This post is a difficult one for me to write. When I started my blog almost a year ago I decided that I would not mention anything about my medical history on here. I don't like pity and I didn't want to start pitying myself. So I kind of kept this a secret from all of you for the past year.
I'm sure by the title of this post you have already guessed my secret. I have a disease called Fibromyalgia. If you haven't ever heard of Fibromyalgia here is the definition from the Mayo Clinic "Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain.
Fibromyalgia occurs in about 2 percent of the population in the United States. Women are much more likely to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age. Fibromyalgia symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event. "
I was diagnosed in December or 2005 when I was 25 years old and have suffered with it ever since. It is a horrible, painful disease and I hate the fact that I have to live with it for the rest of my life. What I hate even more is that it not only effects me but it effects my whole family. My husband and children suffer because I can't do things that I should be able to because of my pain or fatigue. I try to prevent this from happening at all costs. That is why I seem to have so many flair ups. I am determined to not let my family suffer from this disease. I am going to fight it at all costs because my kids deserve to have a great childhood. Not one where they have to worry about how their Mother is feeling.
You are probably wondering why I would keep this a secret. Well, like I said earlier I don't want to pity myself. The second I start to pity myself and act like I have a disease I start to feel depressed and even more pain and fatigue. If I fight it and pretend that I am not any different I can function so much better. I know it sounds crazy but I have done both and pretending I am normal seems to work best. I can't stand being depressed and this disease causes me to fight every day to not fall into that path.
For months I have felt like I should share a little about my disease because I know that there are so many others that suffer from the same thing and maybe we can do this together.
Weight loss isn't easy and it definitely isn't easy when you have Fibromyalgia. I will give you a few reason why:
1. Sometimes it is so hard to move let alone exercise because of the pain.
2. Fatigue and lack of sleep from Fibromyalgia makes it so hard to not have a "tired binge".
3. Fighting the depression that comes along with Fibromyalgia makes it hard to not overeat. When I am depressed I want to eat. Because I am determined to not get depressed and not take meds for it I sometimes find myself falling into it and wanting to eat. Luckily I am able to pull myself out of it and get back to eating healthy but for some people it is a lot harder.
4. Medication: This is the one that I struggle with the most. I take the medication Lyrica. Unfortunately a side effect is weight gain from an increased appetite.
I have been on Lyrica for about 2 1/2 years (minus pregnancy and breast feeding time). When I first started taking Fibromyalgia I gained about 25 pounds very quickly. I was working a stressful job and love to eat so I didn't think much of it until my Rhuematoligist told me that I gained that weight to quickly for it to be normal weight gain. That is when she told me that a side effect of Lyrica is weight gain from an increase in appetite. I guess I should have read the label. After I had my daughter I decided to go back on the medicine because I couldn't handle the pain without it. I knew the side effects but I didn't know what else to do. At that time the only FDA Approved med was Lyrica. I ended up gaining about 15 pounds this time. This was before I started my weight loss journey.
About 4 months ago my Lyrica seemed to have stopped working. My Rheumatoligist decided to double my Lyrica dose. As you can see by my weight loss in the past few months this has been a major struggle for me. I just want to eat all of the time. It is awful. Something that I am still fighting.
My Rheumatologist has just decided to switch my medication to Cymbalta instead of Lyrica because the Lyrica seems to not be helping with the pain and Fatigue anymore. I am really excited to try something new. When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia we had no FDA Approved drugs to take for it. I started out taking a pain killer that was awesome at first and then I eventually got addicted to it. This is why I have sworn off pain killers for the rest of my life. I get addicted to easily and coming off something you are addicted to is the hardest thing to do. Now we have three FDA approved meds. Lyrica, Cymbalta and Salvella. The last two I think became approved sometime this year.
I will start the Cymbalta probably sometime next week and I can't wait to see if it helps with my pain and fatigue. That would be awesome! I don't remember what is like to live with out pain but I would love to experience it again. I can't say that I am not excited about the fact that Cymbalta does not have a side effect of increased appetite. It actually has a possible side effect of decreased appetite. I have never had a decreased appetite in my life. :) So it will be very interesting to see if I have that side effect. But most importantly I want to get rid of the pain.
I hope I didn't ramble on to much about this subject. I just wanted to share with all of you some of my struggles so you can understand my whole story. I hope I have helped some of you by sharing with my struggles with Fibromyalgia. If anyone has questions I would love to try to answer them and if anyone has any advice I would love to hear it.