10 Aug Voices of Fibro-AnaMary Diaz
My name is Anamary Diaz, and I currently live in Manhattan, New York. I am not married but I am in a ten-year relationship. I have two adult sons and two grandsons’. I enjoy traveling, working out, and spending time with my grandson’s.
I had a very difficult childhood, I was molested as a child by several people, I survived being electrocuted at the age of two, and suffered burns to my back at the age of five when a stove tipped over spilling its hot contents on my back.
I first realized there was something wrong about five years ago. I had this persistent pain in one leg and I kept getting this shooting pain from my neck to the back of my head. I went to several doctors, had several exams, and finally I was diagnosed. Soon after many other symptoms followed.
I did not want to make any changes when I was first diagnosed, but I was forced to slow down many activities, and started regulating my workouts at the gym, and tried my best to get to bed early because for me, getting rest helps. I am almost always in pain or suffering from soreness, skin sensitivity, and many other things.
I have had to make some changes, such as, I had to start taking different medications, until my doctor found what worked better for me, since one of the first meds I was on, messed with my vision, and others messed with my stomach lining. I try to work out at least three times a week, because I feel that staying active really helps, although there’s days that my energy levels are just not there.
Unfortunately, there are not too many people who have done research to understand what I have, and how it affects my daily life. My mom is my number one supporter, and there are others close to me as well, that try to understand, and help with my stress, which is a trigger to pain, but there are also those who don’t understand or care to, so I just alienated myself from those people. I will continue to remove people from my life, whether blood related or not, if you are not concerned about my health, then I don’t need to have you in my already small circle.
The most challenging aspect of fibro, for me, would be the fatigue, since it prevents me from doing a lot. There’s days that I have a high tolerance for pain, and the days that I don’t. I take my meds and try to get as much rest as possible.
I do suffer from both anxiety and depression, and take medication to help keep me balanced, although there are days that I feel I am losing control and faith, those are the times when I feel like nothing works.
As far as being open about my illness & symptoms, I hate to complain, because I know it can be annoying to hear someone talk about how much pain they are in daily, so I keep it to a minimum. If it’s bad, I share it with those that I know are going to be caring and understanding, but I don’t share with people who have either taken my health lightly, or just ignored my condition. I hate to hear that it will get better, when I know it’s not going to get better because there is no cure. So, I find that I get less annoyed if I keep it to myself, but it still affects me, because now I’m resentful towards those who are not understanding and that usually causes some bad flare ups.
Besides Fibro, I have been diagnosed with Lupus, which is currently in remission, and Pernicious Anemia, which I have I take monthly B12 shots for.
I can’t think of the best advice I would give anyone regarding Fibromyalgia which has felt helpful for me. Nothing anyone says is going to remove the pain that I suffer from twenty-four hours a day. I manage my fibro with medication and medical marijuana, and like I mentioned above, I try to keep away from people who are not understanding.
I am inspired by the people in the FCSA, which is made up of mostly strong women willing to fight and bring awareness. There are some who have other illnesses coupled with the Fibromyalgia, and they refuse to give up, so that is encouraging.
My biggest battle is the pain I deal with daily, but the biggest is putting on a brave face, getting up and going to work, and trying to keep up with my daily responsibilities, and finally, battling the brain fog, which makes me feel dumb if I’m having a conversation, and lose my train of thoughts. I often have a hard time understanding what others are trying to tell me, which makes me panic and makes the condition worse. I want to scream at the top of my lungs, I’m not dumb, I just have no control over this illness that has taken over me.
The best thing that has happened to me due to my illness, was finding out that I had Lupus and being able to treat it, and the worse thing is having to deal with ignorant selfish people.
Honestly taking it one day at a time, is how I balance my illness in my personal and professional life, there is no other way. I must work, I currently work full time for a nonprofit org as a case associate. I am not at the point in my life where I just want to give up or give in to it. I come to work and try to keep my misery out of it, and when I don’t feel well I just stay home, which has taken most of my vacation and sick time, but there are no other options for me right now.
My words of encouragement for others who are living with Fibro are to try to find a doctor who is caring and believes in your pain, and work with him in finding medication that can help you control some of the pain, because right now, there is nothing that take it all away. Continue fighting, and don’t give up, we have people who need us and depend on us, so we must find a way to fight to continue living. And last join the FCSA, help us spread the word, and know that you are not alone.
The thing I have most learned about myself since my diagnosis is that “I am a fighter, and stubborn, and that has helped me not submit to the illness. That I do have people who love me and need me to get better. So, it helps, to stay fighting when you know you are also doing it because others care too.”
For the newly diagnosed, I would say to find a good doctor, then find what meds work for you, and control who you have around you. For those seeking a diagnosis, don’t give up, and I know it is easier said than done, but know that you are not alone and that there are others worse off, so if they can continue to fight, then you can too.
I would like people to know and understand that this condition is real and it’s depressing- please be supportive. If you find that you can’t be of any help to that person suffering from Fibro, then remove yourself from their lives, and spare them further pain.
I am involved in raising awareness, I am part of the Fibromyalgia Care Society of America and serve as a committee member for their annual awareness walks-Caterpillar Walk. I have been raising awareness for about four years now.
I am a Fibro warrior because I don’t give up, when everything in me tells me to give up, I continue to make myself function. I have two grandsons who I love dearly, and one look at them, tells me that my life is important and worth fighting for. I am a warrior because when the thoughts of suicide start going through my head, those kids remind me that I can’t do that to them or my family. I will continue to be a warrior and, on the days, when I feel less then, I am not afraid or ashamed to just say to someone close to me, that I want to give up, that I am down or in pain. I find people who care and listen and want to help me make it through the flare.