Fibromyalgia Action UK



I think this is my first post on the fibroaction site though I have dipped into it once or twice to answer other people's posts.

I'm a 65 year old woman who was diagnosed with fibro 5 years ago. I have also been diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome, osteoarthritis in C3/4 and C5/6/7 of my spine which gives me referred pain in my shoulders, tinnitis, vertigo and mild asthma. My fibro symptoms come and go - some of the time I experience mild pain so have been able to go to weekly circuits class and rambling fortnightly, walking 7 miles. Other times I experience intense muscle cramps which nothing will shift for more than a few seconds, or continual aching or intense pain seemingly for no reason, and my energy levels are variable as they are for many people with fibro. However what is bothering me more than those obvious fibro symptoms is the way my overall health has been fluctuating over the past 9 months.

After long periods of depression I began to feel a lot better in myself. I managed to lose some weight, joined the Ramblers, attended circuits class on recommendation of the local health improvement team, and generally felt well in myself - I looked healthy, my nails and hair were good and I was enjoying my life. I saw my GP in early October last year and said how good I was feeling. The following day I had the annual flu jab and despite the info saying it is impossible to get flu from the jab because it is not live antibodies from that day on my life seems to have fallen apart. The day after having the flu jab I had localised swelling and my arm ached terribly but I knew that was a normal reaction. I went rambling as usual and had no difficulty with the 7 mile walk. However a couple of days later I started feeling unwell with all the signs of flu - temperature, aching all over in a way that I never had before with fibro, feeling dizzy and short of breath, and generally feeling dreadful, I didn't move for several days, just sat in the chair. Gradually the symptoms turned into a more obvious ENT and chest infection and it took weeks for me to feel up to doing much - I even cancelled going to a number of theatre evenings and concerts despite really wanting to go and the tickets having been expensive - I didn't have the energy.

At the end of the 6 weeks the symptoms lifted and I felt well with normal energy levels. The same pattern keeps repeating, I have a few weeks of feeling fine and then flu-like symptoms for anything from 2-6 weeks at a time. During the past 9 months I have been feeling unwell for 13 weeks. It feels crazy that just at a time when I was feeling at my best for a very long time and pacing myself reasonably I feel as though being able to live a happy healthy life is almost over for me. I find it really distressing.


10 Replies

It is quite possible that you have been pushing yourself too far with your activities, I am 61 and used to do running even after diagnosis, I crashed quite suddenly and had many of the symptoms you describe however you mention breathing problems you should address this as soon as possible. Much of what you describe is a flare in fibro symptoms and most of us know how awful that is. I hope you get relief soon. I'm no medic just know how all this feels. Lou xx


Thanks for replying Lou,

I forgot to say in my post that the GP has diagnosed mild asthma but that I only get it when I am walking up steep hills whilst rambling. Today I was at the walk in centre because I was still recovering (or not) from a chest infection and they measured my oxygen intake which they said was good...

I had never heard that feeling really ill with flu-like symptoms and developing chest infections was part of fibro, a few people seem to be saying it is but it isn't listed in any of the symptoms for diagnosis. Most suggest that with fibro the emphasis is upon the physical pain whereas with ME or post-viral syndrome the emphasis is upon the tendency to pick up everything going.

I have organised some private bloods to see whether anything shows to be followed up further as I certainly don't want another year like this one...

I have been wondering whether I have to take the exercising more gently as even though I manage comfortably between the bouts of feeling so unwell it may be that they take more out of me than I realise.

Thanks again,



I agree with everything You says. I would go and see about your chest with you having mild asthma it could be something aggravating it.

I hope you start to feel better soon :)


Sending you soft hugs and positive energy secondhandrose2. I do hope you start to recover very soon. :)

Take care,

Lol Elizabeth xxxx


Thanks Elizabeth. x


I am so genuinely sorry to read that and I would definitely go back to your GP and see what they can do to help you. I would be concerned that they are not solving an issue of a chest infection which in turn aggravates your asthma?

Mind you, when I read your post it reminded me of the news stories from the 1980s when they first really started highlighting ME, and they labelled it ''Yuppie Flu'' as professional / career people (anyone really) were taking ill in the same way for no apparent reason and a spokesperson for the government of the day said that flu jabs were not to blame? Weird? I have an annual flu jab and only ever once had a problem with it.

I want to genuinely wish you all the best of luck.

All my hopes and dreams for you



Thanks Ken

Yes, I am thinking ME as I went to the walk in centre yesterday, after a long wait during which I felt dreadful they examined me very horoughly but could find nothing at all, temp normal, no red thraot, chest clear, oxygen levels good, etc. Definitely viral I would think. I will be seeing my GP in 2-3 weeks and will take a detailed history of the last 9 months as I have all the cancelled outings marked in my diary!

Thanks again, hope you are doing ok?


1 like

I am well thanks, and thank you for asking.

Ken x



I had a swelling with a flu jab many years ago and it's hard to believe that if you get flu symptoms it was already there. It's a case of association vs causation. Your on going symptoms do sound like both. I have osteoarthritis too and when I got flu I could track its progress around my joints. always starting in the same place (my most damaged one) and moving until they all hurt. Now I know I have fibro (did I have it then?) the symptoms CAN be similar. Look after yourself and take those much needed rests. And good for you going rambling. I'm certain it helps to do as much as you can.


Hi, thanks for replying - and yes, I agree it helps to do as much exercise and getting out in the fresh air as possible although people in the local support group tell me repeatedly not to attempt so much. I was doing the fortnightly rambling and weekly 5m walks for 6 months with no problem at all, it was only after I had the jab and viruses that I have had any problems. I will probably have to take it slowly to get back into excercising as I haven't been out with the Ramblers for 10 weeks now and I miss it dreadfully :(



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