The 6 Different Stages of Fibromyalgia, I have 3 Stage. What’s Your Stage ?

When being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, one of the first thoughts to go through your head is, ‘Is this illness progressive?’

Many Doctors have done research into whether Fibromyalgia is a progressive illness like it’s sister illnesses MS and Lupus. However the jury is still out on this and many doctors will tell you that Fibro is not progressive. So if this is the case how come many of us, seem to go through six very different stages that Angela Wise wrote a post about. She believes there are stages of Fibromyalgia.

Stage 1

You have started to experience more pain and fatigue then you have had before and you’re not sure what is going on. You can hold a job and make it through the day but you know something isn’t right, you start researching and going to the doctor.

Stage 2

You are in pain a lot and taking anti-inflammatory drugs and/or other pain killers however you do not get much relief. You now start to accept the fact that this is something you are going to have for a while. You feel a lot of pain and are exhausted almost every day but you keep going and manage to hold down a job, still spend time with your friends and loved ones and have some good times here and there.

Stage 3

You’re in constant pain and you’re constantly tired. You wonder whether you will be ever able to function normal again. You are considering not working because you no longer have the energy you once had. You come home from work and all you can do is rest. You start to turn down invitations from friends and family just so you can rest to go back to work tomorrow. You start to feel more alone. More people are beginning to think you whine too much. This stage can last a long time, perhaps years.

Stage 4

You are unrelenting pain all the time, good days are now few and far between. You are calling into work more then you can make it in. You’re in bed a good portion of your day. When you do have a good day you take full advantage of it and do as much as you can, knowing you will pay for it tomorrow. By this time your friends start to make plans without you, they already know your excuses and are nearly certain you will not join in. People start to thing you are using Fibromyalgia as a reason not to do things as in stages 1-3 you were able to do a lot more then you can now. You feel alone, isolated, worried, emotional, sad. This stage can last years.

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Stage 5

You have already quit your job or been let go due to ill health. You are asking loads of questions about permanent disability and how long it takes to get it. You may have a person who takes care of you and spend a lot of your day in bed although you still take full advantage of that one good day once in a while. You’re very sore, you cry a lot and feel like a prisoner in your own body. By this time you have already explained to your friends that it still feels food to be invited even if you don’t go. You find the only people that can relate are those in the same predicament however you wish your friends and family could understand.

Stage 6 (The Final Stage)

You may or may not still be waiting for your disability pension. You cannot hold down a job. Fibromyalgia is now your lifestyle, most of your friends are those living with fibromyalgia themselves. Everything you do takes all your precious energy including simple daily tasks you took for granted in earlier stages like; going to the bathroom, washing your hair, taking a shower, getting dressed, tying your shoes. You get irritated by your hair or clothes touching your skin, you have no energy or desire to put on “your face” before going out and no energy to keep a neat home. With all the medication you are on now or have tried, you are dealing with loads of  side effects and constant pain.

You are a human and still enjoy some things, like watching TV so you try to stay current on any news regarding Fibromyalgia, in hopes they are closer to finding a cure. Most of your old friends are not around anymore, as they have things to do and families. However you need to rest a lot. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in this stage, because things are piling up around you: bills, laundry, dishes. You do a little everyday, you push yourself so you don’t feel like your day was wasted in bed, you feel guilty that you no longer pull your own weight in the house. Your kids, spouse or family do things for you more than ever. They try to do it in a nice manner but you still feel like a burden. You can’t remember anything, cannot recall names or dates and you lose your train of thought mid-sentence. Also you know more about Fibromyalgia in this stage then your own doctor and basically laugh when trying a new medication. You are without hope, same drill as before, same results, nothing helps much.


14 thoughts on “The 6 Different Stages of Fibromyalgia, I have 3 Stage. What’s Your Stage ?

  1. I’m in level 6. I was diagnosed in my 20’s & I am now 62. I just try to get up every day & do the best I can. Most doctors just want me to go away.

  2. I’m at stage 6 as for medications none work for me so don’t take them. The side effects for me drag me down even more.

  3. Level 6, no one understands and I just can’t even pretend to feel good anymore just to suit family or friends. A lot of family and friends are gone since I can no longer DO for them, as now I am useless.

  4. 40 years? I thought it was a new illness?
    I have had it for 5 years. I feel horrible waking up with no medicine in my system. Exhausted and can sleep for days.

  5. I moved through all six stages from 1999-2004. My advice to get a supportive Neurologist. Stay active to keep fit and find the best pain relief possible. Medical Marijuana is the best for me as all the other meds made me sick. I still use opiods though when the pain is most unbearable, this is why you will need a supportive Neurologist. The worst part for me is losing my mobility slowly over 20 years but I refuse to give up. I have a cane, a walker, and a power chair to help me. Swimming and water aerobics have been the best exercise for keeping fit. I also have a Service Dog that has been my saving grace, she gives me a reason to get up every morning and chases away the depression that tries to set in. Mindfulness and meditation has also been a blessing as I never get caught up in “oh poor me”. It sucks but you have to suck it up and enjoy everything in life.

  6. Sorry Cheri Bennett. Those doctors you saw are so wrong. But you’ve got a great attitude. We can only do the best we can.
    I’m in Stage 6 as well. Was diagnosed at 31 and am now 63. Reading the Stage 6 here is the story of my life. I try hard not to think of what I can’t do, and look for things I can do that bring me some enjoyment. It’s a struggle.

  7. I am a 5/6..I am over weight and I am falling down..6 tmes in the last year. ..I just fell Mondsy
    I hurt my wrist elbow ect..I am depressed

  8. Definitely stage 6 now. Diagnosed with “ it is all in your mind dear” from 1967 to 1997 when I finally got a diagnosis. Currently 67 I am mainly bed bound and have to rest or sleep up to 20 hours a day. On the odd good day I use a powerchair to get out and get some fresh air. I can recognise all 6 stages from this article and know when I went from one level to the next over the course of 50 years. I no longer have any support from family or friends and have to rely on state supplied “care” for the most basic support. I am allowed 45 minute per weekday, none at weekends.

    Most nights now I pray that I will die in my sleep.

  9. Stage 6. Diagnosed in 2002. Taking one day at a time. I also see a neurologist. Fell outside on concrete Saturday evening. Fortunately no fractures and nothing broken…just what I needed…NOT!

  10. I am on stage six. it makes it even harder people don’t understand, they think oh you just have a headache .get over it…. I wish it was that simple 😷🤯🤨

  11. Oh snap! I’m a 6 😱 keep thinking tomorrow I will be better and will have the energy to do basic things. Today I brushed my hair. Then I had to take a rest. 🙁

  12. I started experiencing significant symptoms at age 21, diagnosed at 25 and am now 50. I was in stage 6 by my miid 20s however I worked as a teacher 9-3(Ilooking back I don’t know how I did it with extreme fatigue and pain) long story short I was definitely in stage 6 until I my late 30s and then something strange happened. The symptoms began to decrease just a little every year. Today, while I still have flares if I “break the rules” I have many many more good days than bad. My psychiatrist attributes this to what he calls “ fibromyalgia “ffizzle out”
    I myself believe that when I started talking Effexor at age 30 my symptoms while very slight, decreased just a little every year. It took years to notice but every 5 or so years I would notice symptoms improving. Has anyone had this experience? FYI I was sick 24 hours a day from 21-37 with diagnosis of interstitial cystitis, IBS, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue. It’s just been in the last 10 or so years that the symptoms really decreased significantly. If too much info I apologize.

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