Today we look at one of the fibromyalgia stories from Suzanne. Hi, I’m Suzanne, I’m 44 years old. I’ve had fibromyalgia for about 13 years now. But I’ve only been diagnosed for seven of those years.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects your muscles, your ligaments and tendons. Sort of the soft tissues in your body really. You also get lots of other things that run alongside it. Like a lot of fibromyalgia fatigue. A lot of people manage their chronic condition with lots of medications, heard many fibromyalgia stories. Also over-the-counter stuff as well as prescribed medications.
I tend to handle it more by using a positive frame of mind. I use a lot of visualization and guided imagery. You know, just trying to be positive. Something that really helped me to turn my life around really was finding out about the expert patient program. Literally, I saw an advert in a newspaper about this program on how you can manage a long-term condition. And just by going to that and talking to them and each time we went, there was a certain topic that we would concentrate on like talking to your doctors, finding ways to be positive.
And doing things like relaxation just sort of made me realize that, Yes, there is more that I can be doing for myself. Because this made me a lot more positive, I actually thought it was a good idea that there should be a support group for people with the condition that I had.
So that really led to me helping with other people to start a support group to share fibromyalgia stories. The hydrotherapy group I actually started myself. I knew that hot water helped me. When I had a hot bath or a hot shower, it really did help to ease the pain that I was in.
I know people who had been offered hydrotherapy treatment for their fibromyalgia through the NHS and their doctors’ surgeries but weren’t actually able to either take up that because they couldn’t get to the pool or they’d maybe only have ten or 15 minutes when they got there.
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So initially, it was a case of ringing all the places I could think might have a pool warm enough because a normal bog-standard pool is not warm enough for us to use. I think if anybody thinks that they may have this condition or may have a family member or friend with it, I would say the first place to look is the internet.
There are plenty of Fibromyalgia Association websites corresponding to your region. There are lots of information and fibromyalgia stories on there. So you’ve actually got the information in front of you and you just have to take that information to your doctor or health care professional.