Fibromyalgia

‘Bring me breakfast in the morning if we’re still here,’ joked the doctor. The treatments were painful, I tried to be brave.’: Woman describes her journey with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, ‘I never had a childhood, but hope I can have a good adulthood’

“I was always fragile. When I wasn’t sick, I was injuring myself. My skin would turn purple and red with spots, and everything burned to the touch. I was probed with questions and faced with students’ and faculty’s disbelief. ‘You don’t look sick.’ Using the school’s only elevator resulted in harassment.”

‘It can’t be bad, you’re young. You look fine.’ I questioned whether my symptoms were in my head.’: Single mom diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, ‘I don’t know what tomorrow has in store, but I’m ready to fight’

“I went from busy full days of work to barely handling the commute. I struggled to keep up with other moms my age. Misconceptions such as, ‘Young people can’t get it,’ and ‘You look totally healthy,’ infuriated me. It’s not just a disease for the elderly. I wasn’t fighting only for myself, but also my son.”

‘You woke up Kobe’s wife and went to bed a widow. Today, you’re going to do something no wife ever wants to do.’: Widow pens open letter to Vanessa Bryant on day of Kobe Bryant’s memorial service

“I remember walking into the church on a warm June day and seeing my husband’s casket at the end of the aisle, draped with the American flag.  Like so many of us before you, you gained membership into a club nobody wants to join, and on top of that, the whole world is watching. I promise you will come out of this on the other side one day.”

‘So she’ll always be sick?’ I leave the office with an answer but no cure. ‘I’m not dying. I’m just 16 and past my prime.’: Chronic illness warrior battles lupus and fibromyalgia

“’Maybe if I drank bleach,’ I think. I feel so dirty, tired and stiff. ‘Maybe if I turned inside-out and scrubbed my veins out with soap.’ Surely the disease would be eradicated. I’m supposed to find out today. I tap my foot. ‘Remember to breathe, you have to breathe, just breathe.’ Dr. Box settles into his rolling chair. ‘So she’ll always be sick?’ ‘Yes, but we caught it early.’ Yesterday, I dropped my hairbrush. I couldn’t finish. My hair is still knotted in the back. Last week, I passed out briefly, stepping out of the shower. And this was an improvement.”

‘My mom noticed a hole above my tailbone she could fit her pinky into. The doctors told her, ‘As long as it’s covered with skin, it’s nothing to worry about.’: Woman with spina bifida and fibromyalgia suffers from ‘back attacks’ and ‘wild symptoms’

“During birth, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck. In order to save my life, the doctor had to act fast. My mom’s tailbone was broken. Then like any other mom, she diligently looked over my body and immediately noticed a hole above my own tailbone. The doctors told her, ‘It’s nothing to worry about.’ But at 7 days old, I had a temperature of 104 degrees. As I grew, so did the tumor. It tightly wrapped around my bladder and kidneys, slowly killing me.”

‘What will you tell your kids? They look trashy.’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me.’: After lupus diagnosis, sexual assault survivor uses to tattoos to ‘help me reclaim myself’

“Unsolicited, I have been ‘advised’ on my body art. I’ve been asked, in horror, ‘What will you tell your kids?’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me, and when they’re older, they can get tattoos if they want them. ‘You’re inviting people to judge you.’ Actually no, I’m not. ‘Can you get a job with those?’ Firstly, none of your business. Secondly, yes. Then there are the people who find my tattoos TOO appealing. ‘Where ELSE are you inked?’ ‘So, you like pain, huh?’ ‘Wanna see MY tattoo?’ Seriously, be less sleazy.”

‘If we waited 2 more weeks, you would’ve been paralyzed from the neck down.’ I was in and out of consciousness. Death wasn’t the only thing on my mind.’: 15-year-old undergoes brain surgery after feeling dizzy, discovers rare chronic brain condition, Type 1 Chiari Malformation

“I knew something was very wrong. I was barely able to hold myself up. ‘Really Jen? Pull it together.’ No one had answers. All I heard was, ‘I think you’re depressed.’ I felt like someone had filled my head with cement. At this point, I had given up. I convinced myself I was out of my mind. I laid in that MRI machine and lost track of time. I felt like my life was over at 15. The tech pulled up the images on the computer. ‘You’re going to need a neurosurgeon.’”

‘I find you arrogant, rude, disrespectful and jealous.’ A workplace conflict left me hurt. She didn’t believe a single word.’: Woman learns of autism diagnosis at 23, ‘I finally learned the truth. I am not broken’

“Teachers would say, ‘Lauren is very polite, gifted, such a cute little girl.’ My peers started to reject me. My school life was marred by rumors and taunts. I began to tell myself, ‘There is something wrong with you.’ I could never remember to bathe. I once went half a year without washing my hair. At age 23, I finally learned the truth. I am autistic. I am not broken.”

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