In 2010 I was having a lot of pain and just was not feeling good at all. My husband (Stace) took me to the ER. At first the doctors thought I had a stroke. After all the test and blood work our family doctor said I had Fibromyalgia.
This was the first I had even heard of this disease. Fibro what? This news blew me away. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of my life changing as I knew it.
Before fibromyalgia I was a very active person. A real go getter. Well, guess what…I was stopped in my tracks. I had so much to learn about fibromyalgia.
Over the last eight years I have learned what I can eat or not. What activities I can do or not do. I now know to pick my battles. If there is something I really want to do I know that I will be down for a few days.
If you would ask me what fibromyalgia is, my response would be pain; from the top of my head to the end of my toes. It’s pain intense from day to day and persists even with the use of scientifically accepted medical treatments. The pain experience is described as deep muscular aching, shooting, throbbing, stabbing, pounding and at times it is unbearable. I don’t sleep well, waking up feeling like I have been hit by a “Mack truck,” with morning stiffness or spasticity that makes it difficult to move. Repetitive movement seems to accentuate the pain and forces me to severely limit my activities, including exercise routines. This lack of exercise results in becoming physically unfit, causing my symptoms to become more severe. The other major complaint is fatigue so severe that I have a tough time performing everyday tasks, enjoying hobbies, staying employed. Sometimes I feel as though my arms and legs are weighed down by cement and my body feels so drained of energy that every task is a major effort.
My faith has been my rock to stand on. With my world falling apart my faith is what keeps me a float.
Also I’m blessed to have such a loving, caring husband. We have a farm with livestock. Even on my bad days I still have to feed them.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia also known as: fibrositis, fibro myositis Syndrome that affects muscle and soft tissue.
Very common (More than 3 million cases per year in US) diagnosed by medical professional.
Diagnosis doesn’t require lab test or imaging. No known cure, treatments available
Fibromyalgia can be lifelong.
The exact cause is not known. It may be due to infection, genetics, or trauma. Symptoms include widespread pain, fatigue, cognitive difficulties. Treatment includes medication and lifestyle changes.
How fibromyalgia pain is described
Fibromyalgia is a specific kind of pain that’s chronic, widespread, and often accompanied by tenderness.
The pain lasts a long time, at least 3 months or longer. Many people experience fibromyalgia pain for years before being diagnosed.
The pain is felt all over, in both the upper and lower parts of the body. Many people with fibromyalgia feel their pain in specific areas of their body, such as in their shoulder or neck
Even a small amount of pressure can cause a lot of pain.
Symptoms may include:
• Pain: constant dull pain that lasts for more than 3 months. Pain occurs on both side of the body.
• Sleep problems
• Cognitive difficulty: it is usually referred as fibro fog, difficulties in focusing or paying attention.
• Fatigue: people with this condition often feel tired and weak, sleep for longer periods and wakes up with pain
Other co- existing symptoms may include:
• Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep.
• Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long.
• Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome).
• Tension or migraine headaches.
• Jaw and facial tenderness.
• Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold.
• Feeling anxious or depressed.
• Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet.
• Shoulder pain
• Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder).
• Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise.
First of all work with your doctor to focus on treatment is to reduce the pain associated with the disease condition and improving the quality of life.
• Pain relievers: Relieves pain and body aches. Ibuprofen · Acetaminophen · Tramadol
• Antidepressants: It is used to treat anxiety or depression associated with the fibromyalgia. Duloxetine · Milnacipran
• Ant seizure drugs: Helps reduce symptoms. Gabapentin · Pregabalin
• Exercise Regularly
• Get enough Sleep
• Reduce emotional and mental stress: techniques such as meditation, praying, relaxation, breathing may help.
• Eat balanced diet
• Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Therapies: Physical therapy · Occupational therapy · Counseling
Exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, recent studies suggest that changes in the central nervous system, the brain, spinal cord, and nerves may be responsible for fibromyalgia pain. Fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. These nerves may be responsible for the chronic widespread pain and tenderness many people feel. It’s believed that the following are responsible for disease development:
• Genetics: Family history, the genes you inherit from your parents may increase the likelihood of developing fibromyalgia. This tends to run in the families.
• Infection: Prior infections can trigger fibromyalgia and can worsen the symptoms.
• Physical or emotional trauma: People with physical or emotional trauma have been linked to fibromyalgia.
• Stress: Stress leaves its effect for long time, this can also be a trigger factor.
• Autoimmune Diseases: People with disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis is more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
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