I might suggest using hand weights for your arms. Repetitions. I am not a DR or physical therapist. However, I have been in PT on and off for years. If you're walking as exercise (which is great with Fibro) perhaps you can walk with weights in your hands and GENTLY swing your arms. I repeat, gently. Water exercises are also great. When you feel pain, you're over doing it. Back off a bit. The one thing I don't want to do is ADD TO MY PAIN. The chiropracter helps me, with massage, hot rocks, heat and stimulation, and I go once a week. I know my body. If I push myself to do something I know I shouldn't do, I pay for it with horribly with increased pain for many days. After awhile, I've learned to try not to do that. Living alone, if I don't do it, it doesn't get done. Space things out and pace yourself. I cannot afford to hire a house keeper and I do not have the energy to do it like I used to..meaning, clean the house in one afternoon. Fibro is just one of many maladies I have. And SSD does not pay enough to add a housekeeper to the monthly bills.View Thread
I wanted to wish you best of luck with filing for disability. I knew what I was up against but have a few exceptional Dr's who encouraged me to file for SSD. I live alone, have a dtr who lives about 1 hours from me @ way, and I am on SSD. I had a work injury a few years ago which made me unable to go back to work. **** I filed for SSD on my own - first through the computer. When I thought there was something wrong (that the computer had a glitch), I went down to them and gave them all the information again. There WAS A GLITCH with the computer that had never happened before. I put EVERYTHING down on the forms that was wrong with me, even if I thought it wasn't a big deal. Example - Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, RA, chronic migraines, spinal stenosis, pinched nerves on both sides of my neck, sciatica, right shoulder rotator cuff surgery, left shoulder rotator cuff bursitis & tendonitis, B/L carpal tunnel syndrome, LYME disease, B/L tumor in wrist, ETC. The more you put down (which you must prove), the better you are. It took me 3 (yes, three) months to get SSD on my own and 8 months to get my disability pension from my job! Go figure. You can do it. Some people try several times and are approved on the third try. If you try 3 times on your own, and you are denied, then you can hire a lawyer to assist you. It's not difficult if you have all of your paperwork together. List all medications you take. The forms they give you are long and tedious. Take your time and be thorough. If you can not write, go down to the SSD office and ask for their help, as you are disabled. If you hire an attorney right off the bat, you are then having to pay him for something that you might readily be able to do on your own. Make a list of all things you can't do, or can do with help. I'll be thinking of you. I wish you good luck!View Thread
This reply is to Bethrh30: I have a wonderful Dr who treats many FIBRO patients. Here are some of the meds that you might talk to you Dr about. AVINZA - A time released morphine. Because it gives you a timed out dosage, it helps so much if you are in incredible pain with Fibro. The starting dose is 30 mg for one day.
CYMBALTA -This medication has helped me a lot. The lowest dose (I believe) is 30 mg. My Dr had to find the right dose for me and it's helping a lot.
VOLTAREN ER - This is an anti-inflammatory medication that I take every day with milk or food in the AM. I wasn't sure how much it was helping until I had to have a colonoscopy and had to be off of the VOLTAREN for 10 days. OMG - I was in agony! I could not help being amazed at how helpful this drug was for me with FIBRO.
SOMA & ELAVIL - to take at bedtime. It relaxes me and the Elavil helps with depression. I sleep about 10 - 12 hours a day and this helps a lot.
I hope that some of this information helps you to at least start a conversation with your Dr. I have other illnesses that my Dr treats me for, but these medications, I use are basically for the Fibro. I also take Percocet for break through pain as I need it.
