Poll-- was your FM a gradual progression, or a sudden onset?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PainPainGoAway, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    Just curious about the different types of FM...and how a lot of you got sick.

    How many of you have put up with the symptoms of FM for longer than you can actually pinpoint... say until you got bad enough to discover it or stuck it out w/ trying to find answers either by your own research or a doctor's diagnosis...

    Vs others of you who distinctly recall developing FM after perhaps an accident, or some other trauma, where the pain came on so suddenly it changed your whole life and there was no mistake in BEFORE FM and AFTER FM?

    I believe I developed it around 6th or 7th grade...along with mono...but since my whole life was like that from early adolesence, I was surprised to find an article on FM that described me to a tee, and to see I wasn't alone in my pain, even though it took forever to find a diagnosis.

    Doctors had found other problems...scoliosis, reason for back pain,put me in a brace for three years at 12 years old, endometriosis-- surgeries, meds..., migraines-- food diaries, IBS, ...insomnia...hypoglycemia-- strict food selection and still no cure...but no diagnosis until I was in my mid 20's! All that complaining-- and never knew there was a link!

    So even after the article, it took a battery of tests and going to a pain clinic before my doc was satisfied it's FM/CFS, and I've been to many since then, searching for the right treatment.

    I have no recollection of before FM and after FM, only that it did get worse as I got older and I always thought I would die early due to my aching body! So I know I was never a NORMAL...
    I'm curious to hear your experiences...
    Cindi
  2. heartinheaven

    heartinheaven New Member

    When I was twelve I had two distinct incidents that preceeded the FM symptons. I had a large begine cyst on my lower left jaw (I had to be hospitalized for several days while it was bioed, lanced and drained). Later that year I broke my right ankle while running down a hill. It was a few months later I started with the flu like symptons, but no flu. This was an occasion thing that flaired more often as the years went by. About twenty years into FM, there is no such thing as a flair anymore... the pain never nerve stops.

    Sounds like our experiences are very simular.

    Blessings to you, I know what you are going through!

    H Michael
  3. Francey54

    Francey54 New Member

    Hi Cindi:

    It is hard to pinpoint when I really started to suffer the effects of FM. Since childhood I always had headaches, earaches, stomach problems, sore muscles and sore feet.

    I can say though that the trauma of a total histerectomy at age 42 (never had children and wanted them desperately) really set off the FM and CFS and depression. Since then it has been downhill until I was finally diagnosed five years ago at age 49.

    Hugs,

    Francey
  4. WoodstocksMusic

    WoodstocksMusic New Member

    But I once was strong...a mile runner back in highschool (with a good record of a 5.32 mile).

    I played softball, had a dozen horses, then at 16 I bought 10 sows and raised 100 pigglet that summer...topped them out all by myself, hauling corn all day long every Saturday. I would heave those 100lb bags up onto the feeder and dump them. 2 truckloads every Saturday. I was strong as a little ox... and I was little... 5'2" and weighed 110lbs. I worked in the garden hours on ends (my hands are still my proof that I have held a hoe!) I hauled hay and could toss a 110lb bail of hay up into the loft of the barn while standing on the top of my truck! I was one tough farm girl. Heck I could carry a bail in each hand hanging down dead weight... that was about 220 lbs I could lift and carry across the barn and then stack them! I could work in hay all day long!

    Then there was the bad car wreck when I was 19... took 3 years to get over the fatigue from that...but I seemed to be back to myself again by the time I was 22. But at 22 I joined a church softball team and even then when I played a game I would spend the next 2 days in bed sleeping to recover from it. But I gradually got stronger and stronger and even seemed like my old self to every body but me... I knew I could not recover with just a good 9 hours of sleep anymore. It now took me 2 or 3 days to get ready to play again.

    Then at 28 I had my first child. That took everything out of me again... but I gradually recovered from that. Then again at 35 I had my second child... I have never fully recovered from that last pregnancy.

    I am now 44.

    I now have good days and bad days, after spending 2 years in bed or in my recliner. During that 2 years I slept for 15 to 18 hours a day and felt terrible all the time.

