We are such amazing people. We feel like h**l all the time. We never get a real night's sleep. We wade through fibrofog. And those we love are baffled--as who wouldn't be--by the way our symptoms change from day to day or year to year. We are blessed with a medical community that is at least semi-skeptical about fibromyalgia and its effect on our lives.
And yet the outpouring of support, of kindness, of love that permeates this website tells a different story. We are not sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves (except on VERY bad days). We are not shutting ourselves off from the world we live in.
What we are doing is raising our families, participating in community activities like little league and our churches, and, of course, participating in this forum.
We care so much about each other. It's like we are an extended family of caring individuals ready to fight each others' dragons, furnish each other with soft hugs, share the experience of what worked (and what didn't), and even let each other gripe as needed.
What's my biggest pet peeve? Too many of us don't have this support. Too many of us don't know where to turn for the connection we need, the validation we need. It's all part of the big picture. No one knows what causes fibro. No one knows how to cure it or even consistently treat it. So we are left alone with no answers and no hope.
BUT ALL OF YOU BRING HOPE. Each of us brings a candle of hope into the darkness that can be fibromyalgia. When our candles come together, there is a wondrous, warm light. There are no dark corners here.
It sounds like you have a reasonable plan--making yourself the captain of your care and letting other providers serve you as you need them.
Gosh, 10 minutes sounds like forever to me. I start with 2 and add 1 each day for any new routine. This is from someone who has overdone it entirely too many times.
You never know, you might get some new doc in town who is just great. We got a lot of our M.D.s through "Rural Appalacian Grants" back in the 70's. They got their training free in exchange for 2 years of rural practice. Many of them stayed in the area. Trouble is, they are all getting older. We'll have a real shortage in the next 5-10 years unless that new health initiative starts cranking out primary care physicians.
Right now, our dentist, our family practicioner, and our eye doctor are all approaching retirement--or past that age. Makes me feel like a two year old when she doesn't get her age. I want to stage a tantrum. We had a lot more energy and some good references from our old docs when we moved here in 1972. Like you, I do not relish finding a new medical team.
One doctor told me, "If you know exactly how your poop looks every day, you have irritable bowel." I'm sure that sweetie would categorize us FMers as "If you can feel every cell in your body, you have fibromyalgia."
All kidding aside, there are some pretty nasty things that can happen to your skin--things like malignant melanoma and MRSA. If it's bigger than a pencil eraser, check it out to be sure. And if it is from your meds, that's where to fix things.
Fran's right about all the options you have as an RN. As a ChemTech, (at 37) I shared a lot of classes with the nursing students. You wouldn't believe the things those girls (and a few guys) are doing now. The school nurse route is a great option for those of us with kids. Summers off! One of the girls went on to become a family therapist. Two work for drug companies.
It's fun walking into a new place and meeting up with all these super nurses. You are a great bunch of people. Don't let FM stop you from using all the skills you have learned.
(Just between us here, the education courses for teachers are a heck of a lot easier than, say, organic chemistry or anatomy. Fibrofog would not be such a big problem. Some courses are even online so you could pace yourself and work more on good days or the best time of day for your body.)
Do you really need THAT doctor? Would your family practicioner be willing to write your pain scripts? That's what my hubby wound up doing.
Speaking of our FP, you weren't on here when I told about a talk I had with him. I came right out and told him it seemed as if he wanted nothing to do with my aches and pains. He said he just felt bad because there was no real help he could give. It made HIM feel like a failure. Talk about your aha moment! I still go to the pain clinic for my nerve blocks (done in the O.R. with flouroscope guidance, thank you), but trust the FP for a lot more of my care.
It's great that Aden had a super birthday. I'm sure the best part was having Mom all to himself all day!
Sorry about your toe. Could it be gout? If so, there is treatment for that. Don't laugh, but that's what's in my neck. No big, fat, wine-swilling, middle-aged man with his leg up on the ottoman, just one old lady with a gouty cervical spine.
Hope that the mess at work smooths out soon for you. Stress is a major problem for all of us. Instant flare; just add pain.
If you can possibly afford to, keep up your license. You never know what the future may bring. We may get a cure or at least much better treatment!
This condition is cyclical. We have good days and bad days. We also have good years and bad years. When a good year comes along, you will go stir crazy without your job.
God forbid, you may come to a time when it is work or starve. Spouses leave or die. Benefits run out. Children suddenly need expensive schooling or medical treatment.
My teaching certificate is permanent, but I know that if it were not, I would be renewing it until the day I died. It's sort of like my aunt who got her driver's license then went home and never drove again. She renewed that license for 50 years--just in case.
Ask your PT if you can have some kind of heat treatment BEFORE a session. Sometimes this helps. If not, what did you lose?
We have to play with heat and cold (be careful with cold--it can start flare-ups. Sometimes a little cold on an overworked muscle can cool down the pain. Sometimes heat soothes the pain. It's trial and error.
Not all physical therapists know how to deal with fibro. I've had many courses of PT over the years. One time the initial evaluation threw me into a major flare that lasted 6 weeks! (I should NOT have been on hands and knees lifting alternate hand and knee.) Since then, I've had abreviated evals and my PT has been in heated pools.
If you have the option of aquatic therapy, you should look into it. There is all of the motion/stretching, but none of the load. You can build strength, though by adding resistance tools. It just doesn't hurt unless you REALLY overdo it.
As to your addiction. You took drugs because you were in pain--whether physical like FM or emotional. You needed help, but went about getting it the wrong way. All of us here are seeking relief. We do it in different ways--some of them actually work, too.
Back when, I was still working, I used to dream about the weekend when I could sleep a little later, spend some quality time with the kids, smooze a little with hubby, and generally recharge those batteries.
In reality, the kids woke up at the same 6 A.M., all the usual farm chores were there along with sprucing up the house (it really needed it--guess what get's tracked into the house on barn boots?), cooking bigger "weekend" meals, company stayed late, and hubby and I conked out early.
You do what you HAVE to do. For most of us, that includes working full time. (How else would we ever afford the medical insurance we really, really use.) Try to conserve as much energy as possible. (USE your crock pot. Get those Reynolds crock pot liners so you won't have to scrub it. You get good quality, cheap meals from a crock pot. Remember to toss in a bag of carrots, Even kids eat them when they're covered with gravy. No need to peel, just scrub. Same for the spuds. Use the time you would have spent cooking supper for playing with the kids--or hubby. If you are single, you probably eat too many fast food meals. Try a small crock pot. You'll be amazed.)
You mention your mother. Mothers are wonderful. Treasure yours. Lean on her. Let her lean on you. It's called love. This is something that you never have too much of. As time goes on, she may do more of the leaning. You won't mind. Treasure that too.
About those antibiotics. When we need them, we need them. When we don't, we don't. The problem (even for docs) is knowing which is which. What if your "weird sore" had been MRSA? The doc was being extra careful. And that's how we get superbugs. You should carry a card with you at all times--in case you cannot TELL the doctor your allergies.
Hey, life is a process. Every day, every minute you learn.