I live with Fibromyalgia and chronic illness in the UK and blog about my experiences, self-care strategies and achieving physical and mental well-being.
Chloe is my nickname for the chronic illness warrior inside me. When my negative thoughts come creeping in I focus on what Chloe would do and what Chloe would say. Perhaps this sounds bizarre, but I find it helps to remind me that the strong person I was before I became unwell is still inside me and I am incredibly resilient.
I have always been one of those people who seemed to have a chain of symptoms which couldn’t be explained. They’d disappear only to return at some later date. And so doctors never really looked into them because things would seem to resolve themselves. At age 15 I discovered I had an intolerance to lactose, wheat, and strangely eels. The latter has never been a problem funnily enough! I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome at 18. I have had issues with anxiety for as long as I can remember and I also struggle with depression which fluctuates.
Symptoms of pain and fatigue flared up dramatically whilst I was completing my social work training. At one stage I thought there was no way I would ever make it through. In desperation I compiled a history of my symptoms and asked my GP to consider them all together rather than separately. This was the start of my journey to being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in March 2017. Living in the UK where Fibromyalgia is not very well recognised made this process very difficult and since the diagnosis I do not have any continuing support. And this made me feel very alone. Along the journey to diagnosis I experienced some very dark times as I realised this was my forever.
This is where Chronically Chloe was born. I wanted to document my thoughts and experiences, both the good and the bad. I hope that others with similar experiences will read my posts and not feel alone like I did. I’d love to hear from others and build a community which is supportive and non-judgemental. Let’s learn from one another and build each other up.