Following a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis – 9 Steps

My parents and I spent nearly four years trying to find a doctor who could diagnose the cause of, and provide treatment for, my chronic pain, severe stiffness, and reoccurring loss of mental clarity.  Every doctor had a different theory as to the proper diagnosis, and some of their possible diagnoses were just downright alarming (so alarming, in fact, that they told me parents, not me).  Along with their varying diagnoses, each doctor had a different suggestion for treatment.  I tried quite a few treatments and found no relief.  In fact, most of their treatment options aggravated my condition, or created new ones.  So, when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia on my first visit to our family doctor after moving to Arkansas I was thrilled.

I could finally call my discomfort a name…

The doctor was confident, and I trusted him.  He had a big heart, decades of experience, and a wife with fibromyalgia.  I was relieved.  Now that my enemy had been identified we began doing all in our power to make it feel unwelcome.  We went to battle.  And as in most battles, we had a plan.  I recommend the plan below for those recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia (or even those, like me, who have been fighting fibro for a big chunk of their life).

  1. Identify your team, and potential recruits.
  2. Learn about your opponent (but don’t fall prey to all the negative junk out there).
  3. Get to know yourself and honestly assess your lifestyle.
  4. Determine your level of commitment (and decide to be optimistic).
  5. Set your goals for learning and improvement.
  6. Make a routine and get to work… but be flexible.
  7. Track your progress and rally the troops.
  8. Revise your goals, set new goals, and get to work again.
  9. Remember to give the good more face-time than the bad.

Over the next week or so I will discuss each of these steps in detail.  I will also feature my parents, and other members of my team, to highlight certain steps of our battle plan.  Please stay tuned and contribute via comments.

*I seem to get quite a few e-mails from y’all, but you seem a bit shy with the comments.  No need to be shy.  Please feel comfortable to contribute, I feel strongly we have a lot to learn from each other.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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