Spoonie Spotlight: Laura

Spoonie Spotlight is my way to use my platform to share the stories of others living with arthritis or an arthritis-related condition. The point is to share the realities of living with arthritis and to make others’ voices heard. (New posts every 2 weeks.) If you would like to participate, fill out the form!

What’s your diagnosis?

Fibromyalgia and HMS

When were you diagnosed?

Last year within 3 months of a surgery for another condition

How long have you had symptoms?

1 year

How has your illness changed your life?

I had to give up full time work and have to take naps regularly. Fibro has also meant that I have to take meds to cope with the pain and sleep issues and just going shopping or walking the dogs are things I can no longer take for granted as they require planning and energy preservation before hand as well as two/three days of time afterward to recover.


What’s your story?

I had been having chest pains on and off for 10/11 years which the Drs always told me was indigestion. But slowly the pains become more intense and frequent and they began to take over my life. One day I went to the walk in centre while the pains were happening and the tests began. Eventually I was diagnosed with achalasia (an eating problem which causes your oesophagus to fail limiting food intake greatly and causing painful spasms). I deteriorated quickly and soon was unable to take in any solids or liquids at all and so, after many failed procedures, I under went surgery. I was amazed at the difference it made in my ability to eat and I was soon gaining weight again.

Unfortunately over that time I had become very weak and surgery only made that worse. I was told I would regain the strength I had lost but I never did, it just got worse and continues to do so.

How has your illness changed your life?

There is no cure or perfect treatment and I have good and bad days but am getting to know my body and what I can and cannot push myself to do. It has certainly made me more aware of people with disabilities and given me a desire to help them and live each and every day to the full!

What are your goals for the future? (Not related to your health)


I am currently at uni after leaving work as I am perusing a career with youth and young adults in a ministerial way and thankfully I am able to live very close to my family who know and are very good with me and my conditions so allow me to rest when needed and help me out when I need some assistance.

I want to make the young people around me aware of how special they are and blessed they are and help those who are less fortunate-financially, socially, health wise etc.

What are your goals for the future? (Health related)

I hope that I will learn to manage my health conditions and help make others aware of invisible illness.
There are currently no cures for any of my issues and so I would hope and pray that in 10 years, maybe there will be some developments that will help myself and others facing these health problems day to day!

Do you consider yourself handicapped or disabled? Why or why not?

Legally, no. But if someone asks why I can’t do something or go somewhere I explain that my body doesn’t always work properly and so I guess that is just another way of saying less abled



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