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Fibromyalgia prompts woman to write book

Wednesday 29 June 2011

From US newspaper the Gaston Gazette:

 

Linda Mullinax
Linda Mullinax who suffers from fibromyalgia,
displays the book she has written
about her experiences.
Photo: John Clark/The Gazette

Fibromyalgia prompts woman to write book

Elizabeth Held
June 12, 2011 10:52 AM

For Linda Kay Mullinax, the pain began after a car crash in 1992. She went to the emergency room where they ran the usual assortment of tests. Doctors found no breaks or tears and sent her home with pain killers and a muscle relaxer.

But the pain didn’t stop. It was constant, from head to toe.

“I never knew there existed a pain like this,” she said. “It’s like being a rubber band stretched all the way back without snapping.”

The pain grew so bad Mullinax of Gastonia began cutting herself. She was never seeking to kill herself, but her doctors told her to try to get her mind off the pain. Cutting was one way for her to do that.

Looking back, Mullinax said she was trying to get someone to notice her pain and to say “it’s OK to hurt.”

Finally, after two years of severe pain, a doctor diagnosed Mullinax with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder.

“I was the worse case he had ever seen,” she said of her doctor’s reaction.

After her diagnosis, Mullinax admits she made mistakes. Her doctor told her to exercise to prevent stiffness, but she found it made her pain worse, so she stopped. On the days when she didn’t feel as bad, she would over-exert herself, mowing the lawn and cleaning the house. The next day she’d find the pain so unbearable she’d be in bed “sometimes a week, getting over vacuuming.”

In the years after her diagnosis, Mullinax felt she was the only one suffering from fibromyalgia. She had never even heard of it when she was first diagnosed and first assumed it was terminal.

Nineteen years after her diagnosis, Mullinax decided to do something to make others suffering from fibromyalgia feel less alone. She wrote a book, “It’s Okay to Hurt.”

“The Lord spoke to me and said ‘Why are you keeping this information to yourself?’” she explained.

Mullinax began writing in January and was published last month by AuthorHouse. It’s available for purchase online, including authorhouse.com, amazon.com and the Books-a-Million and Barnes and Noble websites.

“When we got it, my husband and I were jumping up and down,” she said.

In her book, Mullinax shares the story of her diagnosis, her life with the disease, and advice for people with the disease and those who think they might have it.

“If I had known then what I know now, I don’t think my pain would have escalated the way it did,” she said.

The pain forced her to quit a job she loved at Eckerd and go on disability. And she suffers from the memory loss associated with fibromyalgia.

“My calendar looks like a roadmap. If I don’t write it down, I can’t remember it,” Mullinax said.

She has found some relief thanks to a combination of prescriptions. Mullinax takes medication to ease her pain, lessen her anxiety and help her sleep. She stresses the importance of taking all three types of drugs to most reduce the pain.

“It’s the medications people need to know about,” she said. She feels the drugs are so important to her progress, that she devoted a whole chapter to them in her book.

As for the diagnostic process, Mullinax said that anyone, regardless of their age, should ask their doctor about fibromyalgia.

She also hopes her book will allow fibromyalgia patients to see there is hope.

“If they’ve been suffering like I have, there’s help,” she said.

You can reach Elizabeth Held at 704-869-1842.

 

Thew above, with comments, originally appeared here.

 


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