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Active member
Mar 8, 2017
Hello all,

I've been posting on the forum a bit the past couple months, but thought I should make a proper (if very long-winded) introduction.

Hi, I'm Peggy, and I have Fibromyalgia and Celiac Disease. I'm in my early thirties and live in Toronto. I work in publishing. I knit a lot. I have a small veggie garden. I'm learning to play the cello. My partner and I are always planning for our next big trip together. I love whiskey and wine. I'm interested in politics, social justice, and helping the environment. I like walking through parks. I cook a lot and try to buy local/organic as much as possible. I listen to CBC radio and noisy rock music. I like Star Wars but not superhero movies. Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad. The new Twin Peaks is nuts. This is one of my favourite times of year cause it's not cold or too hot, and all the flowers are coming out.

Now for the gritty details:
I was just diagnosed this month after a few years of occasional mystery pain days, and recent escalation of symptoms. I also have Celiac Disease and have been gluten free for 8 years. I can't handle dairy or soy either, and have trouble with some other foods. If I accidentally eat gluten, even just from cross-contamination, there is much bloating, stomach pain, the big D, irritable, tired, a bit achy. Before I went gluten free, I had iron anemia, lots of mouth ulcers, brittle nails, bad anxiety and panic attacks, lost 10lb in 2 months. I felt better almost immediately after kicking the gluten. However, over the years I've had to cut out dairy (headaches, inner ear/balance issues, GI trouble) and soy (lightheaded, irritable, shaky).

So, when I started to have random days where I could barely move, I figured it was just another Celiac thing, even if I couldn't trace it back to a possible glutening. After all, gluten exposure can do long-term damage that pops up in interesting ways. I also started occasionally having really really bad pain in my left side, which I also couldn't always link back to a glutening. It sometimes happened in combination with overall body aches, sometimes on it's own. Last year we finally investigated (yey colonoscopy) and figured I probably had mild IBS. However, I should have focused more on the body pain because the IBS symptoms more or less disappeared (cut back on a few things in my diet to help), while the body aches got worse. It went from occasionally, to once a month, to a few times, until March when I had some amount of pain every day for a month. Not fun. Not good for my work or social life. The thing that let me know this was NOT Celiac related is my vitamin levels were good and getting better. Mentally I felt good, I'd been sleeping pretty well, eating healthy and rarely eating out. Something else was definitely wrong.

My GP has been great, though. She's very good at sending me for tests and to specialists, proactive and thorough (yay socialised medicine!). She took me seriously when I described my symptoms, agreeing that it sounded like Fibro (even before I suggested it). We checked for Lyme, arthritis, Lupus, etc, all negative. At the end of April I saw the rheumatologist who did a tender point exam (not sure how many I have, but there's a bunch) and agreed: I have Fibromyalgia.

So, I've been on Cymbalta for a couple months (started before the official diagnosis cause the pain was so bad) and it seems to be helping. Side effects were a bit rough at first but have mostly settled out. Things have been very up and down, though, not knowing how much activity is too much or not enough. This month I've missed a day or work a week, and often am stuck at home all weekend. My boss has been very understanding and supportive, and we are working on a plan to help accommodate my situation. Right now I'm trying to enjoy my good days and not get too depressed on my bad days. I have no idea what will happen next, but hopefully I can learn to live with this thing and still live my life.

Anyway, you'll see me around the forum asking stupid questions and complaining. I've been part of Celiac support forum for years, and they've been a huge help. I hope this forum will do the same.

Nice to meet you! See you around. Pain-free days to you all.
Welcome Peg
That's a great introduction message. Pleased to meet you too. We share some of the same issues so I look forward to further talks in the future. You have already helped out with my gluten issue in another thread. Thanks again.
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