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If you think there is little information about fibromyalgia and other painful chronic illnesses now, imagine what it was like 18 years ago!!
My fibromyalgia diagnosis answered the question of what was responsible for my muscle aches and nerve pain. But that was not enough to prepare me for living with this cruel chronic condition.
What I really needed was a fibromyalgia diagnosis checklist filled with information that would help me live better. Information that would support and empower me as I struggled physically and mentally to function and understand what was going on with my body.
With that said, here are 30 things I would include on a fibromyalgia diagnosis new patient checklist.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article should be mistaken for medical advice…
Fibromyalgia Diagnosis Checklist
- There is no cure!!!
- The pain never ends. You can reduce it but not stop it from ever returning.
- Fibromyalgia is REAL!
- It can be difficult finding a doctor willing to treat fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that overlap a variety of other chronic illnesses. Be sure to have them ruled out! Here are two symptoms shared between fibro and autoimmune arthritis that are alike, but yet not!
- It is not uncommon for doctors to blame your fibromyalgia diagnosis when they cannot easily figure out the source of your pain. Always demand testing if you suspect something else is at play!!!
- Not everyone experiences the same symptoms or to the same degree.
- Do not hesitate or feel embarrassed to discuss symptoms with your doctor.
- Everyone flares differently. That does not mean that one person has it easier than another.
Fibromyalgia Diagnosis Checklist For Mental Health Care
- Family and friends will get tired of you being “sick”.
- Therapy can help you deal with the greiving process and never ending rollercoaster of emotions that accompany life with fibromyalgia.
- Limiting stress is a must!!
- Fibro fog is real and can make you feel like you are losing your mind.
- People will blame you for flares that inconvience them. Do not listen to them!
- Fibromyalgia is not a mental health condition. With that said, pain and debilitating symptoms may trigger depression and anxiety.
Fibromyalgia Treatment Options
- Not all doctors recognize fibromyalgia as a medical condition or are willing to treat it.
- Finding a physician who will prescribe pain relieving medications is harder than it has ever been. Beware of those who tell you to keep searching for a doctor who will, because your insurance provider will see it as shopping for drugs.
- There are a variety of prescription medications available to treat symptoms.
- Again, NOT a CURE, but there are also many natural and alternative types of pain relief options available. Cannabis is one and PEMF therapy is another.
- Your pain and condition treatment plan will consist of many products, treatments, and therapies. There is NO one magic pill or device.
- Mobility aids can help reduce pain and make getting out easier.
- Making dietary changes may reduce the symptoms and severity of your pain.
- Exercising is good when you find a form that doesn’t trigger a flare and is done in moderation.
- Fibromyalgia treatments, therapies, medications, and lifestyle changes can get very expensive. You may have to fight with your insurance to have some things covered.
- Untreated symptoms and pain may decrease or end your ability to work.
- Getting approved for disability is a long and exhausting process. Do not put it off in hopes of getting better if fibromyalgia is preventing you from working.
Fibromyalgia Diagnosis Checklist For Self Care
- Accept that flare days are going to happen. Even with the best of care plans, flares still occur. They are not a form of punishment, but instead your body demanding the rest it needs.
- Listening to your body, modifying activities, and caring for your physical and mental health is NOT SELFISH, it is necessary!
- Napping becomes a way of life.
- Be gracious and patient with your body. New symptoms or other health issues may complicate your life at any moment.
This is just the beginning of my fibromyalgia diagnosis checklist. There are so many more things a newly diagnosed patient should be made aware of or warned about. But I will stop here for today.
Just remember that your fibromyalgia diagnosis is real. Contrary to what others say, you didn’t imagine it, nor can it be wished away!
Join support groups like my own for encouragement and everyday fibro life hacks!