Judi: It's so frustrating because with me the pain -- it started at night. I would wake up because I would be lying on my hip and my hip would hurt. So when I woke up in the morning my hip would be real sore. And then over several weeks, it got worse and worse and worse. I went to the doctor and said I have this pain. And then over the next -- I guess -- couple of months it became this pain that I had all the time, in my knees and my hips -- which they still to this day don't know why I have it. Until they put me on around the clock pain medication, I was just in constant...constant pain. And it's- pain is such a funny thing because nobody can see it from the outside.
Mike: Yeah, exactly.
Jackie: It's a hidden disability.
Judi: It is.
Abby: My pain just started one day, and I had no idea what it was. It was very different than arthritic pain and it just wouldn't go away, and I got some very good advice from a friend who had just had a bout with cancer. He just said: "Abby, manage your own…just manage your own disease."
Mike: That's what you just said you do too.
Abby: And I said: "Well, how do I manage something that I don't even know what it is? So how do you manage it?" And he said: "Just do it." And I have to say, the day I was diagnosed was one of the happiest days in my life.
Cindy: I just thought: 'Well, there's got to be a cure for this. I mean there's got to be- it's going to go away soon isn't it?' So I kept trying every new treatment. Treatment after treatment after treatment -- and you get your hopes up. And it's like a roller coaster, and you know -- you're hoping the next treatment is going to work, and then you try it and give it a good try and you try it again and try it again and it doesn't work and you're like dashed -- and that was like five years of that.