I thought I was going mad!

\"identity,

2001 was a long time ago but I remember thinking \"I shouldn\'t be in this much pain\" and \"I  shouldn\'t  be  this tired\". I felt like I\'d been run over by a bus.  I\'d just had my second baby,  Dan. My eldest child Morgan was 2 and a half years old. I was 28 and my friends  were all having babies, non of them seemed to feel like I  did.

I\'d  been a proper party girl, I  enjoyed a drink or two or three and I  never had a problem  getting up for work, even after a night out. Before I  had Dan I had worked as a staff nurse and would scurry around the ward like a well organised whirling  dervish. I was going places and I was a women on a mission.

I couldn\'t explain to people just how much pain I was in nor were there words to explain the tiredness.  Eventually  I  went to see my GP who asked me some questions and did some blood tests.  Of course her examination and the tests were completely  normal.  I\'m  pretty sure there was advice about diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol. I went back a few times after that, but I  got to the point where I thought I  was  wasting  both my time and my GPS time. She referred me for physiotherapy and was given exercises to do but this just seemed to exacerbate my symptoms. I  was taking co-codamol which helped my back pain but not much else. I tried Anti-inflammatories but these didn\'t help

By 2010 I  had started googling my symptoms. It took a while because  Internet connections were slow and our computer wasn\'t great.  By this time I  had been in constant pain and fatigue  for 10 years. The pain was affecting my lower back, hips, knees, shoulders and neck. I was having migraines and tension headaches.  Irritable  bowel syndrome was a regular problem. Getting  out of bed was the hardest thing ever. I was waking up feeling like I  hadn\'t  been to sleep despite sleeping quite well. I was dragging myself around work to the point I  felt sick and immediately  going to sleep as I  sat down, when I  got home. I didn\'t want to go out because I knew it would make my symptoms worse. By this time enough was enough.

I started suspecting FMS but thought, if it was, my GP would have surely  suspected this from the symptoms  I  had described, after all, it\'s supposedly  a common problem and my name does not have the title Dr.

The thing that changed everything was a page I read on a FMS forum or website. It suggested that it was my responsibility to get a diagnosis.  This was the turning point. I made an appointment  to see my GP again. I told her what I  suspected and asked for a referral to a specialist.  She agreed with my thinking and referred me to a rheumatologist who confirmed  the diagnosis by history and tender point criteria.

The sense of relief I  felt was immense. Despite having this horrible  condition, I  could  now tell my friends and family what the problem was and I  could do things myself which would help.

I wasn\'t  going mad!