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Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner

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Fibromyalgia--IT Ruins Everything!!
by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner   

Last edited: Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2002

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Sometimes, IT is NOT in your head...

I wake up with IT.
I go to bed with IT.
What is IT that keeps me company?
Toss and turn at night in agony?
What is the cause of my misery?
IT is there.

Twenty-four seven, three hundred and sixty five days a year.

Unremitting. Unrelenting. (But you will have your "good" days, when IT isn't so bad.)

Always making ITS presence known.

Interfering with all aspects of your life.

IT determines whether or not today will be a good day or a bad day.

IT determines if I will get a good night's rest or not.

IT ruins relationships, because everything has to revolve around IT and not "us."

IT ruins employment, because IT may not allow me to fully perform my job...I may have overslept, because IT didn't want me to move, I may not be able to do everything my job demands, because IT won't let me.

What is IT? Pain, due to Fibromyalgia (FM).

Fibromyalgia ("fie-broe-my-AL-gee-uh") is a chronic ("long lasting") condition or disorder that causes widespread pain throughout the musculature of the human body, including soft tissue, muscles, tendons, cartilage and connective tissue; it also causes fatigue, and "tender points." Tender points occur in localized (small) areas, and seem to target the neck, spine, shoulders and hips.

Experts don't know why Fibromyalgia affects 3-6 million Americans, or why it seems to affect women more than men. Children and the elderly can also be affected.

They don't know what its causes are; researchers believe that it can be triggered by an injury or trauma, be associated with other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an auto-immune disorder, or by conditions affecting the central nervous system, musculature, or perhaps by a virus in susceptible persons.

It is an extrememly difficult condition to diagnose. Many of its symptoms mimic other conditions, such as morning stiffness; this could be a symptom of arthritis or other disorder as well as Fibromyalgia.

Sometimes, after going to doctor after doctor after doctor, trying to find relief for their pain or a diagnosis, many patients are told to "live with it" and that the pain is "all in their head."

What the physician MUST do is review the patient's medical history--how long has the patient been having pain? Is the pain chronic, or has it just suddenly started? Is it localized, or is it widespread?

The physician must also do a physical examination and determine if the pain is widespread (pain in both sides of the body, pain above and below the waist) or not. He will palpate, or feel, certain areas on the body and try to produce the painful sensations; to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, the patient must have pain in 11 of 18 trigger points on digital palpation.

Fatigue is a common complaint among Fibromyalgia patients; other problems they may have include sleep disturbances, anxiety, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, and other difficulties.

Treating Fibromyalgia is not easy. A comprehensive approach is necessary between physician, physical therapist, other medical personnel, and the patient. All must play an active role in managing it.

Patients that are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia need to get plenty of rest, especially during an active "attack" (also called a "flare-up"). Experts also recommend that the patient get plenty of aerobic exercise (such as swimming or walking); this may improve muscle strength and reduce weakness, pain and tenderness.

Heat and massage therapy may also offer short term relief. Medication, in the form of over the counter analgesics (pain relievers) such as Naproxyn Sodium, Acetominophen, or Ibuprofen may help. Some patients are also prescribed antidepressants, to help improve quality of sleep, relax tense muscles, and to elevate the mood.

Reader Reviews for "Fibromyalgia--IT Ruins Everything!!"

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Reviewed by Charlie
This is a great article. I'm doing some research on fibromyalgia...perhaps one of PIGGY Ink's projects can put some money in the bucket to find reasons and perhaps a cure... --Charlie
Reviewed by Valerie Roeske
I also have Fibromyalgia too, the pain is in control most of the time, and the reality is so many don't understand it, my body hurts constantly, and the med's don't help like they should, I have found a chiroprator that specializes in the dis-order, so they days I see him are the days I can generally move better, thanks for sharing this with everyone, Blessing to you, Valerie
Reviewed by Lavendar Jazz
I am newly diagnosed and your article has helped give me insight into others suffering from this "catch-all" type illness. Thanks for sharing
Reviewed by Axilea MU
I know exactly what you are talking about. I have had fibromyalgia since I was a child. I couldn't tell anyone, I didn't even know what to say!
I was a very active child, played the piano, danced... but some days I felt like I was going to die. Instead, I was told I was lazy!

