Saturday, March 7, 2009

Meet Amy Marino

Throughout my blogging I will be introducing a few Fibro Patients. They have answered a questionnaire for me and have been kind enough to allow me to post it to the blog.

What's the purpose of this?

Some of the stories will inspire you, some will sound all too familiar and in that familiarity we can see where we hit the walls that keep us from pushing ourselves. The more we encourage and support each other the greater the chance we can rise above what hurts us.

The interviews range from positive fibro fighters to those who just plug away every day trying to survive the pain who truly want to better themselves but need a little more inspiration. In all cases, each patient is deserving of our respect and understanding and I humbly thank those who have shared their stories with me.

Now I'd like to introduce Ms. Amy Marino.

Gin: When do you believe you first had Fibromyalgia and why?

Amy Marino: I believe I started showing signs in 2003 or 2004, when I was diagnosed with EBV. But I didn't know what to think, since I led a very busy life at the time.

Gin: What steps did you have to go through in order to be diagnosed?

A.M.: I was persistent, and was at the doctor often, getting a lot of tests done.

Gin: Do you have any secondary conditions?

A.M.: I am asthmatic, and I do have the CFIDS.

Gin: What medications are you currently taking and why?

A.M.: Lexapro, for the anxiety that comes with this condition, Flexeril to help with pain and sleep, and Seroquel, to help with the sleep.

Gin: Side Effects?

A.M.: One of the side effects I get is increased appetite. Also, drowsiness occurs, which honestly, I don't mind, but I don't like the dizziness.

Gin: Dramatic results?

A.M.: No dramatic results. I do have energy to do things, but when I crash, it's a hard crash.

Gin: What vitamins are you taking? Supplements? Homeopathic remedies?

A.M.: None. (Gin Note: GASP. Let’s get some Vitamins in you!)

Gin: What impact did your diagnosis have on your life?

A.M.: I finally know that there is something wrong with me. (Gin Note: Great answer. Because now that you know, you have something to fight!)

Gin: Has Fibromyalgia forced unwanted lifestyle changes?

A.M.: I am unable to stay up late, and I am forced to use caffeine if I need to function for a long period, like at work.

Gin: Has Fibro caused marital or familial strife?

A.M.: I do have a friend who doubts me having it. It's made flareups hell, and I am scared to talk about it when he is around. And me and my fiance are not able to have as much fun as we'd like to.

Gin: What are you doing for yourself to aid your condition?

A.M.: I have a routine, and I stick to it as much as I can, and I try not to make unnecessary changes to it.

Gin: Do you find yourself making excuses for your lack of ambition?

A.M.: Yes. I will always say that I can't handle it when people ask why I don't go to school. But right now, I feel I am not really making excuses, it's the truth.

Gin: Do you truly feel in your heart you’re doing all that you can to promote your own personal health?

A.M.: Not enough. I don't exercise as much as I want or should, but I am always too tired. And my diet is not the greatest. I don't know how to take it easy.

Gin: What steps are you taking to push yourself?

A.M.: I don't push myself, but I try to do the best I can.

Gin: Is there something you wish to try but you’re unsure of the legitimacy?

A.M.: I feel I am taking on all I can right now.

Gin: What are your future health plans?

A.M.: To try and have a better overall health.

Gin: What inspires you into motivation?

A.M.: The fact that I am engaged and I want to get married and stop putting him through my crappy life.

Gin: Thank you so much Amy, for sharing your story with us.

Overview: (What I feel we can learn from the interview. Feel free to add a comment as to what you learned as well.)

Amy's interview as a perfect first interview because she was succinct and honest. She didn't tell me that she was doing all she could for herself, just that she was doing what she felt she could handle. There is a safety net there for her, a comfort zone, and we all have it. Myself included. However, in order to fight fibro to the fullest we have to slide out of that comfort zone often and push, push! It comes in time and with motivation, which starting a new life as a wife can do for Amy.

Amy's story is inspirational because written out you can see where her fight is just starting and there are ways to improve it. She has energy, which we all know is a huge step in fibro, and if she starts taking some vitamins, she can only improve. B-12, Vitamin D, Magnesium... Give them a shot Amy!

The only disturbing element to this interview that I found, was the fear of talking about her condition near a skeptic friend. This is all too common, and it drives me crazy. Don't let one person who will attack you on every point, make you turtle your emotions and hide your condition. My suggestion is to get a pamphlet on Fibromyalgia, tuck it in your purse, and the moment he/she comes at you with their parroted misinformation you slap that pamphlet against their chest and say "get educated before you come up against me".

Don't let anyone! make you feel you're an "attention seeker" or that Fibromyalgia is all in your head. Sometimes we have to tone down our open complaints, because lets face it, people hate a repetitive sob story if it isn't theirs. But that doesn't mean we have to hide what we have. Your Fibro is real, and so is your determination to fight it! Good luck!

Again I'd like to thank Amy for sharing with me, and now with us.
Take Care my friends,
All my best wishes,


  1. It's difficult though when you have a dear friend who thinks that if you just take vitamins, are outside more, pushed a little harder - you would be fine again - a dear friend who thinks they help when they say " why not try" x y or z when they know that you already have. I think it goes back to the fact that nothing looks different, but all of a sudden we are not the exact friends that we used to be..... understanding is a hard thing for people or have not experienced this.

  2. You make a good point. A common Fibro point. "You can't advise me when you don't understand the subject matter." Inspired by this comment I think I'll cover my "friend" opinion this month. Thanks Z!