Fibromyalgia warrior, Blanca Chicas, suffers from Fibromyalgia. Blanca has added her face and story to Faces & Stories of Fibromyalgia. I’m so grateful that she has shared this, as each story told raises awareness and helps fellow sufferers.
My name is Blanca and I just turned 37 in July 2020. What a year it’s been! This is my story.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in March 2019 which was not a surprise to me. I had already done my own research, on google of course. One day after feeling so frustrated with everything and feeling so tired of hurting so much, I just wrote my list of symptoms on google and there it was. First Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and next Fibromyalgia. I read through all the symptoms, digested all the information, and kept going on with my life. I tried to cope with it and thought it would just go away. I couldn’t accept the fact that it was chronic and incurable. But I didn’t get any better, instead I got worse. I couldn’t even open a bottle of water, comb my hair, walk, sit, stand, or laydown.
But what really worried me was that one day after work, I was going to my car and for a good chunk of time, I had no clue what I was doing or where I was going. I got so scared, started panicking, and anxiety started doing its thing too. I was in so much pain, confused, and alone on the street. I kept staring towards the cars and then I remembered my car and where it was. One of the worst symptoms “the fog” next to muscle spasms, not fun!
Yet, that wasn’t the first time I had forgotten about where I parked my car or where I put the keys, where I was going, my own birth date, or my kid’s birth dates. Those things were normal to me by now. But I had never felt so scared until then. So, it was cold, and I was shivering too. I got in my car, called my doctor, and made an appointment that same day.
About an hour later, I was at my doctor’s office. He looked at me somehow confused because all the previous testing he had done were “normal”. Everything was “good.” So, I told him what had just happened and all the pain I was in at that moment. He did everything he needed to do, gave me some medication, and sent me home. But before leaving I told him that I had searched all my symptoms and I was almost certain that I had Fibromyalgia. He then nodded his head, put his hand on my shoulder, and told me that he thought so too. He wanted to see me in a couple of weeks to see how I was feeling. So, I went home.
After two weeks I went back to see him again. Still in pain and very much fatigued with all the side effects of the medication. But, with less joint pain as the inflammation had decreased. That was a relief. I couldn’t believe I was having joint pains. I am so young. Again, I thought it could be Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I had been tested for. The results were negative, as were Lupus and MS. It was then that he did the trigger points check and it was then that he told me or confirmed, that in fact, I do have Fibromyalgia. I wasn’t surprised, but part of me wished it weren’t true. I wished I didn’t feel everything I felt, so I could tell him it was not the right diagnosis. It felt raw, cruel, and real. It was what it was, and I needed to accept it.
“There wasn’t much he could do for me and he was sorry that I was in so much pain.”
He told me how sorry he was that I have Fibromyalgia, but unfortunately there wasn’t much he could do to help me. He only gave me some more muscle relaxants, migraine medicine, some referrals for pain management, some indications of how to take care of myself, and information about Fibromyalgia. Other than that, I was pretty much on my own. He did keep in touch with me for a couple of months, and we had our follow ups, but that was it. After all, “there wasn’t much he could do for me and he was sorry that I was in so much pain.” So much comfort he gave me. So, I went home.
Though there were a lot of events throughout my life that were traumatic, I am not sure what could have caused Fibromyalgia. I do know that I have had it all my life. I just thought that having pain was normal. Everybody has pain. I just needed to push through, right?
Well yes, my life has changed even more after finding out that all my suffering has a name. It has changed because I now take care of myself more than I did before because now I know how to take care of myself and why. The less stressful I am, the better I feel. The choices I make surely do impact my general wellbeing, so I try to make good choices overall. Changed my eating habits, work habits, and just most of my old habits, either good or bad, I changed them all.
I did try different treatments, but it only got worse, so I stopped everything. The only medication I take are acetaminophen and Ibuprofen if I need it. Other than that, I manage with natural medicines, like herbal teas or others. I changed my diet only because I noticed that eating certain foods or drinks would give me spasms or flare ups. That worked for me.
What helped me as a newly diagnosed was that I did my own research on the internet, found as much information I could. I Try and decide what is best for me, I took charge of what I wanted to do with my life, not the doctors or others. Because the only one that knew what I felt was me, so no one could possibly tell me what to do or how to do it. So, do what is best for you, take chances, take charge, make your own decisions.
Do get tested, follow recommendations from your doctors, professionals, and others that truly want to help you. But most of all do your best, don’t give up, you are strong, and you can do it!
Reach out for help, join support groups, learn what you possibly can about your condition and never, never give up. Lots of Love!