The Medical Trials I Endured Before My Fibromyalgia Diagnosis
At the moment, I am sitting on my sofa with my head pounding for the last three days. I cannot figure out if it is high blood pressure or tinnitus as I can hear my heart pounding in my ears. My tears well up as I play with my hair which is thinning and Lord knows if it is menopause or the stress I went through.
To share my story I have to be authentic enough to say that the “why me?” question never has an answer. My fibromyalgia was triggered by a multitude of issues; at a routine gynecologist appointment I learned I was menopausal at 40 and I would never have children. My only option would be surrogacy or adoption. Brain freeze – and in the midst of this the doctor took a breath and told me, “You have a growth in your womb. We need to remove it and do a biopsy.” This was January 2012. I turned to my best friend and said, “At least I look great with short hair.” I completely dissociated from the situation and asked the doctor, “What do we do?” (I have only recently learned I need to get help for the dissociation.)
They tried to remove the growth when I was there, but it didn’t work. I went into day surgery for the mini operation, but that didn’t work either. I finally went under general anesthesia and they got a non-cancerous polyp. This happened in a space of two months, and each time I took a few days off then went back to work where I was being bullied. The waiting game was hard. I couldn’t even make sense of what was going on. I felt like I was dying inside.
August 2012. Completely exhausted and crying, I turned up at the GP’s office, who couldn’t believe the state I was in. He has treated me for 13 years and he looked at me and said, “Miss Warobi, you are depressed.” “No, I am stressed from work,” I said. We argued. He wrote my prescription and signed me off for five weeks.
I couldn’t believe I had “failed” again. You see, as a Christian, I believed that prayer can bring healing. I thought if I prayed hard enough, God would heal me. He didn’t, but he created the good doctors to help me, as my mother says.
On my ninth visit to the emergency room, completely unable to walk due to my workload and the stress affecting my back, I got prescribed fentanyl for pain and pregablin, and the lights went out in October 2013. I had a full emotional, physical and nervous breakdown. I cannot remember the following five months of my life.
How I got through 2014, I don’t know. I can only say I believe it was by the Grace of God, whom I battled with for abandoning me.
January 2015. I go for my first pain management clinic appointment. On examination, all 18 of my trigger points are hurting. I am diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I looked at the doctor and asked him, “Is it for life?” He nodded his head. He asked me how I felt. “I get a chance to reinvent myself,” I said.
The dark night of the soul begins. The wrestling with religious beliefs begins. The feelings of isolation and shame begin. The stripping of my person to a shell births a new person and I don’t know what to do with her.
But I am still here, and I’ll keep writing about my journey.
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Thinkstock photo via monkeybusinessimages.