Fibromyalgia is an illness that is becoming more common, however, you would still be surprised at the number of people who actually don’t have any clue what it is. For those of you who don’t know, it is categorized by unexplained all over pain and tender points on certain areas of the body. Those of you who do have Fibro will know that the pain and sensitivity are not restricted to these certain points, however, and it is widespread.
Usually, to be given a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, you will have had repeat visits to your GP with a varying range of different problems and eventually referred to a Rheumatologist to make the diagnosis. This could take years in some cases, despite you suspecting it for a long time. You may feel that you are imagining it all! Unfortunately, that can be the nature of the beast.
IS IT TRIGGERED BY CHILDBIRTH?
I wonder this myself. With my third delivery, it was a prolonged delivery due to scarred cervical tissue from a previous cone biopsy. I was advised that this could be the case, however, didn’t pay it much thought. I was admitted to hospital on Wednesday night and was in painful labour for three days. And I mean extremely fucking painful labour. I was in so much pain and so exhausted when it was getting to the end of these three days that I begged for an epidural. As some of you may know, getting an epidural can take hours whilst you wait for the anesthetist and sign paperwork. It felt like forever.
I remember lying on the hospital bed, staring out of the window. Nobody was listening to me when I was telling them that I was in extreme pain. I’d given birth before! I knew the drill! This was something completely different. The midwife was middle-aged, clearly a very experienced midwife, however, her bedside manner was very abrupt and not very reassuring whatsoever. Which made it worse.
I’d had a bath, I’d been on the birthing ball. I’d been in the birthing pool with the gas and air. I’d been out of the birthing pool on the bed. I’d walked around. I’d done every activity imaginable to ease my pain and help get my baby out! But here I was, waters having broken all over the floor, finally in the ‘delivery room’ and I was crying my eyes out wondering, seriously, if I threw myself out of the window into the car park below, would they finally give me some fucking pain relief?!?! Would they take me seriously! This is not a joke. That was actually what I was thinking.
It finally came. Now for those of you who have had an epidural, you will appreciate and understand that within a few minutes you are almost out of pain and can relax again. Not in my case! I still had a severe amount of pain in my left-hand side. A little further down from my ribs. The midwife – the precious gatekeeper to the gas and air – decided I didn’t need anymore as I would be completely fine now after having had the epi! She even dared say to me that the pain I was feeling in my left-hand side was ‘imaginary pain’. Imaginary fucking pain!? And so I continued, yet more hours suffering from this pain that was all in my head apparently. Even more miserable.
I eventually gave birth to a healthy 8lb 12oz little girl who scored 10/10 on the Apgar score and took to the breast instantly. She was beautiful. I remember crying at one point asking my birthing partner how I would be able to love this baby who had caused me so much pain. That made me cry even more. The thought that this horrendous experience was going to ruin my relationship with my unborn daughter.
And as soon as she was born, the pain had gone. The love was there. She was perfect. I was taken up to a labour ward and left to recover and simply enjoy my baby undisturbed. I was fine.
I left the hospital on Saturday – after being admitted on Wednesday night!
THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE
It was after this labour I started to get ill with various problems and I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. This was three years ago now and I haven’t improved. I have only gotten worse. I do wonder seriously now, was it this agonizing labour that set the wheels in motion?
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Thank you for reading.