I just wanted to say that you are far from being alone. My fibro began with my second pregnancy. The late term backache never went away. My son was up every night from 1 a.m. until breakfast for over a year. As you read more about fibro, you will discover that some of the earliest studies on fibromyalgia showed that volunteers who were deprived of restful sleep for a week--healthy college age volunteers--developed fibro-like symptoms.
That was 1972. Things have not really improved, but I have. It took 18 years to finally get a diagnosis. I guess I was lucky. That was the year that a group of rheumatologists got together and named fibromyalgia syndrome. They diagnosed it as widespread pain above and below the waist and on both sides of the body that has lasted at least 3 months. They confirmed their diagnosis by finding at least 18 tender points. In addition, they noted that there were other symptoms that seemed to occur with fibromyalgia.
Almost every one of the symptoms you suffer from can be linked to your fibro. Of course, since these symptoms can be caused by some nasty illnesses, they have to be investigated. And that's how I got my hysterectomy, gall bladder removal, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and LASEK (for daily migranes caused by the weight of my glasses) surgeries. I don't blame the fibro for the bladder neck suspension or hip replacement (and revision). I do blame it for the multiple bladder infections--treated with erythromycin which caused increasingly serious diarrhea with each treatment until finally I had a toilet bowl full of blood. I blame it for the chest, jaw, and arm pain that sent me to the cardiac/intensive care unit--all on the RIGHT side.
Please ask your librarian to find you copies of Dr. Devin Starlanyl's Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Sydrome: A Survival Manual--either the first or second edition. These earlier books list all of our crazy symptoms and more. Devin relates her own experiences and those of some of her patients' in dealing with them. She does this with compassion and humor.
Yes, you have made a life full of love and fulfillment. But you have done this while dealing with a condition that is still so little understood. You have been in near-constant pain. You have known precious little restorative sleep. You have had multiple chemical sensitivities (also covered in Devin's books). And still you are not well.
Read these early books. Then, after you have digested all this information, Read her latest, Healling Through Trigger Point Therapy. It gives a lot of practical, hands on techniques that may help you. Many of us have benefited greatly from her advice.
Please understand that there are ways to make your life a little less painful. Many of them do not involve taking medications (which would only result in more allergies or sensitivities).
Go slowly, very slowly. Accept that any body work you do--from physical therapy, to accupuncture, to trigger point pressure or injections, to gentle exercise--will release the toxins that are presently trapped in your myofascial tissues. Remember to hydrate, and to be super gentle to your body.
We all have this disease. (I refuse to call it a syndrome.) It effects each of us a little differently. No one treatment helps all of us. But each and every day, more is learned about our condition. Each and every day, we can expect more options to be available to us. And each and every day we can have more hope.
Cory, you must be extremely proud of your son. If he continues to excel, you will be amazed at the options open to him in this life. Students who have the combination of raw ability and the willingness to work hard can accomplish anything. Really!
Those who continue on this path do not need to worry about where the college money is coming from, either. I'm sure that this will be a blessing for you and your wife.
Now, let me give you a little preparation for what MAY come at some time in your son's future. No one is perfect. We all have strengths and weaknesses. There may come a time when your son encounters a course that is far from easy for him. (Mine was freshman typing.) No matter how much time and effort a student may put into this endeavor, he may never do well. If this happens, please let your son know that this is something that happens in life. He should do the best he can with a reasonable amount of effort. Then he should accept that he will not be getting A's in that subject. Don't let him be discouraged. Do not let him feel as this is a failure. In reality, it is a valuable lesson. He now knows more about himself and his natural aptitudes. He will be more tolerant to those who do not do as well as he does in those areas where he excells. And, like me, he will be able to rule out certain career paths. (I knew for a fact that I would never become a secretary!)
Sometimes, those who breeze through life with no roadblocks have no idea how to manage them when the eventually appear. Be there for your son to help him manage his and to learn from them.
Teach him also that doing something that does not come naturally to him may pay off later in life in totally unexpected ways. (Boy, am I ever glad I took that typing class--even with it's C- that pulled down my GPA. Without it, coming here would be a chore instead of a joy. Mind you, it took 55 years for me to get to THIS point in life.)
Another wonderful Spring day in WNY. And, boy, did we ever make use of it. Morning saw DH having the stitches out from that lump that was removed from his left hand 2 weeks ago. Everything went like it should. We even made it for our eye appointments downstairs on time. The lump was basal cell, and it was removed completely. Neither of us have any changes in our eyes. At 70 and 71, this is a big deal; so many of our friends and relatives get glaucoma or macreal degeneration at this age.
