My Story: Melodie Anne Zinyk

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

It took 15 years before I was diagnosed by a rheumatologist. During that time I was repeatedly told that all my symptoms were in my head. I suffered extreme fatigue and lost a good job because of it. I am no longer able to work, but I kept trying for 15 years, and I got fired from two jobs.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I no longer do any of the things I used to do, like attend weddings or go out and dance. I have trouble walking my dog most days. I mostly stay at home and do some accounting on the side just to keep my mind sharp.

Who has been there for you? How?

Only one person has been there for me: my best friend of 25 years who never doubted my symptoms and attended all my doctors appointments with me. I used to travel four hours to see a doctor who specialized in fibromyalgia and then four hours home.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

The fact that I was able to work full time in my 30s and attend night school to get my accounting degree. I missed classes, but my teachers always helped me to catch up.

My Story: Melodie Anne Zinyk

It took me a long time to accept this diagnosis.

Don't ever give up, keep educating yourself.

Don't ever give up, keep educating yourself.

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

Take it one day at a time and keep looking for a doctor that believes in your diagnosis. Don't ever give up, keep educating yourself on the new treatments and drugs in the pipeline for fibromyalgia. I live in Canada so sometimes I have to wait for the drugs to be approved here. I joined a support group online, 10 years ago and they have been my lifeline for support and encouragement.

Take it one day at a time.

Is there anything else we should know?

I also suffer with endometriosis, mitral valve prolapse, have survived cancer three times. I keep a positive outlook on life with the support of my medical team, friend and support group. It took me a long time to accept this diagnosis but now that I have, my life is easier to accept with all of its limitations.

About Melodie Anne Zinyk

My Story: Melodie Anne Zinyk
I am a 57-year-old woman and I have had fibromyalgia since my twenties. I wasn't diagnosed until I was in my late 30s, and I struggled on from there. My mother and grandmother both had fibromyalgia, but in those days it was unheard of. They treated my mother like it was all in her head. I was abused until I was 16 years old – my father used to beat me horribly with a belt. I even bled from some of the beatings. I had a bad car accident at 19 which I think also contributed to the fibromyalgia. I have a younger sister who has no symptoms to this day.
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