My Rough & Frightening Journey to Diagnosis by Tiffany Stuart

My Rough & Frightening Journey to Diagnosis, by Tiffany Stuart

Tiffany Stuart

My name is Tiffany Stuart and I live in Los Angeles, CA. I am 23 years old and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in January 2019 at the age of 22. The cause of my Fibromyalgia is still unknown, but my mother was diagnosed with it as well.

My journey to diagnosis was rough and kind of frightening. Over the period of a week, I experienced progressive pain and/or reduced mobility in different parts of my body.

Over the weekend, I woke up with excruciating pain on my entire left side of my body, and it was also almost triple its size.

I went to the E.R. over 5 times looking for answers. Over and over again, I was sent home so high from medications and walking like a zombie. The last time I went to E.R, I began to think that maybe no one was going to be able to help me. It took one doctor to say “this doesn’t make sense” for me to be on the road to finding out what it was.

To diagnose a person with Fibromyalgia, a series of blood tests are done to basically rule out everything else possible. These tests were the most difficult for me. The nurse had to start an IV and draw my blood. I was pricked over 20 times by them trying to find a vein to draw nearly 10 plus vials of blood from, and to put in the IV. I was pricked with all sizes of needles, but no one was able to get a vein. I lay on the hospital gurney absolutely defeated and in tears.

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Drawing blood for testing

IV Line

My pain level was now higher than when I arrived. After finally getting the samples, and receiving the results, I was referred to a Rheumatologist.

A year later and I still struggle to manage and adjust my life to living with Fibromyalgia. I currently take a concoction of medications; I take Cymbalta, Nortriptyline, 800mg Motrin, and Norco as needed. My medication has been changed multiple times since last year. This combo of medication, taken as needed, along with CBD oil, has been the best in managing my pain.

My message to anyone new to Fibromyalgia is never lose hope, it is easy to give up, but it is not easy to rise above. Do not let yourself be controlled by the illness.

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References:

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