After the doctors, we split up with hubby going to the lumberyard and me to the library, grocery, and pharmacy. Wednesday is the day I fill our pill reminders, so it was time to get those that would run out next week.
Home with the groceries. DH helped me get them all in the house, and I put them away. Time to get a fresh ham roast in the oven. A little rest time, then the truck came to bring some cows to market. (Anyone who has bought beef lately knows that the market is up. Hopefully, they will bring enough to cover DH's spring planting costs for corn, reseeding pastures, fertilizer and other chemicals.)
Just as the guys got back in the house from loading the cows, a neighbor stopped to tell us some of the "teenage" cows were out of the pasture and heading towards the road. This has gotten to be a daily event. They think they're deer and jump over the barbed wire. Most of the time, they manage to knock the top wire loose in the process, too. So dinner was another hour later. I was just clearing the table at 9 o'clock. I'm tired.
Mary, sorry about the IBS coming back. I know how awful that can be. Either you are constantly worried about making it to a bathroom, or you are so blocked up that anything that does come out clangs as it hits the toilet bowl. The May issue of Reader's Digest has a 2-page spread on using fiber to manage your bowels. Basicly: The fiber in whole wheat, corn, and leafy vegetables speeds digestion and eases constipation. The fiber in oatmeal, beans, apples, strawberries, and blueberries slows things down and eases diarrhea.
Cory, I cannot imagine being on all fours. The last time I did it--for a physical therapy eval--I was sore in arms and legs for 3 weeks. You do this to support your family. You are their hero. Here's hoping that tomorrow lets you stand--or better yet sit--in order to do your job.
Hope you all get a restful night's sleep and find tomorrow a wonderful spring day full of hope.
I can top you for unwanted phone calls. In the past few days, I've had ones from "sites" that say I've been shopping around for:
A college degree. (I've got my 3 and--at 70--probably don't need another.
A new car.
A "rent to own" new home. (We'll keep our farm, thank you.
Needless to say, I checked with annualcreditreport.com. So far, no one's been checking us out there. Now for the state attorney general. My SIL had her credit/identity stolen, and it took her forever to straighten that mess out. Hopefully, any potential thieves will stick to people with a little more to steal than we have!
My dear friend, good neighbor, and cosmetologist, Jessie went with me to the dermatologist last week. We make a day of it going into the big, bad city of Buffalo each year. When she climbed into the car and buckled her seat belt, she noticed a stone was missing in her heirloom ring. On the off chance that the stone is somewhere in the Caravan, she is busily vacuuming my car from front to back. She's got a new bag in the vac and a nylon knee hi over the vac's hose. Little does she know. It's a 2006, and it's NEVER been vacuumed! Here's hoping she finds the stone. Wouldn't it be nice if she found it AFTER my whole car was vaced? (I know, some friend I am. But, remember, I can't really vacuum anymore unless I want a major flare.) Jessie says she has so much fun as we cruise whichever mall we wish and stop in any little town that beckons, that she feels guilty not buying my gas. So, my clean car will be a good thing all around.
We've got a cool (almost 60) day with spring gusts, high clouds, and plenty of sun. I'm dying to take a walk, but that darn hip won't let me. Weird. When I needed the left one replaced, it didn't hurt anywhere near as much as the right one does now. But the X-rays say it's just moderate osteoarthritis. Hopefully, the cortisone-in-the socket-guided-by flouroscope Monday does the trick.
Here I am with my spine at the waistline not hurting--at all--for the first time in 42 years, and I can't go for a walk because of my hip. What a crazy world. And I thought I would be so much better off after the radiofrequency ablation.
Hope the rest of you are experiencing a beautiful Spring day, and are feeling well enough to enjoy it. Each day is a gift. Treasure it.
It's been a merry go round of Dr. appointments for the past week or so. The short version is that I went to the orthopedic clinic to get my rt. hip assessed. It is not ready for replacement (thank goodness!) but should have some cortisone shots into the socket itself. I was referred back to the pain clinic to have it done under flouroscopy. The pain clinic does not do this procedure, but referred me back to their orthopedic clinic. Their ortho clinic does not do it, but referred me back to the original ortho clinic. Back at square one, I'll get my shot(s) on next Monday.
