My journey, shortened. (I swear this could be so much longer!)

My name is Ashley.  I’m 23 years old, live in Southern Indiana and work at a small hospital as a Lab Technician.  I was “diagnosed” with Fibromyalgia when I was 17 and still haven’t come to terms with such a label or how to manage it.

I remember when I was 13 that my legs and my back hurt all the time.  I would have severe muscle spasms and didn’t want to get out of bed for anything.  I spent most of my 8th grade year in the nurses office telling her I didn’t feel well and my magnificent constant fever was my ticket home.  I seriously almost failed most of my classes that year.

Eventually I was taken to the doctor specifically for all the problems I was having.  For a few months I was either going to the doctor or the hospital for tests every week or so and trying different medicines.  It was ridiculous.  Everything came back normal and the medications didn’t work.  (This is now the story of my life.)  The doctor gave up and said that I must simply just be going through growing pains.  -_-*

So I put up with the symptoms for a few more years since it was obviously nothing and I was just being a big baby.  In the meantime my mom had some health problems and eventually found a new family doctor that she really liked.  I ended up going to that doctor to see if she could help me since she helped my mom so much.

The doctor sent me to a rheumatologist.  I never liked the guy (he was mean and looked like Lemony Snicket), but at least he gave me a label for what was going on that made more sense.  The first visit to his was so strange.  They had me put a gown on and he lightly pressed on different points on my body.  Sounds dumb, but honestly a few times it felt like he was stabbing me with a knife.  So viola, I have Fibromyalgia and there’s nothing I can do about it!

I started on different medications.  Eventually I ended up having a pill holder, a huge one.  It looks like it’s for a month, but it’s just for a week.  I felt like the biggest weirdo ever.  My roomates at IUPUI thought I was going to die forreal.

So that’s where it began.  I’ve tried so many medications, most seeming to not be worth the side effects.  I’ve also had a ton of different health problems pop up during this time.  What kind of girl my age has had Bell’s Palsy, Oral Allergy Syndrome, Endometriosis, hypoglycemia, GI issues and migraine auras that make them go partially blind or taste and smell soap?

I know, it’s not the worst cards life could have dealt me (I mean, thank goodness my Fibro is pretty mild most of the time and it’s not like any of these things will kill me…) but it is awfully frustrating.  People think it’s fake, they think I just use it as an excuse not to do things and don’t understand why I can’t just do all the things they can do.

This is why I’m hoping that a few people come across this blog.  I want these people to understand.  I’m also hoping other people dealing with similar health problems can come here and not feel alone with what their dealing with.  We could all use some support when it comes to having a chronic illness.

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