My Story: Angela Rayburn

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

In October 2012 I woke up one morning and I could not move. It felt like every joint was locked up. The pain was so bad I went to the doctor, who gave me a steroid pack. That worked for about three days before the pain became worse. I went back to the doctor for more tests, and then this crazy journey began.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

At the beginning my doctor prescribed me a daily dose of 60mg of steroids, which caused a lot of craziness — I was so moody, I gained 15 lbs, and I suddenly had a round “moon face.”

After months of this, I finally decided to do something different. I started researching for natural remedies. So I began with diet and did tons of research on foods that were good for inflammation and foods that were bad for inflammation. A friend gave me a Nutribullet for my birthday and I have to say this was my saving grace. I started extracting my fruits and vegetables every day, and I am proud to say I was able to stop taking the steroids that were making me so crazy.

So here we are three years later and I continue to juice every day. I still have flare-ups — I’m like a human barometer and my “bones” will tell you if it’s going to rain — but the pain is manageable for now. I can now do a lot of the things that for a while I couldn’t, like holding my grandchildren. I'm careful to not overdo it and I rest whenever my body feels like it needs it.

I have stressful job that affects my flares, but I love working in the mental health field so I am learning to manage my stress with different outlets such as coloring, meditating, music and hula hooping.

Who has been there for you? How?

My best friend Ellen has supported me when no one else was there. If I started to complain or get depressed she would just straight up tell me, “You’re getting in that slump and you need to change your attitude.” She told me, "You only have to get through today,” and always encouraged me to find one thing that made me happy. I will always be grateful to her for not giving up on me when I was in a very dark place.

Angela Running

What's your advice to someone else living with fibromyalgia?

Never give up. Do whatever it takes to get up, dress up, and show up. Juicing and a healthy diet and exercise will help and then sometimes you just have to "embrace the suck" and keep fighting!

You’re getting in that slump and you need to change your attitude.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I'm proud of the fact that I’ve never given up. I get up each day so that I can be there for someone else in need. Having a support system is so important, which is why I started my own blog that provides support and information to anyone who may need it. I don't know where I would be if I did not have the support of my friend.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I'm proud of the fact that I’ve never given up. I get up each day so that I can be there for someone else in need. Having a support system is so important, which is why I started my own blog that provides support and information to anyone who may need it. I don't know where I would be if I did not have the support of my friend.

I'm proud of the fact that I’ve never given up.

I'm proud of the fact that I’ve never given up.

Is there anything else we should know?

I have worked in the mental health field for about 11 years. I love working with people and making a difference. One of the things I have learned along the way is that no matter how bad you think you feel, there is always someone who is a lot worse off.

I love working with people and making a difference.

About Angela Rayburn

My Story: Angela Rayburn
I work in the mental health field, which I love, and run a blog called Rockin RA. Through the blog I learn a lot of things and hopefully empower, support and inform those who are in need.

Rockin RA

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