20 Jul Voices of Fibro-Francisco Martinez Jr.
My name is Francisco Martinez, Jr., and I am from Newark, NJ. Some basic things about my life are that I am a U.S. Marine, my dogs are my kids and I enjoy music, working out, adventure/exploring/traveling.
I first realized there was something different about my health somewhere between February and March of 2017. I was diagnosed in September of 2017, at the age of 22.
Fibro has changed my life significantly because I cannot stay or perform on Active Duty. I have had to make certain changes in my life, such as, diet, exercise, work management, stress management and sleep. The most challenging aspect of Fibro is waking up with a flare and getting through the day. Besides Fibro, I have depression and chronic back spasms.
My family is very understanding, because my mother has Fibro. They comforted me through my initial diagnosis. I am open with everyone close to me, they are all aware of my diagnosis.
The best advice I have received regarding Fibromyalgia is “I have Fibromyalgia, it does not have me”. I manage my Fibromyalgia by cursing it out every night before I go to sleep… lol… Just kidding. I manage fibromyalgia through humor, meditation and self-care.
How I confront my Fibro is that I don’t look at anything as a battle, I approach them as obstacles that I can overcome. The best thing that has happened to me due to my illness, is that I learned to slow down. I balance my personal and professional life by understanding my limits, and while I strive to work past them, I have also learned to accept them.
I am disabled according to the military. I know Fibromyalgia can cause depression and anxiety, I have struggled with these in the past. I keep my mental health balanced, remembering that each day is a new day, a new start, a new chance at life.
My words of encouragement for others who are living with fibro are “You do not suffer from Fibro, you live with Fibro. You do more with less and that shows your true strength”
The one thing I have learned about myself since my diagnosis is that nothing will hold me down from achieving what I have set out for myself.
The most important piece of advice I can give to someone newly diagnosed with Fibro is that “This is not the end”. I would tell everyone to continue kicking ass each day.