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Tips, Information, and Insights from the WebMD Fibromyalgia Community

WebMD Fibromyalgia Community: Accepting Fibromyalgia

When you're diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it can be difficult to accept that you'll have to live with fibromyalgia for the rest of your life. It’s hard to cope with knowing that on some days you may not be able to complete even the simplest, everyday tasks.

That’s how one grandmother in WebMD’s fibromyalgia community feels. “I was diagnosed about one year ago. I am still trying to ignore that everything I have read says fibromyalgia is going to be with me for life and has no cure. I can’t cope with that yet,” she says. She is used to being the one who does everything for her family. “Now it’s just hard to finish my normal daily functions.” She’s also used to remembering everything in the family and doesn’t like the way fibromyalgia often makes her mind feel foggy. “I hate the ‘mind fog.’ It’s like you are separated by a real barrier (like a curtain) from retrieving things from your mind,” she says.

She notes sometimes the fibromyalgia pain goes away and then she stops taking her medication, thinking, “it's finally over, I can be the person I was.” But when the pain returns after a few weeks, she feels even more depressed. Her husband thinks she's just experiencing the normal aches and pains of getting older and she needs to learn how to deal with it. She's looking for suggestions on how to accept fibromyalgia and how to explain the condition to her husband and family.

One woman suggests taking her husband along on visits to the doctor, so the doctor can help explain fibromyalgia to him.

Another community member agrees that taking family members to appointments can be helpful. “My son goes to doctor appointments with me and hears what they say, so he has a much better understanding now,” she says. She also suggests asking family members and friends to read the fibromyalgia community boards. “I had a friend do that and she understands fibromyalgia a lot better now,” she says. She also mentions that it’s important to give medications and other treatments time to work -- anywhere from six to eight weeks. She says that people with fibromyalgia often need to keep trying different treatments until they find what works best for them.

Another woman says she experienced a similar time of depression after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  “I personally went through a grieving time, where I was mourning the person I used to be and just wanted my old self back,” she says. But over time, she has learned to come to terms with fibromyalgia. She says that things have gotten better for her and that her medicine helps her cope. She adds that going though periods of feeling better is normal. “We have flares where we hurt more than usual. Then like you say, we might feel better and think that we’re ‘healed,’ or maybe we didn’t really have it after all,” she says. “Continue reading here to learn how others cope,” she suggests.

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