My fibromyalgia story

Close your eyes and imagine the following…

You wake up in the morning with pain all over your body. Your muscles are stiff and your hands feel tingly. You feel a possible migraine coming with muscles in your neck and back aching. Trying to open your eyes is a challenge, it feels like you haven’t slept for a week when in actual fact you were asleep for more than eight hours. It feels like your entire body is bruised, with even a simple touch feeling like a stabbing wound. You get up and don’t know what to wear – mostly due to the fact that tight-fitting clothes only makes you feel even more distressed. Trying to eat something in the morning is the worst. You have gained a few pounds and most foods just make the pain worse. Now get ready for the day ahead, put on a smile and do some work.

Welcome to the last six years of my life.

About five months ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, after suffering for six years with the above mentioned symptoms. I probably went to 3 general practitioners and 6 specialists over the six year time period. Fibromyalgia is an auto immune and rheumatic condition characterized by muscular or musculoskeletal pain with stiffness and localized tenderness at specific points on the body with additional symptoms. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. When I was diagnosed, it was both a blessing and a shock. This isn’t something that will just go away in a few years or something that I will outgrow – oh no. I am stuck with this, for life!

So, being a Masters student, research plays an extremely important role in my life. I decided to do some research about fibromyalgia and find out how I can cope with this disease. This is something where I have to make an entire lifestyle change. People with fibromyalgia should exercise at least once per day – something that isn’t always that easy with pain and muscular stiffness taking over. Another really important thing is to follow a fibro-friendly diet. Sugar and carbohydrates are the two main things I have to cut out and believe me, it is not as easy as it sounds. It can also become an emotional thing when I’m going out with friends to a restaurant, because what can I eat that won’t make me sick?  Most people who know me will tell you that they never would have suspected that I have a chronic pain disorder. I never really told anyone of the pain or showed it in any way. I always tried to be friendly and laugh – even though it sometimes feel like I was dying of pain.

The main reason why I’m doing a blogpost about fibromyalgia is not to get sympathy – at all. I would like to inform people about this disease and give some advice…  First of all, fibromyalgia is a disease that cannot be seen, yet, people judged me if I wasn’t happy and talkative all the time. You never know what someone is going through in their life – don’t judge so easily. Secondly, each and every one of us are fighting some kind of battle in our lives – try to understand it when someone talks to you about it and don’t let them feel like they are overreacting. And lastly, no matter what happens in your life, surround yourself with people that try to understand you and support you in every way they possibly can.

So, no matter what life throws at you, remember that when you think positive about it, you’re attitude towards the problem it will make coping with it, so much easier. I would like to finish off with a quote that inspires me every day and helping me cope with fibromyalgia…
“You must learn a new way to think, before you can master a new way to be.” – Marianne Williamson

I would just like to give a special thanks to the stunning Ulricke Laubscher from Wooden Lace, who spoiled me on my birthday with the stunning flower child crown and for always believing in me and my dreams. I would also like to give a special thanks to Izelri Marx, my friend and photographer for making this photoshoot so much fun and to Marnus Botha, who helped with the video – you are so amazing and talented in what you do.

“You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved”


Accessories Wooden Lace
Photographer: Izelri Marx Photography
Video: Marnus Botha

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