Feb 13, 2016

The Fears of Fibromyalgia

Today I'm having a guest blogger and the very fist one on my little blog. Jenna and I have known one another since middle school and a few months ago her life turned pretty grim. I asked her to share her story with you all in case you know someone or may be having certain symptoms like hers. I urge you not to make mean or rude comments because it was tough for her to write so if you are going to comment, please be mindful. It's a sensitive topic.

Caitlin and I grew up going to Junior High together, realizing at this point and time that we were both premature infants. We created an instant bond of friendship that has tied us together ever since, though our lives have crossed in different directions and even headed down different roads. I want to thank Caitlin personally for allowing me the opportunity to share my story and create awareness to the outside public. 
 My name is Jenna Hafft-Larkin. My husband Ryan and I recently celebrated one year of marriage back in December.  We live in a quite, West-Chicago Suburb, called Bartlett with our two fur babies, FrenchÍ & Briè.  I currently work as a part-time Event Manager for a Country Club in Southern Illinois and about 6-months ago, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a chronic illness, associated with immune deficiency, and severe joint pain.  My life has taken on a large transition. 

Clinical Definition of Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
  • Pain
  • The pain of fibromyalgia is profound, chronic and widespread. It can migrate to all parts of the body and vary in intensity. FM pain has been described as stabbing and shooting pain, with deep muscular aching, throbbing, and twitching. Neurological complaints such as numbness, tingling, and burning are often present and add to the discomfort of the person with fibromyalgia. The severity of the pain and stiffness is often worse in the morning. Aggravating factors that affect pain include cold/humid weather, non-restorative sleep, physical and mental fatigue, excessive physical activity, physical inactivity, anxiety and stress.
  • Fatigue
  • In today's world many people complain of fatigue; however, the fatigue of FM is much more than being tired after a particularly busy day or after a sleepless night. The fatigue of FM is an all-encompassing exhaustion that can interfere with occupational, personal, social or educational activities. Symptoms include profound exhaustion and poor stamina.
  • Sleep problems
  • Many people with fibromyalgia have an associated sleep disorder that prevents them from achieving deep, restful, restorative sleep. Medical researchers have documented specific and distinctive abnormalities in the Stage 4 deep sleep of FM patients. During sleep, individuals with FM are constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity, limiting the amount of time they spend in deep sleep.
  • Other signs, symptoms, and overlapping conditions
  • Additional symptoms may include: irritable bowel and bladder, headaches and migraines, restless legs syndrome (periodic limb movement disorder), impaired memory and concentration, skin sensitivities and rashes, dry eyes and mouth, anxiety, depression, ringing in the ears, dizziness, vision problems, Raynaud's Syndrome, neurological symptoms, and impaired coordination.  (For a more complete list of overlapping conditions, please see http://www.fmcpaware.org/overlapping-conditions.html.)

Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
My life and Fibromyalgia:  Since my junior year of college, dating back to 2007/2008 I began contracting extremely severe Urinary Track Infections, with several visits to the Emergency Room, rounds of medication, and kidney pain, this was just the start of the early stages of diagnosis.  As time went on, the symptoms would come and go, I was referred to a Urologist, who diagnosed me with Interstitial Cystitis, chronic inflammation of the bladder.  With a diagnosis being discovered I was hopeful that by minor changes in my diet; my symptoms would disappear.  Looking back now into 2010, 2011 and so forth, my bladder infections continued to affect my body, and now I was starting to experience chronic joint pains in my knees.  For years, I visited Orthopedic doctors, I did physical therapy treatments, and all that was released was that the cartilage in my joints was no longer there.  It has been worn down from years of gymnastics and cheerleading, and well I was far to young to be discussing knee-replacement.  Rolling into 2013, after a heavy-hearted breakup, emotional abuse from previous relationships, and some more familiar and close than I imagined, I went into a Stage 3 depression.  I could barely get out of bed in the morning, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, I knew I needed help. Depression, trauma, stress, additional symptoms that correspond with Fibromyalgia. 
In early 2014, as I began preparing for a destination wedding, I began having significant digestion problems. I was constantly getting sick from foods I would eat on a normal basis, I was working out heavily, with hopes of losing weight for my wedding, I was working full time, and losing energy fast.  By the end of 2014, 3 months leading up to my wedding, I again went back into physical therapy this time due to back spasms and neck pain. As my husband and I wed, we said, "I do," we escaped into the Jamaican sunset on our honeymoon, I was not prepared for what would come.  
Shortly after a business trip from San Diego, I came down with a violent spell of nausea and bowel problems. I lost my appetite, and I couldn't keep an ounce of food down, one way or the other.  I had no energy, I could barely get out of bed. I spent two weeks between physicians until I was finally sent to a specialist, where they conducted a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. Remember, I'm only 29.  This specialist  was able to conclude, 7 years after the fact, that I had IBS, or what is known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, another dormant symptom of Fibromyalgia.  But this wasn't the end, between June and August of 2015, I lost approximately 12-pounds, I was still barely keeping food down, I had little to know energy, and I started having tremors in my legs and arms, I was becoming fatigued, along with having insomnia, I was going weeks without more than hour or 2 of sleep, if I was lucky, I couldn't explain what was happening, but I knew I needed answers.  
Mid-August 2015, after significant testing my physician did what is known as a "tremor point" scan.  This is 12-points (joints) within the body that when pressure is applied cause pain.  All 12-had been pinpointed.  I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and all the years and diagnosis before me, were all clear symptoms leading up too and cause of my Fibromyalgia.  My life was about to take a drastic turn. 
Starting in September, I began a series of medication therapy, I went through several weeks of insomnia, upset stomach, and depression.  In Mid-November I was finally set on a routine medication treatment program, today, I currently take 10-12 different medications a day.  My physician explained, that my full-time job was no longer and option, and going from being a well-know manager within the Disaster Recovery Industry, I went to a large salary decrease, to taking a part-time job, where if needed I could work at home on flare days.  With just the following two adjustments to my life, my husband and I had just been together 1-year, we just bought a new house, we have friends getting married, and vacations made, much of this has led to lost friendships, pushing back trips, and supplementing where our incomes can go and to what? Not to mention my sweet, husband, just took on a wife with a Chronic Illness, that one I barely understood, and one that to this day he doesn't get, and that he will live with for the rest of his life.  
Fibromyalgia symptoms: 
As the new year has approached, I have had to significantly look into the effects of Fibromyalgia on the human body and what to do when it comes to the future.  Living in Chicago with winter winds that lead to negative temperatures can guarantee days in bed, significant joint pain, and stiffness. Netflix and hot baths have become a daily ritual during the tough days.  Simple tasks, such as blow drying my hair, doing a load of laundry, walking up flights of stairs, can take a week's worth of energy away from me, so switching tasks and asking more of my husband after his 8 to 9 hour work day are now common.  My social scene has diminished, I can't stay out past normally 8 pm because my body is significantly drained and in need of sleep, I can't drink due to the amount of medications I am on, so typically, I am a pretty boring socialite.  My main group of friends have helped in having early dinners, game nights, or even just movie nights.  The extra company, positivity, and extra time they take is truly a blessing.  I've gained back the weight I lost, and it is significantly difficult to lose now that I have to limit myself to "no impact" activities."  Small walks, gentle yoga, and simple stretching are helpful.  With Fibro I've accrued Fibro Fog, the loss of short-term memory, I have TMJ, pain that can come on almost instantly between my neck and lower-jaw bones, I have severe migraines from severe temperature change, as well as tremors that keep me up at night (a spasm of shaking that last for hours within the legs and arms).  The intimacy between my husband and I has become increasingly less, I have severe pain in my sacrum and pelvic area, making sex very painful and at times unbearable. Not having the ability to give my husband the affection and love he deserves is very difficult for me to handle; and it can cause a lot of frustration within a marriage; when satisfaction is no longer guaranteed.  As I work with my physicians on the conditions of building a family, the hardships grow more intense, the transition of medication is difficult, bed rest during the 1st and 3rd trimester is critical, with miscarriage being so high.  This is just a small portion of the daily struggles associated with Fibro. 

