I was first diagnosed with Fybromyalgia six years ago. I had never heard of the illness before and most of my symptoms I had put down to rheumatoid Arthritis, which I have suffered from for over 20 years. After diagnosis the doctor gave me a leaflet which she promptly told me to share with my family and friends to make people aware that I have Fybromyalgia. Prior to my diagnosis I was constantly told by friends and family that I needed to “snap” out of it and that I was suffering from depression which would only be made worse by lazing around and doing nothing every day. The leaflet was full of useful information which I gladly shared with family and friends. However, I doubt that they read it through properly as even today, I get the feeling that perhaps people still think I am a lazy woman.
I did a lot of research on the subject of Fybromyalgia, and learned that sometimes exercise could be of great benefit. So I embarked on a mild fitness drive, by walking, using the Wii fit to my limits and trying to keep active and mobile as often as I could. After the first few days I found that I could sleep better, walk better and generally felt better, so, I wanted to stay that way and continued doing the exercises regularly. However, exhaustion set in and I found that the pain was throughout my body, I could barely walk by the end of the week and felt totally worn out. I had pushed myself too far and did not listen to my body at all. I could do no more exercising for about a month after that but I decided to try out different means of exercising to try to control the exhaustion and pain.
I soon realised that the most important thing I could do was rest when my body told me too. It has taken me five years to learn how to deal with this illness, my bad days still outnumber my good days, but when I get the balance right it feels great. There is no set pattern, or a set way to make the bad days go away, but at least I know what I am dealing with now and more than that I know my limitations.