My Story: Kelly Reeves

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I had always felt fatigue and an inability to tolerate someone touching me, especially what I know now to be "pressure points." I had been on a job for 11 years and the stress from what I did for a living kicked my fibromyalgia into overdrive.

In 2010 I still was not aware that I had it, though I knew my mom and sister did; but not me — I'm healthy. I went to a pain clinic and was told that I had fibromyalgia symptoms.

I would nod my head and think to myself, "Okay, I am in great pain, but what is it really?” I have seen many different physicians since 2010, who agree that I do indeed have this condition, but I was always thinking my pain was due to something else they couldn't find — that fibro was a "pat on the head" word and they had no official diagnosis.

I recently changed doctors, and he confirmed my diagnosis and explained to me that the majority of fibro patients often feel like it isn't a real condition — but it very much is. Our brains process pain differently than "normal" people. The way he explained it to me, just this year, I am finally able to admit I have fibromyalgia.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I could no longer work, though for a few years I tried. My fibromyalgia is progressive in that I can barely walk for over 1/4 mile, and that's not much, especially when shopping for groceries.

I have been through many pain management medications with no success, and have now incorporated turmeric, Knox gelatin, and dark chocolate cocoa powder into my diet and am experiencing great pain relief. Whether I am simply in fibro "remission" or the spices are working, I do not know for certain yet — but I'm forever trying to find a cure so I can live again.

Who has been there for you? How?

My husband, who was retired and is disabled himself, has taken on the task of caring for me when he is home. He is very understanding and allows me to do things to the best of my ability so I don't feel useless, but ready to step in and help me when needed.

He always helps me walk when we go out; I just appear to be linking arms with my husband, when in fact, he's my crutch.

Bible Study Leader Certificate

Our brains process pain differently than "normal" people.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I'm still able to exercise, though not as long as I would like, and I have started studying online for Christian leadership. I am hoping that I will be able to find a job that will accommodate some of my limited conditions, but until then I will keep studying, writing and playing music, which are my passions.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I'm still able to exercise, though not as long as I would like, and I have started studying online for Christian leadership. I am hoping that I will be able to find a job that will accommodate some of my limited conditions, but until then I will keep studying, writing and playing music, which are my passions.

I try to stay positive.

I try to stay positive.

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

Admit the diagnosis and don't try to push it off as not being real. Once you face the fact that it is indeed a real condition, you are off to a great start.

Everyone responds to treatment differently and what works for some may not work for you, but don't give up! Fibro is a progressive disease; some have it way worse and wind up in wheelchairs, but I've seen it reverse as well, and those people get out of their wheelchairs.

Fibro is not your fault. You have not done anything to acquire this condition and there are many faces of fibro — depression, brain fog, and all kinds of interesting facets. It's not a death sentence, but you do have to accept and learn there will be good and bad days.

Admit the diagnosis and don't try to push it off as not being real.

Is there anything else we should know?

The depression is the hardest part for me, but I think that is because I don't like feeling like I'm losing my independence most days. I try to stay positive and the days I am depressed, I announce it and keep to myself so I don't bring everyone else down with me because I know that this will pass.

About Kelly Reeves

I am a self-proclaimed writer of sorts. I am currently studying ministry at the Christian Leaders Institute and have recently launched a live Facebook group for women (The Potter's Clay-Women Created in His Image), to be able to share, pray and contribute every night at 9pm during the work week.

I am also a part-time Worship Coordinator at our church and play keyboard, which helps keep my fingers moving as fibro stiffness occurs often. I have a wonderful dog named Jaxson, who is a puppy at heart but weighs around 100lbs, and a 12lb yorkie mix who is his best friend. Having animals, for me, creates a much-needed distraction when I am having a high pain day or feel depressed from this condition.

The Potter's Clay

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