My name is Amber. I am 28 years old and I have been living with fibromyalgia ever since I was a child. I was first diagnosed as a teen and about 8 years later I sought another diagnosis, fearing that my original one was incorrect. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I was told that I have FM again, and that there was nothing I could really do about it. I have had FM for well over 15 years now and am now just learning how to manage it effectively without medication.
Up until this point, I was content to use various drugs to help alleviate my pain and help me deal with my anxiety. I became a very strong proponent of medical marijuana (and still am) but am now at a point in my life where I would like to be as drug free as possible without compromising pain relief.
After the birth of my second son I decided that something needed to change. I was sick and tired of feeling so tense and stiff every single day. I began to look into exercise and diet as a way of alleviating my FM symptoms and, unsurprisingly, it is doing wonders for my pain. I started out very slowly and built upon what I could already do. I kept an open mind and decided to try anything at least once. I paid extra attention to how my body felt after every workout and, I won’t lie, there were times when I overdid it because I thought “just one more rep won’t hurt.” I am learning how to listen to my body and follow its sometimes subtle hints that I’m going too far.
I also changed up my diet and decided to lose some excess weight. I didn’t do this for vanity or to fit in with a certain crowd, I did it because I knew that excess weight affects joint pain and I already have enough of that! I began counting calories (which is dreadful for some but which I strangely enjoy) and have managed to drop nearly 30 lbs so far. My only goal was to attain a healthier BMI. Now that I’m very close to my original goal, I want to go further and gain some strength in my muscles, despite the fact that they frequently “quit” during FM flare ups. Isn’t it better to have strong muscles that hurt instead of weak muscles that hurt? I think so.