    I am learning how to take better care of myself and resting instead of pushing.

    I think that what actually happened to me is that the fibro probably came with that horrible car wreck at 19 years old.... It took so long to recover from that wreck and then it began to gradually ware my strength down and finally I got to a point where I could no longer push through the pain.

    Naysayers would just tell me it was old age creeping up on me.... old age at 35 is sorta hard for me to believe.

    I can still do things that surprise my children...but I pay dearly every time I "show-off" with my strength or athletic ability.

    I am learning to tell my boys that "mom can't lift this, can you do it for me?"... my 16 year old loves to show me how strong he is...

    Well that's my story and I am sticking to it!

    [This Message was Edited on 08/29/2005]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/29/2005]
  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Yes, mine was gradual. It started when I was aroung 10 years old. I'm now nearly 55.

    All I know is a life of illness. It's always been one health problem after another.

    I, too, have never been a "Normal". Pain and fatigue should have been my nicknames!

    In fact, I'm so pained and fatigued right this very minute that I can't write any more!!

    It's nearly 2:00 A.M. where I live, and I can't sit up any longer due to my back pain (pinched nerve), all my other aches and pains--you've heard the store before!!!!! So I'll continue on tomorrow night ......

    Hugs to you all,
    Janet
  6. rileyearl

    rileyearl New Member

    I just put it together in June of this year after a heart attack scare, followed by an angiogram that didn't go well. (It's real bad when your femural artery gets a hole in it.) My heart turned out to be fine, but the stress of that episode left me with severe pain in both legs and major fatigue. FMS! I think the "heart attack" was from FMS, too.

    Anyway, after I figured it out and my doctor confirmed the diagnosis, I read a book about dealing with the first year of FMS. The author went through all the symptoms one by one in depth and it was like a map of my life. All those weird things that have bothered me either chronically or periodically were symptoms of you know what. I had mono when I was 15, so I think the symptoms started then after a big dose of antibiotics. I'm 52 and grateful the pain didn't turn up until now. I'm so type A, that I probably just ignored it, if it was there before. Good question. Thanks!

    Francie
  7. mommy22

    mommy22 New Member

    I always had horrible growing pains as a child. Otherwise, i was very healthy. I did have horrible periods and IBS early 20's. At 28, i had our first child. I was in labor for 22 hours (hard labor for about 1/2 that). the doctor used the vacuum for well over 2 hours, including 2 pop offs. Finally, i had an emergency c-section. Jacob, our son, was taken to the NICU in another county. The next day, 24 hours after his birth, I was released to go be w/him, but was not under any dr. care while there. 4 wks. later my husband moved to VA and i stayed in NC to sell the house. Left w/a baby who cried ALL the time, i could feel my body reacting. Also found out 3-4 wks before my sister's husband had a brain tumor. I chalked everything up to the events and ignored it. I continued to worsen. My second pregnancy was horrible! I was in so much pain i couldn't get out of bed w/o help some mornings. I have not felt "normal" since. My doctor feels i was a "FM canidate" before Jacob's birth, but it certaintly brought it out quickly. Sonya
    [This Message was Edited on 08/30/2005]
  8. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    I think that allergies to the mold in the San Joaquin Valley, Central CA wiped me out (San Joaquin Valley Fever). Most of the time when I was a child, I went around with dark eyes, and teachers would ask Mom if I were getting enough sleep. That was long ago, and there was no such thing as FMS/CFS.

    When I was in my early to mid twenties, I remember a distinct time when I had a series of illnesses. One was viral that couldn't be defined, but viral particles were pulled out of my synovial fluid in my knee (my joints were so painful that my husband had to turn me). Since that time, I've been very fatigued. This was all before the definition of FMS and CFS. When my friend with similar symptoms was told that she had CFS in the 80's, I began to wonder if I did as well.

    When I became it (a really acute flare), I went to see my PA who told me I probably had FMS. That started the ball rolling to get to a rheumy and get the diagnosis of FMS.

