A FORMER Page 3 model has revealed how she was left suicidal, house-bound and too tired for sex after her devastating battle with fibromyalgia.
Bubbly blonde Jo Guest was a popular glamour model in the nineties, before the illness struck from nowhere, and started to affect her career and looks.
In 2007, Derbyshire-born Jo, 47, had left behind her life in London filled with smoking and drinking for a healthier routine in Bournemouth, when she started to experience severe bloating.
Despite her life then consisting of smoothies and exercise, she claimed her swollen stomach made her look pregnant.
She also started suffering from exhaustion, vomiting and aching limbs, which left her too tired to wash more than once a week or work.
She told This Morning: “One day I tried to put on my favourite boots and couldn't zip them up - I realised my calves were swollen. I thought maybe it was down to the change in my lifestyle.
"At first I thought it was just a virus, but it just wouldn't stop. I was getting up and being sick all morning and having to spend the afternoon in bed.”
As she didn’t have the energy to continue her work as a model, she was forced to sell her flat along with underwear and memorabilia from her glamour modelling days.
Why would any man want to have sex with me now? I feel so unattractive and I’ve got this horrible belly.Jo Guest
Despite doctors doing tests and scans, medical professionals could not find anything wrong with her, which left her devastated.
She said: “When you come out of hospital and you're told everything's normal, you should be happy, but I don't want to be told everything's normal — I just want to be told what's wrong with me.”
Finally, doctors diagnosed her with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) and fibromyalgia, which explained the agonising pain in her joints and muscles.
At first her treatment started to work, but soon she stopped responding to treatment and gave up hopes of doing webcam work on a live adult channel.
At this point she had racked up debts of £15,000, and the former successful pin-up was forced to live off £65-a-week in benefits.
Jo even gave up on love, and told the Daily Star at the time: “Why would any man want to have sex with me now? I feel so unattractive and I’ve got this horrible belly.
“I used to love wearing sexy clothes and short skirts, but I don’t enjoy dressing up any more.
“The spark has gone out of life. It’s hard to feel good about yourself or like a sexy woman when you feel so ill.”
Things took a turn for the worst when her beloved dog Molly was diagnosed with cancer.
She said that since her own illness she felt like her life had been “taken away.”
Jo added: “I fell into a dark, dark place after the vet told me Molly’s cancer had spread and she was about to die.
What is fibromyalgia?
Also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), fibromyalgia is a long-term condition which causes pain all over the body.
As well as chronic pain, fibromyalgia can cause increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue and muscle stiffness, according to the NHS.
Sufferers can also have difficulty sleeping, as well as memory loss, concentration problems, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but researchers believe it may be related to chemicals in the brain and could be affected by genes inherited from your parents.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, although in many cases symptoms can be controlled to make it easier to live with.
Exercise has been found to help ease many painful symptoms, while others find relaxation techniques can help keep the condition under control.
Treatment could include a combination of lifestyle changes, painkilling medication and counselling or another form of therapy, like CBT.
"The news pushed me over the edge. I couldn’t face my life any more and I searched the net to find the best way to kill myself.”
She revealed she even rang the Samaritans in the middle of the night, and they had managed to talk her out of any dangerous plans.
The former model was diagnosed with depression and thankfully got help, which enabled her to return to Men & Motors and stars on their YouTube channel.
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans (free) on 116 123.
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