Shandra Smith, photo taken by Laryn Gilmour

West Kelowna woman speaks on how fibromyalgia changed her life

May 12 is fibromyalgia awareness day

A West Kelowna mother is speaking out about her daily struggle with fibromyalgia, just ahead of World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day this Sunday.

“I deal with a chronic pain condition, a lot of people don’t know about because it is an invisible condition that causes pain in your muscles, stiffness and pain in your joints,” said Shandra Smith. “I’m an artist, mother and wife and some days I have very limited energy to do the things I need to do and others I will be okay.”

READ MORE: Major grant bolsters Penticton doctors research on pain

Smith said researchers think it is something in the brain that amplifies the pain signal in the brain. She said it can be difficult to open doors and walking up stairs.

“I have had a few instances where people didn’t understand and got angry with me for walking slow or having to press the button to open the door because I couldn’t myself. This is an invisible disease so most people don’t know what’s wrong and that is why I want to draw awareness of fibromyalgia,” Smith said.

READ MORE: Kelowna woman turns tough situation into business opportunity

Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Some of the symptoms chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points, which can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes and stress management.

Smith said she is on Lyrica for the pain, but she tries to stick with natural pain relievers and changes to her lifestyle to deal with the aches.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

Kelowna mothers to share grief, spread awareness for Overdose Day

Moms Stop the Harm is hosting an event for International Overdose Awareness Day in Kerry Park

Latino-American rock ‘n’ roll band The Mavericks coming to Kelowna

Kelowna is the only B.C. stop on the band’s worldwide tour

UBC Okanagan Heat score 10 goals in pre-season double-header

Two exhibition wins in the U.S. to start the year for the mens Heat squad

Kelowna transit system to add new routes in September

The decision is due to increase in demand, according to BC Transit

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read