Nicola: “I can’t remember when I started suffering with headaches and fatigue but it’s definitely been most of my adult life. I was backwards and forwards to the GP for years. I was sent for CBT and advised to drink more water, exercise more and take fewer painkillers. This didn’t work so I learnt to live with it.
In 2009 when my dad died from a brain aneurysm I became concerned that I had something seriously wrong. I went back to the GP who told me that the good news was that it wasn’t anything serious because I had suffered for so long that if it was serious I would have already died!
The headaches and fatigue continued to get worse and I started to get some back pain. In 2016 I left my job as a teacher. I thought that the stress of the job was a huge factor in my headaches and fatigue. I was wrong. Although not at all stressful my new job was a lot more physical with lots of lifting and driving. I was at a point where I woke up with a headache and went to bed with a headache and had no relief in between.
The pain was constant. It was sometimes so bad that I would lie in bed crying telling my husband I couldn’t go on any more. Sometimes I would sit banging my head off the kitchen table because that pain was better than the headache pain.
I couldn’t wear necklaces or scarves, I couldn’t wear my hair tied up, couldn’t wear my work lanyard, couldn’t wear certain tops and I couldn’t carry any sort of bag because it all made the pain in my back and head worse.
I started to get more and more symptoms; tingling fingers, aching all over, neck pain, heavy legs, poor memory, poor concentration, depression and anxiety. I was also told that I had Reynard’s Syndrome. When I was cold my hands were sometimes so painful and stiff that I couldn’t fasten my daughter in to her pushchair.
I stopped socialising. I couldn’t keep up with conversations because my concentration was so bad, I would forget what I was saying in the middle of a sentence, I was in constant pain so just wanted to be at home in bed and I had terrible anxiety in busy places.
I planned my days around when I could have a sleep, often relying on other people to look after my daughter. When I did have her I was constantly saying “mammy can’t do that because it will hurt her back and head”.
Over the next few years I saw consultants, physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, reflexologists, homeopaths, kinesiologist, food allergy specials and sports massage therapists. I had MRI scans, acupuncture, massages and took many prescribed and herbal tablets.
In 2018 I read an article about Fibromyalgia. I went to the GP and suggested that all my symptoms pointed to this. He agreed, told me that he could refer me to a rheumatologist but that there was a one year waiting list and that there was nothing they could do anyway other than prescribe me Gabapentin which he could also do. I left with a prescription for Gabapentin and that was it!
In November 2018 I went downstairs after a day time sleep and my 5 year old daughter and husband were having a conversation. They were talking about something that had happened that I didn’t know about. I said “I didn’t know that” and my daughter replied with “Well if you weren’t always asleep you would!” That night I contacted Adam, The Fibro Guy.
When I first started seeing Adam I was talking Gabapentin, anti-depressants, homeopathic tablets, using a cream and taking ridiculous amounts of paracetamol and ibuprofen. I honestly couldn’t see a future.
Adam has changed my life and I can’t thank him enough. Because Adam and his programme I have no pain, no aching or tingling, no depression, I can concentrate and remember things, I don’t suffer from fatigue and the cold no longer affects me. I have a social life again and I have been ice skating, trampolining, ridden a bike and an electric scooter, have been on a rope swing across a river and been on a zip wire. My daughter has a proper mammy now! I wish I had known about Adam many years ago.”