Friday, January 29, 2016

Day 2297 - A Fibromyalgia update

Let me tell you a little bit about pain.


Pain comes in all different shapes and sizes.  All different types and strengths.  In all different areas of the body.

I am not a stranger to pain. I have lived my entire life with pain.  Whether it be the acute migraines of my teens and twenties that would render me disabled for 24 hours, to the more chronic variety of my thirties where I could still function but the pain would last for weeks at a time.

As a result of getting on top of my diet, regular massage and simply knowing my trigger points, my migraine pain is pretty much under control.  Well, as under control as a migraine sufferer can be.

As luck would have it though my head pain has been replaced by entire body pain.  Thanks to fibromyalgia.



When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia almost 10 years ago, I was happy to have a name to explain my issues.

Then as the years passed I started to question the diagnosis because the fog, the fatigue and the myriad of other symptoms (irritable bowel, painful periods, tingling of the extremities, memory problems, temperature sensitivity) overrode the one thing that most fibromyalgia sufferers complain about.

Pain.

You see, fibromyalgia is a medical syndrome that causes widespread pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints. They say it's similar to arthritis. Except that it has a bunch of other stuff going on as well (ie the symptoms mentioned above).

Why wasn't I getting the same level of pain that others were talking about?

Sure I hurt a bit.  But not that all over body pain that can put fibro sufferers over the edge.

It seems I spoke too soon.

The more time passes, the more my body hurts.

I've tried to explain the pain before but it's tricky to summarise.

Yes, I have pain travelling up and down my spine, like a zapping type pain that perhaps feels like nerve damage.

I also have the rigid pain in my neck and shoulders that can refer pain to my head with resulting migraine.

More recently I have pain in my arms that travels to my finger tips and feels like the muscle pain of having lifted weights, only I haven't been to the gym.

My knees feel like I need a knee reconstruction (maybe I do).

My feet throb around the large knuckle area (bunions?).

My jaw feels stiff and there are times, particularly when it's cold. that I feel all over face throbbing.

The only part of my body that doesn't feel some sort of constant pain is my legs.

Which can make for a grumpy Deep Fried chick.

None of this is news to you.  I've talked about my fibromyalgia before.  I don't dwell on it though because if I focus on it, it could take over.  I prefer not to give it any energy.


Instead I focus on the things I love, the things I am grateful for, the things that can make a difference in the world.

However, that's getting harder and harder as the pain increases.

One of the best things for pain is to lay down and rest.  A sleep has always been the best remedy for me.

But what happens when laying down to rest causes more pain that staying awake?

Yes, this is the conundrum I am now facing.  It turns out that bed (my bed in particular) exacerbates the pain.  The pressure of actually lying down on something hurts me.

There is no doubt that our dented old "firm" mattress is causing me grief.  I wake up with body pain and a referred headache from  my neck and shoulders every time I sleep in our bed.

Bed hopping has become part of my MO with our recent holidays and a bunch of different beds bringing some relief for the ol' noggin.  Our spare room has been well used over the last week or so.

There is no relief for the rest of my body though.  It seems that a mattress ... any mattress ... is just too damn hard!  The very thing that used to bring relief, relaxation and did I mention relief? is now bringing me more pain.

As yet I have managed to avoid pain killers.  I have seen what constant use of sleeping aids and pain killers can do to people.  I'm not ready to go down that path just yet.

Instead I am off in search of other solutions.  A new mattress is high on my agenda.  Perhaps some meditation.  Checking my diet and researching vitamins. Perhaps wrapping myself in cotton wool.

Oh, and focussing on my words of the year.


Because I refuse to be stuck in a state of pain.

I'll talk myself out of it if I have to.



Are you a chronic pain sufferer?

Do you know anyone with fibromyalgia?

Any tips on how to manage pain?

Do you think it's possible to talk yourself out of illness?

Am I allowed to sleep in a bedding store so I can test all the mattresses? 

This little Aussie is joining in the #PoCoLo Linky for the very first time which I'm excited about! I'm looking forward to meeting lots of new bloggers from across the globe.  




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7 comments :

  1. My heart goes out to you as I can't imagine what it must be like having to live in constant pain? I've (thankfully) only ever suffered a couple of migraines and that was a couple too many. I admire your positive approach and I hope that you get the relief that you need and deserve. Fingers crossed that a new mattress helps. Dawn x #PoCoLo

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  2. Oh wow, a friends mum has this but I had no idea just how awful it is!! Thanks you for sharing this and I think your positive outlook is refreshing!! Go ahead and work that bedding store!! :) #pocolo

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  3. My heart too goes out to you, a friend of mine suffers with this and I think suffers is the right word. There's so many people that live their lives in pain that many of us don't realise or can't comprehend what it's like. I too believe that sleep is a great healer, but can only imagine the frustration of something that once brought relief now brings more pain. Definitely go and check out the bedding store for toppers - I now have a vision of the princess and the pea - and hope you can find something that works for you. Thanks for linking up to #PoCoLo x

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  4. Good on you for opening up the conversation of both the reality of pain & the ways in which you want to UNfocus on that same pain. I'm a fan of the mattress changeover to one which is enveloping & comfy via a mattress topper. Forget firm - you need soft & enveloping. I've been married to a chronic pain sufferer for over 45 years. Unfortunately until the recent years he (always guided by so-called Dr/specialists) has had 2X spinal surgery (neck ) for bony overgrowth & stenosis & spondyltis, stomach removal (part) for ulcerated gut caused by.. Ta dah MEDICATIONS for pain & finally.. Given so many pain meds over the years his dr told him he had Parkinsons dis (& that took him down a path of treatment we never want to see again) BUT.. In 2011, of his own volition & in tray enemy with a new GP he came off all medication relating to pain & a year after that another specialist told him he did not have PD at all. Neuropathy (similar to what you talk about in terms of shooting & burning pain) plagues him as does the pain from spinal deterioration in his back but the only meds he talked now is lyrica. His outlook is one of positivity, focussing on others, rest, distraction vis music & learning - he's doing an on-line degree in counselling & being as well as he can in a body that's been so wrecked by others' efforts to "fix" but not really. A pain management specialist once agreed with my hub when told by him "none of these pain meds work" so... In a nutshell you are on the right path Leanne.. Caring for & about yourself D xx

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  5. Typos above due to iPhone! Hope you get the gist of it. Xx

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  6. My best friend has fibro so whilst I cannot possibly imagine the pain she and you live with, you have my absolute and full admiration that you get through every day, so often with a smile and a laugh. You are brave ladies. #Pocolo

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