Author’s Note: Everyone’s experience with fibromyalgia is different. I do not by any means intend to speak on behalf of the FMS
community as a whole.
May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month, and this is my story.
Being a teenager with chronic pain, fatigue, and the occasional brain fog is hard enough. What’s harder is not understanding why it’s happening to you. By the time I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome at 18 years old, I had gone through countless hours of desperate online research, months of attempted treatment, and years of feeling impossibly set apart from my youthful cohorts without knowing what made me hurt so much.
The problem with fibromyalgia is that no one is sure precisely what it is, hence the title of “syndrome.” Some believe it’s a type of autoimmune disorder, while others believe it’s a central nervous system disorder, and still others who speculate other causes entirely. On top of that, there are no visible symptoms other than inflammation and muscle tension, placing it in the category of “invisible illnesses.”