Squeezed into all the above, I also had my annual visit to the dermatologist. I have had basal cell carcinomas removed only to have them return in 6 years. There was also another BCC in another area on my face. Needless to say, I get my skin checked every year--all of it. Luckily, this year's 200 mile round trip found nothing new or troubling on my skin. I have a Rx for my usual cream to combat the painful red patches that settle into the folds under the boobs and under my abdomen's pouch. (Don't get old and saggy!)
DH and the two ladies who share our garden have finally agreed on their selections for this year. This time the seeds--not including any tomato plants, sweet corn, or potato seeds came to $150. That's an awful lot of money for a garden that must be plowed, rototilled, planted, fertilized, and weeded just to supply produce that can mature within our very short growing season--basically from June 15 to September 1, if we're lucky. At least the ladies do all the tedious hands on work of weeding, picking, canning, and freezing. I'm still able to cut salad greens most days, but it is a blessing to get those ziplock bags and mason jars of vegetables that other people work so hard to produce. So far, everyone seems to feel she has a fair return. I'm certainly not complaining.
Hope you all have a peaceful, pain free night's sleep and a wonderful day tomorrow.View Thread
There are still miracles in this world. Our cow wouldn't let DH get near her last night or this morning. Finally, at lunch time, she was tired enough for DH to get close to her and tie her to a fencepost. He managed to pull the calf out without getting kicked, too. Mother seems to be doing fine, but--as sometimes happens with first time moms--she had no intention of nursing her calf. DH had to drive to town and get a big bag of milk replacer (It's sort of like powdered milk. You mix it with lukewarm water.) and a new 2 qt. bottle. With any luck, she'll calm down and return to her baby like a good mother. If not, we'll just have to feed the little one with replacer for the next 6-8 weeks.
As to the miracle, that calf was half in and half out with both hind legs hanging out since 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon that we know of. That the little heifer made it out alive is close enough to a miracle for me.
I am so glad that you found your Sam. All pets give us unconditional love. And who doesn't need that? Therapy dogs can be lifesavers.
My schizophrenic son loves all animals. He volunteered at the zoo until his most recent hospitalization meant a move to a more restrictive placement. I am hoping that, once he returns to his own apartment, he will be able to resume working at the zoo.
I have tried to get his caregiving organization to allow him to adopt a dog, but so far they are far from receptive of that idea. If ever someone needed a dog it is my William. He still calls the dog he had in his teens (long since in doggy heaven) his best friend and keeps her photo in his room.
Several years ago, I was very pleased when the senior apartment where my mother lived decided to allow small pets. Most of the residents were widowed and lived alone. Having a pet as a companion was a wonderful way to make their lives fuller. Although Mom decided against a pet for herself (she was much too busy), she loved it when my brother and sister in law brought their little dogs along for family visits.
Yes, there are issues with a pet's care. (Not everyone has the patience to put up with an Emu oil drinker, either.) There are issues with the ability of a handicapped (in any way) person to properly care for a pet--especially one that must be walked at least 2 X each day. There is the possibility that an individual who is not always in control might actually harm an animal. All of these are valid. But, with proper safeguards, I think the benefits to both the pet and it's adoptive family are immense.
Now, let's all go and rescue our new best friend from the shelter.
It seems that we are just opposites. You wake up about the time when I finally get to sleep. Unfortunately, our lab usually gets me up around 8 each morning. Nowhere near enough sleep possible that way.
I cannot believe how good DH's hand looks. It doesn't seem possible that you could cut out a quarter-sized chunk and then pull the skin across to the point that there is NO gap. And of course the skin is just the last layer that had to be restored to its previous condition. God bless family physicians.
This evening DH and DS were ready to come inside when they noticed a cow was calving in the pasture. She was a young one having her first calf and seemed to be having trouble. They tried to get her to come into the feeding area where they could tie her up and get her to hold still so they could help. No go. They tried to get her to lay down, hoping they could then help pull the calf out. She wouldn't lay down. She wouldn't stand still. Night fell. They lost her in the dark and tried to find her with their ATV's. All she did was panic and run into the woods. Last seen, she was running at full tilt with one calf leg sticking out and the rest not doing anything. When morning comes, cow and calf will probably both be dead. DH and DS are heartsick. Yes, that's a big chunk of money to lose, but it was her suffering that kept them at it until 9 p.m. Let's just pray that her run through the woods started labor back up naturally.
