A decade of being sick and tired of being sick and tired
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and Raynaud’s nearly ten years ago when I was 21. My first symptoms were numbness and pain in my hands and arms. I was waiting tables and I couldn’t figure out why I kept dropping glasses and trays. I thought it was just stress. My diagnosis was relatively quick, thankfully, coming after only a few months as my paternal grandmother had also been battling autoimmune disease her entire life including #CRESTDisease. At the time, the medication my Rheumatologist put me on had side effects that were worse than my symptoms. It was also incredibly expensive, so I decided not to take it.
As the years have gone by my functioning has gotten steadily worse. I feel like a shell of who I used to be. Not treating my symptoms has lead to depression, anxiety, and weight gain. I’m in near constant pain, have frequent headaches, and no matter how much rest or sleep I get I am always exhausted. I’m too tired to play with my toddler some days, and I’m not sure if I could handle another despite wanting our family to grow. I’m thankful to have a partner that understands me when the Fibro fog causes me to forget words and lose my train of thought. And he always insists on doing anything for me that might aggravate my symptoms. But recently, I’ve decided that I can’t pretend I’m managing anymore, and have made a doctors appointment to ask for a referral to a specialist. But I’m afraid. I’m afraid she won’t take me seriously. I’m afraid I’m going to downplay my symptoms the way I do when anyone asks me how I’m feeling. I’m afraid they will determine I’m not sick enough since I’m able to push myself to do things, though I know I will pay for it later. I’m afraid they won’t be able to do anything for me. I’m afraid I waited too long, and now this will be my normal, until I get worse again and then that will be my normal. Is there any hope?