Bowed, Bent, Broken: Hello, Fibromyalgia

So it’s official – I’ve joined the fibromyalgia club. I hope there’s cake.

Diagnosis

I saw a rheumatologist today (not the one I was expecting, mind), and despite her horrible bedside manner and wild opinions on random things, she decided that I’m suffering from a chronic pain syndrome.

She was hesitant to outright diagnose fibromyalgia. She claimed I only had 6 out of the 18 tender points (but, since she didn’t examine me properly, missing out several areas, I wholeheartedly disagree). But she said that my treatment would be identical to that for someone with fibromyalgia, and so that label does in fact fit me. It definitely makes it easier, being able to put a name to the demon.

Treatment

She’s started me on amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant that’s supposed to help with pain and sleeping. I’ve also been referred for physio and further tests, and I’m starting yoga in a couple of weeks. And I’m going to watch my diet and try to get some more light exercise.

I’ve recently started taking CBD oil for the pain (and will be doing a blog post on this in the coming weeks), and have various pain relief gels.

Prognosis

As we know, there’s no cure for fibromyalgia. All we can do is manage our symptoms and hope for the best. My current goal is to lower my levels of pain and exhaustion, and be able to increase my activity – I miss being able to go for walks in the sunshine.

The road will be long, and it will be arduous, but having formal recognition that yes, I am in pain, and yes, I do need treatment, has lifted some of the weight from my shoulders. Now to deal with the day-to-day management of this horrible disease.

How do you live with fibromyalgia? Share your story and give me your tips in the comments below, or at thebandwagonreviews@gmail.com.

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7 thoughts on “Bowed, Bent, Broken: Hello, Fibromyalgia

  1. I’m sorry to hear that but with pain management and eating healthy I hope that you can live a comfortable life.

    On a personal note I think my mother might have this. See constantly in pain and she goes to her primary and tell her about the pain but it’s like she is too afraid to diagnosis her with fibromyalgia. I honestly don’t know what to do cause it’s heartbreaking to see my mom deal with this pain.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It seems to be pretty common, doctors shying away from formal diagnoses. It’s particularly frustrating when it means that patients aren’t getting the care they need!

      Comfortable might be a bit too much to expect, but as long as I can manage it all, and not have to be in constant, often excruciating pain, I’ll be happy. Well, happier.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I guessed that might be your diagnosis, Vikki. It is one of the health conditions I have too. It is very debilitating. I think doctors are sometimes slow to diagnose it because there is so little they can do about it except offer painkillers. I am in the unfortunate position that I also have an autoimmune disease that has damaged my liver and kidneys, so I cannot take painkilling drugs – drugs at all in fact. So I have to manage the pain with careful, healthy eating and gentle exercise – very gentle exercise! I find that positive thinking helps enormously. If I focus on the pain and lack of mobility, I feel so much worse, so I stop myself from going down that road. I take a ‘thankfulness walk’ every day that I can – just a few times round my little garden, thinking about all the things I’m grateful for, counting my blessings, getting fresh air and a tiny bit of exercise. I find it sets me in a more positive frame of mind and I cope better. If I can’t manage the walk, I look out from my window and count my blessings. It works.
    Hope you find that helpful.
    Funnily enough that’s what I’ve been writing about this week on my blog http://cicampbellblog.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sorry you have such a condition! I’ve decided something similar, finally enough – I’m going to do a little walk every day, even if it’s just a few steps. I’ll take a look at your blog posts! And healthy eating – what kind of things did you cut out? I’m looking to cut down on my snacks and just eat more healthy stuff. Due to having an eating disorder as a teen, I have to tread very carefully here.

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      2. I find that when I cut out sugar I have not so much pain and I sleep better. I’m not obsessive about it, but I do find that after a day or two without sugar, I stop looking for it so much. I have not cut out fruit, but I do limit how much of it I eat because it has such a lot of sugar in it.
        I have also cut out wheat, which means cutting out cakes and biscuits. Again, after a few days not eating them, I stopped craving them.
        From time to time I’ll have a cake or something else sweet and that’s fine for me, as long as I don’t keep having them because then the pain builds up again.
        Cheese and other dairy products I eat sparingly and enjoy them when I have them. Again, if I have too much too often I notice an increase in pain.
        Keeping my weight down a bit helps too, and my best way of doing that is to eat smaller portions and to avoid snacking. (Snacking while watching tv was one of my bad habits.)
        I have emotional problems with food, so, like yourself, I have to be careful to keep a balance, but I find it gets easier if I build good habits.
        I hope some of that is helpful, Vikki.
        All I can say is that it is worth determining to eat healthier. It really does make a difference.

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      3. Thanks for sharing! I have to be very careful with counting calories and the like, so I’m just looking at my fat & sugar intake and trying to lower it. I think substituting snacks for fruit and other healthier versions are a good idea. I snack the most at work, in the mornings, so maybe a breakfast that fills me up more is also worth looking into.

        I don’t know if it will help, and I don’t want to completely cut things like gluten or dairy out of my diet. Going gluten free didn’t do anything for me.

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