(It's not just vets who assist with calving. Farmers do it routinely. But the heifer has to let you near her. Loose cows can kill you with a kick. You HAVE to get her into a stall or laying down. Anything else is suicide.)
And you thought farm life was peaceful and calm!
Hey, the fibro is pretty calm. I'm still amazed by the lack of pain at my waist level spine since the RF ablation. I think I found the answer to the "burning" feeling on that side. I used my Voltaren gel on it last night and the sensation went away! It started to come back tonight, so I put some on again. Believe me, feeling like you have a sunburn on your left "cheek" is a weird feeling. It's super to have banished it.
Hope you are all doing a little better each day and continue to go in that direction.
Thank goodness the weatherman was wrong. We did not get snow today. At least not here. But it was cold. Every year we forget how bad the previous Spring was, and complain about this year's version. We're so anxious for warm, sunny days.
MiMi, there must be a reason why Bill and I aren't grandparents. I think your tale of the new age swing told it all. I would have gone into panic mode the first moment I couldn't get the child out. And as for lifting him into the swing, well, we won't go into that.
We had an interesting experience our family physician's office today. DH had a bramble thorn imbedded in the back of his hand. He thought he had it out, but obviously didn't. The area grew into this bump that was quarter-sized at the base and raised up about 1/2 inch. He did his antibiotic course, and today was the day to remove the thing.
Excising the mass took about 5 minutes. Sewing everything back together took at least another 60. We stopped counting a little after the blood vessels had been taken care of, but there were a lot of stitches. My estimate was 50-60. DH says I underestimated. That thing was closed from ever conceivable angle at least twice. I was amazed at the attention to detail. But the kicker was that this was our regular, country family physician who did all that delicate work, not a surgeon. His nurse said that they schedule these things for the last patient of the day on their "half day." (We got out of there at 2 p.m.)
Sometimes, those of us who are battling fibromyalgia get more than a little frustrated with our doctors. We think they just don't know what they are talking about. We rush off to specialists to find some special treatment or magic cure. I know I did. (There aren't any.) And somehow we forget that our own family physician is a highly trained professional who does read his or her literature, who does take advanced courses every year, and who is quite qualified to handle almost anything that comes through the office door.
We have a debilitating chronic illness. Our doctors are not in any way responsible for this fact. They know that the things they have to offer us are far short of ideal. They lay awake at night thinking about what they can do next to help us. It is so hard for us to realize this from our position in the flimsy paper gown on the hard examining table.
We just happen to have an illness that is newly recognized by the medical profession. For something that didn't have either a name or a diagnostic critereia until 1990, fibromyalgia has come a long way. I fully believe that, in the NEXT 24 years, we will have a much better idea of the causes of FM, there will be treatments (and I think some of them will be surgical) to effectively treat the condition, and there may even be a cure. We just have to wait it out. (And remember, I'm 70 and have been dealing with FM since 1972.) I expect to see all of these advances. Really.
An, I was diagnosed in 1990 (the same year fibromyalgia got its name), but have had it since 1972. For the first 25 years or so, I did a lot of doctor shopping hoping for that magic mix of the right doctor who knew of the right medication to cure my fibro.
I did find a very knowledgeable neurologist who--once he saw me in a really bad flare--gave me the ultimate workup and ultimately put me on plaquenil, Neurontin, Ambien, cortisone, Flexeril, and the Duragesic pain patch all at once. I don't know which of these was responsible, but my flare went away and my baseline pain got lower, too.
I now see both my family practicioner and a pain specialist. (My extra special neurlologist left the area 15 years ago.) As the symptoms come and go, I am on or off each of those original medicines. I have had trials of each new "fibro" med as it came out. Most of them are impossible, because they prevent me from starting my urine flow--ouch!
Believe me, there is no magic cure out there. When there is, your family doctor will know about it. So will you. We FMers are a large base of patients, and we read the literature. We keep current as you must have noticed from reading the posts here. Because there are so many of us, almost every primary care physician knows how to diagnose us. She is also able to help you find the best medicine or combination of medicines for your particular case. And, when the ultimate cure comes along, she will know about it.
Tell your daughter that you have a chronic condition that is currently incurable, but that there are ways to make things better. Another thing: Every big pharmaceutical company is working on finding better ways to treat fibro. We are a potential goldmine for them. And they know it. So things are definitely looking up.
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