I have fibromyalgia.
I was diagnosed in 1994. Although I had no idea what fibro was, I was relieved to have a reason for why I was feeling so much pain. I remember thinking my foot was broken. I was a bowler and after every game, my knee and my foot were in so much pain. I had bowled for years, so I didn’t understand what was going on. When I talked with the doctor they asked me if I was stressed. Stressed?? Really?? I mean, who isn’t stressed? He asked if I had been divorced or in a car accident. I said both. I was a single mom, dating an amazing guy, planning our wedding and now I find out that all the stress from my past was making me physically ill. I had a hard time believing that for years.
But stress can do crazy things to your body, so I started trying different medications to mask the pain. Nothing seemed to work. The side effects of most medications were worse than my symptoms! I am the kind of person that needs to know where the pain comes from, what causes it. So started my journey of trying to figure this fibro thing out.
I started to meet so many other people with fibro. I know we are all stressed, but there had to be more. Friend and family support is so needed in the healing process with fibromyalgia. You can’t see our illness. We look perfectly fine most of the time. But our pain is real. We didn’t ask for this pain, we don’t want this pain, so please don’t say we are making it all up and it’s in our head. That just adds more stress that will trigger more pain.
I got married in 1995, had my 3rd child in 1997 and my 4th child in 2000. Both were diagnosed with autism in 2002. I stopped focusing on myself and started to see what I could do to help my children. We had services in our home and therapies that took over our life. I started to learn about being gluten free. I couldn’t understand how taking gluten/wheat out of our diet could make a difference. It just didn’t make sense to me. We tried it for a bit, but it was so overwhelming to figure out what to eat.
I started to learn about toxins that get into our bodies on a daily basis from the air, the water we drink, the food we eat, the products we put on our bodies, just about everywhere! What I learned about these toxins is they cause inflammation! I was like WHAT!! Fibromyalgia is due to inflammation! How could I reduce the inflammation in order to reduce my pain? I began taking ibuprofen daily. On a bad day, and I had tons of bad days, I was taking 800 mg three times a day!
I started to think I had some food issues, dairy didn’t seem to sit right with me. I lost my voice in January of 2005. I made an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor. I still remember my visit with him. He asked me if I cleared my throat often. I said, I guess, not sure, why? He said I had cleared my throat 10 times in 2 minutes. I definitely had some food allergy thing going on. He asked me to keep a food diary for 2 weeks and then get tested for food allergies. I found out I had allergies to Oat, Corn, White Potato and wheat. When they called to tell me the results, I didn’t really hear anything after they listed the foods I couldn’t eat. Then they said good luck. I was on my own again to figure out what to do. I also thought God has a funny sense of humor, now I HAD to go gluten free.
In January 2012 I felt awful. I didn’t feel like myself. I made a decision to focus on myself for 2 years. As a mom, that is a hard thing to do. I had always focused on my children. In February 2012, my cousin asked me to check out some antioxidant that was supposed to help inflammation. I didn’t know there were products like that. I will try anything, so I started taking the Isotonix OPC3. It removes toxins on a daily basis. Taking something on a daily basis is not easy for me, but I took it. I took it for a month. I wasn’t sure it was helping until I ran out and realized it was working. I was still in pain, but it had lessened a great deal.
I continued to take the OPC3 and started learning about other supplements like a good multivitamin, calcium and vitamin B complex. I slowly added those to my morning routine.
In September of 2012 I heard about a weight loss program that focused on low glycemic eating. Again, I had no idea what that meant. I had gained 50+ lbs since I had gotten married again, I was up to 220 even though I know I was probably more at one point. I was so tired of being overweight. My clothes didn’t fit. I would feel so tired after every meal. I was very frustrated. So I checked out this low glycemic thing. I learned that your sugar levels are important in health and weight loss. My mother passed away from complications to diabetes and heart disease. I know I wanted to be healthy and not have to deal with being sick and unhealthy anymore.
What I learned kinda freaked me out. Wheat/gluten turns to a toxin in our bodies. Those toxins cause inflammation in our joints and a ton of other issues. It will go to our brains and cause us to be in a fog, not be able to focus and forget things. I know because that’s how I used to be.
I followed the TLS Lifestyle Program based on low glycemic eating and it’s focused on education to make it a real lifestyle change. I lost 30 lbs. I have kept that weight off for almost 2 years. This is huge for me since I have tried every diet out there. I would lose weight, but then I would add it right back on, plus some. I was so tired of that.
Focusing my efforts on healthy, clean food and exercise has made all the difference in the world to me. I have fibro but it doesn’t have me!
I was amazed how much I had transformed my life in just one year and continued to get healthier in 2013. Now I feel like a new person, I feel 20 years younger. I have helped my family and friends get healthy too. My fibromyalgia pain is totally managed. My worst day now is so much better than my best day just 2 years ago. I see a chiropractor when I can. I will continue to eat right, exercise, and take my OPC3 and supplements. This is the best I have felt in a long time. I am looking forward to my future with my family and friends. My passion is to help others and this is the best way I know how.
I love my life. I can do so many things that I couldn’t do before. I am now taking steps for a goal to walk a 5K in September 🙂