My battle with fibromyalgia

I live by the grace of God. Fibromyalgia is like a cancer that does not kill but leaves the person in such murderous pains

I have suffered non-specific pains loosely diagnosed as fibromyalgia for 11 years now. While receiving treatment for the pains, I developed a small lump on my spine just behind my neck and I currently walk with a stick. This is because the pains radiates downwards all the way to my hands and legs.

It all started with pain in my belly in 2006 when I was 16. The stomach ache was caused by a hernia in the stomach and I promptly received treatment. The hernia disappeared but the pain didn’t.

My parents believed me when I told them of the excruciating pain I was feeling but one doctor we saw thought I was faking them. The agony became something I had to live with.

Determined to live a normal life, I enrolled into university at 18. I was studying for a degree in business management, information and technology at Kabarak University. My graduation was set for 2012 but the excruciating stomach cramps reared their ugly head again and I couldn't graduate.

In the same space of time, my dad and mum separated and dad withdrew his support of the family.

To help raise funds for my treatment, my story was put out by friends on social media and we generated about Sh200,000. Family and a few friends came together and made more significant strides with raising more funds. I also went on TV and on newspaper to appeal for donations.

We had to do this as we were discovering that medical care in the country is impossibly expensive. Even the cheapest course of treatment was beyond our means. The money was taken up by medication and before we knew it we were back to the beginning.

We spent about Sh2 million hunting for a diagnosis of what was ailing me. There is no cure for my condition but management ranges from painkillers, various therapies or a spinal implant surgery. The surgery cuts the pain down by roughly 50 per cent.

At the moment the pain has worsened. It was only in the belly but in time it has spread to my back, my arm and leg muscles. The pain ranges anywhere from 5 to 7.8 on a scale of 10.

I live by the grace of God. Fibromyalgia is like a cancer that does not kill but leaves the person in such murderous pains. Many times I lost the will to live and contemplated suicide just to end the pain but I have realised that that really isn't the way to go out.

In a week I use up to Sh4,000 on medicine and it is a struggle that I have to live with. Hopefully someday a cure can be found.  I am currently trying my hand in music production because it is the only area I am fairly good at.  I aim to be great at it and maybe someday I will raise enough money for surgery.