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What It Was Like Growing Up With Fibromyalgia

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When I was 3 I knew something was wrong, I woke up crying very often in the night. “Mommy my legs hurt,” I would scream, with tears rushing down my face. “Why don’t my legs like me?”

When I was 5, my mom asked my pediatrician why I was having leg pains, her reply was “growing pains.” Which not only are growing pains not real, but they were a very inappropriate diagnosis considering I was the shortest child in my kindergarten class. “Why aren’t I growing if I have growing pains?”

When I was 7 the lab tests began, three vials of blood.  Still bawling in the night because my legs hurt so bad that I could not sleep. Lab results came back, and everything was “normal.” “Why do they need to take my blood?”

When I was 9 the lab work was still continuing, but this time there were five vials of blood. I was tested for a series of conditions, but mainly lupus. I didn’t think I had lupus, but I was eager for answers. Around this time, the pain started to seem customary. “Why don’t doctors listen?”

When I was 12 I started my menstrual cycle. I was in bed three out of seven of the days of the week because my body couldn’t handle moving. The pain had started spreading, I began experiencing knifes in my back. Went to the doctor again, by this time I had already had lab work done at least 18 times. “Please, make it stop!”

When I was 14 I had my first boyfriend. Instead of telling him that I was too exhausted or in too much pain to hang out, I simply said “I’m busy,” I knew he wouldn’t understand or believe me. By this time the pain has spread to my arms. I was in constant pain. “I just want to be believed.”

When I was 15 I learned that I was in a toxic relationship. I was mentally abused, lied to, and cheated on. I soon realized stress made the pain worse. I was in constant fatigue for nearly six months. I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I made the choice of ending things with that boy. “I’m already in emotional pain, I don’t need physical pain on top of it all.”

When I was 16 I fell in love. This caused my mood to be happy and I wasn’t focused on my body. All I knew was I had less pain days. I still had various doctor visits, by this time I had my blood drawn 32 times. I still had no idea what was wrong. Though, I didn’t have as many pain days, when I did the severity grew stronger. I was beginning to lose all faith in the medical field. “I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy.”

Now I am 17 and diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I now take two prescribed medications once a day and Tylenol twice a day. I have support from multiple friends, my family, and my boyfriend. Getting a diagnosis set me free, because I am now aware of what’s wrong so now I am able to take the necessary precautions. Having a chronic illness at a young age is not the slightest bit easy but I’m a great positive faker. “I’m living a great life!”

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: January 30, 2017
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