Flare questions

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by wildwoodlane, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    What are the classic signs of a flare and how long do they last? I have been extremely fatigued and achy with occasional episodes of feeling faint, breaking out in a sweat, and generally debilitated. Totally wiped out -- been going on for about a week now. I have had fibromyalgia for quite a while now but don't seem to remember this profound fatigue. Feel like I have the flu, but visit to doctor last week showed normal heart rate (although I have Atrial Fibrillation and/or premature atrial contractions), pulse, and lungs clear. He gave me samples of Cymbalta -- have taken a couple, but leery about side effects, especially hyper reaction. Please, someone, clue me in on what to expect with a FLARE that is stopping me in my tracks!

    Thanks to any and all.

  2. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    sorry you are feeling so awful.....it's not really possible to give classic signs of a flare bc they seem to vary a lot depedning on the person (& even with the same person, from flare to flare there can be differences).....pretty much the best way to describe a flare, though, is an increase in some or all of your typical symptoms
  3. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    It really does vary based on the person. It sounds to me like what you're dealing with is pretty flare-like ... although you could also have a virus.

    I would say that flares tend to come around based on something that triggered it (pushing self too much, stressed out, upset, working a lot, more active, change in temperature, too little sleep, etc) anything that can aggravate your system could cause a flare of pain or flu-like symptoms and fatigue.

    For example, I used to get CFIDS flares after doing some basic chores around the house: instantaneously my throat would get scratchy, glands would swell and I would feel really tired (all totally disproportionate to my activity level). That told me I did too much so I would rest, hydrate etc and do a little less next time.
  4. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    It could be that you have some viral bug right now. I get those ocassionally and they have nothing to do with my CFS. It's just a part of life.
  5. klarry

    klarry New Member

    I can sympathize with you because I am currently in a flare as well. I feel exhausted, have hot flash type sweats, have aches all over my body, and am slightly dizzy. I know of no trigger. This just appeared out of the blue. Do you get depressed when you are in a flare? I end of feeling hopeless, but I remind myself that things will get better. I hope you feel better soon.
  6. srs7874

    srs7874 New Member

    We sound a lot alike! I just started what I think is a flare and I feel awful. I am dizzy, twitchy, sensitive skin, chest pain, short of breath, headache . . . ugh. The only meds I was ever on was Cymbalta it didn't agree with me. That was a long time ago and I haven't been on anything since . . . but think I am going to need to get on something as this flare has been worst ever!
  7. Tizz

    Tizz New Member

    ...And with all the others who say it depends on what your DAILY symptoms are, and how your own body responds to Fibro/CFS.

    What happens with me is that I get pretty much all the symtoms I regularly have, but MAGNIFIED -especially the pain - and the symptoms that are usually just 'occasional' become frequent or even constant.

    Some doctors will give their patients pain meds to be taken in the case of a flare; some won't. If you're going to ask for "breakthrough" pain meds, be careful not to seem to eager or be too insistent though... Doctors are usually a bit paranoid, watching out for "drug seeking behavior" that indicates possible addiction! (If they give pain meds to an addict they can lose their medical licenses or even go to jail.)

  8. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    Thank you, everyone. Makes me feel like I am not alone -- and yes, it is discouraging. It has been almost two weeks since I woke up feeling like I had been run over. When I called the doctor after starting and stopping Cymbalta (can't tolerate the crazy side effects) he says I'm "getting all worked up" and to "relax." He thinks it is depression. Tonight I am running a slight temp. What now? My symptoms are extreme fatigue and achiness -- just like I have the flu. Friends call every day to see how I am, and I feel almost guilty to report that I am about the same. Tonight I am running a slight temp, so this may indicate a virus, right?

    Again, thank you to all who took the time to reply to my post.

  9. Tizz

    Tizz New Member

    You said your doc told you that you were "getting all worked up" and told you to "relax." You told us that your doc thinks it's depression.

    Obviously, your first priority is to find a new doctor who doesn't disrespect, disbelieve, and invalidate you!!

    [This Message was Edited on 09/03/2010]
  10. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    Hi, Tizz -- My best friend said immediately when I told her what my doc said, "You need a different doctor!" I just hate to start that process, but unless I get a better response when I have my next appointment in couple of weeks, may give it consideration. This is a city of about 50,000, so we don't have too many to choose from. When I asked him what his recommendations were, he was rather vague and said -- rest and exercise. Well, duh! I have had this doc about three years after my P.P. of over 20 years left town.

    I am just dragging through my days, and it has been going on for 2 and a half weeks. Maybe I am just too impatient?

    Cymbalta is supposed to relieve pain and depression, but I had terrible side effects for the few days I was on it. Then this week I talked to the nurse again, and she called our local mental health clinic to find a psychiatrist who could "prescribe a different drug." She took the liberty of setting up an appointment with a doctor unacceptable to me, so I declined and finally told her I would take care of it on my own. BTW, I am 82 years old and disgusted with the rebellion of my body. I survived Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia 12 years ago and don't have much patience with foolishness. Thanks again, Tizz!

  11. Tizz

    Tizz New Member

    ...Wildwood, you are NOT too impatient.

    I get it about there being limited options for in-town medical care. I've had to deal with that issue, myself. I've also made the mistake of not changing doctors when I should have.

