A lot of people do not know but constant physical and mental abuse can have serious traumatic repercussions on the human body. There is a correlation of domestic violence casing fibromyalgia. I have been fighting with not only chronic pain but doctors too for 18 years. Doctors kept ignoring my pain, thought it wasn’t real, or just plain didn’t give a shit to do anything. I was misdiagnosed with diabetes in February 2003. My HbA1c has averaged a 5.2 to 5.6 for the last oh I don’t know 17 years. Definitely not diabetes. I was diagnosed with neuropathy July 2003. Absolutely impossible to have neuropathy 6 months after diabetes diagnosis when you are 29 years old. They blamed the neuropathy on diabetes. In 2013 I was diagnosed with kidney disease, of course it blamed on the damn wrong diabetes diagnosis. Now remember I had two severe traumatic brain injuries in 1999. I started having the neurological pain about a year or so before my wrong diabetes diagnosis. By 2005 it became extremely difficult for me to walk. Neurologist said oh its the neuropathy. Like um no my muscles aren’t working. After asking my primary care doctor for 10 years for a referral to Shands she simply blew me off. Never referred me anywhere let alone Shands.
In comes 2020 and a new doctor! A doctor who listened to every word I had to say, a doctor who believes I was in severe pain and took me seriously. We tried some new things like stopping my statin drug and birth control pills. Did not work. We tried magnesium and turmeric and that did not work. My doctor wrote a referral to the Mayo Clinic but they denied to treat me. My doctor then wrote a referral to UF Health at Shands for rheumatology. I finally got into Shands! I had my appointment on 09/16/2021 and finally got the diagnosis I have been waiting 18 years for. I was given a full exam, over a dozen different blood tests, and X-rays of my hands, feet, lower back, feet, and hips. The rheumatologist diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. An answer, not one that I like, but one I can live with. I finally have to closure to my chronic pain and why it was happening.
My chronic pain includes severe pain in my hips and hands, I have severe muscle pain in both of my legs, muscle weakness, I cannot walk more than 10 minutes without needing an assistive device like a cane or walker. Cold water is extremely painful on my skin. When I make my bed I have to do it at night because I feel like I had a 6 hour workout and I am exhausted. I have headaches pretty much every day, and not just a mild headache but migraines. I have had a disabled parking permit since 2005. People look at me sideways because I do not look sick. Bitch please I wish I could climb stairs, run, walk like a normal person, park like a normal person, just be normal again. I get burning and electrical shock pain in my feet. I have severe, intense, excruciating cramps in my feet, I have involuntary muscle contractions in my calves and arms. I have difficulty sleeping even thought I take up to 300 mg of trazodone. Fatigue is rampant. These happen on the daily. I cannot remember the last day I had without any pain.
Now what caused the fibromyalgia? Systemic physical and mental abuse from domestic violence, The constant living in fear. The broken nose, broken foot, bruises, hair pulling, and to top it all off, two traumatic brain injuries, both with loss of consciousness and one I had full amnesia for hours. My fibromyalgia could have been completely prevented. I had a serious car accident in 2015 that just exacerbated the pain. My chronic pain started just 3 years after the brain injuries. The physical abuse lasted 8 years. The mental abuse lasted another 7 more.
I live with all of that pain and work to be a social worker. I love my career field and no matter what pain I am in I keep on going. I am against using opiates to treat the pain. I am looking into eastern medicine like Tai Chi and acupuncture. I use CBD oil without THC. And people ask me why do I continue to work with what I am living with? Because there are things bigger than my pain, bigger than what I deal with. I am helping to mend families and get people they help they need. I work with an absolutely amazing team and a supervisor (MC you know who you are!) who fully supports me and gives me time off if I need it. She understands my pain and helps me tremendously along the way. I could not ask for a better team ♥️
“There is nothing impossible to him who try.”Alexander the Great