Fibromyalgia warrior, Hayley Lindemer suffers from Fibromyalgia. Hayley has added her face and story to Faces & Stories of Fibromyalgia. I am so grateful that Hayley has shared this, as each story told raises awareness and helps fellow sufferers.
You can connect with Hayley Lindemer by following her on Instagram.
My story starts with being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia by a Rheumatologist early 2019, but as I’ve slowly figured out, I’ve probably experienced it on a lower level in my lower body for the last 15 years or so.
Back then, I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease in 8th grade, but every scan wouldn’t show nerve impingement that would cause the pain. So everyone had always chalked it up to swelling in my lower back putting pressure on my nerves to cause low level chronic pain.
Fast forward over a decade, and I was suddenly in immense pain all the time all over, began having problems with numbness and other neurological symptoms on top of the constant pain that just kept getting worse. I went to numerous specialists (Spine Specialists, a Spine Surgeon, a Neurosurgeon, Neurologists, a Rheumatologist, along with working with my GP through all of this too), but every test was coming back normal. Eventually I was referred to the right Neurological Clinic where a whole new slew of tests proved that my body was physically fine.
But with excruciating widespread pain along with a drop foot, balance problems, vision problems, chronic migraines, etc, they eventually diagnosed me with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). FND and Fibromyalgia a lot of times go hand in hand since FND means your brain and central nervous system aren’t sending and receiving signals correctly anymore.
It’s been an insane struggle to get diagnosed and start finding ways to cope, but I’ve found physical therapy with lots of stretches to keep me limber and massage therapy definitely helps the muscle spasms and stiffness some. I also take Gabapentin every day which takes the very edge off, but I’m still working on figuring out exactly what’s going to help me the most.
It’s a lot to cope with all at once, so it’s been a lot of trial and error so far. But I will say, the good days are now even more special and meaningful to me when they do occasionally pop up.