I'm also on the younger side. I have had "pain problems" since childhood, although I was officially diagnosed just a few years ago (but I knew it was FM long before). I am 28 now.
We all have our challenges. People who had full lives before FM grieve the life they lost and people like us grieve the life we never had. It is hard to be young and yet live a FM modified life-style. You would think that we would be used to all the emotional issues but I have been going through a tough time recently too.
The times that I feel resolved to FM I wonder if I'm finally at peace with it. Then, I'll go through another period of anger, sadness, etc. I have to conclude, for myself, that I will always have periods of emotional distress due to FM.
My latest "low point" has come because I have been having frequent heart palpitations. I have had my heart checked and I'm not in any danger or anything, but the palpitations cause me to be very fatigued. I can't help but think "Really? My normal 50-60% energy has now been cut in half?" All of my energy goes to the absolute necessities of life.
My experience is not uncommon. FM has so many irritating co-conditions that come along and kick us when we're down. I think that's why so many of us have periods of anger. We finally get used to our lot in life, then something else comes to disrupt that fragile equilibrium.
I really don't have answers but I hope you're able to get through this tough time--you're definitely not alone.View Thread
I am not your age but I definitely had FM at your age, I just didn't know it. It can be very difficult to see your friends with so much energy. I always knew there was something different about me--I took afternoon naps through my Senior year!
Like the others have said, don't give up on finding treatment. I think I would be better off now if I had been diagnosed and treated when I was younger.
At the same time, though, make sure to have fun. The unfortunate truth about FM is that we have pain no matter what. And I know this is so easier said than done, but part of the battle is having a certain mind set. So even if you're hurting, try to go out and be as normal as you can for your age. Your body might not feel better, but your mind definitely will.
I'm sure there are support groups online or elsewhere for teenagers with FM. Or maybe try researching support groups for teenagers with chronic pain, or teenagers with chronic illnesses.
I'm sorry you have to go through this. I was able to have a pretty fun, social, and normal teenage-hood despite the pain I was in, and I hope you can too!View Thread
A good doctor is key but you may not need to give up on the one you have. He should have warned you about the possibility of the serontonin syndrome, but he didn't necessarily prescribe the wrong meds. He probably just didn't know your particular body would react in that way. I'm actually more surprised that your pharmacist did not mention the risk of the S.S.
Many of us take meds that have the potential to cause S.S. But everyone's chemistry and dosages are different.
But if you do not feel comfortable with your doctor, definitely find a new one. It can be quite difficult to do, but worth it in the end. There may be a local support group in your area that could help you find a doctor. Often, nowadays, you can even email doctors or their offices. A few questions about their belief and treatment of FM could help you weed out the ones that don't believe in it---despite concrete scientific evidence!
I know it's so hard to do all this when you're in pain. The worst part of FM for me is the emotional toll it takes. I've had it for years and have gone through "acceptance" but I still go through rough periods. It's often hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel. But there are ways to manage the pain and I hope you can find the right combination for you!View Thread
The crummy thing about many of the meds used for FM is that they cause weight gain.
I gained a bunch of weight while taking gabapentin. I was eating 1200-1500 calories/day and exercising 3-5 times per week. I had been the same weight within 5-10 pounds for years.
Many people gain weight when they take certain meds. Some people can adjust their diet and exercise and keep the weight off. For me, I am completely convinced that the meds really messed up my metabolism. I could not have done more or eaten less to lose the weight.
There is no easy answer to this issue--it comes up a lot here. Everyone is different. Some can control their weight, some will gain a little but believe the benefits outweigh the side-effects, and some like me will gain a ton of weight and decide never to take those meds again. As a note, I did not have very much relief from the gabapentin, so the weight gain was really not worth it for me!View Thread
I went through over a year of regular exercise with zero weight loss. It can be incredibly frustrating! But I stuck with it knowing that it was the healthy thing to do. I finally lost some weight but I think it had more to do with starting wellbutrin. We with FM, in my opinion, have very messed up metabolisms, due to both the FM itself and some of the meds.
I know you've mentioned you're doing weights. So I'm sure you have or will start to notice at least more muscle definition. And hopefully the exercise makes you feel better, if not physically, then mentally--it does for me.
Like I said, it's so frustrating to put the effort in and not have results. This can still really get me down and I haven't found the solution. But I wanted to let you know that I am with you--sticking to exercise even without major results!View Thread
I have had pain issues almost as long as I can remember. I also had "growing pains" that have never gone away. I have had horrible sleep patterns my entire life. I'm 28 now and can honestly say I've had chronic pain for around 20 years. Crazy!
I am also facing the having kids issue. There are more factors than just the FM for me but I think it's doable. My sister also has FM and has a son. She's had some hard times where because of her son and work she had to "push through it" but I think she'd rather deal with that than not have her son.
But the reality is that FM does affect your whole life. I think most of us struggle with feelings of worthlessness. Sometimes I feel like other people are living their lives around me where I'm on the side-lines just watching.View Thread
I had a similar experience. Even after I came off the meds I could not lose weight. I ate 1200-1500 calories/day and exercised vigorously 3-5 times per week. My doctor said I should have had pounds melting off. My thyroid levels were normal--and way within normal, not even borderline.
I believe that these meds drastically changed my metabolism. The problem is that many people with FM already have hormonal imbalances that make our metabolisms low.
I started taking wellbutrin for depression and I believe that it helped me to lose some weight. Some people gain weight from it, but it is even sometimes used off-label for weight loss.
Although it can be difficult to exercise with fibro, it's very important. To make the most out of my time exercising I do interval training, which helps boost metabolism. If you're already exercising, try doing 10-30 second intervals of more intense exercise. Then go back down for a minute or two (or longer, as needed), then increase the intensity again and repeat the whole cycle. I do this eight times but it's something you can build up to. I can only do this using low impact machines like an elliptical. And exercise does usually spike my pain levels but I would have the pain anyway. I got to a place in my mind where I exercise no matter the pain it causes. I recognize, though, that everyone has different levels of pain, so it's not like I expect everyone to be the same.
I am sorry you are experiencing this. It has been very hard for me to go through and I still struggle with the emotional issues it caused. I have not found easy answers but I do think both the wellbutrin and exercise, along with healthy eating have helped me lose some of the weight.
I think most of us have been in similar situations. I believe I finally got the treatment I needed because of 2 things:
1) I found a doctor who trusted me and could see that my quality of life was sub-par and was willing to treat me
2) I, to use a cliche, became my own advocate. Just because someone is a doctor does not mean they are educated on every condition. I think we often know more about FM than our doctors (but not all the time, of course). I knew what treatment I wanted and what treatment I would not do.
It can take awhile to find the right doctor. I hope the one you're going to will be able to help. Make sure to emphasize your quality of life issues. Nobody should have to suffer when there is treatment that can help.View Thread