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Chris: My experience with fibromyalgia

For as long as I can remember, I have suffered with aches and pains. Some days it would get me quite low.
I always remember thinking how I shouldn’t feel like this at my age, but everyone would always shrug it off as either, growing pains, because I carry a little extra weight, the fact I’m diabetic etc…
It was made worse when about 8 years ago, I slipped over and hurt my back, which then gave me a weakness.
For years I would just keep going, not moan too much – even when close friends would notice something was up. I started to talk to doctors, I saw a private physio & osteopath, I was referred for acupuncture and saw an NHS physio. All helped for a short while, but nothing long term!
As years moved on, about 3 years ago things got worse, I noticed other joints hurt, I was losing grip in my hands so I started to seek more medical help, it was just put down to my previous back injury.
I started to feel like I was going mad, like it was all in my head. People weren’t believing me. This is when my anxiety started, and I started to feel like people were against me. 
It wasn’t until a customer of mine who’d noticed me over a few weeks, limping, holding my back, even saw me dropping things started talking to me, asking questions. She was a retired nurse who said she thought I had compressed disk issues with my back, and the was sure I had something called ‘fibromyalgia’ - she told me to look up the symptoms, and if more than 5 were correct, book to see my GP and tell them this info…to which, this is exactly what I did.
I saw my GP a few weeks later, and BINGO! She admitted herself that she wasn’t the right person to diagnose anything, but she referred me to The Mineral Hospital. I had a very long 14/15 week wait, but I was seen, x-rayed, MRI’d and later diagnosed with two compressed disks in my back, and fibromyalgia.
I had some answers, it’s still the start of my journey, I have since tried 3 different painkillers, anti-depressants, tense machine and regular massages. I have yet to find anything that overly helps long term, only short term.
Some days, my anxiety is still bad, and I still feel like no one believes me, and I really do think that is down to the lack of awareness. Sometimes I walk with a walking stick, and it helps, but as I’m only 27, I feel like I get strange looks.
Other times I feel like it’s impossible to get out of bed.
I can honestly say that every day I am in pain, sometimes its bearable, other days it’s totally unbearable.
The best thing I have found so far is talking, I have a close friend who also has recently been diagnosed with fibro and we daily talk, this helps. My partner is also a great help with simple tasks.
I feel trapped in my own body, I feel dread some days thinking that this isn't going anywhere, but its manageable, and all I want to do is help other people who feel the same. I want to tell my story and try to help people who feel alone, and like they are not being listened too. We can beat this, and it will not beat us! We need to work together, help each other, talk and spread awareness.
I now work as a General Manager in Catering, and manage my daily Fibro quite well, but it’s tough and I will offer any help to whoever needs it.
Together we will beat this.

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