Before the day I was diagnosed in 1998 I had never even heard of Fibromyalgia. Since getting diagnosed and battling the daily grind with it for so long I am beginning to see that the chances of it “awakening” in me were very high. Why? Just a few reasons that proved I was at risk. Where do you stand on the risk scale? I hope you are no where close. But if you are then tomorrow’s entry will be helpful to you as you begin or continue your fight with it.
First of all I am a woman. Hey, I can’t help that! But apparently 80-90% of those disagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. How did we get so lucky?! Some suspect our lovely hormones have something to do with it. Those hormones will get ya everytime, girls!
Secondly, I fall in the common age bracket of being diagnosed between the age of 20-55. I was diagnosed at 31. Although I can pinpoint the cause to childbirth in 1993 when I was 27. Will address that in a moment.
Thirdly, since being diagnosed I have learned of a number of members of my family who also have Fibromyalgia. That would be because it is hereditary. I have discovered several women in my family with it. Before my disagnosis I had never heard of it. I suspect there are even more of us who I have lost contact with are perhaps also suffering with Fibro.
Fourthly, everyone I have talked to with the disease and asked about the beginning of the disease in their life can pinpoint a specific traumatic event to their physical bodies that was the starting point for them. In my case I can pinpoint childbirth in 1993. Many people experienced car accidents or some other traumatic injury. The way I describe this is that the gene sits dormant in our bodies (because it is genetic) until something traumatic happens to “awaken” it. That is how I have been describing it for years.
Fifthly, it appears to occur in those with other chronic illnesses. At the time I was diagnosed I was suffering with depression. I had also had rheumatic fever as a child. I’ve been researching the link between Rheumatic Fever and Fibromyalgia. I haven’t found much yet. But certain rheumatic conditions appear to be precursors. I’m sure there must be a link between RF and Fibro. If someone reading this also has such a connection and/or perhaps done some research of your own please leave me a comment. I would love to hear more about it.
Basically, I have learned that I really didn’t have a chance. HOWEVER, I do not have to let it control my life. That is a daily struggle. And that is what I will talk about tomorrow – exploring the treatments to help us live full lives with Fibromyalgia.