I'm feeling much better now and there are a lot of things that seem to work for me. Going to the seaside, warm weather rather than rain and cold. Diet when I'm in pain, pilates, yoga and swimming make me feel much better. Also, I have learned breathing and relaxation techniques that help when I'm in pain... And I have found a partner who knows and understands. He even admires me for coping with the condition.

There is hope for all of us. We can beat it or at least don't let it have a huge impact on our lives.

Thank you for this great article. We need to speak up and let everyone know that chronic and (almost) invisible conditions are not "all in one's head"!

Reviewed by Ch'erie de Perrot
You got that right, IT ruins everything alrighty....If you havent got a partner you hard pressed in this world of fickle emotions to find one, and if you have one, you're hard pressed to invoke any kind of endearment, because you are in the "Too hard basket" which leaves one feeling so worthless a great deal of the time.
I might have a partner but I tell you, half the time that is in name only....and most Aussies are obsessed with Skinny Poles ( Women) not the ones with a bit of flesh covering their bones, so that kinda puts me in the YUK basket here. Try exercising to lose weight with this thing, YEAH RIGHT...I do it, till I'm blue in the face, wracked with major pain, for a couple of measly Kilos, or pounds in your measures, and still no lovin!!!!!!
At the moment, I am so Ticked...I'm on the lookout for a bloke who is big and solid, and likes flesh haha.
How bout you dear one, any like that around, with kind hearts??
A dying breed yes, as the Hollywood Mags have polluted Mens minds...ahhhhhhhhhh I better Shaddup.

Love yah heaps Kiddo, am with you all the way.
Love Ch'erie
Reviewed by Denise Contreras
I have Fibromyalgia and Lupus so I can relate to allof what your wrote. I my heart goes to everyone who lives with these kinds of pains.

Thanks for being here for us.
Hugs Angela
Reviewed by Kristi Gilleland
I understand about not being so afraid to die, because fibro, a very bad ankle and arthritis have ruined my life anyway. So much I want to do and can't - every day is a struggle to just do the little things- sometimes I feel as if I am going to become a human statue and even hugs hurt.
Then I have days that are glorious - I can walk and play and even THINK. I live for those days when IT goes to sleep.
Reviewed by Sandy Knauer
My heart is with you, Karla, and everyone else with IT.

I found an upside to mine the other day. A friend called to tell me how miserable he had been with the flu. "I didn't care if I died," he said. I realized then that the flu isn't so bad for me any more. Pretty much like every other day.

Okay, gotta find sunshine where I can, even when it's twisted.
Reviewed by Dorotha Moore (Reader)
A young doctor in the early 80's diagnoised me with FM/CFS
He sent me to Houston where we think we can get cured.No cure.
My heart goes out to the sufferiers of this terrible syndrome that few people understand this unrelenting pain. Screaming pain much of the time. Lack of sleep.Days and night mixed up. Pain and more pain.
I say this for the readers who might have some one that suffers from FM. Give as much love and understanding as possible. We hate being in pain all the time. Help us survive.
Thanks , Karla, for writing about FM. I am new to AD.
Reviewed by Rebecca Burns
The name caught my eye, IT really sucks, especially when no one else really gets it.
Reviewed by Poetess of The Soul Sheila G
I hope your days are improving! Thank you for Opening our eyes to this devestating disease, that drains you daily. I hope and pray they do find a cure 4 U and many others.Great write up -HuGs2U-
Reviewed by Michelle Mills
I know two friends with this illness. It does ruin everything, and it takes every bit of their will to get up and do what needs doing every day. Bless you my friend...Michelle
Reviewed by Elaine Carey
this is also one of my deals along with lupus. Prayers that you'll have many good days!
Reviewed by The Smoking Poet
I have a friend who suffers from fibromylagia and so read this with interest. Thank you for sharing your experience of it.
Reviewed by John Lindermuth
A good piece, Karla. My daughter has fibromyalgia and I think only someone who has it or is close to a victim can know how truly devastating it is.
Reviewed by Cathy Montgomery (Reader)
Dear Karla, my closest friend has this and I never knew how devastating a disease it is. Thank you so very much for sharing this! God bless you!
Reviewed by Joyce Rapier
So true! My sister has fibromyalgia and it took years for her to be thought of as "un crazy." Great write.