Best of luck. As my Dr had to find a combination of medications that would specifically help me, so might your Dr be able to do this for you. It might take a # of tries for him/her to get it right. But at least you'd be on the right path. DON'T GIVE UP.View Thread
I read your letter and I understand how you feel. I was widowed at 39, when my husband died suddenly in my arms o from a massive coronary.This left me with an 8 year old daughter to raise on my own. After that, I had LYME disease and then was diagnosed with Fibro, chronic migraines that come very often. Then osteoarthritis, and now RA. I am on 14 medications. I did apply for SSD on my own and it took 3 months. This was after I got hurt at work, and needed surgery. Following the surgery, I could not go back due to too many restrictions. Basically, they forced me out of work. Now you know a little about me. I didn't date until my daughter was 16. She doesn't remember her Dad too much but does remember that after he died, I was SICK ALL THE TIME. My boyfriend of 11 years is more of a companion/dear friend & we truly care about one another. He takes care of me and I take care of him. He sees me everyday practically, as we have our own homes. He's 13 years older than I am. My sister understands as she has FIBRO, OA & RA.We talk all the time and TRULY understand what's happening. Unfortunately, she lives in FL & I live in NY. Relatives know (kinda sorta) about the illnesses I have. A few co-workers know about my illnesses and are supportive. One of them has Fibro but a much less severe case. What I am trying to say is that it's important to tell those people who are close to you (friends and relatives who truly care) what's going on with you. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain You 'll find out who your true friends are and those who are not. The problem is that people look at me and from the outside & I look good. A bit chubby and I usually have a smile on my face. (I've been like that since I was a young child - can't help it.) I don't want to be "Debbie Downer" but my life is as it is.I am grateful to be alive. Warm water therapy does help, as does the chiropractor, massage, acupuncture, etc. Being on SSD, my life is less stressful. I do what I can do and try to pace myself. If I want to do a chore one day, and I wake up feeling like I got hit by a truck, I take my medication, rest and know I will try another day. My daughter does not live near me and I think it's better for me. My house is far from perfect (quite a bit of clutter) and that drives her crazy. With her not living nearby, I don't have that constant STRESS on me to PLEASE HER. I just can't do it!! My friends make plans and know that at the last minute, I may NOT be able to go. I no longer travel because the last bunch of times I did, I was sick away from home and very uncomfortable. I did not get to enjoy the festivities. Why bother. I have learned to ACCEPT this hand that I have been dealt and live it to the best of my ability. One last thing, if you can, ALLOW some people in. They may surprise you and actually be there for you! Also, the ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION sometimes has FIBROMYALGIA SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS. They are very helpful, give you things to think about that you hadn't heard before and share ideas, thoughts about different medications and ways to feel better. When my sister visited me, I actually brought her to some of the meetings and she was thrilled to be near people who knew what she was going through. When you hear all the stories, your situation might not look so bad! You remember, THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I ? Check it out and best of luck. I'm also a very good listener!View Thread
I agree that when you have Fibro, and your are in pain 24/7, you care less about what you are eating and many times, I don't eat a balanced meal. I'll choose cereal and low fat milk in the AM. I do this because I need to eat something in order to take some of my medications, so they won't bother my stomach. Many times, if I feel crappy, I'll pass on lunch or dinner. I find that what's best for me is inviting my boyfriend over for dinner. I then take the time to make it a balanced meal. Or he buys dinner and it's balanced. This way, I have a good meal and I am with someone who is supportive of the Fibro, OA, RA, chronic migraines...etc. He's there for me and I'm there for him. I do not know what I would do without his support. Other friends say they want to help, but my being a type A personality, I would never ask. I am usually the one doing for others. I've been that way my entire life. I am having another knee surgery next week and with Fibro,any surgery is a bit more difficult. I never thought I had depression, but depression and Fibro go hand in hand. I take Cymbalta during the day and Soma & Elavil at bedtime.I take 14 different medications and because of Fibro fog, I have to write everything down. I am fortunate to have accepted this life that I have and for better or worse, this is my life. I am no going to feel sorry for myself, but rather grateful that I have a wonderful doctor and a supportive boyfriend and family. I guess...it could be worse! Best of luck in feeling better!View Thread
