I have been in constant pain for a few years now but I have an almost diagnosis from my GP which I got in October last year. I say almost diagnosis because he does think that I have fibro but I just get the feeling that he thinks I am exaggerating some of my symptoms and my pain. My employers occupational health have put me forward for medical retirement as I also have lymphoedema in both legs which has caused previous absences. When I spoke to my GP about this he said he felt it was premature and he would be suggesting that I would be fit to return to work in the not too distant future. I will be 55 in May and have worked almost constantly since I was 16, I have 3 children and have been a single parent since the youngest was about 6months old, putting myself through university to improve our quality of life and taking whatever work I could get that fitted with child care so I am hardly someoe who could be decribed as workshy, but that is how my GP makes me feel. I suggested a referral to a rheumatologist but was told that they would just tell me the same thing so it wasn't worth it but I could have one if I really wanted. Given that any outstanding referrals to specialists can delay the whole retirement process I declined as I am currently on half salary and due to be on half of a very part time salary from April and am starting to worry about money and how we will survive. My partner is self employed and work has been very slow, he is now trying to get alternative work, but it isn't that easy.
I am trying to get my head around all the things I can no longer do such as serve up a meal, because my hands are very sore and weak. I barely go out of the house and I now walk with a stick as my left ankle is so painful so I can't go for a walk with my grandchildren or help them on their bikes. I was a keen photographer but I can barely hold my camera, when typing or using a touch screen my hands go numb. My feet are always sore and I wake up feeling as though I spent the night running in high heels! I am not getting the hang of pacing myself at all and my depression is getting worse daily.
I sound like a right moaner and, for that, I am sorry. I don't mean to be and there are some parts of my life that are great, but just in smaller doses and for a much shorter time that previously.
There are some days that I could weep for the loss of my previous life and the person I used to be, but there are also days I am happy such as when I have the time to teach my older grandaughter how to sew, or the younger one how to crochet or I spend time doing a jigsaw or I have the opportunity to see them in a school play.
If I had one wish I think it would be to know how long it takes to feel better, how long would it be till I was fit for work or even to go for a pain free walk or do some shopping in comfort. If I could even get the hang of pacing myself I would be happier but that will come in time, I am sure. For now I comfort myself with the fact that there are many others worse off and life has been worse and I coped so I will cope with this as well, it may just take me a little bit longer than I hoped.
If you have got this far, well done. Linda