Further to my last venting episode which tended to be on the negative side, I thought I would let my fellow sufferers know that one can get through this debilitating illness. Since I am 66 yrs. old, it is easy for me to say that I am giving up – because most of my life is behind me.

For those who are younger and suffering from this disease I want to let you know that there is hope because for 30 yrs. I worked as a legal secretary which included travelling with my boss, raised three children on my own, sometimes worked two jobs and sometimes went to school while working – all the while suffering with this pain. Don't ask me how I did it cause I really don't know. And I wasn't taking any medications for my fibro for the first 10 yrs. Isn't that strange? It wasn't diagnosed then. I believe when the need is there we find strength we didn't realize we had. There IS hope.

So maybe it was a case of ignorance is bliss? Did my new-found knowledge that I had fibromyalgia make it worse? Was it psychological on my part? Once my pain was identified as fibromyalgia I became a different person. I became a sick person who all of a sudden couldn't do things. Not that I am in any way minimizing the pain we go through. Just thought I would pass this on as food for thought.

I don't know, Jo. Or maybe it all finally came crashing down on you when you finally acknowledged that you needed help and got your diagnosis. I know I was in agonizing pain working as an Activity Director for a year but I kept pushing past the pain to do do do. I lived on adrenaline and then crashed horribly on the weekends and holidays. Somewhere in my mind I acknowledged that the pain was crushing me but I refused to stop. When I finally did stop and get medical help, like you, it all came crashing down at once. I think I would have put myself in an early grave if I hadn't stopped, though. Each day at my new job, I measure the pain in comparison to the old job. Have had some nasty days but none as bad as the former job and I hope it stays that way!

As for your, I hope you find some balance so that your golden years have some comfort to them, instead of only pain.