Fibromyalgia warrior, Erin Hope, suffers from Fibromyalgia. Erin has added her face and story to Faces & Stories of Fibromyalgia. I am so grateful that she has shared this, as each story told raises awareness and helps fellow sufferers.
You can connect with Erin by following her on Instagram.
Hi, my name is Erin and I live in Toronto, Canada. I suffer from Fibromyalgia along with a laundry list of other illnesses. This is my Fibromyalgia diagnosis story.
It was in 2007 when my Primary Care Physician at the time finally referred me to a Rheumatologist upon my suggestion that all the weird things I had been going through, may be a systemic issue.
On the appointment day, I was so hopeful to find a specialist who would listen to me and help find out what was going on. In reality, it turned out to be the worst, most nightmarish appointment that I have ever experienced throughout my medical journey. I was met by a man (I don’t even want to call him a doctor) who was very arrogant, demeaning, and didn’t let me say more than “Yes” or “No”. He even made comments to me like “Are You the Doctor or am I the Doctor?” After asking him a simple question for my understanding, he threw out comments like, “I don’t know why you’re even here!”, “There’s NOTHING wrong with you!”, and sent me on my way. It was the ultimate gas-lighting medical trauma. Needless to say, I left and didn’t return.
Fast forward to 2010 and I ended up in the hospital. The ER wasn’t able to assist past “the emergency” and referred me to an Internist. I saw the Internist a week later, hoping he would direct me to finding out what was wrong. He was very unhelpful and passed me off. He said he was referring me to a Rheumatologist.
Day of my Rheumy appointment, I walked into the Rheumatologist’s office and thought “OH NO!”. The Internist had purposefully sent me to that same nightmare Rheumatologist. I was met with “Oh you? Yeah, I remember you”. He didn’t. I barely said a few words. I suspect the Internist left notes stating I was adamantly looking for someone to help me. He took me in the room and this time, to my surprise, I was allowed to actually talk. He set me up to do a physical exam and did the 11-point Fibro diagnostic test. I was in SO much pain! I can’t describe! When he hit my sternum, it felt like I had been shot in the chest. I couldn’t breathe. I could feel all the pressure points swelling.
By the time I got to my car, I was in some of the worst pain I had ever felt. By the time I got home, I could barely move. I lay down in fear and tears. My husband had to hand feed me that day, and the best, for days to follow, as I couldn’t even hold a fork.
It was another 1.5 years later, as I gave up for a long while, when I saw my second Rheumatologist and it was then that I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.