Years of Pain - Diagnosis Part 2

Every person with fibromyalgia has the story like this. Mine is not unique, other than it happened to me.

After my hand surgeries, my doctor and I looked for the reason why I hurt so much and was tired all the time. He ran every test imaginable. Chalked the fatigue up to motherhood and sent me to specialists.

I saw ear, nose and throat specialists for my headaches. I saw orthopedists to try to solve the hip pain. Chiropractors for back pain. A massage therapist found a mass in my back. I had it surgically removed thinking it would resolve the pain issue. It didn't. My salivary gland became infected and I landed in the hospital for a week on a morphine drip because the pain was so bad. I passed a kidney stone. The pain was so intolerable I often times had to hold back vomit. The stone was a weird shape and got stuck. Another surgery.

I kept going back to the family doctor and he ordered a more detailed blood analysis. Vials and vials of blood later, he found something weird; an antibody that wasn't supposed to be elevated. He sent me to a rheumatologist.

The rheumatologist told me about Sjogren's Syndrome. The antibody that was elevated was something that people with this syndrome often had. It is a autoimmune disorder where my body attacks moisture producing glands. That explained the salivary gland infection and the dry skin and eyes I was prone to.

I became a walking encyclopedia entry for Sjogren's. After supporting the Sjogren's Syndrom Foundation, I received an invitation to participate in a study about pain and Sjogren's. I realized in answering all those questions that I was not living a good quality of life.

I brought the survey in to my next rheumatology appointment. I showed him my answers. He asked me to sit on the exam table with my back to him. He touched a particular point on my back with minimal pressure. I practically jumped off the table and had to refrain from punching him. Holy crap it hurt! He did the same in a few more spots and had the same results.

He showed me in a non-sensitive spot the amount of pressure he applied. It was so minimal, so why did it hurt so bad. He explained that people with fibromyalgia are sensitive in certain spots where nerves meet up. He handed me a pamphlet and a prescription.

While I was happy with knowing, I did not like the diagnosis.  I had know people with fibromyalgia who had basically taken to their bed. I did not want that life.

The medicine was a godsend. Soon I was able to go out more with the family. Then I was able to start getting my house back in order. Then the desire to exercise came. It took some experimenting, Learning that I couldn't do what I could do before or else end up too tired to make dinner. Oftentimes I would give up. It was so hard to figure it out, maybe I should just be happy with the weight gain from the medicine and embrace my new body.

In the spring of 2012, my brother-in-law lost a battle with stomach cancer. He was a former secret service and ATF agent. I heard stories at his memorial about how he would chase down the bad guys while undergoing chemotherapy. I realized I was not living life to my fullest and it was unfair of me to waste my life when he no longer could.

I joined a class at the local community center: Couch to 5K. I became a runner.

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