Living with chronic pain: A user’s story

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In line with Fibromyalgia Awareness Week, one of our users has agreed to share her story of dealing with chronic pain, the struggles of reaching a diagnosis and how it has affected her life from a very young age.

This is Hollie’s story…

“Pain is one of those things that as much as it can be manageable, it still sucks! Being in chronic pain is frustrating, testing and can be very lonely. Sometimes you want to be able to project that pain on to another, just so they can feel what you’re feeling every day – and you wish you were able to do exactly that when sat in the doctor’s room, not being taken seriously, for the umpteenth time.

From a young age, I’ve felt pain, and it always seemed that it was more frequent and more powerful than any friends the same age would feel. From growing pains to numerous infections and a B12 deficiency, the doctors never really seemed to take me and my complaints seriously. I was told that the ‘growing pains’ would pass and that it was normal for my age. I was told that ‘Oh, you just seem to get sick a lot’ and that there was nothing else going on.

It always felt that nobody ever took the time to really look at me and my symptoms, that all of my pains were brushed under the carpet and either put down to being younger and still growing, or that it was my weight (which at the time, wasn’t much more than puppy fat!)

For years I’ve suffered with pains in my legs and arms, not being able to explain why I’m awake and crying in the middle of the night with cramps that feel like I’m going to fall apart, or why I feel pain differently to most.

After years of putting up with the pain, one day I snapped. I booked another appointment with the doctor and begged them to take me seriously. That was when they finally did and referred me to a consultant who actually took the time to look at my body, ask me about my symptoms and see what was going on.

Turns out I have hypermobility – which is most of the reason for my pain. I’m trying to deal with that and correct the way I stand, sit, and do everyday tasks; however, it still doesn’t feel like this is the final diagnosis for me as I know there is a strong possibility I’m also suffering from fibromyalgia, which is notoriously difficult to diagnose. I’m still seeing the consultant and hope that they do continue to take me seriously and give me the help and treatments I so desperately need.

The Evergreen Life App

I’ve been given painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets and the good thing about finding the Evergreen Life App is that I get to record my condition and keep the information up to date as it’s still being investigated. I get to log my medication and when I’ve taken it and have it remind me in case I forget. It’s a great App that means I can manage my symptoms, my medication and use the documents manager to keep track of the information from my appointments with my physiotherapist and my consultant.

Hopefully, I’ll have a full diagnosis soon to explain all of my symptoms, and be able to continue using the App to help me manage whatever comes my way.”

You can find out more about fibromyalgia including diagnosis, symptoms and treatments through the NHS website HERE.

*Editor’s Note: A few weeks after the release of this article Hollie was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia by a specialist. She is currently reviewing treatments and continues to use the Evergreen Life app to keep track of her health.

As well as recording information about your own condition, the Evergreen Life app allows you to link to your GP record so you can access additional information about medications, appointments and consultations.

Written by
Evergreen Life

Article updated:
September 7, 2016
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