Confusion set in when the severe cramps in my right thigh started to keep me up at night. I wondered what my body was doing and why it was doing it. Having no insurance at the time failed to help the issue at all. Trying to figure out what was happening to me and get some relief from the symptoms dominated my thinking.
Fear set in after the first clinic appointment. I was being asked questions about multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and several other autoimmune diseases. It seemed odd that they would even be asking me these questions since the pain seemed confined to my thigh. It was at that point fear set in.
The doctor’s assurance that it was a pinched nerve in the hip – miralgia paresthetica – only assured me for a little bit. Eventually the pain spread to other areas of the body and I knew something else was going on. I tried to seek other answers, but got told it was likely a meniscus tear. The doctor didn’t even admit she was wrong after the X-rays she ordered came back. I wondered if it might be one of those scarier diagnoses the first clinic had mentioned. At this point, I was still without insurance. Finally, I got insurance coverage back and saw my regular doctor. He said fibromyalgia.
At this point, I went through the anger and feeling sorry for myself stages. While I knew this was the best possible diagnosis for what was happening, it also meant he had let me know that I would likely have chronic pain for the rest of my life. I was angry. I wanted to lash out at others, and I was wallowing in pity. This was the most difficult stage for me to leave. I’m not proud of my behavior during this time. The misery I felt was something I wanted to share and spread around. With luck, this phase ended before it caused any permanent damage to some of my relationships
Eventually, I came out of this and realized whether I liked it or not – and I don’t – that I was going to have to live like this. The pain might be overwhelming at times, and I’ll have to put up with the depression and mood swings as they come. And this is where I find myself now. I’ve even come to the point where I recognize that doctors are not all-wise, all-knowing sages and have come to my own theories about what is wrong with me, even if I don’t think it’s wise to share them with my doctors. I don’t know if this is another part of the process, where you get more and more pieces of the puzzle until it finally all comes together, or if you’re just waiting for your body to show more positive signs of certain illnesses.
As it stands right now, I’m pretty sure I have some kind of connective tissue disorder, especially since the most persistent pains seem to be just above the elbows and just above the knees. The ankles have decided to join the game more permanently know as well. The fact is, I don’t know for sure, and I recognize that I could be wrong.
I don’t know what happens after this.