    Hard to pinpoint an exact date . . I'm 58 years old now and have a hard time remembering back to having energy. I know that there was a better me. It seems that for me, the symptoms have worsened with age. I think that it's different for everyone.
  9. Rose_Red

    Rose_Red New Member

    I can trace a lot of symptoms back to early childhood. Growing pains, headaches, body aches, etc. by the time I was in high school I was always mooching for a back rub because my back hurt. so, that went on until.....

    I was my Godfather's primary caregiver for 2 years while he died from cancer. Anyone who's done it or been close to it knows the stress and heartache involved. After 2 years he finally died. By that point it was a blessing.

    Within 3 weeks of his death I could barely even hold a coffee cup. 6 weeks after his death I had to leave work because I just couldn't function. In less than 6 months the docs wre talking about putting me in a wheelchair.

    So I can trace the beginning symptoms back but when the FMS hit - it hit like a sledgehammer.

    -michele
  10. Jodi_B

    Jodi_B New Member

    I was in my mid-thirties when diagnosed, following what I thought was a pretty sudden onset of widespread pain, fatigue and low-grade fever. But the rheumatologist told me he thought I'd had it for quite awhile.

    Following that, my Mom recalled that she thought it was unusual for a teenager (me, years before!) not to want to spend the night at friend's house and said that I'd told her that I didn't sleep well anywhere but home.

    And...I had super-severe premenstrual pain beginning at age 13 which NOBODY could deal with (in bed, curled up, in between trips to the bathroom to vomit!). By 22 I had a total hysterectomy -- which, two years later the surgeon had second thoughts about having done! (Wanted to wring his neck!!). Only years later did I learn that menstrual problems go with the Fibromyalgia.

    So, probably gradual onset, starting in early teen years here.

    Interesting poll -- great idea!
  11. tngirl

    tngirl New Member

    For at least 16 years I've not felt "healthy". I have had detached retina, gall bladder surgery, severe reflux, IBS, Myoclonus, sleep apnea....

    I wonder if I had had undiagnosed CFS first, because the fatigue was much worse than the pain. I had no stamina and stayed tired all the time. I only had mild occasional pain, and did not have it in all four quandrants of my body.

    Doctors did bloodwork, and said lose weight, You will feel better.

    Since January I have had intense pain that started with my lower back.

    I have degenerative disc, degenerative facets, and lots of arthritis spurs up and down my spine. So perhaps the mild pain prior to this year was arthritis.

    Then I started hurting badly all over. I was going to a physical medicine specialist who diagnosed the fibro.
    I have read somewhere that sometimes FMS follows ankylosing spondylosis (probably NOT spelled right) which is a type of spinal arthritis. So maybe thats what happened with me.

    I have had a lot of emotional stress since 2000, also.
  12. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    I had lots of aches and pains as a child (growing pains) then, after my first child was born by cesarean (1977), I woke with a terrible ache in both my legs. The nurse told me that the doctors' set their heavy equipment on my legs as they operated and this was probably what caused the pain. She said it would ease up with time.

    It never did ease up and before long the pain spread first to my chest wall, then everywhere else. The pain was fairly mild (I thought it was bad at the time but, as I would learn in later years, I had no idea at that point just how horrible bad could be) and continued to grow in intensity every year. The pain worsened during certain weather systems and stressful events.

    Then in 1998 the pain grew to a horrible degree (the trigger, perhaps was a very stressful job), and I started treatment for fibromyalgia. After three years of many different treatments - none of them effective - I retired from my career in early in 2000.

    So in answer to your question, the onset was gradual from 1975, with a sudden worsening of symptoms in 1998.

    God bless,
    Anne Theresa
  13. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    I now feel it may have been lying dormant for a very long time.

    There are times when I look back now, and say, "I remember feeling like this when I was a child". And I do think I've had some form of this ugly disease for a very long time.

    I just think it was here, inside my body, like the ugly, raging monster that it is, waiting for the perfect moment to attack, when all my defenses were down.

