Hello, my name is Michelle Mungin and I have agreed to write a monthly blog for the DGMEFM Network based on the current topics being discussed on Facebook (don’t worry it will be anonymised as I am not the only one making posts on Facebook). As a means of an introduction to myself, and for my first blog, I have written about my story which I hope you like.
Fibromyalgia a day in the life of a Warrior – A little about my past
I went to college to start my brillant life in care when I was 16. Never once did I think my life would have fibro or any disability. After a year studying I joined a company that looked after severe mental health issues. At first I was a student then continued to become a support worker to senior support worker to deputy manager back to senior support worker. Through my working life and home life I suffered with depression. But I managed to work through. At the age of 24 I started to get a lot of pain, I ignored it and tried to carry on. 2001 was the year I got married. Between working and planning my wedding, I was under a lot of preasure. I put my back pain to the back of my mind (well tried). Well 3 years past and the pain in my back spread. I had got to the stage where I had to sit down after every little task. Walking was getting harder. In 2004 I was putting a mirror up at home. I stood on a foot stool, I wobbled a bit, when I got off the foot stool I had a massive amout of pain all over. I went to the GP the next day, as I had an accident when I was a child (I fractured a vertebrae) he decided to send me for an X-ray. It turns out I have Scheuermann’s disease (a disease where the bones in your spine soften and when they firm up they are mishaped leading to a curviture of the spine). I was told that I was born with it and the only time something could have be done was when I was between the ages of 10 and 14. Well at the age of 27 it was too late and I would have to live with the symptoms. Now fast forward to the age of 33, I was constantly off sick and finding it hard to do anything. When I did manage work I would cry in the bathroom as I was so tired and sore. But when I went to the GP, I was told there was nothing wrong. So I tried to continue working. It got to the stage where I needed to leave my job as I felt preasured too much, such as life.
At the age of 35, I was unemployed but a little happier. It was 2 days before christmas and I had been at my sisters helping her sort out things for the big day. After saying goodbye to everyone, myself and my husband wondered into the dark winters night. We had a taxi waiting, so we slowly wondered to the taxi chatting. My husband got into the taxi as I made my way around the taxi. As it was dark, I didn’t see the massive pot hole and before I knew it, I had fallen to the ground. At first it was my pride that was hurt, then a massive amount of pain surged throughout my body. My hubby helped me get up and got me into the taxi. We got home and I was crying because of the pain. My husband then decided to take me to accident and emergancy. I had 2 sprained ankles and wrists and brusing. As I tried to recover the pain seemed worse. I had many GP appointments to be told there was nothing wrong but they could try uping my painkillers. I became very depressed and even suicidal. I would refuse to open the curtains and sit in the dark constantly. I refused to go out with my animals, I bowed out of life. I had wide spread pain, migraines, numbness in my hands and joint paint. The one GP I did trust was off on maternity leave so with seeing other GPs they all said there was nothing wrong.
In Febuary 2014 I had enough of avoiding GPs, so I called at 8am and got an appointment with a doctor that had retired but was doing cover. I went through my symptoms especially the numbness in my hands. At this point I couldnt hold a cup long enough to get a drink. He said “Well at this point I’m not sure what is wrong but we will do some blood tests”. Imagine my joy at hearing these words. All the tests came back normal so the GP decided I should see a neurologist, my appointment came through rather quick. It was 25th March 2014, I remember this date because I was going to my sisters last scan on her little boy. I went to my appointment and the doctor did some test, then asked me to go to X-ray. I cheekly asked if I could go to my sisters scan which I was able to attend. After my X-ray I went back to the bay to wait to be seen again and when called was told by the doctor that I had Fibromyalgia, I stopped listening at this point. After the doctor stopped talking I left and met up with my husband. I thrust a piece of paper into his hands that I assume the doctor gave me. It was a little about fibromyalgia. My husband asked “well what’s happening next, have you to see the doctor again?” my answer was “nothing happens next”. I went to many GPs but nothing helped. Then on my last GP appointment I was told to take 2 paracetamol and loose weight, I never went back to the GP again for 6 months.
I was in a right mess. Pain was rulling everything. My husband then found out my GP was back from maternity leave and made an appointment. At the appointment the GP was understanding and started a few different medications, some things worked, some didn’t. But it didnt matter to me as for the first time in a while a GP believed in me and was willing to work with me to help me feel a little better. A few months on, one of my brother in laws asked if there was a support group for fibromyalgia (my brother in law has parkinsons and thinks support groups are a big help). As I didn’t think there was, he went off to google it and the next I heard was him texting with the name of this group on Facebook. I quickly made a request to join. I went to the first meeting and it was like a light had been turned on. I didn’t attend any other meetings that year through one reason and another but I received support and information from the Facebook page.
Well a year on I am in a better place mentally and have found ways to get me through the bad days and I enjoy the good days. I’m on a cocktail of meds that are helping me. I’m even on a weight loss journey, the weight coming off has helped the pain as well.
Well I will close for now. I hope my story will help another warrior.
Much love <3<3