This week we’ve got a new Fibro Warrior in the hotseat. Krissy Ward is from Milwaukee, WI. She’s 26, but was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at the age of 16. She’s single and has no kids but says she gets the best of both worlds with her seven godchildren. She gets to love them as much as she wants and take them back home when she’s ready.
What lead up to your diagnosis?
I started getting symptoms around 14 years old. I kept getting sharp pains in my head and the doctors didn’t know why. One doctor told me it was arthritis (which I do have) but I knew arthritis wouldn’t give me sharp pains in my head.
How did your family initially handle your illness?
When we finally got the diagnosis, I was happy. My family didn’t want to accept it or “claim” it, but I was just happy to have an answer. I guess they figured if I didn’t claim the illness, I wouldn’t have it.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of Fibro?
The most challenging part of having Fibro is learning to pace myself. Whenever I feel well, I go overboard and try to do it all and end up paying for it the next day or week depending on what I did. Sometimes, it’s worth it to do things that I KNOW will cause me pain later because I don’t want to let Fibro run my life. I don’t want to always succumb to the illness, so sometimes, I have to do things just because I want to.
Do you have any other co-existing conditions?
I also have arthritis and bursitis. They all sort of go hand in hand with one another. They all cause me pain.
What (if anything) have you found/ done that has improved your symptoms?
Honestly, medical marijuana is the only thing that relieved me of my pain. My nurse told me about it and that’s when I tried it, and she was right. I was in and out of the ER almost every other weekend. I smoked for one year and I hadn’t been in the hospital that entire year.
How open are you with friends & family about your illness & symptoms?
I’m very open. Most of my family and friends don’t ask questions as much as I’d like, but they all know the deal. If we’re out and about, I do sometimes hide how I feel so I won’t ruin the day for others.
Do you blog about your illness? If so, what inspired you to do so?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it blogging, but I do write about my day-to-day process in hopes of writing a book one day. My mom inspired me to do it actually. I’m very sarcastic and have a dry sense of humor so I think it will be interesting.
What is the best advice you’ve received about Fibromyalgia?
Honestly, my nurse telling me about medicinal marijuana was the best advice I’ve ever received and trust me, I get a lot of unsolicited advice.
What is your favorite way to cope with your life as a spoonie?
My favorite way to cope would just be to listen to my music and zone away from the world. Music has a way of taking you anywhere, but here.
What is it that inspires you to keep going, despite your illness?
I just have so many dreams and aspirations that I can’t give up. I definitely have my days where I want to though. Days where I feel like Fibro doesn’t kill me but I wish it did. Days where I just have no hope.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself since your diagnosis?
I am definitely stronger than I thought, that’s for sure.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to someone newly diagnosed with Fibro?
Please talk to other people who are dealing with what you’re dealing with. It lets you know that you aren’t crazy lol. And it’s okay to have your days where you’re depressed, but you can’t stay there. It’s easier said than done, but it’s possible.
Now that you’ve gotten to know Krissy a little bit, be sure to connect with her on Facebook.
If you enjoyed this interview, be sure to check out our other Fibro Warriors, and while you are at it, why not share your story?