Hi, I'm M from the United States. Diagnosed at 28

Hello, I’m M (he/she/they). I’ve been hypersensitive to pain my whole life but was mostly able to live around it until 2022, when my pain stopped going away. I lost my last job in the spring of that year and have been unable to return to work. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and myofascial pain on Halloween of that year at the age of 28 and began applying for SSDI and SSI with the help of a lawyer in December 2022.

I’ve been in and out of physical and occupational therapy and have tried many medications under the guidance of both my primary care doctor and doctors and nurses at a pain clinic. I also tried meeting with a pain psychiatrist but really did not click with her.

PT and OT have helped me build up strength and function as well as pointed me in the direction of adaptive tools that make my life easier. The only things that my doctors and I have found that touch the pain are diclofenac sodium 1% topical pain gel (which I am currently in a very frustrating and convoluted fight with my insurance company about covering) and aerobic exercise. We’re unclear on if anti-inflammatory dieting helps me as between money issues and mental illness, I’m not able to stick to it consistently.

I live with my partner, who helps take care of me. I also have parents and friends who are supportive and accommodating. They all help keep me going in so many ways, despite none of them having my condition.

I love animals and flowers and dream of having pets and a garden one day. These days I keep myself occupied with reading, watching YouTube and anime, playing low-impact video games, and helping out my parents and local community organizing group when I have the spoons.