Kelly Smith

 It was July of 1994 when my life was changed forever. Prior to fibromyalgia I trained & participated in triathlons. I was in the gym working out and noticed my left shoulder was weak and had an unusual pain. I went to see a sports medicine Dr. who informed me I had torn my bicep muscle and I would need surgery to repair it. Seemed simple enough. When I went back for my follow up appointments I kept telling him I felt like I had the flu. I was reassured that it was just the anesthesia and it had to "metabolized thru my fat cells". Being an R.N it made no sense to me but what choice did I have. For 3 long months I lived with unimaginal  pain, sleep deprivation, and unable to perform activities of daily living. Thru my employer I had an AFLAC disability insurance which came in handy. I started keeping a journal and begun the process of finding a Dr. to hopefully help me. Lucky for me after only 5 Dr.'s I hit the jackpot. He read only 2-3 day
s of my journal and told me I had fibromyalgia. I replied with WHAT ? He began the process of writing prescriptions telling me that I would need to try more than a few and also play with the dosage's to find the right combinations. Thankfully after a total of six months I was overjoyed and able to return to work part-time. I am one of the Lucky ones who just happened upon a well educated and empathetic neurologist. Unfortunately I am now 100 percent disabled due to a progressive muscular dystrophy called oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy. Aside from multiple overlapping symptoms like limb weakness and fatigue it also causes difficulty swallowing and drooping of my eyelids. Nonetheless I am grateful for so much. I have an amazing husband, 3 close friends, & two dogs that bring a lot of love and laughter to my life.
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