My Story: Nora Torres

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

For about 10 years, I have suffered from muscle cramps, tightening of neck and shoulders to the point of severe pain, lower back pain, body temperature variations, etc. It was a few months ago that a rheumatologist, tired of testing me, finally gave me the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Once diagnosed, I began to explore the symptoms and sure enough, I had just about all of them, sometimes at once, other times intermittently.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I had to give up working with a personal trainer because most trainers aren't familiar with fibromyalgia. Also, I've tried to eat fewer foods that can exacerbate symptoms, especially wheat and fried foods (for me in particular). I take the good days and make them count and the bad days I take with humor. I call the flare-ups the Fibro Fairy visit and everyone around me knows then that I'm not having a great day but I keep doing stuff, just slower and less of it. I also retired from teaching and now work part-time.

Who has been there for you? How?

I'm afraid most of those who know me are in denial. I'm such an active person that they are having difficulty admitting it to themselves. My husband is just becoming aware of the effects of Fibro because he sees the struggle I go though on flare-up days. He takes up the slack on those days, and then enjoys the good days with me.

I take the good days and make them count and the bad days I take with humor.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I'm proudest of having gotten to know my body very well. I have a relationship with it now. I listen to it and respect the messages it sends me before the flare-ups worsen. That has manifested into learning to love and take care of myself; something I never did before.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I'm proudest of having gotten to know my body very well. I have a relationship with it now. I listen to it and respect the messages it sends me before the flare-ups worsen. That has manifested into learning to love and take care of myself; something I never did before.

Look for an understanding doctor.

Look for an understanding doctor.

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

Get to know your body. It constantly sends messages that can help you figure out how to make it feel its best even on the worst days. Look for an understanding doctor; when you find one, let me know. Don't ever give up making each day as rewarding as possible. It could be worse. Be grateful for every day.

Don't ever give up making each day as rewarding as possible.

Is there anything else we should know?

I just retired from teaching for 27 years and Fibromyalgia had a lot to do with it.

About Nora Torres

My Story: Nora Torres
I'm a 27-year veteran teacher, 52 years old. I just took early retirement and I'm looking for part-time work that will allow me to go through the Fibromyalgia flare-ups with less stress. I was born in Cuba and have been in the U.S. for the past 42 years. I don't have a blog or website but I am looking to start a support group in my area for fibromyalgia sufferers.
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