I think that if I hadn’t been in so much pain all of the time that I might have just been able to accept the depression diagnoses and move on with my life. But the consistent pain that I was feeling all the time was overwhelming and constant. I felt like I really needed to get to the bottom of it all because it was all I could do to care for my kids and do my basic humanly duties. I was barely getting by, I was constantly tired, constantly taking pain relievers, and constantly in tears over the pain. My husband encouraged me to go to a different doctor and see what someone else might have to say. Mind you that in between all of the migraine and depression diagnoses I had been tested for Lupus, M.S., thyroid issues, any other auto immune disorders. I had a MRI of my brain to make sure that I didn’t have a tumor causing the headaches and had also had an ultra sound of my thyroid because the tests came back “normal” but my thyroid was “abnormally large”. Despite all of my pain and symptoms every time I was told. “Everything came back perfectly normal, nothing’s wrong with you”
When you are feeling as terrible as I was feeling and then to have multiple people tell you that “nothing is wrong with you”, well it leaves you feeling pretty horrible. You feel horrible for two reasons: one because clearly everything is NOT fine, I cannot function and secondly you start to question yourself. You do this because “medical professionals” are telling you that nothing’s wrong with you but you know something is wrong with you. So you start to question your own ability to feel. Self doubt creeps in and you start to wonder, am I just crazy?
I decided this time I was going to find the best doctor that I could in my city. I did research on doctors, asked around and finally decided on one and I made the appointment. This time I thought I’m going to write down all of the symptoms that I’m having so that when I get there I can just read them off, this way I won’t forget anything. So over the next couple of days as I waited for my appointment, I wrote down every symptom that I had.
The appointment day came and I felt encouraged this time. I thought that I would finally get some answers to my pain and be able to start felling better. I went into the room and waited for the doctor. She came, we went through the usual and then she asked what had brought me in to see her. I said, “Well I actually wrote everything down so that I wouldn’t forget anything.” She smiled like this is about to be interesting. I started at the top and worked my way down the list. Everything from headaches that made me throw up, to exhaustion, skin issues, allergies, pain everywhere, bruising easily, moodiness, crying fits, and the list went on. She took a deep breath after I was done and asked me to lie down. She then began to do a tender point test. I had actually had this done before and “failed” it. When she was done and I was about in tears, she asked if a doctor had ever done that before, I said yes and I failed it. I was actually supposed to follow up with that doctor but never did I told her. The next two diagnoses, looking back, are what solidified and validated my pain.
She said, “I’m positive that you have fibromyalgia. She then went into detail of what fibromyalgia was. Also, if you are still having headaches while taking the migraine medication you don’t have migraines, you have tension headaches. What I’m going to do, she said is give you a prescription for Lyrica and one for Fioricet. I’ll need you to follow up in a couple of weeks to see how you are feeling. I think that it will really help.”
“Okay, what causes someone to get fibromyaligia and tension headaches?” I asked
She went on about how some people are more prone to this, they don’t know a lot about why people get it, just take the medication and you’ll feel better. I took the prescriptions and left. At this point I felt relief. I felt this way because for once in 13 months someone had validated that I had pain and had even given me a shiny new disease to call it. I wasn’t crazy! I had a legitimate disorder that was causing all of this agony. Now all that I had to do was go fill the prescriptions and feel better….right?
(Photo Credit - National Fibromyalgia Association)
Check in next week for another installment of My Journey. If you’ve missed previous installments catch up on them here!