Joyce Rapier
Reviewed by Merrill Vaughan (Reader)
You hit it on the nail head. Even tho it (FMS) has only been given a name in the last 10 years or so, only half the medical community recognize it. I fought the Veterans Administration while they kept calling me (or insinuating) that I was having mental problems. You are right about the medical side...I take anti depressant, three (3) anti spasticity pills and alone they did nothing. All three work 99.9% of the time. And to think all this took was one 15 minute appointment. He read my records, asked few questions and he told me what I had. I took the injections on top of the back (5 on each side) which helped out for two days.

Reviewed by Lisa Young (Reader)
Very informative, Karla. You've not only told me about a disease I've barely heard about, but also given me an indication of what it means to suffer from it. Take care, and I pray your fibromyalgia leave you alone.

Reviewed by Floria Kelderhouse (Reader)
Karla, I had no idea you had this illness....I do to...I have had it for over twenty some years...I have books and books on it..have been to many different doctors.chiroparctors..napropaths..take ibuprofina and amitriptyline...I am now in a "flare" stage....I find that stress also adds to the pain. The pressure points and very deep pain are my worst problem..I used to belong to several fibro networks but I tired of it all after seems I almost know it all after all these years..there is no is something that will not kill you...but makes you feel sometimes like you wish you were dead....well....I am sorry that you have it too...this was an interesting read ...and as I read it ...I kept saying...oh yes...thats me...oh helps to have a sense of humor....take care....Floria
Reviewed by Erin Elder
Thanks for the good information. Definitely good to know, as it can happen to any of us. I come from a family of bone disease sufferers, and can clearly, with pain of my own since a car accident, understand how pain takes over a life and makes it difficult to regain control of one's life, body and emotional spirit. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sister.
Reviewed by Victor Jensen
Second time I've read this. I didn't comment because I don't understand this terrible disease. I have severe spinal stenosis and arthritis but I really feel it's not as hard to live with as what your going through. I really pray that God will ease your pain and give you back a quality of life. - Vic
Reviewed by Dorothy Thompson
Way to go, Karla! I'm wondering if this disease has anything to do with fibroids? That's what I have. Thanks so much, hon, for commenting on my server article. Of course, it was tongue-in-cheek, but it felt so good to let it out!
Reviewed by m j hollingshead
good information
Reviewed by Dens Dreamweaver (Reader)
Excellent article hun... A few new things have been discovered in research of FMS as well. Now there are other things doctors can use for diagnosis.. Also OTC meds don't do a thing for FMS... and often the anti depressents for sleep and the side effects are hard as well. Zanaflex is being used alot more often for sleep ( a muscle relaxer) It is also highly advised to avoid any exercise that involves any kind of repetitive motion. While swimming can help, its best the pool be heated. Water arobics are highly recommended.... walking often causes more problems than it helps. Especially since many with FMS also have balance problems. So if walking is one of the activities tried its advised to have a walking partner. Any exercise program should be overseen by someone that understands FMS.

Oops... sorry hun. Am rambling here. This is an excellent article though with some excellent points. Although my motto is.. I may have FIbromyalgia but it will NEVER have me.

Luv ya hun....
Reviewed by Masarat Daud (Reader)
You answered all my questions hun. I always wanted to know what FM was all about and its symptoms and so on. Thanks a lot for this wonderful write..!
Reviewed by Deborah Turner
So true! I've suffered with this for 15 years. I was diagnosed with all kinds of things -- including depression -- before getting the correct diagnosis. Thanks for the supportive, well-researched article. (((soft hug))) Deb
Reviewed by Faye Enno (Reader)
Very valuable-well written article! Way to Go Karla! (((( Hugs ))))
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
very well researched write about fibromyalgia. you have certainly done your homework (as you said about ronee' and her story about her arthritis; she did her homework, and you did, too!!)! you have educated many people with this well planned write!! super job, karla!! love, and ((( GENTLE HUGS))), your twink, karen lynn.
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