The F Word: Fibromyalgia

My doctors have been running around in circles after my elusive diagnosis. I need an EMG before everything is finalized, but yesterday I got a second opinion from another rheumatologist and he said the F word: Fibromyalgia.

This was my original diagnosis, before the hypothyroidism, reduced kidney function and ANA levels were found, as well as the fact that I am treatment resistant to literally everything – from your standard fibro meds to steroids.

I talked to my husband about the F word last night and he was upset. To him, this could not be fibromyalgia. Something as horrible and hard to treat could not be fibromyalgia, and the doctor said it did not have a rheumatological cause. How could this be fibromyalgia?

Well, there is a pretty big stigma around fibromyalgia. It’s often made fun of by the media (although I’m not quite sure why, writers are often fucked up people and have illnesses themselves and may be poking fun at their own predicaments) and it’s unexplained. Nobody knows what causes it. After the appointment, noticing I was upset, my mom said that “Fibromyalgia is unexplained nerve pain.”

I’ve been grieving my diagnoses for a long time, and to end up back at fibromyalgia after my urgent care visit in July 2019 would really hurt. But does the fibro explain my swelling, my joints cramping up? Is that my gout?

Just as you’d be confused and angered when some stranger cuts you off in traffic and says “F- you!”, I am equally confused and angered right now.

An illness ins’t a competition and pain isn’t a prize. I don’t want something worse. I will thank God if I do have fibromyalgia. However, the process of grieving a diagnosis is very long, and I have multiple confirmed, and it has already taken so much from me without knowing its name.

That’s my opinion on the F word. If I have it great, if I don’t have it, at least I’m a step closer. But still, I’m here.

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