i've been coming to this website a lot in the past few months as i've been trying to figure out what's wrong with me. it's probably about time that i reach out and say hi to the folks on the message board, it'd be great to talk to others with FMS, especially since i'm fairly new to this whole thing.
so hi. i'm a 28 year old married woman currently in graduate school. about a year and a half ago, i started having foot pain that various orthopedists thought was from tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, until someone finally thought to order MRI's and blood tests. the MRI's showed nothing wrong with my feet, and my blood tested positive for autoimmune disease. then i started having pain in my hands and arms and shoulders, and my primary doctor suspected fibromyalgia. she ran a few more tests to rule other things out, and she gave me the tender point test and sure enough, that's what i have. it's hard to go from having a self image of being young and healthy to suddenly being pained and frail and chronically ill. although when i think of how long i've dealt with depression and anxiety, have had extremely poor sleep and low energy, painful periods and sex, etc., i realize i had practically every other symptom of FMS before the pain started. so it's also weird to think about how i've been sick for a really long time, even though at the time i didn't realize it.
anyway, i'm a philosopher, and so if something is confusing or paradoxical, it drives me crazy and i can't stop thinking about it. now that i have fibromyalgia, i feel like my own life is totally confusing because i don't know what this diagnosis means for me. right now i'm taking lexapro, smoke marijuana (i live in a state where it's legal for those purposes), force myself to do something active every day, take lots of vitamins (C, B, D, fish oil, calcium and magnesium), and do acupuncture. i'm also in the middle of quitting cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine. all of these things, in their own way, have done a lot to help, but it's still a huge struggle to keep up with school and home and friends. everyone in my life (husband, friends, professors) have been very understanding and supportive, and for that i am extremely grateful. i'm even writing a research paper on the philosophy of pain and suffering, so it's been good to channel my worries into that. i keep hoping that once i get my life more under control, i'll feel a lot better and will be able to do anything. but i'm kind of worried that i won't be able to cut it in academia, because it really demands the personality of an overachiever. i am and have always been an overachiever, so it's hard for me to *not* push myself to work all the time, but now when i do, i hurt all over and feel like i have the flu, so i have to learn to not push myself. i'm also worried about losing touch with my friends. i don't want to be the one who's always complaining about how crappy i feel, but lately that's what's been happening. at the same time i need to do that because sometimes i'll try and go shopping, or go out to a bar or something and i'll be really miserable because i was on my feet too long or the seats hurt my back. so i'm worried about alienating my friends, or about not being physically capable of the social life i want to have.
i guess i needed to vent, sorry about that. i guess my question is this: am i bound to get worse? or is it possible that my level of pain/fatigue/etc would stay the same, or maybe even improve? a lot of the stories people share on this message board are heartbreaking, i just want some assurance that it might be ok. i want to have a rewarding career and continue to have fun and be active. is this possible with FMS?
i don't want to be defined by fibromyalgia. it's hard to accept this as part of my identity, but i'm working on it. but since this hasn't consumed my whole life (yet), let me just say that i like philosophy, art (i was an art history major, and my husband's a graphic designer), cooking, hiking, eastern/central europe, alternative medicine, cats, and lost (the tv show) i'd be happy to talk about any of these things and more, but i guess we're all here to talk about fibromyalgia. anyway, thanks for reading, talk to you soon!