The most difficult is that Fibro patients, never truly look sick.  We dress the same, look the same, smile the same, and we usually don't in fact look sick.  Underneath it all, if you were to view our bodies you would see flare lights in tremor points, notice significant shaking when standing still, and would only know may the individual discuss the condition with another. There is no true cure for individuals suffering with Fibromyalgia. Which makes this type of disease so emotional causing such great depression in its victims.  
In all of a matter of days, I realized I would never work full-time again, that I could no longer support my family the way I use too, that child-bearing already being difficult would be such a challenge, that friends simply wouldn't understand, that communication and intimacy with my new husband would drastically subside, that my family, my parents, might have to help with over-coming the insane amount of medical bills that pile up on my counter weekly.  That if I do have a child a caretaker will be needed.  That living in a cold environment makes me feel brittle and many times useless.  That a once motivated, positive person, could have their life so impacted.  That working out would become more of a struggle and a choice rather than an option, that my entire diet would be affected and need to change, that I completely forget what I did just yesterday. Having an immune deficiency disease causes lack of immunity, so when I develop a cold or flu, it takes longer for my body to overcome the infection that the average person, making my Fibro symptoms worse. On average I see my physician about once a month for constant follow-ups on my medication.  I see a massage specialist once or twice a week for joint therapy, I see a Pain Management physician who controls my pain levels through holistic practices and helps with my nutrition, and I see my OBGYN for constant updates on fertility and updated Fibro treatments during pregnancy.  This is simply just a rough overview of the life I am now living and trying to cope with, there is still a long way to go. 
Fibro is a disease that people need to be aware of, that individuals need to support, read, learn, and encourage individuals to share their stories, and love someone who has this chronic disease, you would be surprise how far that love can travel. 
For more information regarding Fibromyalgia Awareness visit: http://www.fmcpaware.org/symptoms
Questions, Comments, on my story I can be reached by email at: jjhafft@gmail.com, linked on IG MrsJLark #fibrofighter. 

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  1. Oh my goodness I am so so sorry to hear the pain and struggle you are going through. If you need someone to talk to I'm here! Keep you head up and try to stay as positive as you can through this. Remember God ha a plan even though we may not see it or understand it.

  2. Oh JENNA! I had no idea! I'm really glad you were able to get a diagnosis, although it took a long, long time. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. Keep your head up and keep moving along :)

  3. I love the idea of giving your back pain a name. I’ve tried this and I find that when I tell my back to stop acting up, it seems to work. I go through my day now telling Jacob to stop because he’s hurting me, and for some reason it feels like the pain just disappears for a while.

    my son have been a patient of fibromyalgia . I had tried a lot of anti viral med prescribed to me by doctors over how many years now but I could not see any improvements in my son symptoms. One day while going through the internet , i got to know about this great Herbal Dr who uses his herbal remedies in curing people from fibromyalgia ,quickly i contacted him and he prepared a herbal medication for my son which i received and he used it as instructed by Dr Williams. After few weeks the improvement were very visible. the chronic muscle pain and the tightness of the joint stopped, I would really recommend this to all my friends,families,around the globe suffering from fibromyalgia. you can contact him through his email on drwilliams098675@gmail.com.for advice and for his product ,his a good man and am very happy to give this testimony.

  5. I think I've had fibromyalgia for many years but was diagnosed approximately 10 years ago. I was working at Walmart and was just exhausted. Not the tiredness that sleep helps. I mean totally exhausted, with muscle pain. My primary doctor diagnosed fibromyalgia. I couldn't move my right arm with out getting a lot of pain. I was taking Lyrica, it helps but I still have to be careful not to over do things. I was trying to have a child-don't know if I'll be able to do it! I lost touch with reality.I started on Health Herbal Clinic Fibromyalgia Disease Herbal formula treatment in September 2016, i read alot of positive reviews on their success rate treating Fibromyalgia disease through their Fibromyalgia Herbal formula and i immediately started on the treatment. Just 7 weeks into the Herbal formula treatment I had great improvements, my right hand pain seized and the stiffed, rigid muscle had succumbed. I am unbelievably back on my feet, this is a breakthrough for all Fibromyalgia sufferers, visit Health Herbal Clinic official website www. healthherbalclinic. net or email info@ healthherbalclinic. net.

    my son have been a patient of fibromyalgia . I had tried a lot of anti viral med prescribed to me by doctors over how many years now but I could not see any improvements in my son symptoms. One day while going through the internet , i got to know about this great Herbal Dr who uses his herbal remedies in curing people from fibromyalgia ,quickly i contacted him and he prepared a herbal medication for my son which i received and he used it as instructed by Dr Williams. After few weeks the improvement were very visible. the chronic muscle pain and the tightness of the joint stopped, I would really recommend this to all my friends,families,around the globe suffering from fibromyalgia. you can contact him through his email on drwilliams098675@gmail.com.for advice and for his product ,his a good man and am very happy to give this testimony.

