How I Went From Bed-Ridden to Thriving with Fibromyalgia


I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1996 at the age of 24. I had never heard the word fibromyalgia and I certainly did not know how to pronounce it. I went from thriving to bedridden in a matter of months. What helped me regain my health? Events like our Association’s Awareness Day.

When I was diagnosed there was very little information on fibromyalgia and many doctors did not know how to treat it. In order for me to regain my health, I learned I was going to have to be the captain of my healthcare team. I was going to have to research the illness and hire a team that would help me regain my life. I had the opportunity to travel to some medical meetings that changed my life. I met people from all over the world who were knowledgeable about fibromyalgia and they also were researching and treating it. Thanks to those opportunities, I gradually got my life back. I knew how lucky I was to have those opportunities. I wanted everyone struggling with fibromyalgia to have that same opportunity. This is why I started our Association's (FAM) Michigan Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.

On May 11 we will host our 18th Annual Michigan Fibromyalgia Awareness Day at Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Warren, Michigan. Most years, like this year, the event is an educational conference. We bring in nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field of fibromyalgia. These experts share with attendees how fibromyalgia is diagnosed and managed. Attendees also get to ask questions and network with other event guests and exhibitors. It is a day of hope, healing, and inspiration. It also is a day for friends and family members of people with fibromyalgia to learn more about the illness, how other “supporters” are coping, and to learn that fibromyalgia affects the whole family - including them. If you work together, the family can find healing. Some healthcare providers also attend and we would welcome more! Above are photos from past Awareness Days.

Living with fibromyalgia is a challenge. I know. I have lived with it for nearly 23 years and it has turned into my career for the past 22 years. I am saddened when I hear people say that they have been told there is not much that can be done for fibromyalgia. There is so much people with fibromyalgia can do to live better. Step one is becoming educated. Educated patients have better health outcomes (http://bit.ly/infohelps). Our goal at FAM is to help people achieve these health outcomes. Our second goal is that people never feel alone in this process. It is common for people with fibromyalgia to feel alone and isolated (http://bit.ly/isolationFM). This makes healing more difficult. There is a very welcoming family of warriors at FAM who are rooting for you to have better days and they will support you on your journey.

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is for you if:

You want more out of your life

Experts are telling you there is not much they can do to help

You have a loved one with fibromyalgia and you want to know how to support them

You want to know how people with fibromyalgia are not just surviving, but thriving

You feel alone coping with fibromyalgia

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please join us. This year’s conference will feature Tami Stackelhouse. Tami is the founder of the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute and author of The Fibromyalgia Coach and Take Back Your Life. A fibromyalgia patient herself, Tami has gone from disabled to thriving. Her compassion, gentle support, and fun coaching style have helped fibromyalgia patients all over the world take back control of their lives. Doctors regularly refer their patients to Tami. Dr. Ginevra Liptan, MD, Fibromyalgia Awareness Day 2017 speaker, says, “I have seen that patients working with her (Tami) make progress on taming fibromyalgia symptoms much faster.”

Registering for the event supports fibromyalgia awareness in Michigan. Registration fees help us reach out to legislators, the media and community to help them learn more about fibromyalgia. Raising overall fibromyalgia awareness is the third goal of the event. Many people do not know what fibromyalgia is, and some health professionals still utter the words, "I do not believe in fibromyalgia." In order for people with fibromyalgia to live better, the community needs to understand that fibromyalgia is a life-altering, and potentially disabling, complex chronic pain illness (http://bit.ly/FMisreal). This is important as these facts will enable people to receive the support and help they need from family, employers and the medical community.

We hope you will join us in supporting fibromyalgia awareness in Michigan! To learn more about the event and register, click here: for our Eventbrite page.

#FibromyalgiaAwarenessDay #TamiStackelhouse #Fibromyalgia

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©2018 BY FIBROMYALGIA ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN.