• Andrea Armstrong

Living With Fibromyalgia

Back in 2014 I was rushed into hospital after experiencing extreem pain in my abdomen, back and left leg. I had been suffering with Uterine Fibroids for over Ten years and therefore in my mind, this was what was causing these symptoms and at the time I was'nt feeling all that anxious about my admission.

During the first 24 hours, my left leg began to swell significantly and I was shocked to find that I could not walk on it. After receiving an Ultra Sound and MRI Scan, I was informed by the Gynaecology Consultant that the size of my Fibroids had grown so large that it was now impossible to treat and that I had no choice but to have an emergency Hysterectomy.

I was 35 years old and childless but one of the large Fibroids was pressing down on my groin and had affected the circulation in my leg, causing a significant Deep Vein Thrombosis. My leg had quadrupled in size and nearing rupture so I had to make a very swift decision to have the Hysterectomy.

I distictly remember requesting that if possible, during surgery could they please try and save some of my eggs which would give me the opportunity to have my own child one day but unfortunately, after 12 hours of surgery I was informed that none of my reproduction organs could be saved because unbeknown to me, I was also suffering with an extreem case of Endometriosis. After surgery I was eager to be discharged and try to come to terms with everything that had happened and ultimately get back on my feet but after my stitches were taken out, while taking a pee, my very large incision burst! Being a very squeamish person I was absolutely horrified! Because of the Theatre schedules I was forced to wait Four days to get my tummy re-sown and unfortunately during that time I developed a very serious infection and a Bowel Obstruction. At this point I thought I was going to die, but with the commitment of the Nurses (shout out to Liz Sunny) I slowly began to recover and after 5 weeks in hospital I was finally deemed well enough to be discharged.

Having always been a very positive, outgoing and happy person, I left that hospital ward feeling grateful for my life and determined not to dwell on the heartbreak, instead hit the ground running by returning to work and do lots of travelling. My aftercare was intense and my medication was copious, however, I really felt that I was well and truly on the road to recovery.

Three Months after discharge I was at home doing some chores and vividly remember an excruciating burning sensation in my back area, so much so that I fell to the floor. I was frightened and confused but managed to reach for my phone and call for an Ambulance. That was the first of many admissions, out patient appointments, tests, scans, pain managment clinics and group sessions that ultimately showed nothing that could be causing me such chronic pain. In the midst of all this I sank into a very desperate depression/anxiety episode and sleep deprivation. On the outside I looked fine and was sometimes made to feel like all these symptoms were all in my head which made me very angry!

Eventually my G.P refered me to the Rheumatologist (last year) and I received my appointment last April where I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I know I am not alone when I say that in one sense, I felt relieved to have a name to attach to my suffering but equally I was mortified by the fact that to date there is NO cure!

Over the last Four years I have gone from being an outgoing, hard working, adventurous, and bubbly person, to someone I hardly recognise. If you suffer with this condition you will know how debilitating it is. I have become isolated, lost friendships, missed out on countless family events because of being in perpetual pain with the flare ups or not wanting to get out of bed due to the symptoms of chronic depression and anxiety.

The main thing that overwhelms me is the no cure aspect of this condition. I feel like I have been given a life sentence and I simply refuse to come to terms with that. I have access to a wealth of medication but nothing helps anymore so I have been doing things to try and help myself such as Counselling, light exercise, healthy eating and Mindfullness.

I have written this Article in order to reach out to my fellow sufferers to say that you are not alone and to please hang in there. Be active in your recovery and do as much research as you can. I am sending love and hope to every single one of you and pray that one day you will get better. Below you will find some links of Charities and organizations that may be helpful to you.

I would love to hear your stories and share remedies with you. You can reach me at or

With love and service. xx


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