One of the problems of living with severe Fibromyalgia is sorting out the pain signals. You become so accustomed to pain that is medically meaningless, that you don't know when it is too much, when it signals that something else is going on. Sometimes the pain is so bad it just overtakes my brain; I can't think straight. I rarely get this bad -- maybe 3-4 times per year. I take the max of all the kinds of painkillers I have: Ultram, T-3 (codeine), Ibuprofin 800 mg., and it may as well be water. I can only lie in bed and try to sleep through it, but unable to because the pain is so bad. I feel like I want to crawl out of my body to get a break from the unrelenting head-to-toe pain. While my feet and calves feel torturously pained, and might be helped with some cream (Burt's Bees for feet and legs) I cannot even bear to reach down that far to apply it. This is when I pray for the release that death would bring, and wonder why God keeps me alive, so useless is such a life.
That is what I was experiencing on Mon. and Tues. But finally I used my phone-a-friend option yesterday afternoon, to discuss my symptoms, and she (my sister-friend, Monica) made the sensible suggestion that I call my doctor's office. Honestly, I just didn't think of it! By that I mean, I just couldn't tell it had gotten to that point. Now, it is not uncommon for me to have a sensation of chest muscle pain and constricted breathing due to the fibro. But this was strong enough to suspect something else, so the nurse told me to go to the e.r. to rule out heart trouble or pneumonia - which they did. I was glad my neighbor-friend, Deb, was available to drive me, so I didn't have to go by ambulance.
It turns out I have "asthmatic bronchitis". A nebulizer treatment and pain shot later I was a whole new person! (I don't think I have ever had Toreadol before) So I left with a prescription for an inhaler and antibiotic.
This morning I feel back to normal, except for the headache, which is a side effect of the Doxycycline. By "normal" I mean, normal for me: in pain, but able to cope with it. One thing I gained from this experience is the knowledge that maybe an option for me in the future will be to get a shot of Toreadol when I get this bad. Also, when I do get this bad, chances are the flare-up is being triggered by another illness which may be treatable, which will help relieve the flare-up. If you read this blog to learn about fibromyalgia, that is the important thing to take away from this post.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
It seems to be a common theory that there is a linkage between stress and Fibromyalgia, and I can say this is what I believe, based on my own experience. A huge part of my stress has been an unbelievable lack of support in my life -from my family, my church, my community, my "support groups" etc, Add on top of a rather amazing amount of bad luck, on top of some ignorant choices in relationships that turned out to be disastrously bad for many years beyond me trying to leave them behind, and a downright evil employer, all of which has been compounded by a broken-down "system". It's not just that I am broken down, but that so is the world we live in. I have been especially disappointed in the so-called "Christians" in my life. I am a Christian who practices what I profess to believe, and I am not judging the ones I meet who don't. I am just confused by them. All that being said, I have been incredibly blessed to have met my new friend, who has been a neighbor for just over 2 years now. We didn't connect up before now, I think because her life was taken up with other things. She has been wonderfully supportive, kind, nonjudgmental, and has encouraged me to talk to her about the years of gut-wrenching difficulties. She is a Christian in the truest way imaginable: compassionate. In the last couple of weeks I have shed buckets of tears, as I felt I would need to do if I was ever to heal. I have known I was carrying them because I was so busy just coping with the difficulties, and trying to care for my children, that I never had the opportunity before to process and grieve. It was so needed, and has been so good for me. It isn't surprising then, that my pain levels have significantly decreased. Maybe that is what all "fibromyalgics" need - to cry long and hard, to wash away the stress toxins that build up in our bodies, and won't leave through any other means- diet, "detoxes", exercise/sweat, meditation/relation, and all other means. I saw on some cable show recently, that scientists analyzed tears - all kinds of peoples tears, and found that they are full of stress chemicals. Maybe tears are the best way, or maybe even the only way, to clear the poisons from our bodies. Regardless of others, this is working for me. I am deeply grateful to my Higher Power, and my friend.