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Articles

Kelly Bisgrove: My experience with fibromyalgia

I wanted to share my story, to raise awareness on the long-term condition called Fibromyalgia, and
how it has been affecting my life. Maybe some of you can relate?


It’s a condition which can cause widespread pains/aches, extreme tiredness, muscle stiffness, ‘fibrofog’, headaches, and IBS; (to name a few). What I’ve learned from this is there’s a range of symptoms, and there is no test to prove it – which is why it seemed so difficult to get a diagnosis.
 

A year ago, I went through some trauma which changed my life. For weeks, I was ill and felt
miserable, it became difficult to get out of bed every morning - this is when my symptoms
worsened. While working full-time, it was a challenge to take time off work, going back and forth to
doctors/hospitals to get blood tests, and medication to help me through the process.

It took a year of tests until my doctor said she can’t help me, so I decided it was best to get a second opinion from another doctor. My aches and pains are no exaggeration – so I wasn’t ready to give up! I explained to the new doctor that I had every blood test related to my symptoms such as Arthritis, yet every result came back as normal. I mentioned that every morning I wake up feeling unrefreshed with an extreme all over body ache/pain, even having slept 10 hours. Sometimes I’ll come home from work and go straight to my bed because I can’t lift my arms or move my legs. I said that I can’t relax or sleep properly because the aches agitated me, along with having Restless Legs Syndrome. Pain in my ribs, knees, wrists, knuckles and ankles. That I have Depression and Anxiety, which I thought might have be linked to my symptoms. Explained that my periods are so painful that I can’t get on with tasks. And also, how my memory and concentration has become very poor and effecting my work performance, (I genuinely thought I had some sort of early Alzheimer’s!)
 

The doctor suggested that we look at one thing at a time. He prescribed me some vitamins and told me to come back after 6 weeks. That day, I mentioned to my boyfriend’s mum about how I’ve been struggling, and she mentioned Fibromyalgia. This was something I’ve never heard of before, so I researched it on the NHS website. When I read the overview, I was so shocked at how similar all my symptoms were, and thought it was definitely something to consider.
 

After the 6 weeks, I went back to the doctor and explained that I still feel exhausted and brought up Fibromyalgia. He was convinced that this could be what I have and referred me to a Rheumatologist. I couldn’t have been happier to finally be taken seriously!
 

The Rheumatologist diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and said all my symptoms are part of the same condition. It was an emotional moment for me to be told that there was actually something, and that it wasn’t all in my head after all this time.
I still have a long way to go to feel better, and the first step I’m making is to understand Fibromyalgia and what I can do about it. I hope one day I’ll wake up and go to work with more energy, or even to get back into my hobbies.

 

If you think you may have it, you’re not going mad. Make sure you are heard and get as much help as you can. Even the likes of Lady Gaga, and Morgan Freeman have this condition, and you are not alone. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

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