t a very athletic person but stayed at a healthy 8 and ½ stone no matter what I ate. My favorite exercise was cycling and would regularly partake in a few long distance bike rides with my husband. Simple tasks like house work and cooking for my family was completed without any question and I loved my full-time job as an IT Technician. I was proud of my achievement, i’d worked hard to get into IT with going back to college at 21, then attending University to get my degree.

October 2016 was when I fell pregnant with my 3rd child and the pregnancy was not an easy one. At 4 weeks I was in and out of hospital for blood tests and scans to make sure the fetus was viable and in the correct place as i’d previously had an Ectopic pregnancy. I then got diagnosed with Chronic Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) I struggled to walk with the pain and so I was signed off work. My labor and birth was not an easy one either, I got rushed into the Medical Unit because instead of dilating my son tore my cervix open. I was in so much pain I was completely out of it, throwing up in the background whilst they assisted me birthing my child, after which that’s when the Fibro started….

“Don’t ride your bike or have sex for at least 6 weeks”

The midwife explained to me after having my son, obviously being a big cyclist that was a bit of a let-down, especially as in 3 weeks was the family annual Manchester Sky Ride. I stumbled around pushing the pram whilst my husband and two older children cycled around the local park, so not to leave me on my own. After the 6 weeks were up I still have pain around my abdomen area

“All natural with what you’ve been through” said the Health Visitor when she came around.
“But I have pins and needles in my feet” I explained to her
“You’re not walking enough!” I got as an answer.

As time went on, my symptoms went worse. Starting with the pins and needles in my feet, it spread to my hands, then face, legs, back and then…. the pain hit.

Nine months after my son was born I was in agony, barely walking, surviving on Paracetamol and Ibuprofen.

February 2017 came and I returned to work from maternity to full-time work but after a few months of being in and out of work, they were concerned at the amount of sickness caused by the amount of pain I was in and sent me to Occupation Health. When I got to Occupational health I had no idea what to expect but as I explained the pain and suffering to the Doctor I broke down. I had no idea who I was anymore and I surely couldn’t cope with this pain, full time work and a newborn. Luckily for me the Occupational therapist was previously a Rhuematologist and knew exactly what the issue was.

“You have Fibromyalgia” He said,
“Get yourself a referral to Rhuematology to get your offical diagnosis!”

Now four years after my diagnosis and I no longer cycle, not even on my exercise bike, I can’t really walk any more than 20 meters even with two elbow crutches so exercise is totally out of the question. The medication I have has made me put on Four stone and I have gone from a slim size 8 (UK) to a size 14 (UK), which has caused me to have to purchase a whole new wardrobe of clothes to make me feel happy in my skin and none that are really like the style I used to have. I no longer wear high-heals or shoes at all, I must wear trainers all the time as Fibromyalgia has given me Plantar Fasciitis. I went out the other week with my best mate for a meal and a few drinks, she convinced me to wear heals and I only walked in them probably a total of 50 meters the whole night and I was crippled with foot pain for 4 days after. I don’t do any cooking or housework as I only have enough energy for that or working and unfortunately right now it doesn’t look like I will be working for much longer as I’ve had to cure my hours down to part time as I am struggling to stay awake during work and when I get home. I no longer seem to have any compassion or sympathy for anyone that hurt themselves anymore, I seem to feel like saying “welcome to what I deal with”. All in all, I no longer feel like the person I used to be, I spend my days now dealing with the pain, trying to work till I can’t no more as I love my job and trying to figure out who I am now as Fibromyalgia has made me a different person.

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