As I cannot sleep again, and writing seems to help, I thought I'd get it out of my system here. I'm one of those who moan daily on my Facebook status, even though it's inappropriate. So, instead of boring my friends and family, I'll put it in this little corner where I feel comfortable offloading.
I'm Gemma, I'm 29 and I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia back in May. This is how...
Four years ago, 2 weeks after returning from my summer holidays, I started getting a pain in the right-side of my chest. I ignored it for a few days, but the pain grew worse. Then, one day, as I started running up a hill, I fell to the floor short of breath. I managed to make it home, but by the evening, I could barely breathe. That night, my partner rushed me to hospital. An Xray found that my lung had collapsed and I had to have the air surrounding removed.
I was told that I would recover quickly. Unfortunately, I didn't. I went through a ton of tests in the following years, only to be told many times that I shouldn't be in pain as there is nothing wrong with me. I have been taking painkillers every day, been on many different anti-depressants and seen psychologists. I was once told by a specialist that heavy metal music made my lung collapse and also told by a doctor to "snap out of it".
In those four years, the pain has worsened and spread to my ankle, knee and back. I was very relieved to have been diagnosed with something that had a name. My life has changed greatly since the day my lung collapsed. I no longer see my friends, rarely see my family and have given up everything that I once enjoyed. I was 25 when this began and, in honesty, I have 'grieved' the loss of who I once was.
Being a mother, seeing my son grow up has been difficult. I once took him places everyday, played football with him, wrestled with him, played him on the Xbox and pushed him on a swing. Now, it's too late to do some of those things and the others are just not possible. It's hard trying to explain to him that I am hurting. He has Aspergers and I completely get that he just doesn't understand. I am more that just his Mam. I was a very young mother and we're like brother and sister. Now, he's as tall as me and a teenager. I find that difficult. They grow up so quickly. I wish, if anything, my son was older before this happened to me.
I am an optimistic person in general, and I've spent these four years trying anything to get better. Only, just recently, I was told that would never happen, and I'm finding it really hard to take on board. I'm still trying everything to get better, I just don't know how to stop.
Learning to work around the pain is challenging, but I'm determined to find ways. I do everything I can and exercise everyday. I'm getting there. As well as Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy and Occupational therapy, I am taking care of myself more.
The worse part of this all is the guilt. I had got engaged just months before this happened and moved in with my partner. We had such a fun couple of years before and I miss that. For the most of our relationship, I have been tired, depressed, angry and useless. I am so lucky to have a partner who is so loving and helpful. He has helped me through the hardest years of my life. The guilt weighs me down. He deserves somebody who is as full of life as I once was. Most days I don't wear make-up, I sit around in my Pjs, rarely leave the house and cry often. We are so much in love, but I wish I could be more like the person I was when we first met.
Having a name for what has happened has changed my life for the better. Nobody believed me for so long, but my partner has fought hard to help me and I am so grateful. Knowing I have support has kept me going and I think things are going to keep getting better now.