Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

My wife asked to “borrow” Country Captures for the day to tell all of you about the illness that she has lived with for many years.

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

I believe my first symptoms of Fibromyalgia began when I was about four years old; when my grandmother Anna gave me a gift of a plastic accordion filled with bubble bath from Avon.  I became ill after opening the cap and sniffing the contents.

As I became older and created things with Play Dough, I didn’t care for any of the colors except for vanilla; the other colors made me feel sick. While growing up I realized that I would have pain in different parts of my body and at night not sleep well and grind my teeth. I had and still have a low tolerance of pain, if I was playfully hit or would bump into things I would be in awful pain for a few minutes and maybe for the rest of the day.

I would get tired easily while playing and my legs would ache after running. I was told by my mother and family doctor that this was called “growing pains”. We now know in the 21st century there is no such thing.

When I became pregnant in June 1978 I felt absolutely wonderful; I didn’t have any morning sickness and I had energy! That was the only three months of my entire life when I felt great. Then about the fourth month, I had fatigue which stayed with me until I delivered Chad 2 ½ weeks early. Was it the hormonal change in my body that gave me those three great months?

I became fatigued more easily in my twenties than in my teens and I somehow learned to compensate for it. In my thirties I noticed more fatigue and some trouble getting to sleep. But, once I did get to sleep I was able to stay there.

The day after my 40th birthday I took my sister-in-law and niece shopping. In late afternoon I became fatigued more so than ever before. I honestly thought that after a good night’s sleep I would feel better in the morning. However, by the next week-end I still felt just as fatigued. I began to have unexplained pain throughout my body and became frustrated when the medical doctors couldn’t find the cause. Before I turned 42 I ‘retired’ from the work force.

Besides fatigue, pain and poor sleeping I am bothered by the scent of perfume and laundry detergent. I no longer wear perfume and I buy laundry detergent, dish detergent and cosmetic’s fragrance free and shower with Ivory Bar Soap.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome by a rheumatologist the summer of 2000; I finally have a name for the unusual symptoms that I am experiencing. With educating myself with books, talking with other Fibromyalgic’s and the internet; I have been able to live the best I can with this illness. I take shark cartilage for muscle pain, Benadryl for sleep, walk with Coy after supper, do yoga for Fibromyalgia and avoid aspartame.

My wonderful husband has been with me every step of the way; I am grateful for Coy; he has kept true to our marriage vows; for better, for worse. I want to say thank you for the use of your blog to let others know about fibromyalgia and Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.



Ruth's Photo Blog said...

This is a very unusual condition,as it seems to be so different for each person.I too have diagnosed with Fibromyalgia,but only have pain sometimes.When I over do it I suffer longer than others would,but all in all I can't complain when I hear how bad you have it and others as well.My sister also has this and is in much worse shape than I am.

Montanagirl said...

Very interesting post, and thank you for sharing.

bobbie said...

This kind of problem is so difficult - more so because it is invisible to others. People cannot understand why you are always tired and complain (if you do) of the aches and pain. The doctors seem to have difficulty diagnosing it too, probably because its symptoms are common to so many other things.
Thank you for this post. It helps others to become more aware.

Les Barr said...

That must be a god-awful condition to put up with. I wish you well.

photowannabe said...

Thanks for sharing Brenda. The only things I know about Fibromyalgia are the commercials for certain medications.
Have they come to any conclusions about fragrances and your pain?
I'm glad you have things you can do to lessen the pain and fatigue. Interesting about the shark cartilege and I think that Aspartame isn't good for any of us.
Thanks Coy for letting your wife have the sounding board for the day.

Misty DawnS said...

I also did a short post about FMS Awareness Day at

I was diagnosed in 1999. Sometimes the fact that people still are so naive and disbelieving is just as painful as the physical paid I feel every day.

I honestly avoid telling people I have it, because I get exhausted from defending that it's a real condition and the pain I feel is real.

Elaine said...

Brenda, a very informative post. It is very difficult dealing with seomthing that affects you so severely but is not understood or accepted by most people. I have a lot of arthritis in many joints of my body and have some symptoms of fibromyalgia. The best thing is to keep as active as possible and do as much as you can and to keep a positive attitude. Bless Coy for supporting you and giving you space on his blog to make people more aware.

Chad Oneil Myers said...

I'm glad you posted this, Mom.