My Story: Samantha Fors

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I used to be an active salon manager full time and a fitness coach part time in my "old" life. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when the fibromyalgia started, but looking back, I can see that the symptoms started much earlier than I originally had thought.

At the beginning of my symptoms, I contributed them to my chronic migraines all of a sudden getting worse and worse due to stress. I also contributed the unbelievable level of fatigue that I was experiencing to an increase in my depression symptoms.

I have suffered from chronic migraine syndrome since I was 15 years old and I have lived with bipolar depression since my late teens. The onset of all of these pains and symptoms of everything getting worse was happening around the same time as the end of my third marriage.

I had never before in my life experienced migraines like this, and during this period my IBS started acting up so bad I was wearing diapers to work.

I finally decided to tell my doctor everything that was going on instead of downplaying it. The testing began, and on my 34th birthday, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I already knew it deep down, but to hear it from my doctor, that was devastating. I was praying that I was just low in Vitamin B12 or something stupid. Of course, that wasn't it.

The only positive thing that I gained from my diagnosis was understanding. Finally, so many things that I had been experiencing in the past couple of years made sense. There was so much more going on than my migraines and bipolar.

Who has been there for you? How?

My boyfriend has been my number one supporter through my journey thus far. He has been supporting me emotionally all along, but now he is also supporting my two daughters and I financially as well since I've had to quit working. This is a huge step for him and something that I'm extremes thankful for. I have a hefty truck payment that he is making every month for me on top of it all. He is truly my hero through this darkness.

My the other main pillar of support is my relationship with Jesus Christ. Without my faith, I know for certain I would have already taken my own life. There have been extremely dark moments already down this path.

I also have two best friends that support me and always know just when to stop by, call or send a text when I need it the most. What helps is one of them also has fibromyalgia so that she can relate to the same kind of level.

I can see that the [fibromyalgia] symptoms started much earlier than I originally had thought.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

My main accomplishment that I'm proud of is not giving in when I feel like I can't go on. Just getting up, getting dressed and getting at least one task done each day is something that I can be proud of. I'm also proud of myself for learning how to listen to my body and not to be so hard on myself on bad flare days when I just need to rest.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

My main accomplishment that I'm proud of is not giving in when I feel like I can't go on. Just getting up, getting dressed and getting at least one task done each day is something that I can be proud of. I'm also proud of myself for learning how to listen to my body and not to be so hard on myself on bad flare days when I just need to rest.

I'm proud of not giving in when I feel like I can't go on.

I'm proud of not giving in when I feel like I can't go on.

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

My advice is to listen to your body and not to give up hope. A lot of relief can be had by changing your diet and taking cues on when to rest. Trying to stick to a schedule for eating and sleeping seems to help me.

Also, this disease is ever changing. What works for a few months, may stop working and something that didn't work may work now. The hardest part to me is people who don't understand.

Become as educated about your illness as you can, and then you will feel confident in what you know when someone else questions you.

My advice is to listen to your body and not to give up hope.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

This road has been a long one, and I don't see an end in view. I refuse to give up hope. I have pain daily and need to take frequent naps. Fibromyalgia has affected every single aspect of my life. I had to quit coaching a year and a half ago.

It is impossible to be a fitness coach when you cannot complete the workouts yourself. I no longer have the strength or the stamina to complete the most basic starter exercises. I have gained so much weight in the past couple of years as a result of not working out and medication side effects.

I spend a lot of my time on my recliner because it is where I find myself in the least amount of pain. I just had to make the most difficult decision of my life last month and quit my career of the past fifteen years. I could no longer make it through my work days, focus on my tasks, lead my team with 100%, or give my clients the best services possible.

I am now starting to go down the long road to applying for disability. Talk about a complete 180!

About Samantha Fors

My Story: Samantha Fors

I live in the middle of Amish farmland. It is so peaceful out here despite having three daughters ages 15, 12, and 4. My boyfriend and I stay on our toys with these three. We also have a shorkie named Wrigley, who I treat like my baby. We are avid deer hunters and fishermen. Football season is pretty much sacred time for us, and things do get a little heated.

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