Our Stories

I would like to take this chance to thank everyone that has contributed their stories!

My story is posted under the tab, "My Blog Spot."

Paul's Story

My name is Paul and I lurk behind the online moniker of Foxgrove. I've been fighting chronic illness for over a decade but have only had to add fibromyalgia to my signature for the past few years. Unlike most folks who are similarly "blessed" with this illness, I am also a guy... go figure eh!!

I'm originally from rural Manitoba but have lived in Winnipeg for the past 20 years or so. I met the perfect woman for me more than 24 years ago and we have now been married for going on 22 years this July which would make me 42 in July... wow.. time flies when you can't remember where you put the jam..

Jo-Anne (Jo) and I have 4 wonderful children, two girls (18 and 16) and two boys (13 and 10 ). It's like I always said.. kids are great.. collect the whole set. My kids run a close second to my lady when it comes to defending their father's dignity and honour. {You shoulda heard what they wanted to do to the Evil Tatiana... I'm gonna have to protect stupid people from THEM!!!}

About 10 years ago, the migraines that I have suffered with since childhood started to get much more frequent and MUCH more severe. Along with the migraines would come severe fatigue, gut pain, diarrhea, rashes, fevers, just all sorts of bizarre things. We traced the trigger back to a cleaning product that was being used at work. I requested that it be changed but they checked and the cleaner was labelled as safe so it stayed.

Over the next months, my migraines increased as did my time being incredibly sick. I started to react to perfume, aftershave, window cleaner, diesel exhaust.. nearly everything I would come into contact with during the day would cause me some ill reaction or other.

My migraines started to overlap and at one point I was stuck in migraine mode for several weeks solid. Unfortunately, my migraines make seeing, hearing, touching, and existing nearly impossible. I was finally able to move to a different department and then worked from home.

Jo and I learned of multiple chemical sensitivity and it fit like a glove with my symptoms. While not recognized as a genuine disease here in Manitoba, an environmental specialist here in Winnipeg confirmed our fears.

Jo and I cleaned out everything that would make me sick from our house and did some major changes in our lifestyle. Venturing outside of the house now required the use of a particle/chemical filtration mask.

In February of 2006, I was honoured to be able to attend the marriage of a young couple from our church but my body had a violent reaction to the vapours in the room and I had to be carried to our car. From there, Jo-Anne CARRIED me up to our bed and tended for my needs for the next few days until I was able to get out of bed.

The next day I woke to excruciating pain in all my muscles and everything was sooo stiff. My skin was now REALLY sensitive to touch and the slightest breeze would make me wince in pain. We tried to figure out what was going on but the doctors were stumped.

Over the next few months, the pain grew worse. My research sent me in so many directions it made me dizzy but test after test came up negative. Finally we found information on fibromyalgia and again.. just like MCS.. the puzzle piece fit like a glove.

Since that day, things have progressed downward physically but I am in a much better mental state than I was then. Unfortunately, my memory and ability to concentrate vanished along with a growing need to sleep at the drop of a hat... An occupationally lethal combination when it comes to being employed for anything more strenuous than a mattress tester.

I have to say that my department lead and my manager and all of the managers up the line from there were incredible. All possible accommodation was made for me to be able to continue working. When the pain and confusion slowed me to the point that there was practically no more productivity from this end, they helped me get on to short term and then on to long term disability.

Our journey over the past couple of years has been quite rocky as we were finally granted our Canada Pension Plan Disability pension after a two year fight but were subsequently dismissed from our private long term disability insurance.  As we wait for a decision from the appeals process, the bills continue to grow and our finances dwindle but we have been able to remain positive, knowing that no matter what, we will have each other.

For us, our faith in God and our ever expanding FMily (family) have been vital to our survival and our sanity.  Somehow, amidst all the pain and confusion, God has shown us favour and a fertile new field that needs care and compassion.  We have our task set out before us now... caring for those like me who have had their lives forever altered by this disease.

To all those new to this condition, have hope. One day we will win and the pain will stop.   To all those who wonder when the pain will end, you have my prayers.

Foxgrove (aka Paul Smith)

Clarissa's Story

Like, many of you who suffer with FMS and CFS/ME , I was bedridden for many years. Without any hope from my doctor of being any better, I turned my research to natural techniques. I did them one by one and found many to help relieve my symptoms. I kept a journal of my findings and was encouraged to put them into a guide, by my doctor, because she saw the benefit of what I was doing. I want you to find the best for your life as well.  Best to each of you for I know your struggle.