My Story: Dana Preuss

Subscribe to our Newsletter

We are building our Fibromyalgia community.

Sign up to receive updates.

New Life Outlook on FacebookSubscribe with Facebook

OR

What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I had my first child when I was 20. Shortly after she was born, I started having severe fatigue and random joint pain. I felt like a hypochondriac because one day it might be my right knee in a brace and the next day my left wrist.

Within a year or so, I had a brace and ace bandages for anything that moves on my body not to mention the overall achiness that made me feel like I always had the flu.

I went to so many doctors with no answers, and I even had one doctor make fun of me (who isn't aware that I overheard him.) He told me that I needed to lose weight, I'm 5'4" and only weighed 135 pounds at that time. I really felt like I was going crazy and I was consumed with pain.

Finally, when I was around 25 years old, my family doctor sent me to a young rheumatologist, and he is the doctor that diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. I was so relieved and excited to finally have a name for this terrible condition so I could find out as much as possible about what I was dealing with.

This was in 1990, and at the time there wasn't very much information out there at that time about fibromyalgia, and few doctors even recognized it as a legitimate condition.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I listen to my body. When I'm tired, I rest. I've learned that our body doesn't know the difference between good stress (like planning a wedding) or bad stress (like a death in the family.)

So I've learned to take extra care of myself during stressful times, and I try to avoid additional stress as much as possible. It's tough to obligate myself to anything, especially since I can't even count on myself.

Who has been there for you? How?

I'm so thankful for my husband; he is very helpful around the house, he does almost all the shopping, cooking and chores. We're such a good team.

I try to accomplish as much as possible on my good days and my husband is so understanding on my bad days. My daughters (who are now married with families of their own) are understanding and always there to help me in bad times as well.

Lastly, my mother has always been my biggest cheerleader who encourages me, and she's always there for me in any way she can help.

I was so relieved and excited to finally have a name for this terrible condition so I could find out as much as possible about what I was dealing with.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I'm proud of being a loving wife, mother and a grandma. I try to accomplish something productive every day. I work hard at staying positive, and I'm so thankful for every good day I have and on my bad days, I try to focus on the good days ahead.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I'm proud of being a loving wife, mother and a grandma. I try to accomplish something productive every day. I work hard at staying positive, and I'm so thankful for every good day I have and on my bad days, I try to focus on the good days ahead.

I try to focus on the good days ahead.

I try to focus on the good days ahead.

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

My advice is to surround yourself with people who love and support you. Avoid unnecessary drama and stress as much as possible.

Listen to your body, rest often. Be honest with yourself and those who care about you; it's ok to say no.

Finally, always be thankful for every good day you've been given and try to listen to positive stories or music because it's so easy to get discouraged when you're living with chronic pain.

My advice is to surround yourself with people who love and support you.

Is there anything else we should know?

I was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis so I don't know if fibromyalgia can eventually lead to a degenerative condition.

Share

We learn from each other

We all have a voice.
What's your story?

Submit your story