Before I knew I had fibromyalgia I didn't really know what was wrong, I just knew I was in a lot of pain and so unbelievably tired! I was very young when I started to feel like this, so it was a huge struggle to find people who would take me seriously when I talked about it.
It wasn't until recently that I learned I have fibromyalgia. I was 23 when I moved back in with my mom to find out what it was. At first I considered endometriosis, because it runs in my family and I got my period at 9 years old and have had excruciating cramps since age 12. Once that was ruled out by surgery, I felt hopeless and lost yet again. I finally mentioned fibro to the doctor I was seeing at the women's health clinic. They said while it was possible, there was no way to test for fibro.
So I was on the search for a doctor who knew what the hell I was talking about. I found a chronic pain specialist, Dr. Frydell, who is amazing and helped save my life! I'm very thankful I found him. He's the first doctor to ask me a very real and painful question no doctor had ever asked before: ‘Have you ever been sexually abused?’ I said yes, I was raped at 15. He then told me that in some cases women who have been sexually abused have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
As soon as he said that a wave of relief came over me! I was overwhelmed with relief that I was right! I had known somewhere in the back of my mind that that’s what was happening to me. Dr. Frydell led me to Dr. Helpern and Associates where I now see Dr. Rigney, who is my pain management therapist. She is the best woman I have found to guide me through this. Without finding her I wouldn't be able to type this without crying or feeling shame somehow. I'm not crying and I finally know none of what happened to me tragically was my fault. She is helping me let go and release my pain instead of holding on to it.
I graduated beauty school at the top of my class and then I figured this out, so I don't work in the cosmetology industry anymore. I'm not working at all right now, because I haven't found a routine that works for me well enough to do so.
I juice at least once a day five times a week.
I try to get out when I can, because staying in a lot can make me feel depressed. But I don’t date.
I moved from Illinois to Michigan to live with my mom to figure this out.
It was a huge struggle to find people who would take me seriously.
Stay positive! Keep going! Don't give up on yourself!
Graduating beauty school and dealing with my past.
Stay positive! Keep going! Don't give up on yourself! I know it's hard, but find support. It's okay to cry and have bad days, just don't let the bad days and people who don't know what you are living with get to you!
My mom! She is my biggest support, she does and tries anything we can think of that will help me. She lifts me up on my worst days and lets me know that I'm going to make it through this.
My best friend Jay! He's been my best friend since high school! He supports me through all of this and helps me stay positive! He just gets me and doesn't judge me.
My best friend Zack. He's been there for me since my junior year of high school. He's a huge supporter and lets me cry and talk anytime I need to.
Marina. She's been my best friend since I was 15 and I love her to death! She married my brother and they have two kids. She lets me cry and vent all the time about everything and anything!
When I'm having a good day, I feel like my old self before fibro.