Fibromyalgia warrior, Vena Astemborski, suffers from Fibromyalgia. Vena has added her face and story to Faces & Stories of Fibromyalgia. I am so grateful that Vena has shared this, as each story told raises awareness and helps fellow sufferers.
You can connect with Vena by following her on Instagram.
Fibromyalgia affects every individual differently even though we all suffer with many of the same symptoms. There are many rare symptoms that not every person with Fibromyalgia has. There is also a type of Fibromyalgia called Severe Type Fibromyalgia and it has 7 stages. I have the most severe type and am in stage 7. I too have the rare symptoms.
I’ve been afflicted and battling it for many, many years now, but in 1998 is when I was officially diagnosed with it by my doctor. They didn’t know much about it then and there were no treatments and many Dr’s treated you like you were crazy. I had never heard of Fibromyalgia till then. I just knew something had changed in my body. I went from a super active, healthy for the most part, hardworking woman, to barely able to function most days, literally overnight. I just turned 54 this year.
Treatments that work for one person or Fibromyalgia meds that work for one doesn’t always work for everyone. It’s a trial and error process to find what works for your body I’m still trying to figure out what works best for my symptoms and how to manage my chronic pain as I’m also MCS (multiple chemical sensitive), so I either have allergies or experience bad side effects. I have 2 thyroid diseases so there’s a lot of med’s and products I can’t take, even OTC, herbal and natural remedies. I also have 3 Autoimmune Diseases and multiple other chronic pain afflictions on top of Fibromyalgia.
Another name for Fibromyalgia is “Chronic Invisible Illness”. On bad and good days, people on the outside often can’t see how ill or how high our pain levels are. They are also not able to see that we are about to collapse or that our Chronic fatigue is so exhausting. We feel as if our blood and life is literally being sucked and drained out of our bodies behind our Fibro/Spoonie Smile Masks. They can’t see how long it took us to look decent for a photo, event, how many times we had to lay down and rest just to get dressed. That after a shower we have to rest for a few hours before getting dressed or the moment we get home after being out with family or friends we literally collapse and can’t move for days, weeks and sometimes months as everything we do requires a recovery period. Or that one minute we feel fairly good and the next we feel really ill and like a freight train ran over us repeatedly.
Maybe for some it’s not that severe but in my case it is and for many of my other Fibro Spoonie Sisters & Brothers it is. Every day is different and the severity of my chronic pain and mobility is unpredictable from one moment to the next. There is me on bad days and good days, but regardless of it being a good or bad day, I am chronically exhausted and in chronic pain 24/7 365 that fluctuates. I often feel like I have the worst flu bug or virus ever as there’s more symptoms than just chronic pain that I hide behind my Spoonie/Fibro Warrior Mask.
I am the face of stage 7 of the most severe type of Fibromyalgia and I am afflicted with many other chronic pain afflictions as well. I am not invisible or weak. I am a fierce, strong Warrior who slays Fibromyalgia every day in unimaginable chronic pain. #may12thfibroawarenessday #fibromyalgiawarrior💜🦋🥄 #butyoudontlookinpain #butyoudontlooksick #weneedacure #spooniewarrior