My Story: Tatiana Maldonado

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

About seven years ago I started suffering from pain in my body and fatigue. My primary doctor told me it was stress and extra weight and that all I needed to do was exercise every day and not stress.

She put me on steroids for the inflammation in my neck/back. When that didn't work, she had an X-ray done, which showed nothing.

As years passed I wasn't getting better. I was having a hard time lifting my arms from the nerve pain. My PCP retired and I started to see her replacement doctor.

I complained about the swelling in my hands and feet, chronic pain and fatigue. She told me I needed to do yoga and eat clean.

Every visit she would push the topic of depression. I explained each time I wasn't depressed but extremely frustrated with the fact that nothing was working, and that it was affecting me and my family, along with my schoolwork.

I had four daughters under the age of 12 while in college full-time and I was having a hard time. Finally, after a year of the back and forth, she suggested I see a rheumatologist and put me on Cymbalta for the nerve pain.

It took three months for me to see the rheumatologist and he had me do blood work several times. Finally, two months later I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

He put me on Lyrica, but it was debilitating. All I wanted to do was sleep. I couldn't function. I was on 60mg of Cymbalta but now back down to 30mg because it was making my hands tremble.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I've cut out certain foods and try to walk daily. I still find it super hard some days.

Who has been there for you? How?

My husband and daughters have been my biggest supporters! They understand when I'm having a bad flare-up and need rest. My husband has taken a lot more responsibility with helping around the house and with our girls.

I was having a hard time lifting my arms from the nerve pain.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am still in school, finishing up my Bachelor’s degree, and went back to working this past June.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am still in school, finishing up my Bachelor’s degree, and went back to working this past June.

Find a great support team.

Find a great support team.

What's your advice to someone else living with Fibromyalgia?

Listen to your body! Rest when needed and don't feel guilty about it!

Find a great support team. I use online group support sites too.

It's hard for people to understand the amount of pain you can be in and still push yourself to get stuff done.

Is there anything else we should know?

I try not to allow this disease to define me or my life. I also like to educate my friends and family as much as possible.

Listen to your body! Rest when needed and don't feel guilty about it!

About Tatiana Maldonado

I am married with four daughters. I work for a psychiatrist and attend online classes at Wilmington University.

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