I have mentioned my fibromyalgia briefly before but I felt it would be a good idea to actually write a post about it and share my experiences with you. Whilst I know everyone is different I also hope that my experiences help to show one persons experiences of how fibromyalgia can be and how it can change over time.
Back in early 2013 I had been in pain for about 9 months and getting more and more fatigued to the point that it had changed my life. I was physically and mentally so exhausted after just a trip in the car to get a small supermarket shop that I would sleep for a few hours. Every day I was in pain and nothing the doctor had given me had helped, my whole body hurt from the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed. Every movement hurt and I felt like I was falling apart. My G.P. referred me to the rheumatologist at the hospital and they did a few tests to rule out some other conditions and then diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Of course a diagnosis meant I knew what was wrong but it doesn’t make it go away does it!
I was depressed and morbidly obese at the same time so I really felt like my life was over, I couldn’t do much because of the pain and I felt so useless so it spiralled and my depression deepened. As I have spoken about before I also was in an abusive relationship and that of course doesn’t help things mentally either. My life was going downhill and I felt like nothing could improve it.
In January 2014 when I joined Slimming World I was at the position where just going to my Slimming World group some days would wear me out for the rest of the day but I was determined to do it. I went out on a few walks with others from the group and despite being in agony I was adamant I was going to shift this weight but luckily with weather and others commitments the walks were few and far between and I had plenty of rest in between.
As the weight was dropping off me I started to notice an improvement in the pain, not much but a bit slowly and at first I wasn’t sure if it was just a good week. I hardly did any exercise during my weight loss journey partly due to my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and partly due to being idle! With fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue you can have good and bad weeks so I didn’t want to pin my hopes on an improvement too soon but there definitely seemed some improvement. I was able to go out for longer and the pain seemed more bearable. It hadn’t gone away but it felt like there was some improvement.
As I got closer and closer to my target weight I had noticed there definitely had been improvement and whilst I still had pain and fatigue I felt I could cope with it much more than I had previously. I felt happier too, my life had improved a lot, in my journey to target I had left the abusive relationship, met my new man and felt happier with my body in general.
At target I wouldn’t say my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue had gone by a long shot but it had really become much milder and I could cope with the problems I had with it much better. I trained for and ran a half marathon in a time I was proud of (2hrs 24 mins) and very much felt like these conditions were in the background now, something I had but that I could manage happily.
As you know over the last year I have gained some weight again. I have noticed the difference in my confidence because of this and written about that previously but I have also noticed the difference in my Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue, it has got worse again. I am not saying for everyone there is a link but for me gaining weight seems to have made it worse again which is one of the many reasons I am determined to lose weight and get back to where I was, which some people may say was too slim but for me I was happy and well then both physically and mentally so that is where I want to be again.
This last few months I have been so tired and sore again, I am often needing to sleep in the day because the fatigue gets the better of me and the pain is definitely not where it initially was but is very much there. I have done this to myself and I have made my bed so I will have to lie in it, but I am not lying in it for long as I am working on getting back to the place I was well and coped with the symptoms I had.
For me my weight definitely has an impact on my symptoms, whilst it didn’t go away completely even when I was a size 6-8 it was so much more manageable. I know that not everyone will find this but so many people are surprised when I say I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue because I have run a half marathon. Everyone with these conditions is different and I know for me my weight has a huge impact on my symptoms and ability to do things both on a day to day basis and like running! I will always have these conditions they wont ever go away but I know for me one way of managing my symptoms is by keeping my weight down, another aspect that seems to make a bit of a difference is my depression as the more depressed I am I think the more I struggle with the symptoms too.
Am I saying if you lose weight your symptoms will go? Of course not, I am just sharing my experiences and being as honest and relatable as I can and telling you how mine improved a lot but never went completely.
If you want to read more about my weight loss journey then this is the place to go Weight Loss Journey.
If you want to read more about me gaining weight more recently then this is the post for you Rejoining Slimming World – Back to basics.
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