    You DESERVE a doctor that will take you seriously and, if he/she cannot help you, will send you to someone that can. And it should be a referral to a rheumatologist, preferrably -- certainly not a psychiatrist!! You aren't crazy, you're exhausted and in pain.

  12. Tizz

    Tizz New Member

    We all deserve to hear this:

    You do NOT have a mood disorder, this is not psychological, you are understandably frustrated, stressed and somewhat depressed because you have health problems that are not being recognized or treated.

  13. ilovepink4

    ilovepink4 Member

    I have never been able to distinguish when i have a flare or not...i feel like this all the time...twitches that throw my arm up or my leg will kick or my whole body will jerk...and aches are awful and i have no energy...i get dizzy when i get up....i get over heated when i move around and get uncontrollable sweating.....everyday....all the time....pain in my hands, arms, legs, my skins hurts....numbness in my face and down my arms and legs....

    just slightly less severe in the summer...but i am always stuck in bed or creep around somewhere out of the house for no more than an hour or maybe two if I am super lucky....
  14. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    You wonderful people! You don't know how much it means to be affirmed by those who have this ridiculous chronic illness (oh, excuse me, I think it is politically incorrect to say you are ill; rather, it is a SYNDROME!) Well, anyway, I realize I am not alone in what seem to be bizarre symptoms such as ilovepink describes. Every day a new little surprise, or maybe it is the recurrence of a nasty symptom you had forgotten about! I have felt better the past couple of days so think I can lick my weight in wildcats. Wrong! Find myself creeping around with numbness in left leg -- OMG, must be a stroke! Sore throat -- OMG, must be swine flu! No energy -- OMG, next will be the nursing home and visits from the friendly psychiatrist!

    There is a rumor we could be getting a rheumatologist soon, and if so, I will see about a referral. There are rheumies and a practiced FMS doc 90 miles away in two directions, but I am trying to stay local if possible.

    Ever find yourself lying when friends call to see how you are and you say, "Oh, I think a little better" instead of the truth, "I still feel lousy!" They are so relieved. People are willing to help, but I feel they are thinking, "What in the world is the matter with her? It has been three weeks now!" Having the flu or a virus is acceptable, but fibromyalgia, not so much because most of the general public does not understand it.

    BTW, what can a rheumatologist do for me that my PP is not familiar with?
  15. balynd

    balynd New Member

    I am always "surprised" when I find myself in a flare-up, and one of the first things I reach for is a book called "Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofacial Pain, a survival manual". It assists my memory to remember early warning signs of a flare. Fatigue is listed first on their "Early Warning Signs" list. Other indicators include excessive sweating, aches and pains, poor motor coordination, morning stiffness, sensitivities to heat and cold, and a litany of other signs one needs to become cognitive of in order to manage our own health care. It looks like your flare began in August, are you still in it? Has it resolved? I'm in the beginning of a flare cycle myself, guess its time for me to become more aware of my trigger patterns, keep myself warm, exercise and be gentle with myself. Take care. Balyn
  16. Tizz

    Tizz New Member

    Seem to be my most common "triggers" for fibro.

    Another "trigger" is vibration... I know that one's a little weird but my rheumatologist says it's a known "trigger" for fibro.

    Most of the time, though, my flares come "out of the blue" and I have no idea what could have triggered them. They just seem to be random.

  17. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    Yes, this started on August 18. I seem to be a little better now but still so fatigued! I have that manual by Devin Starlanyl and it does give a good reality check. Went out yesterday for a protime check for atrial fibrillation, then had lunch with a friend (she drove!) Last night I fought off heart arrhythmias and avoided a 24-36 bout with palpitations. Lucky me. Today, though, I am very fatigued and have done little but rest. How long do your flares generally last? Do you take any meds? Thank you for your helpful post. wildwoodlane.
  18. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    Pardon my ignorance, but what are you describing as vibration? And it seems as though people with fibromyalgia are on the edge of a cliff most of the time, never knowing when some unknown trigger will throw us into a horrible syndrome of fatigue, muscle weakness, uncoordination (I am always bumping into a wall or furniture), sporadic sleep patterns -- well, all of you know what I mean so I will stop.

    I am not on any steroids, but overdoing and stress are two of my constant companions. Hard to get a handle on them. I take a small dose of Lorazepam each day, and overdoing seems to be my basic nature. These past weeks I am focusing on "slowing down" and coming to terms with projects left undone. I live alone but have a support group of friends plus a son who lives in the same town. However, even friends and family get a little numbed to my continual strange complaints and having to opt out of so many activities. Thanks, Tizz!
  19. Allen

    Allen Member

    Dear Wildwoodlane:

    Fibro flares suck big time. Any thing can trigger them off. Some times weather changes, severe stress....it almost does not matter. Some times some people just have to go to bed because, as you said, you (and most of us) feel like we have severe flu and fatigue. Sometimes I am burning up and think I have high fever only to find no fever. One time was visiting friends, weather dropped dramatically and I could not stop shaking. I Have had Fibr for over 20 years and finally began Cymbalta at 30 mg. twice per day....started Aug. 18. I think its helping a little.
    Take good care of you.....sadly, you are not alone cause there are about 11 million of us all over the world.