Han­nah shares her ex­pe­ri­ences of painful con­di­tion

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

EV­ERY­ONE ex­pe­ri­ences pain – but not ev­ery­one is forced to fight it ev­ery day of their lives.

For one young woman, it got to the point where she would be scream­ing in agony – and now she wants to help other peo­ple suf­fer­ing the same con­di­tion.

Han­nah Davies, from Pon­typridd, was di­ag­nosed with fi­bromyal­gia when she was just 13.

It’s a con­di­tion that causes pain to be ex­pe­ri­enced all over the body and it can also cause fa­tigue and mus­cle stiff­ness and makes it dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to sleep.

It mostly oc­curs in peo­ple be­tween the ages of 30 and 50 so it was quite un­usual for Han­nah to be di­ag­nosed at such a young age.

But, af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing pain for quite a long time, she was de­ter­mined to find out ex­actly what was caus­ing her to feel so distressed.

Han­nah said: “I had been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing re­ally bad stom­ach cramps and was suf­fer­ing with bad pain in my legs which did not seem to make much sense.

“For some peo­ple it can take up to five years be­fore they are di­ag­nosed.

“I had been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing stom­ach cramps for about two years be­fore I was di­ag­nosed.

“I had a lot of tests done be­fore­hand but they kept com­ing back say­ing there was noth­ing wrong.”

Fi­nally be­ing given a name for the con­di­tion came as a re­lief to Han­nah.

She said it was con­fir­ma­tion she hadn’t made any of her symp­toms up.

When Han­nah was ini­tially di­ag­nosed she was suf­fer­ing a lot.

She would miss school in blocks and some­times she would be ab­sent for up to six weeks at a time.

“The stom­ach cramps started get­ting bet­ter when I was in year nine but all the other symp­toms are still there,” she added.

“Un­for­tu­nately there is not re­ally a lot you can do for the con­di­tion.

“You just have to deal with it for the rest of your life.

“You can help to con­trol it with med­i­ca­tion but you just have to get on with it re­ally.”

Han­nah, who is now 20, wants to show other peo­ple just how much the con­di­tion can take over your life.

She thinks there is a lot of “neg­a­tive talk” about fi­bromyal­gia be­cause the ill­ness is “mis­un­der­stood”.

For this rea­son she’s set up a blog to doc­u­ment her feel­ings and ex­pe­ri­ences.

Han­nah said: “There are some days when I can’t even get out of bed. “It’s hard to deal with – it’s re­ally tough. “When it came to the blog, I had been think­ing about it for a while.

“I have al­ways loved writ­ing and then there was one time when I had a par­tic­u­larly bad day.

“I was in a lot of pain and was feel­ing re­ally de­pressed.

“I had to use the dis­abled shower be­cause I could not stand up for long enough to wash my­self and I thought ‘I don’t think peo­ple talk about the con­di­tion enough to un­der­stand it’ and it’s a big prob­lem.”

In a plea to get more peo­ple tak­ing about chronic ill­nesses, Han­nah set up The Pain Princess.

She hopes it will help to break down the stigma of con­di­tions like fi­bromyal­gia – and so far it’s been a great suc­cess.

As well as re­ceiv­ing a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back, Han­nah has also seen peo­ple around the world read her story.

She said: “I did not think many peo­ple would read it but I’ve had so many pos­i­tive com­ments.

“I’ve heard from peo­ple who claim that fi­bromyal­gia makes more sense to them now and it’s helped them to un­der­stand.

“My fam­ily and my boyfriend have been so sup­port­ive through­out ev­ery­thing.

“My mother some­times has to dress me and by boyfriend some­times has to wash my hair for me.

“I wouldn’t have been able to be as pos­i­tive as I am with­out them.

“They are will­ing to do any­thing for me and I want to show how grate­ful I am to them.”

To read more about Han­nah’s story visit her blog at the­p­ainprincess.word­press.com

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