Hi, I'm new here, but have been following this board for months. First I would like to say I think all of you are great educators of this DD and I feel lucky to have a board like this one. I'm 37 and I found out I had fibro in January of 2002. Like so many of you, I had symptoms of this condtion since I was about 10 years old. My mother was always taking me to the doctors. It started with headaches, leg pains, fatigue, and lack of sleep, I also had problems in school which I beleve was from NO sleep. I got the usual answers like most people, growing pains and skeptical looks from doctors. My doctor told my mother Id was "looking for attention" how horrible that as children we had to put up with this. I was not given any medication or advice from anyone, so I stopped seeing doctors in 1985 when I was 20. In 1994 I started working at a real estate office which was very stressful, I needed to see a new doctor once my insurance kicked in from the job. This time around was even worse, I saw about 8 doctors, and they put me on Zoloft, I didn't want this med because I wasn't really depressed, I was in pain WHICH caused my depression. After one week on Zoloft I felt I was having a heart attack, my doctor swiched me to Elavil, and I gained so much weight, I had stretch marks all over my body, next doctor put me on Paxil because of the complaints of Elavil, AGAIN, I gained and this time my hormonal system was totally off. This whole time I never had a fibro diagnoses, these doctors just treated me for depression. In August of 2000, I told my doctor I want off all meds, the nightmare continued with horrible Paxil withdrawal, by this time I still didn't have a diagnosis and My menstrual cycle was completely screwed up AND I was 100 pounds heavier. I started doing a lot of research, when I came up with fibromyalgia, I had a very strong feeling this was my problem. I found a new doctor, and TOLD him what I suspected, to my surprise, he agreed to take all kinds of tests, and sent me to a rheumatologist. I stated to lose weight immediately when I was off the drugs, it took 2 years just to take off 54 pounds. When I was diagnosed with fibro in January of 2002, the next month I was fired from my job, bad timing, they didn't know about my condition. I was at that job for 8 years struggling to get by, I was starting to miss work and I was getting sicker. I did get unemployment, but I was devasted about what they did to me, alhough it's for the best because I couldn't be there anymore. Now I AM TERRIFIED about finding new work. I can't go back to an office setting with very early morning hours. My friends and family tell me I should go work part time in a health food store since I know so much about vitamins and minerals, but I feel it's such a step down from what I was doing. I am on no meds, I'm too sensitive. I take malic acid and magnesium, vitamin B complex, vitamin C and E, no caffeine or caronated beverages and try to walk everyday, even for just 5 minutes. I know this is a very long post, but I feel so comfortable with you guys. Thanks for listening and gentle hugs.