My Road to Diagnosis - Pt. 1

I fell off a table. My type A personality would not allow the balloons for my son's 6th birthday to be tangled up in the chandelier. My nurse sister was "resting her eyes" on the couch on the other side of the half wall when I climbed up on the pedestal dining table. The table had a tablecloth on it, so I promptly slid and fell off. I placed my right hand down to stop my fall. My kids rushed over to see how I was doing. I asked my sister to bring me an ice pack because my wrist hurt. She was getting it out and asked if I was ok. I lifted my left hand off my right wrist and saw the odd angle. I said, "Uh, you should grab your purse instead, I think I broke it." She came over and asked to see it. I showed it to her and she freaked out.

I calmly told her where my purse was and she frantically grabbed shoes and purses. I have seen her wake up from a dead sleep and treat head wounds on the side of a road after I witnessed a horrible accident, so when she was freaking out about my arm I thought to myself, "Oh crap it must be bad." Later she admitted it was just that it was because it was me.

As we walked out the door, my sister-in-law arrived so we left the kids with her and hopped in the car. Half way through the short 6 mile ride, the shock wore off. Oh my goodness, it hurt. We walked into the emergency room, showed the triage nurse my arm and she took us right back. The pain became intolerable and I started crying. I had never experienced anything so horrible. The nurse brought me a shot for pain. The doctor came in and I wasn't really coherent. I just remember him saying something about surgery. At this point, I was out.

I woke up and the pain was still there and it brought friends. It felt like my whole body was on fire. My sister and husband were next to me. I told my sister it hurt. The doctor came in a few minutes later all smiles. He explained what he had done. I couldn't make out the words he was saying through the pain; external fixation, radial bone, open wound. I croaked out, "It really hurts." His super consoling words, "Really? My other patients don't hurt this much." He wanted to release me and I said, "I can't go home, it hurts too much."

He walked out and my sister followed. What I overhead was, "I've known her all my life and I am a nurse... She has never complained of pain like this... She is not lying." I was admitted and moved. (Thank Sis!)

The next two years were a blur. Hand drills to remove things from my arm, pain, more surgery, pain medication, graduate school, layoffs, and more pain. After everything healed, I ended up with an arm that is not attached to my wrist, no job and pain.

Why does this matter? Oftentimes fibromyalgia has a triggering event. I believe this was my trigger. It happened 10 years ago and things haven't been the same.

Next up...Getting the diagnosis.

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