It’s been a while since I’ve written about my battle with Fibromyalgia and Depression. And to be honest with you I have probably written this very article to some degree more than once. However, I was moved to write a new article on the topic this afternoon. So apparently there is something else that God wants me to say that I haven’t already said. Or maybe this is your first time to my blog and need to hear it all again.
First a brief introduction to who I am and what qualifies me to write about Fibromyalgia and Depression. If you were to look back at my family tree you will see a number of women in my mother’s family with strange illnesses where they just didn’t feel well, they were in a lot of pain and very tired all the time. Some of these women lived in a time well before mine. Well, I knew them all but I was a child – and as we all know children think life is all about them so they don’t pay much attention to the aches and pains of the adults around them. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I really started thinking through their lives, many of them passed on by this time. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia/Depression following the pregnancy and birth of our first child, Michael, who is now 18 years old. So I have actively dealt with Fibro/Depression for 18 years. A number of years after my diagnosis I discovered several of my female cousins on the maternal side of my family also had Fibromyalgia. Because it is believed that Fibromyalgia is hereditary we were able to put the pieces together to discover that it certainly is hereditary in our family line. When I was in Kentucky recently for a funeral several of us cousins were sitting around talking about this topic. The conversation led to a strange pattern. Each of my mom’s brothers and sisters have had numerous children. Each of those families have at least one child with Fibromyalgia. But do you know what else we discovered? Each of us who have Fibromyalgia are FIRSTBORN GIRLS. And then, so far, if those girls have had firstborn girls they have developed it.
Now that is not a scientific theory but it is a pattern that we have picked up on. The question has long been “Is Fibromyalgia hereditary?”. It didn’t take me too long after my diagnosis to determine the answer to that question is yes. Some scientists have said yes it is and others have said there isn’t enough proof to declare it as hereditary yet. I have a feeling that it hasn’t been determined yet because the term “Fibromyalgia Syndrome” was not used until 1987. So you can see that during my Aunts/Uncles lifetimes fell well before that. I’m sure their doctors told them they had “The rheumatism” or a “psychosomatic condition” (meaning it’s all in their head).
I’m convinced if they lived in this day they would be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. We would all understand a lot more about our family history. And we could have all helped one another cope. I am glad that my cousins and I have discussed our history and are armed with the information we have so we can help one another. Because no one really knows how someone else truly feels unless they have experienced the same thing in their own life. My prayer is that our families can bond because we not only have family in common but also that we can support one another because Fibromyalgia has bonded us.