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Has your fibromyalgia prevented you from working, attending your kids’ activities, or doing the things you love?
That’s exactly what happened to me. I was a Human Resources Director, on-call 24/7, and working 50+ hours per week. My young teenage children were active in school activities and sports. Plus, I was a member of the sandwich generation trying to help with elderly parents.
I was trying to do it all… and I wasn’t doing any of it well.
I started forgetting things at work, felt like a bad mom, and couldn’t be there for my parents like I wanted to be. I felt like I was failing at life.
In 2009, I finally received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I was stunned. I didn’t know anyone else who had fibromyalgia and didn’t understand what it was. Fortunately, I had a wonderful primary care physician who referred me to a great rheumatologist. With their help, I was able to get my fibromyalgia under control.
Getting my life back wasn’t easy.
As an “HR geek” I knew I could use resources like the Family Medical Leave Act and workplace accommodations to help me do work tasks I was struggling with and secure my job when I had to take time off for flare days and medical appointments. Knowing I wasn’t about to be fired allowed me to focus on my health and healing. For the first time since my diagnosis, I began to feel hopeful.
I went from missing two to four days per month to missing two days or less a year. I was walking three miles a day, attending all my kids’ activities, and working crazy hours. It took a few years and a lot of hard work, but I was even able to get off all of my fibromyalgia medications.
You might think that this is the point where I “lived happily ever after”, but that isn’t the case. You have probably noticed that fibromyalgia leads us through a lot of ups and downs. You’ve probably experienced that in your own life. Just when you think things are under control, fibromyalgia changes the rules.
In 2015 I moved to Ohio to be closer to my future husband, Barry.
Within six weeks of moving, my fibromyalgia went into a constant flare and my health started to decline. You know that feeling where it’s like you have a bad case of the flu every day? Yep. That was me. I spent 90% of my time in bed.
After feeling good for so long, I was devastated. Here I was, about to marry the love of my life, and I was stuck in bed, in non-stop pain, and exhausted.
It didn’t take long for me to make the decision that this was NOT how I was going to spend the rest of my life!
I searched for solutions and found Tami Stackelhouse, founder of the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute. She helped me find ways to improve my fibromyalgia and I became one of the very first coaches she certified, receiving my Fibromyalgia Coach certification in January 2016.
While working with Tami, it became obvious to my husband and I that staying in Ohio wasn’t an option. Ohio weather patterns didn’t agree with my fibro body. I had gained all the tools I needed to manage my fibromyalgia, but I couldn’t do anything to change the weather patterns, humidity, and cold. I wasn’t God.
With fibromyalgia, it can often feel like you’re a victim to your illness or a prisoner in a body that isn’t cooperating. This is why it’s so important to do things that give you back control. In my case, moving from Ohio to Arizona was the missing piece I needed to get back to living my best life.
I now live in Waddell, Arizona, with my amazing and supportive husband, Barry. My fibromyalgia is managed; I can now do all the things I enjoy, including riding my bike and hiking regularly. With four children in four different states, we love traveling to visit and spend time with each of them – with no fibro flares! We enjoy being outside grilling, chilling, and pool time. I am now living my best life.
If you’re ready to take control of your fibromyalgia, let’s talk. I would love to help you live YOUR best life!