What I’d Start with upon Diagnosis with Fibromyalgia (If I got a Do-Over)

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Getting diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and living with the effects of chronic pain, fatigue and insomnia is difficult. I have often thought about what I’d start with upon diagnosis with all the things I know now. This is why I decided to write my journey and everything I do to cope with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome in my book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Fatigue and Insomnia. (affiliate note: this is an affiliate link, if you make a purchase using this link, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you).

Author’s Note: This article appeared first on The Mighty.

what id do upon diagnosis

Here’s an excerpt from my book about what I’d start with upon diagnosis, if I had a do-over.

When you are first diagnosed with a chronic illness such as Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, your brain has rather a lot to process. If you’re buried too deep in pain and fatigue, the enormity of the challenge may not hit you immediately.

You, like me, may have been diagnosed after a long battle in which you have learnt to push through and assimilate the challenges into your life. Potentially making yourself even worse. Or you may have been struck down, as if by a lightning bolt of pain and fatigue.

So here are the things I’d start with upon diagnosis

Research

You are your advocate, medical coordinator, cheerleader and guru. You need to guide your doctor. You need to track your progress. Get a book, or open a digital file and write it up. Keep articles that you come across. Because when you’re ready you need to experiment. Your doctor can only take you so far, if they want to come on this journey with you at all.

My course You vs Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge is a good start. This is a FREE five lesson eCourse to help you fight Fibromyalgia. Sign up here. This is what I wish had existed when I was diagnosed.

Experiment

There are many types of treatments: medicines, supplements, alternative options, physical therapies and diets. We all have different chemical make ups, different genetics, and different triggers. This means we need to find our lifestyle that gets us as pain free and awake as possible. The complexity of this is huge, especially when you take in the fact that synergies, mixtures of multiple things, may be the solution. Your body may need a mixture of medicines, supplements, physical work and mental work.

Hit Your Lifestyle

You can’t keep going in the same way. That way didn’t work. Try to journal it out or talk it out, or whatever you do to think things through. You need to rebuild your lifestyle. Find what works for you, what your passions are (the non-negotiables of your life) and go from there. I spent a long time dreaming of working slightly less hours so that I could rest more and try to recover – and reducing my work hours was only the beginning of my journey to better wellness.

Find Your People

If there’s no one in real life, find a virtual community. You need to be exposed to new ideas and you need to be able to ask questions. There are many people struggling along with chronic illnesses sharing their journey. Just try to keep it positive. Most people would have brushes with depression/sadness when they’re in daily pain and exhaustion. Having a search through the articles written by other people with chronic illness on places like The Mighty is a good start.

We have a community over at Melissa (you) vs Chronic Pain, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia Facebook group – we talk practical tips for improvement.


For more information:

Hello friend, are you new here? I’m Melissa and I am on a mission to see that everyone receives resources and encouragement to thrive with fibromyalgia. Please come and join the team by signing up to my newsletter list. You will receive access to a free resources page too!  If you are curious about me and my journey you can have a search through the archives. Check out the What I Offer Page for all of the resources here.

0 thoughts on “What I’d Start with upon Diagnosis with Fibromyalgia (If I got a Do-Over)

  1. I would add to the first steps – find a care partner (chief of staff). It’s crazy hard to research and advocate when you freaked out, wasted, pissed off. My wife is my care partner. It took me years to begin researching MS or reach out to other people with MS. The first times I did, everyone seemed so depressed. Took me a long time to go back and engage with my community. Great post. Tx

    1. The danger of writing from the pov of a person who has managed her illness entirely alone the entire time…it didn’t occur to me. Thanks Danny, glad you have your wife/chief of staff 🙂

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