Welcome to the Faces of Fibromyalgia. Every day these Michiganders struggle with pain, exhaustion and cognitive difficulties. But through these videos we hope to inspire each other, and you, through this life-long journey. These are real people who understand what it is like to live with chronic pain and offer, “hope.” This mom, teacher, nurse, and retired high school principal are “The Faces of Fibromyalgia.”
Lynn is a retired public school teacher. She taught special education and then elementary education for over 21 years. She earned her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University and her Masters at Wayne State University. In 1993, Lynn graduated from Oakland University with an Educational Specialist Degree (15 credits short of a doctorate). Lynn had an accident at work in 1994 and diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1996.
She is currently married to her husband, Sandy, a pediatrician. She has two wonderful stepdaughters, a son-in-law and a beautiful granddaughter. In addition to her passionate work on behalf of H.O.P.E. and fibromyalgia awareness, she is very involved with her synagogue, loves to read, bake, work outside in the yard, and spend time with her family and friends.
T.C. is a wife and a mother of, soon to be, three. I developed fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue in November 2009 and am still trying to find how to deal with this condition and still be productive in raising my family. I used to live an extremely active lifestyle and have found that I am now unable to do almost everything that I used to. It is a very hard adjustment to make, but having a wonderful support system has been invaluable. As women, we have such high expectations for ourselves in our roles as wives and mothers, and not being able to fulfill those expectations have been extremely hard on me, especially not being able to care for and play with my children as I would like to.
However, I am learning that we need to forgive ourselves, because life has changed, and is changing every day, depending on how we feel. Along with my family, I have learned to be flexible and to not be so hard on myself if I am not able to accomplish what I need to, or even anything at all one day. After all, my family does not care that chores go undone around the house. What matters to them is that I am there, and although they have to be careful with me, all they want from me is love, which I am more than happy and able to give.
Margaret has been on H.O.P.E.’s Board of Directors for the past 2 years and is a certified registered nurse anesthetist. As a medical professional and active nurse, Margie advocates for fibromyalgia patients and participates in the Buddy Program to assist others in living with pain and fatigue everyday. She knows the challenges of living with fibromyalgia since being diagnosed with this chronic condition for the past three years. Her greatest challenges with living with fibromyalgia is working part time and keeping up with her 4 year old granddaughter as well as her three children and husband.
Maintaining a healthy life style, pacing oneself and embracing your limitations are necessities which fibromyalgia patients need to develop and understand in order to stay healthy. Being active and asking for help when needed are essentially important as maintaining as positive attitude. Joining a support group and learning from others offers a tremendous bonus in staying as pain free as possible.
Rob teaches and works taking one day at a time concentrating on managing his fibromyalgia and cognitive challenges, while making each day count. He believes keeping busy, creative and active helps manage his pain and enjoy life as very best he can.