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Please Help---Thank You
4 Replies
#1angelswife - November 29

I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and I am feeling overwhelmed. I am not sure how to best manage it yet---I don't want the heavy meds except as a last resort because of the side effects. I am not used to being like this and feel really scared sometimes. My husband doesn't understand and says if I don't think about it won't bother me. How have others here learned to deal with it effectively? I could use some insight---thank you!


Fantod - November 29

Hello #1angelswife and welcome to the board! This is the most comphrensive site on the Internet for information about Fibromyalgia (FMS). There is a lot of good information in the blue boxes on the lefthand side of this page. And, we have a good group of people available to offer support, suggestions or just listen when you need to rant.

Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a disorder of the central nervous system. It is correctly referred to as a syndrome. The mechanism that causes it is not understood. There is no cure but it can be managed with certain classes of prescribed medication. OTC remedies like Tylenol do not work for the type of pain associated with FMS. Fibromyalgia is recognised by the National Arthitis Foundation, The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

One of the reasons that you are in so much pain is that you are not getting restorative, deep sleep. FMS interrupts the deep sleep cycle with short bursts of high intensity brain activity. Your muscles require deep sleep in order to repair themselves from the days activities. No deep sleep means higher levels of pain. Treating the sleep issues associated with FMS is a crucial part of treatment. You should be on a sleep aid like Amitriptyline.

There are now three prescribed medications used to treat FMS. You have probably seen the ads on TV for Lyrica. The most common complaint associated with this medication is rapid weight gain. It may not happen to everyone but when it does most rheumotologists are not proactive about changing medications. The second choice is Cymbalta which addresses both the pain and depression associated with FMS. I use Cymbalta myself and have had pretty good results. The third and newest choice is Savella. It has been used in Europe for decades and was approved for use in the USA last year. It is going to take time and a lot of tinkering to find the right combination of medication and doseage to make you more comfortable. At a bare minimum, it will take two weeks or longer once you start on something to notice any difference.

The key thing to remember is that the longer a chronic pain cycle continues, the harder it becomes to manage or stop. I highly recommend that you rethink your opposition to prescribed medication. FMS places a great deal stress on the body as a whole. You will enjoy a better quality of life on prescribed medication than without.

With regards to to diet, if you use an artifical sweetner (including Splenda) get rid of it. If you need a sweetner, use something made with the nontoxic Stevia plant like Sun Crystals or Truvia. You can find the latter in the grocery store alongside the other sweetners. Try to avoid eating deep fried food, lunchmeat or red wine (nitrates) as these items will also ratchet up your pain level.

Your husband's reaction to Fibromyalgia is not unusual. Most of us have family members or friends who just can't/won't acknowledge it. I'd like to suggest that you share this website with him. If you want to keep this site for yourself, than go to the National Arthitis Foundation website and use the "search" function to find the section on FMS. Give him a link so he can read about it for herself. You could also purchase "Fibromyalgia for Dummies" through Amazon. Like the rest of the dummies series, it contains good basic information. Read it yourself and pass it around among family and friends. I'd also like to gently suggest that you consider finding a therapist who deals with chronic illness. Many of us see someone and find the extra support very helpful. You can call your local hospital and ask for the physician referral service. They should be able to recommend someone. The other option is to use Google and see who pops up in your metro area.

The key to living with FMS is learning to be grateful for what you can accomplish rather than what you are no longer able to manage. You must learn to pace yourself and respect what your body is telling you. Learn to say "no" and not feel guilty about it. Break tasks down into more managable increments and/or not be too proud to ask for help. FMS is variable on a daily basis. This makes it very difficult to plan. You will have good days but you will also have bad days. Knowledge is power. Read through the blue boxes on the lefthand side of this page and look at some of the old posts to see how people manage this syndrome. You are not alone. I hope that my comments are helpful to you. Take care and God Bless.


#1angelswife - December 3

Thanks, Fantod---nice to "talk" with someone who understands .
I did break down and use the Cyclobenzeprine for a couple of days. I will probably use it sparingly! It did knock the pain out but I couldn't function too well. I was high enough that I didn't care when I tripped over the kitchen table. Plus I would tell myself I had to get up and do something but keep on sitting there. Maybe that will pass over time.
I wish I could pinpoint what makes me flare up. I will probably learn that over time; it's a bit frustrating right now, though. I can have a couple of good days and then for no reason I can see start hurting again. It is certainly teaching me patience!


#1angelswife - December 3

Oh yes---I did share this web site with my husband. He is interested in learning about it, which is a good start. Maybe he'll stop nagging me about cleaning the house!


Fantod - December 4

There is no rhyme or reason to FMS. It comes and goes as it pleases. You just have to learn to roll with it.

Sometimes flares can be attributed to additional stress, monthly cycle, bad eating choices but more often than not it is just a function of the syndrome. I would encourage you to take medication to control your symptoms on a daily basis (Lyrica, Cymbalata or Savella). You and the rest of your family will enjoy a better quality of life. It isn't just you who is affected; the family unit suffers as a whole.

Take care and enjoy the weekend.



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