I won't go into too much detail. This blog is not about my past, I'm not writing this to have a pity party on the web. I'll just put in bullet points some of the key events which I think may have contributed to my illness.
Stress – ENEMY #1. To me, the biggest contributor to my illness trailed back to stress. Family/personal stress that lasted for more than 5 years prior to my diagnosis; work stress that accumulated over my 3 years of investment banking days…and then I generally became a high-strung person that would get stressed over EVERYTHING. Obviously, I never had a specific health issue. After numerous tests, my doctor finally asked me if there was anything stressful in my life – I thought about it, and I went straight to a psychologist. It's still an on-going process.
Physical exertion – unlike my healthy past, I started getting easily tired, lethargic and achy after a long hike, walk or a night out with friends. Moreover, recovery took longer than usual (2-3 days vs. 1 day or less).
Unhealthy diet – I used to eat everything, mostly unhealthy foods. I always liked pasta, steak, fries, sweets etc…. vegetables were not a significant part of my diet. I really never thought of eating healthy. I also never took vitamins or other supplements. Just old habit of abusing and being unappreciative of my health.
Fibromyalgia, according to the articles out there, is highly related to stress. I would even say (and this is my personal opinion) fibromyalgia is 80% related to stress, and even depression. I do believe that for a while I was depressed – and all the years of stress and depression, unaddressed and unspoken, had been buried under my chest and started manifesting itself through actual physical stress. Who would have thought it.
It was like a slap in the face, the face (i.e, my own face) that used to blow off the theory that mental stress could lead to physical pain.