    At least, that's my theory. It may not make the textbooks, but that's what I think........PG
  14. DPgirl

    DPgirl New Member

    I was 22 and in the Navy. All I know is that I woke up one morning with shoulder pain, back pain and a headache from H**L!!! After about two weeks, my co-workers ganged up one me and threatened me if I didn't go to the Dr. That started my long process to diagnosis. The first couple of doctors I went to told me that I was having muscle spasms....duh!!! I had already told them that. I finally ended up in neurology with the Chief of that dept. He was a very nice, good doctor -- although he did run every test known to man at that time -- he did give me a diagnosis of FM. After hearing the horror stories from other people I feel blessed to have gotten that at an early age. I've had flares off and on since that time and been through countless doctors who didn't believe in FM and so went through countless other tests to try and find out what was wrong. After the birth of my second child the symptoms started getting worse. Really bad ovulation pain, more shoulder, leg and back pain. It became harder and harder for me to keep up with my job and homelife. When my daughter was born, I was the Exec. Asst. for the CEO and Chairman of a major corporation, but I found that I was unable to keep up with the pace and had to change to a less demanding job, but still worked full time. Then in November 2004, it hit in full force and I have never been the same. I left my current job in June and am now at home. I have good days and I have bad days, but I am now reconciled to the fact that I will never be able to work full time again. I enjoy spending more time with my children, but I do miss the challenges and commradiery of working. I'm a social person and frankly the dog just doesn't carry on a very good conversation!! I do think that this last one had been building for several months. I had a very busy job with mounting responsibilities, my Mother passed away, the holidays were approaching, being a scout mother for my son's pack, etc....all of this just finally wore me down.
  15. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    The pain aspects of it hit me in March of 2004, but once I got a dx (shortly thereafter by very great luck) and read up on it, I realized some things had been with me for a long time, like some of the tender spots. I just don't know how long.

    The one in my lower back and knee have been there for years and other symptoms, like the flu-like feeling that would come on before my period had been there for a few years at least.

    As PepperGirl said, I think it was there a waiting to pounce. I had mono when I was 19 or so, so perhaps it was from that and lying dormant, but I am not convinced about the mono/FM link since it is so common (mono) amoung young people.

    Sonya R
  16. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Cindi:
    Lyme Disease for me
    NyroFan
  17. rrsbaby

    rrsbaby New Member

    Hi, I had my first gradual fm flare or onset in my mid thirty's. At least this is when I was dx with FM.

    Kept getting this severe pain in my upper back, just above the bra line, was really bad when laying on my side, woke me up from sleeping. Then I noticed that I could not turn from the waist to the side, such as looking back when checking the "blind spot" when driving. I mean I could not do it.

    Sooo... went to my MD and he dx me with FM gave me Elivil and sent me to phys. theropy. Given heat treatments, and streching exersises. This helped for a long while.

    Hard headed me ... kept trying to not take the Elivil and Fm would flare up again. Been on it for years now off and on. More on than off for the last five years. In addition to other meds.

    I am fifty now FM is real bad, take many meds. Also have severe Osteo Arthritis, gerd, and cad. Seems like I am 80 sometimes, although I do know people in their 80's that get around better than I do, haha

    RRSBABY
  18. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    I can now look back and see symptoms I had as a kid. I had bad leg pain, got sick alot, didn`t seem to have the energy other kids did. As a teen I started having very bad anxiety. In my 20`s, lots more anxiety and my legs were cold and jumpy all the time. I was sensitive to cold. My back and shoulders really started bothering me. Then I started having pain on my whole right side.

    In my 30`s I had my first child and my symptoms got worse. My pain and fatigue were worse and I also had a bulging disk. At 43, I had a total hysterectomy. I also had my father die of colon cancer and many other very stressful events. After all that, the FM and CFS got severely worse. My pain was so bad I couldn`t stand it and my fatigue left me in bed or on the couch 85 percent of the time.
  19. cjcookie

    cjcookie New Member

    I was diagnosed with Fibro after my second car accident. Before that, I didn't have this pain.

    I have always had IBS, though. Actually diagnosed as collagenous colitis in my 30s although this is usually a disease for older people.
  20. pspatnode

    pspatnode New Member

    I think I have had fms since I was a small child (now 64). It started getting much worse in the 80's after my Dad died and three pretty severe falls. I am sure it was there for many years.