My Symptoms

List of my symptoms from Fibromyalgia:

My gerber daisy & favorite color!

My gerber daisy & favorite color!

Below is my looooong list of symptoms and an approximate timeline of when they began. These symptoms would come and go over the years.

Symptoms vary from person to person.  The National Fibromyalgia Associations has a decent list of symptoms on their site.

Some of these symptoms can be an indicator of a different disease such as MS or Lupus so please don’t self diagnose.  See your doctor! That’s what they’re here for.

  • 1992: Severe intestinal distress after eating.
  • 1995: Leg cramps began waking me in the night
  • 1997: Serious pain in my legs after standing for long amounts of time
  • 2001:
    • Had my gallbladder removed because of gall stones.  I have no idea if this is connected to Fibro but I thought it was worth mentioning.
    • My “knee-pit” (space behind my knee) began hurting if I stood for long amounts of time.  Not walked.  Stood.  My job at The Limited was unfortunate.  I began wearing an ace bandage almost all the time.
    • Panic disorder became progressively worse.  Began seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist.
  • 2002: Standing without movement began causing extreme pain in my legs.
  • 2004:
    • First time I fainted from bumping my knee.  I believe I tapped one of the 18 trigger points which is located in your knee.  When I bump it I faint – on the spot.  It’s a little scary.
    • Diagnosed with IBS – irritable bowel syndrome
    • Sleep disturbances began with severe lower back pain.
    • My hips began “freezing” from running.  It would almost lock and I would lose range of motion in it.  I’d have to swing my leg out in a circle to walk.
  • 2005:
    • After 6 months of physical therapy with no relief I fought (literally) with my doctor to give me a referral to a chiropractor.
    • Began experiencing knotting muscles down my back for no particular reasons.  I would pull my back opening a window.
    • While shopping one day I reached for something on a high up shelf and it felt like I was stabbed in the ribs.  I had pulled a muscle around my ribs which made it difficult to breathe (not to mention the PAIN!)
    • Began getting headaches behind my eyes
  • 2006:
    • Started having strange eye “things.”  I would see flashes of colored blue light in little specs for no particular reason.
    • Sensitivity to light began in earnest.  I had a hard time watching tv in the dark or going to movies.
    • My night vision became progressively worse.  If I was in areas without street lights I could barely see; especially when turning.  I once drove into the cornfield next to my road.
    • I developed a sun allergy.  I thought I was allergic to sun tan lotion at first.  If my skin was exposed to the sun for too long, the next day I develop an intense itching on my legs.  My pores also enlarge and my legs get extremely irritated and they burn.
  • 2009 – today:  Things started to go downhill.  Fast
    • My back was unrelentenly in knots.
    • I developed severe carpal tunnel in my right hand and occasionally in my left.  It made it almost impossible to sleep.  I began using  a futuro day brace and Futuro Night Support Brace:
    • I developed serious pain behind and around my right eye.
    • I had a constant headache in my right eye.
    • The back of my neck where my skull attached was constantly in pain.
    • I began walking around covered in Thermacare pads.
    • My exhaustion was all encompassing.  I was always tired.
    • I developed numbness mixed with severe pain in the right side of my arm, face and side.
    • I would wake up in the middle of the night with extremely dry eyes.  I would wet them with water from my water glass.
    • I began losing my ability to remember things.  I would walk upstairs and by the time I got there not know why I went.  I began writing everything down.
    • I began having trouble remembering where I was going driving.  Even on roads I take every day.  I would forget where I was and how to get where I was going.  I would call John a lot asking him which way to turn.
    • I would lose my balance for no reason.  I’d be walking and trip.
    • I started getting bladder infection after bladder infection.
    • My hands hurt.  It’s painful to squeeze shampoo bottles or open up medicine.  I drop and spill things a lot.
    • I stopped getting my period for 6 months.  When I finally did get it by taking a progesterone pill for “force it” I had what I refer to as a Biblical Period.
      • I would bleed very heavily – often using a tampon an hour
      • I had severe, mind-numbing cramps. Advil and a heating pad barely took the edge of
    • I developed a skin reaction that did several things. (click on the pics to see full size)

Pictures of my Skin Sensitivity from Fibromyalgia:

Picture of sunburn effect on my face

Sunburn effect on my face

Picture of the sunburn effect on my skin

Sunburn effect on my skin

I would get a “sunburn” effect mainly on my face and chest when I would get overheated or after I showered.

Picture of my Dermographism from Fibromyalgia:

Picture of my Skin Allergy

Picture of my Skin Allergy

What was more disturbing and disruptive was my skin allergy.  I developed a condition called dermographism.  It literally means “skin writing” and is exactly that.  When I would scratch my skin with my nails or anything for that matter, i would get a raised, hive-like rash.

On top of the skin effect, this allergy caused me to itch uncontrollably.  It was especially bad where clothing touched my skin.  Bra’s, the elastic portion of stretch pants, any tight fitting shirt, tights, long sleeved t-shirts all caused a insane itching sensation, followed by the hives when I scratched it.  You couldn’t resist – seriously.

I am not taking 10 mg of Claritin at night and in the am.  This is a double dose, prescribed by my allergist.  It helps but I still get hives, just not as badly.

I also developed a red “rash” on my face. I believe it is connected to an autoimmune disease that is brewing.  I’ve found that putting Vaseline on it at night helps it but neosporin makes it worse.

Other Fibromyalgia symptoms:

I can’t put a date on these because I’ve had them for as long as I can remember and thought they were normal.

  • Brittle fingernails and toenails that peel like Mica.  My cuticles are also dry and cracked.

    Peeling toenails

    Peeling toenails

  • I have very greasy hair and it falls out a lot.  My hairbrush is like a war zone for hair.
    • Since I began dying my hair it has become less greasy.  I don’t know if it works for  everyone.  But it seemed to help me.  It still falls out though.
  • I find it hard to get comfortable.  I am always shifting in my seat.  I actually find sitting on the floor the most comfortable.  I’m a hit at dinner parties.
  • I’m often nauseated.  I chew a lot of mint gum to combat it.
  • I’m sensitive to a lot of smells.  If i go into a perfume store Bath & Body works (with a lot of combating smells) I start sneezing & often develop a headache.
  • I often get a metallic taste in my mouth for no particular reason.I’ve never seen this on a Fibro site but I’m going to mention it.  The skin on the bottom of my toes peels.  Especially when I wear flip flops.  It tears open and then pieces of skin peel up.  It’s happening right now.  ouch!
Peeling toe

Peeling toe

  • Dizziness.  Sometimes I’m just normal dizzy but other times especially when I’m in my car at a stop light or something.  If a car is next to me and starts moving forward I’ll have the sensation that I’m moving backwards.
  • Ringing in my ears.  It will come out of no where. I will lose the ability to hear in one ear and it will begin ringing.  It normally lasts about 2-5 minutes and occurs in both ears – rarely simultaneously.

I will continue to add more symptoms as they arise.  And add information about how I combat them.