Letter from Jamie, a retired nurse, with FM
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"First Name: Jamie

Male or Female? Female

When were you diagnosed ? 7/05.....it was a good day in a warped sense of being....I was beginning to think I was some closet hypochondriac....This was the day a doctor told me my symptoms were real, and it had a name...Fibromyalgia. Just knowing was a huge burden lifted off of me.

How long did it take to get a diagnosis ? 7 years..my primary doctor was stumped many times over my medical issues that cropped up and wouldn't go away. He ended up sending me to an RA doctor who then diagnosed me FMS that was only the beginning.

Your age at the onset of symptoms apox? 31

What were your first symptoms? Constant exhaustion, sore muscles/shoulders headache, depression and it just progressed over the years with MANY different symptoms.

What are your current symptoms? Pain in the right hip and right shoulder, headaches, dry mouth, teeth sensitivity....I'm sure there are more that just doesn't even register, unless I think about it. You tend to adapt with some of the problems, which allows you to focus on the bigger ones.

Other Clinically diagnosed conditions ? Myofascial Syndrome, muscle hypoxia, severe hypotension, hypoglycemic, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Addison's, Depression, Sleep Disorder, PTSD, Bursitis.

Are you still working? No, I've not worked in two years mostly due to my not being able to stand or sit long periods of time due to FMS and Bursitis and my bad low blood pressure, which makes me pass out.

What line of work? I am a retired nurse of 17 years

Are you disabled from Fibromyalgia? I think it's a combo of everything together that disables me.

Have you filed for disability? Yes, I am now in that holding 4 month period and hired Allsup Inc. to fight it for me.

What results from the filing ? pending

Any prior injuries or trauma? Trauma to the head neck and shoulders for 18 years (this was from serious child abuse and with the extended period of trauma to these areas... I was also an athlete which caused a lot of trauma to my right shoulder, right hip and lower back.

Major illnesses ? All Chronic, nothing that will take my life that I know of

Does exercise help? I feel body wise, the best for me, is water therapy...you get your exercise with much less stress on joints, tendons and muscles....a therapy pool is best, because it is heated....eases the body.

Have you ever have a long lasting virus? Several over the years

How has fibro affected your life? It dramatically took a highly functional, intelligent, happy go lucky woman down to the brink of a firepit of worthlessness, fear and pain and uncertainty. It altered and affected friendships. It altered my family life and cost me family. There is a good way FMS affected my life, it reminded me (with pain) to slow down. 

Look at the world around me and not rushing around as if life were a blur. To re-learn what life truly is....a gift....life meant to be enjoyed....so, I took (with help from my dr.s) control of my life with FM. I started turning every negative into a positive (ya okay it works 80% of the time I have not mastered it all yet) and being pro-active in my life. I learned my limits (some days I have none) and know what my consequences will be, if those limits are extended.

What makes symptoms worse? For me, barometric pressure changes are the worst, really cold or severe heat makes many symptoms to flare up big time. Over stepping my limits is a self induced one for me. Lack of sleep sets off my memory issues in full force.

What makes you feel better? Being in my garden working and if I am not up to that, just sitting in my pretty garden watching all the birds come to visit various food resources in my backyard.

Been admitted to a hospital for pain? Many times

What remedies or meds have you tried? Lyrica (had bad reaction to side effects, taken off, I cannot take any NSAIDS due to peptic ulcers so those were out....ultram, tramadol, vicodin 5/500 now vicodin 7.5/500, muscle relaxants, midodrine, Effexor xr switched to cymbalta (for fm pain and depression) lorazapam for anxiety, provigil, ambien cr, trazadone, I'm sorry there are more, but I can't think of em.

Used with Permission