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.
- 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.
- 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.)