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Fibromyalgia means unrelenting pain

JESS JOHNSTON
Last updated 12:08 19/08/2014
Fibromyalgia
bubblewrap / Flickr

Fibromyalgia sufferer Samantha Kira Harding painted this picture to illustrate "how I feel on a daily basis".

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I'm a 17 year old girl living with what is called fibromyalgia. I got diagnosed at 12 after a severe injury never really healed, puzzling my doctors.

It all started with pain — everywhere. In my joints, my muscles. Just, everywhere. I started getting severe migraines to the point where my nose would bleed and not stop for an hour or two. Sometimes even three or four. I had to take days off school due to these migraines that lasted a couple of days, sometimes up to eight. I got sick of it. I knew that I shouldn't be feeling this way. I went to the doctors and asked to get tested for ankylosing spondylitis, as my mother has this form of arthritis that joins the bones together and the pains I had were similar to hers.

The test came back negative. The doctor I saw tested me for many things; they all came back negative. All except for one which can only be tested via certain points on the body. I had no idea what this meant for me. Little did I know that I would soon be suffering from depression due to this illness.

Days passed by me. Most mornings it was a struggle to get out of bed. I did not want to move. Every part of me aching and groaning each time I moved. The doctor I saw gave me no explanation of fibromyalgia, just that it was rare, almost unseen in children. I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to be expecting with this illness. I didn't know whether a cold I had was part of it, or just a cold. I couldn't tell if a headache was actually a genuine headache, or if it was going to turn into a full blown migraine.

I use to play a lot of sports and be a fit and healthy child. Nothing would stop me — at all. I stopped playing sports due to this illness causing me a lot of injuries. Some minor, some major.

I learnt that doing everyday tasks was a struggle and people would look at me and treat me different. To them I was pathetic, lazy, just trying to get out of doing things. Even my parents assumed this. I spiralled further into depression, thoughts of suicide evolving in my mind. To me anything had to be better than this.

I am now 17, still suffering with this, but I have now learnt how to manage it. I have learnt how to hide it from people around me. I tell people I'm fine. I can't tell employers I have this as I will not get a job. I have done research on this and so have others. The way people look at illnesses is pathetic. They don't understand the struggles we go through on a daily basis. I sometimes struggle to lift a cup of tea.

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This, I wouldn't wish this on anyone.


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