25 Signs You Grew Up With Fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia is a mysterious disease and its diagnosis is also fall into same category. Mostly people who have fibromyalgia aren’t diagnosed until middle age, many can actually trace their symptoms back to their childhood.

You feel more exhausted and tired in your class, PE seems torture to you, or often experienced what your doctor referred to as “growing pains” or Mono. But if this is your “normal” growing up, it may take many years to recognize that the pain, fatigue, brain fog or sensitivity to touch you’ve grown accustomed to is actually indicative of an underlying health condition.

We asked a question to our community “Living With fibromyalgia and Chronic illness” to share some of the signs they grew up with fibromyalgia, which they now recognize in retrospect. Perhaps the following will bring back some memories of your own childhood, and you can relates it too. 

Here is What community share with us:

1. When I was 11 yrs old I went through some terrible leg pain. I couldn’t walk and I was hospitalized for a couple of months. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The pain subsided and I was able to walk again.

2. I was always getting sick, missing a lot of school and I was very clumsy. I had mono when I was a teenager. I fell several times and had broken bones and sprains.

3. Always sick when I was young, insomnia, migraines, endometriosis, always had cold hands and feet.

4. I never had endurance like all my friends, I always slept all weekend while my friends were outside playing. I had migraines, leg and arm pains. My mom said I was depressed from an abusive alcoholic step father and a biological father who was only around when it was convenient for him. I would get over heated so easy while others were fine. I constantly had ear infections and UTI’s that the dr could not understand.

5. Had server leg pains in the night always told it were growing pains as did my sister we both have fibromyalgia to the point of needing a wheelchair also other immune problems as an adult. Another member added to it that Yes me too..as a child, I would cry all night that my legs hurt..I would take a hot bath..Dr said it was growing pains.

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6. I knew nothing but dread. I knew fear, and humiliation. My mind raced constantly with ideas of how I could hide. I would get up at night and sneak into my brothers room to sleep. So exhausted. Waking up in the am a bear. Felt drug down, fatigues all the time. Had a lit of headaches. Got pneumonia a lot. Much if this might have been depression. Barbaric, sexually abusive home. Terrible anxiety.

7. As I child, I had terrible leg pain and the doctors called the growing pains and gave me big “horse pills”. None of my 6 siblings suffered with this. Also, I could never sleep like others and began having extreme insomnia at age 14.

8. Light and sound sensitivity as far back as I can possibly remember

9. Depression, anxiety, always getting injured or sick, unable to keep up with school (when I was plenty smart enough), slept like the dead as an adolescent, fatigue and pain that couldn’t be explained, stress would induce sickness, lack of emotion regulation, early onset of puberty. I’m sure the list continues.

10. My first symptom was very severe pains down the front of both legs, from the knees down. It started age 15. I also had very heavy painful periods. I had growing pains in my legs from the age of 5. I suffered from sunstroke & migraines from an early age

11. Horrible leg aches. My sister and I at times would roll on the bed in pain. We were told it was growing pain. I’m only 5’. My sister though as far as I know doesn’t have fibromyalgia. But I do. I was also sick often. Nonstop sinus infections, horrible headaches, diagnosed with TMJ at 15 and signs of ibs too. I too was very clumsy and getting hurt often. I was told I was a hypochondriac. I was often having to wear a brace on my wrist, ankle or even my knee.

Sensitivity to sounds too. Fireworks were unbearable. It was like an electric shock going through. Physically painful! My dad would get so angry that he had to take me home. Everyone thought I was scared and didn’t understand when I said the booming hurt me. Again I was told I was a hypochondriac or just wanted attention.  I’ve had horrible sleep patterns all my life. Even as a baby. I also had colic and read somewhere colic maybe nerve related.

12. Terrible chronic pain everywhere, they found scoliosis at 14 and blamed it all on that. My legs always got tired way quicker than my friends( what’s wrong with me I hike and ride my bike and in good shape like my friends why do I need a nap) chronic migraines, I could never develop upper body strength no matter how hard I tried. To this day I have never been able to do a push up or pull up.

13. Back pain, I always thought it was normal to have pain, I thought everyone had pain. Turns out I was wrong – also cold sensitivity, I’ve always hated winter and could never explain why now i realise that it increases my pain and symptoms.

14. Definitely muscle spasms. In my leg’s,feet,neck, back, ribs and arms. I had trouble with my swallow. Head aches. TMJ. I was almost always nauseous. I vomited every day. Still do. Depressed and stressed. Our home life was traumatic.

15. Very painful legs from birth, then began having painful feet around 6, irritable bladder issues started in early teens, overall body aches and pains before age 5. Then in early 30’s started with terrific migraines that troubled me into my 40’s. The painful ones ended after a pneumoencepholgram, now I just have the optic issue migraines. My life now is never ending pain, fatigue and frustration

16. Having fits of itching during the night; Momma would bathe me in camphor to help it stop. Often while sitting at my 3rd-5th grade desk, I would feel a nonexistent bug crawling on my arm or leg

17. Chronic leg pain right before my period and right when I would start to get sick, also when it would get cold outside. I always attributed it to my cerebral palsy, but now I don’t know. I also had back pain when I would raise my arms for a while, like doing dishes for example.

18. I would get this horrible flu like symptoms… I would have to go to bed… When I woke up the next morning I was fine ready to go. This would happen at least 2 or 3 times a week. I thought I was just tired…ugh

19. Bad ‘growing pains’, horrible stomach, and sensitivity to sounds/textures (had to put bandaids on the seams of my socks, cut out all tags in my shirts and pants, hated turtle necks, getting my hair done hurt, etc). I had bad ear infections as a child and needed tubes but don’t think that was related

20.  Painful joints. Heavy menstrual cycles with pain. Waking up sweaty. Migraines. Being tired (exhausted). Sore back, neck, shoulders (couldn’t do massages because of the fear of the pain).


Related Article: What is Restless Syndrome(RLS) and how its connected with Fibromyalgia


21. I found out when I was 6 after and EEG and scan that I had a prenatal stroke which caused learning disabilities and stuttering and motor skill problems. Due to being teased in school, I was diagnosed with depression. Also anxiety because of having to talk in front of people. At the age of 10 I was diagnosed with ADD. I did not have depth perception. I was always injuring myself. Also, I would be walking and foot would roll over and get sprained ankles. At the age of 12, found out that I had high arch’s which caused heel to be on the wrong angle. At the age of 15 was diagnosed with misaligned knee caps due to my feet problems. At 20 I was diagnosed with arthritis in my knees and back.  Was diagnosed last year with fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

22. A lot of ear infections, had tubes put in ears and horrible achy hips and legs…. was always told it was growing pains. Always had weak hip flexors as well.

23. I had unexplained fevers as a kid, a lot of stomach issues, back surgery at 19, mono at 18 and then again at 28. I was diagnosed in my mid thirties, I went to a rheumatologist when the knuckles in my hands swelled for no reason.

24. I didn’t socialize much as a kid. My back always hurt. I had knee issues. I slept more than other kids. I remember the pain starting around 6th grade. I was being bullied and became depressed and suicidal. I started meds that year. My mom took me to doctors in several states, trying to figure out why I was in so much pain. By 13, I was going to chiropractors 2x week

25. Flu aches without being sick, hair loss, and exhaustion.

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Question Courtesy: Paige Wyant via The Mighty. 

Note: Any medical information included is based on a personal experience of our community member who are suffering from fibromyalgia. For questions or concerns regarding health or diagnoses, please consult a doctor or medical professional. 

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