    My daughter suffered from fibromyalgia for more than 12 years which we started experiencing in her when she turned 8 year and 5 months we all thought it will end but got even worse as days went by. We tried all several treatments and therapy prescribed by various doctors we met but to no avail, she always complain of joint stiffness, and have difficulty falling asleep. She usually tells me she feeling tired. This were steady disorder that disrupted her entire life, even at night she slept less because of this.It was during a casual conversation with a friend that i learned about Dr Williams herbal medicine I was able to contact him on his email address. and give him all the necessary information that he needed,few day later he sent me the herbal portion and his medicine was able to restore her back to normal and she is very okay now without any side effects whatsoever. If you have fibromyalgia, do not hesitate to contact him on drwilliams098675@gmail.com for advice and for his product. I hope this also helps someone out there

  8. Dear FRIENDS,
    now i have a beautiful smiling face and so are which you all, after reading my testimony. My name is Nita, I am 31 years old,
    And live with my boyfriend in Belgium, but I am UK. I have been diagnosed with Fibromalgia since 2012, which the Doctors told me this condition was forever. I know how you feel and what you are going through, I don't have a baby though. I just want to tell you that I am cured now,with the help of doctor Williams herbal medication, the last time I can remember having Fibromalgia was October this year. It was a long and difficult process but I am so thankful to dr williams I don't have it anymore. Please know you can be cured too. Accept what happened and is happening to you, forgive, let the past go, love yourself and others unconditionally and be thankful. Everything happens for a reason. If you want to be in contact with dr williams and share your own testimony and thoughts feel free to e-mail him on; drwilliams098675@gmail.com for advice and for his product.

  9. My husband left me with 3 Children and went to stay with his Mistress whom i felt use a spell on him, I felt like ending it all, i almost committed suicide because he left us with nothing, i was emotionally down. But all thanks goes to Baba Alika, who i met online on one faithful day, as I was searching for tips to get my husband back home, I came across several testimonies about this particular man. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he help them to get pregnant,cure herpes simplex virus,and other sickness, and some testified that he prayed to stop divorce. He is amazing, i also come across one particular testimony, it was about a woman called Angeline, she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped his email (babaalikahealinghome@gmail.com) After reading all these testimonies, I decided to give it a try. I contacted him and explained my problem to him. In just 48 hours, my husband came back to me. We resolved our issues, and we are even happier than ever. Baba Alika you are a gifted man and thank you for everything you had done in my life. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster, Try him anytime, he is the answer to your problems. you can contact him on email: babaalikahealinghome@gmail.com. he will surely help you solve your problem.

  10. What a great and inspiring story! I was married for seven years without any child, because of this my husband start acting strange, coming home lately and not spending time with me any more and he divorced me. So i became very sad and lost in life because my doctor told me there is no way for me to get pregnant this really make life miserable for me. until i came across a friend who told me about Baba Alika from the Internet, how he has helped a lot of women with this similar problems that i am going through so i contacted him on: (babaalikahealinghome@yahoo.com) and explained to him. he told me all what to provide before he could cast a reunite spell to bring back my husband which i did and he sent a powerful prayer which i had to say at mid night while he cast the love spell. It was a miracle, 24 hours later my one and only husband came back to me and apologize for all he has done and told me he is fully ready to support me in any thing i want,i quickly call Baba Alika and told him what was going on at that moment, and he also prepared and sent me a herbal medicine which he said it will cure every unwanted diseases or infections that has been stopping me from conceiving then instructed me on how to use it before meeting with my husband. Behold after using this native herbs and root, few weeks later i started feeling pregnancy signs all over me, truly i was pregnant i just gave birth to twins (boys) on the 1st of this month. I Vow to let the whole world know about Baba Alika for saving my relationship and for also giving me children i can proudly call my own today. For any woman who think it impossible, here is an opportunity for you to smile and bring happiness to your family kindly contact Baba Alika via Email on: (babaalikahealinghome@yahoo.com). Indeed, he is a God sent to bring back lost lovers and bring you happiness...

  11. I have been suffering from (HERPES) disease for the last four years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. During the first year, I had faith in God that I would be healed someday.This disease started to circulate all over my body and I have been taking treatment from my doctor, a few weeks ago I came on search on the internet if I could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search I saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from (Hepatitis B and Cancer) by this Man Dr. Silver and she also gave the email address of this man and advise we should contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so I wrote to Dr. Silver telling him about my (HERPES Virus) he told me not to worry that I was going to be cured!! hmm i never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later I started experiencing changes all over me as the Dr. assured me that I have cured, after some time i went to my doctor to confirmed if I have been finally healed behold it was TRUE, So friends my advice is if you have such sickness or any other at all you can email Dr. Silver (drsilverhealingtemple@gmail.com) sir I am indeed grateful for the help I will forever recommend you to my friends!!! with your lovely Email Address ( drsilverhealingtemple@gmail.com


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