My Story: Fredda Rippen

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

For years I went to doctors asking them to help me figure out why I was in so much pain. I got accused of being a pill seeker many times. I've had 2 fusions, DDD, now scoliosis, osteoarthritis, and have always had extreme pain since I was young. Finally a few years ago I ended up back east and my doctor there referred me to a rheumatologist. He ruled out RA and checked my pressure points and said I have fibromyalgia. It took over 20 years to finally get someone to believe me.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

Over the years even before I was diagnosed I've made changes to my diet according to how my body reacted to the foods I was eating. I ended up finding that homemade fajitas that I marinated over night in a citrus/garlic marinade and put plenty of onions and bell peppers in seemed to make a big difference. I even started cooking my taco meat completely down with the same marinade and always ate cilantro on them as well as jalapeƱo with them. Hot sauce, I canned my own salsa every year out of my garden and made sure it had different varieties of peppers, tomatoes, and garlic in it. These foods to this day are more satisfying and energy building to me than any other foods I've ever eaten.

Who has been there for you? How?

Not a lot of people have ever been there in my life. Not a story to go into right now. However I had a significant other who was in my life for almost 8 years but passed away in 2011. She supported me in everything for all those years.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I've managed to be able to help some people from my own experiences in life. I've gotten past many things and am a better, more compassionate person because of it. I am a real friend when someone needs one.

It took over 20 years to finally get someone to believe me.

Don't give up emotionally, find a coping skill to help you deal with it.

Don't give up emotionally, find a coping skill to help you deal with it.

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

I would recommend walking everyday. When it is so hard to function and I've been at my worst points I've always tried to make sure I get some sun in my life. 15 minutes a day helps keep me mentally healthier and better equipped to handle my pain. Making sure I stay social and don't isolate myself because I don't want to face life is very important too, and above all I believe that God carries me through a lot.

I've gotten past many things and am a better, more compassionate person because of it.

Is there anything else we should know?

Don't give up emotionally because it can be very easy to do so. The pain takes a toll emotionally and will break a person down into tears. At this point find a coping skill to help you deal with it.

About Fredda Rippen

My Story: Fredda Rippen
I don't really have any blogs or websites. I'm disabled both mentally and physically now. I've been mentally disabled since I was 22 and physical was added after my diagnosis of fibromyalgia with DDD, osteo arthritis, and scoliosis within the last 2 years. I wanted to share my story for those people whose doctors tell them it's all in their head, because that is what I got told for years because of my mental diagnosis.
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