Wednesday, November 07, 2007


About fifteen years ago, I started having strange sensations in my arms and legs, double vision, sundry weirdnesses. So, I went through a gazillion tests, mostly aimed at ruling out Multiple Sclerosis, ended up seeing a rheumotologist at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D. C. and he had no trouble at all diagnosing me with fibromyalgia. Well, that seemed rather a vague thing to me, and I was a busy teacher, and fed up with going to doctors for tests that were inconclusive, so I decided, "Oh, well!" and put the whole business in one of the junk drawers in my mind.

Then in 2000, I was diagnosed with heart disease, had open heart surgery and an endarectomy (spelled more or less correctly) and that became a prime time health concern. I eventually went on disability, in fact, because the root problem (tiny arteries) could not be surgically treated.

This past summer, my stomach made her debut as a leading player in health dramas. Again many tests, a cancer scare, and finally, I end up with a rheumotologist again! (Who happened to be black and I very nearly said, pleased and surprised, "Oh, wow, a black doctor in Panama City, Florida!") And lo, and behold, he diagnosed me, without hesitation, ordering blood tests, or any tests for that matter, with fibromyalgia and he said that I'd probably had it for a long time. Duh.

I said, "So it's a real thing?"
"It's real, he answered."
"You know, I've heard that before, but I honestly forgot."

He handed me a pamphlet, and it was all about me. I have heart disease, and I have fibromyalgia. That's it. I'm done. I know what is wrong, I can explain weird things about my body to myself or to anyone else who needs to know, and I can carry on. What a thing!


Martin Heavisides said...

I've posted a link to this on my blog. I hope there weren't any serious consequences to ignoring the original diagnosis so long. Best of luck coping.

Ginger said...

Isn't fibro a booger? It is taken so lightly (or not at all) by health care professionals and family members in general, yet it is a silent killer. It has killed the quality of my life, I know that.