I have received this email from a young woman with fibromyalgia and with permission have posted it.

I have been experiencing chronic muscle and joint pain and fatigue since 2005, at 15 years of age. I had stomach problems after every meal, every day and regular headaches.

For years I saw many different doctors, chiropractors, masseuses, naturopaths, dieticians, gynaecologists…, gastroenterologists and had many tests all of which came up with nothing.

As I started my first year of university the symptoms became worse and were almost unbearable, I struggled to study as I couldn’t sit down, I was always tired and sore and some days couldn’t even get myself out of bed.

My symptoms began to take over my life and I was losing hope as no one was able to give me any answers except that I ‘looked healthy’.

In December 2011 I saw a new doctor. He was the first doctor that actually listened to me and was able to tell me that my symptoms were real.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and in March 2012 as I live in the country, I spent a week in a Rehabilitation Centre.

I learnt about fibromyalgia and how to manage my pain.

I now do stretches and exercise everyday and implement all of the self management strategies I learnt.

It has been 3 months since I went to the Rehabilitation Centre and I am so much happier and healthier.

I rarely have the stomach problems I was experiencing before and I have more energy and am able to complete more activities. My flexibility has improved and the constant pain has decreased, a result I never thought could happen!

Renee- May 2012