My Story: Jennifer Herrera

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I began by searching the symptoms I was experiencing online. I then came across other people experiencing similar symptoms and was almost positive that I knew what I was suffering from.

The excruciating pain continued, so I found myself in the emergency room many times all to be disappointed because I left the same way I came in — without any answers. All the tests came back negative.

This went on for months, until one of the doctors told me I was suffering from fibromyalgia. At that moment, I felt very emotional and I was extremely relieved to know that the pain I had been experiencing for months had a name.

At the moment, she was only able to prescribe me medication for the pain and to help me sleep, so I took it and managed to sleep a couple of hours that night. Soon after, I began seeing a doctor regularly.

He ordered many tests. They all came back negative, as they did before. That is when I was actually diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Eventually, I started seeing a rheumatologist. After a few tests, I was also diagnosed with lupus.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

My body seems to be a lot more sensitive now than it was before. I eat healthier, plan my days out, use only fragrance-free soaps and shampoos, try not to take on too much, de-stress, make sure I have a soft pillow and mattress, and take my time while exercising or doing anything.

Who has been there for you? How?

My boyfriend has been there for me by helping me find different things to help me cope with my pain. He bought me one thing after another, until we found the things that worked best for me. He has also helped me by offering his emotional support.

My family has been there for me to talk to and bought me things to support my lifestyle changes, such as a blender and juicer.

My online friends have been there to support me emotionally. I now feel less alone.

My online friends have been there to support me emotionally. I now feel less alone.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am proud that I am able to exercise again. At one point, it was hard for me to do anything physical and thought that's how the rest of my life would be.

I struggled with using my fingers, picking things up, walking, etc. I started out really slow and worked my way up from there.

This helped me learn how to listen to my body. If it hurts too much I stop and either go slower or try again the next day. As of today, I am able to exercise three to four times a week.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am proud that I am able to exercise again. At one point, it was hard for me to do anything physical and thought that's how the rest of my life would be.

I struggled with using my fingers, picking things up, walking, etc. I started out really slow and worked my way up from there.

This helped me learn how to listen to my body. If it hurts too much I stop and either go slower or try again the next day. As of today, I am able to exercise three to four times a week.

Be patient.

Be patient.

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

Be patient, don't give up, and follow your instinct. Also, reach out for a support system.

Suffering from a chronic illness can be draining mentally and physically. Knowing that there is someone there who cares and might understand what your going through can make a big difference.

Suffering from a chronic illness can be draining mentally and physically.

Is there anything else we should know?

I love cake decorating, polka dots, any shade of blue and exercising.

About Jennifer

My Story: Jennifer Herrera

In 2008 I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and I worked as an after school teacher and pre-school teacher for about six years. Then in 2013 I began experiencing severe physical pain. Months later, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and lupus.

Life with pain and loss of hope motivated me to start a blog. My blog was a place where I could write about my experiences and was also used as an outlet to help me cope.

Later, I came across people on YouTube suffering from the same or similar pain. These people are very supportive to this day and I feel very thankful to have them in my life.

Jeneral Health

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