My Story: Peter Bacchioni

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

About 14 years ago when I described my symptoms to my primary physician he suggested I stop complaining. After all, I wasn't getting any younger and he said the discomfort I was describing was attributed to aging – so I should grin and bear it.

I did just that for several years, until I found a rheumatologist who ran all sorts of tests and concluded that I had fibromyalgia.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I was hoping that my retirement might bring me some relief but instead in some ways it made my fibro even worse, as I have become very inactive. Some days I can't even get out of bed. My wife continues to work full time and I don't feel like I'm pulling my weight. I'm more often than not exhausted and in pain and can hardly manage my daily chores.

Who has been there for you? How?

My wife is the only one who has been there for me. Others just don't get it and really don't care.

Put yourself first and to avoid resisting and complaining about this dreadful disease.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

My patience and determination to win this battle and to learn to let go in the meantime and see what this disease has to teach me.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

My patience and determination to win this battle and to learn to let go in the meantime and see what this disease has to teach me.

My patience and determination to win this battle.

My patience and determination to win this battle.

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

Put yourself first and to avoid resisting and complaining about this dreadful disease. Become proactive and do the best you can and let go of what you can't.

Stay positive and remember that this too shall pass.

Is there anything else we should know?

Stay positive and remember that this too shall pass.

About Peter Bacchioni

I am a 68-year-old retired counselor with an M.A. in human development. I retired four years ago after working 13 years in the counseling profession. I previously worked as a business executive for 32 years, earning my CPA along the way, before making my career switch to counseling.

I have three adult children and three grandchildren from my first marriage, which lasted 32 years before ending in divorce. I remarried shortly thereafter to my soul mate of 13 years and now have two adult stepchildren as well.

I was diagnosed with fibro several years ago but I have had symptoms for much longer. This dreadful disease has significantly changed my life; I have become a shadow of my former self. I was always a very active person and in good health. I was so looking forward to my golden years and finding new purpose and a more fulfilling, active lifestyle. But my fibro has other plans for me right now.

My typical day is to force myself out of bed and do the necessary housekeeping chores, and maybe do some light exercise if I’m up to it. I also help out with caring for my elderly parents who are 91 years old and live nearby. And when I'm able to, I volunteer a few hours teaching life skills to middle/high school students.

Although my circumstances are preventing me from doing all that I want right now I am determined to get better. In the meantime, I try to find meaning and stay positive and I hope I can help others who have fibro by sharing information and remedies that have worked for me. Moreover, I hope to increase awareness about fibro to help find a cure.

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