Fibromyalgia warrior, Rika Kino, suffers from Fibromyalgia. Rika has agreed to add her face and story to Faces & Stories of Fibromyalgia. I’m so grateful that she has agreed to do this, as each story told raises Fibromyalgia awareness and helps fellow sufferers.
You can connect with Rika Kino by following her on Instagram.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia last year, December 2019, but I’ve been feeling strong pain for 10 years.
The pain began as a strained back, heavy back pain, and a shooting pain in my right leg.
I liked swimming, basketball, skiing, and cross country running because the coach was funny. I’ve never had a big injury or broken bones before.
Around 2008, when the financial crisis hit, it was a very hard time for my family members and myself. Many, many companies went bankrupt, small ones to big ones. In Japan, the everyday train stopped because so many people were jumping into the moving train and killing themselves. Almost every day I saw an Obituary that company owners had killed themselves due to bankruptcy. You know that time was abnormal and so, I guess it was a stressful time for me. I have no proof, but this might have been one of the trigger points to have body aches for such a long period of time.
Recently, in 2016 and 2018, I had surgery for a spine hernia and spinal canal stenosis. After this my body ache got worse, like a burning pain, and the pain spread to my whole body. Surgery might have been the trigger for my Fibromyalgia.
The pain level got much worse, outrageous! Even after all the Surgery and Physical Therapy had settled down. I had regular check up’s and the MRI and CT scan didn’t show any signs of bad hernia or spinal cord stenosis.
I don’t accuse, or say, that all doctors I’ve seen were bad. Not at all. Because Fibromyalgia is very tricky to diagnose. Fibro is very likely to be misdiagnosed and it is still not as common as cancer. I didn’t know about Fibro. Fibro is common for women between the ages of 30 – 50 years old. Even at a young age of 10, you could be diagnosed with Fibro. Fibro is not easy to be treated.
In Japan, Fibromyalgia specialists are very, very few. I’ve seen on Open Data that not much of the scientific research fund is being spent on Fibromyalgia. There’s 2% of Japan’s population that have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. That’s about 2 million out of 102 million (Japan’s population). I think that’s a lot.
I spent a long period of time Doctor shopping. I had been on prescribed medication for strong painkillers, like Diclofenac, Voltaren, and NSAID’s, for a long, long time. I didn’t feel that it was working for the pain and they always made me sick, get shivers, and sweat a lot when I took them. (I think doses of prescribed medicine in Japan is different from people in the U.S. and other Western Countries. We in Japan, born Japanese, are not used to the Western medication, all the way back to my ancestors. Commonly, Japanese doctors prescribe half the medication when compared to the U.S. or other countries).
I have very recently been prescribed a medication that is used to treat nerve pain, medicines like Lyrica, Duloxetine, Cymbalta, and Neurotropin.
From my experience, I really think that Fibromyalgia needs to get as well-known as any kind of back pain or lung cancer.
I really hope that everybody gets the right diagnosis.
A message to Angelique at Fibro Ramblings:
Opening up about your experience with Fibromyalgia is very courageous and inspiring to many people.
I really believe that your work brings hope to others and raises awareness.
I think I should have known more. I should have asked the doctors earlier whether I had Fibromyalgia or other similar diseases, like ME/CFS.
I really do respect your opinion that educating ourselves is key and that patients with Fibromyalgia or other diseases should never give up hope, even when it’s hard. They must keep looking for treatments.
As a woman, I always wanted to have children, however after Fibromyalgia hit, as you know, the pain becomes a burden.
Once I went to a Fibromyalgia Community Forum in Tokyo. They have people there that suffer from Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and other diseases. There was about 25 people there, so not a large group. They were in their 30’s to early 50’s. I heard 5 people in their 20-30’s (married, single and no children) saying that when having Fibro worries them the most, is after giving birth and raising a child.
My family and I worry about how my condition will get. I don’t have anybody around me that suffers from Fibromyalgia to talk to about the changes in your condition after giving birth and raising a child.
I worry that I might move around.
In Japan, Fibromyalgia is not yet specified as an incurable disease from the Government and as a result, you don’t get much help from the health insurance.
But after I read you blog, It really made me change my mind about things that I never knew about.
Nobody can predict much about the future.
I’m getting old so I might need to freeze my eggs now, in order to have a child. This might be my new task!
Your blog is eye opening and I believe that many, many people around the globe feel that too.
Have a nice day,