I haven’t really talked about my health story. I am not healthy. I am actually quite sick. I don’t like to dwell on it anymore. It can be depressing, and that isn’t good. I like to focus on the good, and my daily box of pills isn’t what I like to think about. But I do have a daily box of pills, a huge box of pills. And it drives everything about who I am and what I do. It’s the major reason for why we moved to the country and raise our food. It defines me.
And it defines a lot of people. A lot of people who don’t really know what’s wrong. And that’s why I’m going to write about it. So that you can understand what drives me, and so that others who suffer can get better. If they can’t get better, at least they can know why they are sick and might be able to do something to improve their lives.
I’ve been suffering since childhood, but when I was 19 I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I was always tired. My college roommates would drag me in to the health center because they were convinced that there was something wrong. And finally one of the docs diagnosed me, right before exams of my sophomore year. I was put on elavil, and that was it. I lived like that for 4 years.
A lot of you might know someone with Fibromyalgia. It’s becoming a common diagnosis. Chronic pain and chronic fatigue are only part of it. Depression and anxiety plague the mind, which in turn makes the doctors think that if you just took an antidepressant and exercised, that it would all go away. But it doesn’t.
My road from this diagnosis to my current one is a long one. It took at least 10 years for me to figure most of it out. But I did, and for those of you who have been diagnosed with this, you too can get better. Fibromyalgia isn’t some mysterious disease with no treatment. It’s endocrine disease that has been mis-diagnosed and not treated. There are real tests that give real answers with real medications that successfully treat this disease. There is no cure, but there is a very real treatment that can restore your quality of life. My diagnosis is pan hypopituitarism. Some people are hypopituitary, others have adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. The treatment is the same and the symptoms are the same, just the root cause is different.
The path from diagnosis to proper treatment is a difficult one. Most doctors don’t believe you. They’ve been taught one way to look at the tests and one way to treat it, and that doesn’t work. You have to fight for the right tests, fight for the right interpretation of those tests, and then fight even harder for the right medications. I found a doctor who gets it. There are truly only a handful in the world that really get it. There are more that get parts of it, and sometimes that’s enough. For me, I needed someone who understood the entire picture and is willing to trust me and work with me to figure it all out. It’s a complicated mess, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get all the pieces. But I try. Each day I try to figure out something else that’s wrong and correct it. Someday I’ll be better than today. But this is far better than before, and I have hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better than today, and that’s what I need to know to keep pushing forward.