It’s Fibro – deal with it.


When my rheumatologist sat down, took a deep breath and asked me how my childhood was, I thought he’d lost the plot. “Well,” I answered, “Good, really. Mum, Dad, Brother, Pets. I was happy. I was a bright kid. Parents stayed together til I was 16. Nothing mega.” I almost asked why but then I realised where he was going with this. The same way my psychiatrist went back in 2009 when he verbally pinned me to the wall asking me repeatedly “Were you abused as a child Helen, tell me, you need to tell me.” His secretary tried to hold my hand. How many times did I have to tell this crack-pot “NO” before he’d get the picture. I thought I was the mentally ill one. Anyway the rheumatologist clarified that he was wondering the very same thing as the overbearing psychiatrist. The look on his face clarified that he, too, didn’t believe me. What the hell did this all have to do with being tired and in pain all of the time?

Well apparently, it is believed by some that Fibromyalgia is ’caused’ by some significant trauma, either physical or emotional. It could be something that happened during childhood and has brewed deep within for years, only to rear it’s ugly head once you’re an adult. It could be the result of a motor vehicle accident, a spinal injury, the unexpected death of a loved one. All something to do with long term exposure to certain stress chemicals within the body causing changes inside your noggin. But this is all theory.

It was suggested to me by my rheumatologist that I figure out what traumatic event led to me developing fibromyalgia, and I should “deal with it.” Right. Erm? Hmph.

What exactly is one supposed to do armed with that pearl of wisdom? I’ve been wracking my tired little brain.

  • Minor whiplash
  • A few sprained ankles
  • Bipolar disorder – currently well managed
  • Death of loved ones – happens to everyone
  • Mother/brother kidney swap (transplant)

I’m afraid I can’t see exactly what he’s on about. Unless of course the bipolar disorder is something to do with it, although the rheumatologist didn’t seem to think there’d be a link – anyway that’s hardly something I can just “deal with.” It is dealt with, I’m medicated and getting on with my life. So why, when everything in life was going swimmingly did this beast sneak up on me and wipe it’s arse on it all?

I was the happiest I’d been in…as long as I can remember. I was living in the back of a van in outback Australia and having the time of my life. Life; I was full of it. I was exhilarated by it all. I’d found a purpose and a drive and I went to bed every night absolutely dying to jump out of it again the next morning. I was so so happy. So why did fibromyalgia choose then? What stress chemicals caused that? If some aspect of my life was so traumatic that my body chose to respond by sending me into chronic pain and fatigue (a ridiculous response if you ask me) then why did it kick off at that specific point? I don’t get it.

In fact – I don’t believe it. I think it is complete bullshit. I refuse to believe that some responsibility lies within me to “deal” with something. What ‘something’? Am I being blamed here for my bipolar disorder, for my fibromyalgia? Sorry, am I not “dealing” with things correctly. That’s exactly what I need when already trying to cope with an exhausting, debilatating condition – blame.

Do you know what? I have dealt with everything negative in my past, I’ve dealt with it all. I’ve accepted everything, moved on. That’s why I’m half way around the world trying to live the life I want to. The only thing stopping me, the only thing getting in my way, is Fibromyalgia. So please Mr Rheumy, you deal with it.


6 responses to “It’s Fibro – deal with it.

  1. Reblogged this on Darswords and commented:
    It is true, the most depressing thing for me is that I can’t get out and play with my friends and do the things I used to do. Pain keeps my brain foggy and, as of this year, in bed more than out. It is NOT depression. It is PAIN!

    • I feel like there’s a sense of “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” when it comes to Fibro pain and depression. But who wouldn’t be depressed about being in pain every day?! I think blaming it on depression is using mental health as a scapegoat. I hope you have some better days soon!

      • Thank you. There have been so many theories about fibro and CFS. One that may be true for me is I had a very bad case of Mononucleosis when I was in 7th grade (and I hadn’t been kissed, still wasn’t into that stuff). Much of what I feel during a flare feels like I did then. Back then, my mother said I had ‘growing pains’ which wasn’t welcome news as I had just spent 6th grade as the tallest kid in the class. Looking back I was in a class of short kids about to hit their stride the next year. I was only 5’6″

        Anyway, thank you for your thoughts and kind words.

      • “But who wouldn’t be depressed about being in pain every day?! I think blaming it on depression is using mental health as a scapegoat” – exactly! Thanks Helen for your beautiful blog.

  2. i just really accepted that i have fibro as well. but no one suggested to me what was suggested to you. and i do have trauma and abuse. but there is no freaking way that a physical illness (versus mental illness) is related to any trauma or abuse. that is ridiculous. i hope you find a better rhuemy who will actually treat your illness rather than tell you to find the reason for it and ‘deal with it’. i have heard a lot of crazy things relating to my illness, symptoms, abuse, trauma–but none so…so….so plain whacked out as this.

    • It’s bizarre isn’t it? But the truth is doctors just don’t know the cause, the treatment or the cure…so they clutch at straws, absorb what they can from research…and hey it’s not killing anyone so it’s not worth the time/money figuring it out is it?

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