I began being in constant pain at least 19 years ago. I had been in a car accident - as usual, waiting with my blinker on for a parking space to clear. Wrong place at the wrong time. An 18 yo girl was driving while putting on her make-up. BAM! I needed carpal tunnel surgery after that. Went for surgery and then PT for the whip last. My husband died suddenly, in my arms, at the age of 45 on Father's Day that year. The Dr's couldn't understand why the PT wasn't making my shoulders, body, whip lash pains better, so they took a bunch of blood work. You know what came up positive? LYME DISEASE! I could not believe it. My 8 yo daughter and I did nothing after my husband died that summer. We didn't go camping and we didn't have a rash. (I had LYME and then my daughter was diagnosed but with a more mild case). I got treated with the big guns, Rosephin IV for 28 days. Thank goodness for that FLUKE & for my being tested. I could have had so many neurological problems from the Lyme, but it was caught relatively early. I HAD NO RASH! When I started going to FIBROMYALGIA SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS and of course, doing my own research, I found out that there are 3 different causes affiliated with the onset of Fibro and I had all three! 1. the death of someone close to you (spouse, parents, child, etc) 2. LYME DISEASE and 3. car accidents (by then, I had been involved in 9 - none of my causing). BINGO! I went from one Dr in a research hospital who thought that if he got rid of the inflammation, the pain would go away, so no pain meds. They really didn't know what FIBRO was, let alone how to treat it. After trial and error, I finally found a Dr (Neurologist) who is also my pain specialist. He is a wonder and I wouldn't feel even this good, without him. I do take about 14 medications. So, he treats me for Fibro and the chronic migraines, chronic pain, and osteoarthritis. I see a rheumatologist for the RA and am on Orencia infusions, which seem to help better than Enbrel or Remicade. Fibro is a day by day disease. I take heavy duty medications that help me to keep on going. Whne I was a young kid, I always wanted to live to be at least 100. Now, at almost 59 years old, I still want to live that long. As long as I can manage the pain.View Thread
I actually see my neurologist who sees many, many, many patients with Fibro and is also my pain specialist. He has made a combination of medications that truly help me function and not feel like I want to give up. I have had Fibro for 19 years. I used to be involved in a Fibro Support Group that was related to the Arthritis Foundation. They haven't had it for a # of years due to enrollment being down, but it was very helpful.View Thread
I read your letter twice, Hard to concentrate with an awful migraine and FM. I understand how you feel. I've had FM for 19 years and have changed meds many times. I found a wonderful Dr who is a marvel with FM patients and he has put me on a combination of meds that not only helps the FM, chronic migraines, but the other medical problems I have. I couldn't do this without him. Dropping medical insurance FOR YOU, I don't think is wise AT ALL! Last year, the cost of my medications if I didn't have insurance would've been $21K ! You heard it, 21 thousand $. Unreal! That is not counting all the Dr's co-pays, tests, etc. At a minimum, hold onto the medical insurance for you! Have you applied for SSD? With all that going on with me, I applied by myself for SSD and got it! Two years after you are approved for SSD, you go on Medicare. Think about it and good luck!View Thread
I know exactly where you are coming from, as I've been there myself. First off, have you applied for social security disability? You can do this online with the help of your spouse (get all of your information together before you sit down in front of the computer). If you feel that you can not do this alone, you can contact an attorney who helps people get SSD. You had to stop working because of your disability with Fibromyalgia, Chronic migraines, fatigue, etc...write down all of the problems you have, medical and psychological. Depression and Fibro go hand in hand - even if people don't want to admit it. Have you seen a doctor (pain specialist who deals with Fibro)? There are medications out there that can help immensely. I go to the chiropractor once a week. That and massage helps. When I find myself saying (to myself) that I'd like to dig a hole in the ground, that's when I know that I need to talk to someone who understands. The Arthritis Foundation sometimes has Fibro Support Groups. Check and see if there are any in your area. Talking to people who live near you, who have the same illnesses you have, can be comforting and reassuring. Accepting your situation and realizing your incapacities is necessary. Beating yourself up over not having a job is futile,if you can not do a job competently. I would suggest trying to apply for SSD and take it from there Best of luck!.View Thread