My name is Ariel and I am a new member. I have never joined an online community so please, bear with me as I am still learning to navigate the site.
A few fun facts about me:
- I am married to my best friend
- I have two fur babies that I claim are my children
- I am in college to obtain my Bachelors in Social Work and a minor in Addicitons (graduate next year!!)
- I live in Ohio… GO BUCKEYES!!
- I love to read, garden, spend time with my family and dogs, football (O-H-I-O), and love learning about history.
A little about my journey to my diagnosis with Fibromyalgia:
When I was a young teenager I was diagnosed with PCOS, which is polycystic ovarian syndrome. I was told it was incurable and something I would have to live with the rest of my life. I always had other odd symptoms along with my PCOS but doctors either never addressed it or summed it up to my “hormones”. Fast forward to about four years ago, my husband and I got married and we decided to start a family. I was put on numerous rounds of fertility drugs which, unfortunately, resulted in a failed pregnancy. This ordeal really exploded into something bigger for me as I was experiencing not only grieving, but the most intense pains I have ever felt.
It was so bad that I couldn’t stand to be touched and I would cry and tremble if my husband would rub my back for me. The only relief I could find was honestly laying on the floor flat on my back and cry myself to sleep in agony. My husband and I decided that we needed to switch gears by focusing solely on finding out the cause of my pain. It took me years to finally get a doctor to listen to me and my symptoms. I went to three different doctors before one would even believe I had these pains I was experiencing. I had numerous tests done and everything came back “normal” for them. The only inclination that proved I was in pain was that my heart rate was really high and I shared I was missing a lot of classes. I cannot begin to tell you how many times people have told me that I am nothing more than a medical mystery and there is no help for me. That or I was too young to be experiencing such intense pain and symptoms. Finally, my current doctor, requested all my information and previous medical records and decided he was going to get to the bottom of what my issues were. He diagnosed me immediately with Fibromyalgia. He referred me to a specialist (which took MONTHS to get in to see) and also referred me to physical therapy.
My first consult with the PT was really humbling and overwhelming. She told me numerous times she never saw anyone with my condition at my age to such an extreme. I was so weak and fragile and inflamed that she put me only in the pool to do very light workouts. The pool honestly saved my life! I found immediate relief and I craved my therapy sessions. However, my insurance only covered a short amount of therapy sessions and since I am in college (and we are newly married) we couldn’t afford the membership to join the facility at the time. My appointments with the specialists was not fulfilling in the least bit. He seemed very old school and had a hard time taking me seriously. He prescribed me with a few medications that didn’t really work for me and one that was extremely expensive that my insurance wouldn’t pick up. I stopped going because I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere with that specialist.
Since then I have been on a journey of healing for my body. I have been learning the fragile balance that my body needs to monitor and control my fibromyalgia. It has taken me years to get to where I am today. Also, with my diagnosis of PCOS it was nearly impossible for me to lose weight. Due to my health, I literally packed on the weight. It was stressful on my body and caused me a lot of pain and frustration.
Here within the last 9 months I have really been serious about the health of my body and doing my own research. I have been taking many probiotics and really watching what I eat. I follow a very close gluten free/dairy free diet which has helped tremendously!!! I was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity and lactose intolerance so cutting out the foods that fall under those categories (and adding in a lot of probiotics) has really lessened the inflammation in my body and for the first time in my life I have lost weight. I am close to the size that I was when I first met my husband. It just blows my mind! My weight loss has also given me energy to really try and incorporate very light exercises which was really painful at first but I pushed through it and it has helped a ton! My husband also bought me a pool so I spend much time in my pool stretching and relaxing my muscles and joints.
I am to the point where I feel I hit a plateau in my “recovery” and really wanting to learn some new tricks and coping skills with Fibromyalgia. Although this diagnosis made me resentful for a time, I now find it extremely fascinating especially when I see how it relates to every aspect of my body, other health issues I have, and just my life in general. Obviously, stress is a huge trigger for my flare ups. I am currently in an accelerated program to obtain my Bachelors in Social Work and a minor in Addictions. I graduate a year from now so my stress levels are currently pretty high. This last month I have suffered from many flare ups which makes it difficult for me just because of where I am in life right now.
I am looking forward to getting to know other people who endure chronic pain and hearing other people stories. Empathy is very powerful and I love seeing how this new trend of people speaking out on chronic pain / invisible illnesses is beginning to flourish.
I am a firm believer in social support and that awareness and education is the key to overcoming many issues in life. I feel this is the perfect place for me to begin that journey!