Living with Fibromyalgia Written by Rachel Knee
Rachel and I first met at university sharing similar subjects on our journey to self discovery and what our purpose was really about. Ever since you were diagnosed Rach you have embraced your condition with such determination, and respect and your willingness to share your journey with others, it is amazing. Thank you for all our wonderful chats about health and wellness and business and entrepreneurship. I love being on the health journey together sharing discoveries and knowledge and continuously learning from each other. I appreciate you writing this article as more and more people face auto-immune disorders that your story will definitely touch others and change lives for the better.
What having fibromyalgia has taught me about my priorities and the need for conscious living.
It was roughly 2007 when I started having symptoms, mimicking IBS, food allergies, environmental allergies among many other. By 2011 I could not function normally, but it took another 5 years of tests and horrible symptoms before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Throughout the ordeal I always hoped for a diagnosis that would fix my problem and I could take something or have it fixed. Unfortunately for me Fibromyalgia is an unknown disease. No one knows how you get it or how to cure it.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes wide spread aches and pains all over the body. Fibromyalgia breaks down to mean: Fibro (fibre), Myo (muscle), Algia (pain). Symptoms have now progressed to cognitive issues, chronic fatigue, environmental sensitivity, abdominal discomfort and stiffness.
It has taken me a while to come to grips with my new reality. You really do grieve for your old life: for the carefree life. Carefree meaning when I could eat whatever I wanted and I could burn the candle at both ends. Yes at some point we all grow up and a hang over takes half a week to get over and eating chips goes straight to your thighs. But my experience is harder than the average grievances.
I got told the only thing I can do is manage my symptoms. I have found through this whole process is that researching and having a greater knowledge of everything I come in contact with is essential.
Through the diagnosing process I leant about salicylates, fructose, nitrates, sulphites and gluten to name a few things that occur in foods. There are some tests that can be performed for some compounds in food. But a lot of them you have to eat it and see what happens. It is surprising how much we still don’t know about the things we consume. I cannot believe I didn’t care until I was forced to care.
Living with Fibromyalgia has meant I have completely changed my way of living. I have a very restricted diet and this means I am unable to go to restaurants. I have to be very organized and take my own food wherever I go. I cannot trust restaurants to produce the plain food that I require.
I walk most days as it helps with health and mind. It’s amazing what sunshine and fresh air can do to my brain fog. I attend yoga up to two times a week. It helps to calm the mind, slow my breath and loosen my muscles and joints.
I have found in order to gain more of a grip on my health I need to keep gaining more knowledge of what is in everything I consume (both internal and external consumption). To me my health has become my highest priority since living with fibromyalgia. I am not the best person I can be without my health, as it helps with my concentration, energy and passion.
I believe people need to live with more of an open mind. Our bodies and lives are so precious and we take them for granted until we get sick. We really need to start taking more control of the things we let near our bodies. I don’t want to be the person in the future that cannot believe we used to consume such a product that causes us harm. Like what we think nowadays about smoking and sun tanning.
Along my journey living with fibromyalgia I have come across essential oils, specifically products produced by doTerra as they are made of naturally occurring compounds. To help with sleep I have been diffusing lavender and frankincense. To gain muscle relief I rub in with ice blue. To relieve headaches, I dab my temples with peppermint, frankincense and lavender.
I cannot wait to keep expanding my openness of trying alternative ways to live and interact with the world. As after everything I have been through I believe my health is my wealth.
When I look back on my journey I cannot help but ponder how I became so sensitive to things. What may have set off my genes and turned my life upside down. Due to the world not knowing how fibromyalgia occurs I have asked my own questions and come up against some interesting retaliation. We need to slow down and not rely just on science and innovation. DDT and CFC’s are to what Monsanto is looking today. I also question when vaccines are rushed through the usual channels. The Gardasil vaccine is an example of this and it maybe one of the biggest pharmaceutical cover-ups in history. It is worth a bit of research as there are some very serious questions being asked. I am not against all vaccines, as I believe there is still a need for some of the common ones like polio and whooping cough. But long testing is in place for a reason and when you rush the process you are putting people lives at stake. What if my health has faded because of this Gardasil vaccine? You cannot tell me yes or no. It may have been due to glandular fever. But what I do know is my body got to a point and said no more. No more ignorance, limited thinking or simply not caring.
I suggest asking questions and being more proactive way before your body makes you have to. Put your body and health first as it is the only one you get. You can start little by little and gradually swapping products and ways of living.
It all starts with an open mind and heart.
Rachel Knee xo