New to site

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Santafemimi, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Santafemimi

    Santafemimi New Member

    I am new to the site, and have been reading some of the posts, I am glad that I found you all. I have been looking for a support group near my home, but there are none. This is the closest I could find. Just reading about some of the different treatments, and supplements has been helpful. My rhuemetologist only sees me every 3 - 6 months, and lately I feel like he has been doing nothing. Just like I felt when I first started seeing the Dr.'s for the pain and they didn't know what it was. i currently take Cymbalta 60mg for depression, and Ultram for pain. If anyone has alternate methods of relief, please let me know. The pain in my legs in the evening is unbearable, and my fatigue is overwhelming. I have FM/CFS, diagnosed Dec 2004.
  2. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Welcome to our online support group!!! It is great, and I am so happy that you found us!

    I have had fibro/cfs and a host of other major health problems for all of my life, it seems! You can read more about me by reading my bio -- just click on my username. When you have time, you can complete your bio so we all can learn a little bit about you, too!

    Please feel welcome to ask us anything!! There is always someone that will have an answer for you! LOL

    My rheumy has me on Cymbalta, 60 mg (30 in AM; 30 in PM); Neurotin, and Zanaflex at bedtime to help me sleep better. I also sleep with a CPAP machine and oxygen due to obstructive sleep apnea. These are my fibro meds--I take more than 20 other meds, but for all my other problems.

    My best friend is my heating pad!! That really helps me as well as hot showers.

    The Neurotin may help your leg pain, too. Have you ever tried it?

    As you read a lot of posts, you will get a lot of info that you may want to discuss with your doctor(s) regarding your own treatment. That's what I do! If it were not for reading about Cymbalta and Neurotin on this board, I wouldn't be taking them now!

  3. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I like Ultram with Extra Strength Tylenol for pain. Fortunately, I don't have to take Ultram often. I am on a drug called Subutex for the Fibro and it pretty much controls flares. It is not commonly used for fibro but it has worked for me. You dissolve Subutex under your tongue, I am on 16 mg day. This drug is commonly used to prevent opiate withdrawals (but it also controls pain).

    Most doctors are not familiar with it because it is used for the prevention of opiate withdrawal, etc. and they must be specially licensed to prescribe it. I have been on it a year and before that my pain was terrible.

    If the Cymbalta is causing the daytime fatigue you might ask your doctor about a drug called Provigil. My therapist told me many patients on anti-depressants will use Provigil to counteract fatigue.

    Did they say why you have pain in your legs? There is a condition called PAD that caused leg pain. Have you been checked for that?

    See info below about PAD:

    Understanding leg pain

    Many people dismiss leg pain as a normal sign of aging. You may think it’s arthritis or sciatica or just “stiffness” from getting older. PAD leg pain occurs in the muscles, not the joints. Those with diabetes might confuse PAD pain with a neuropathy, a common diabetic symptom that is a burning or painful discomfort of the feet or thighs. If you are experiencing any kind of recurring pain, talk to your healthcare professional and describe the pain as accurately as possible. If you have any of the risk factors for PAD, you should ask your healthcare professional about PAD even if you are not experiencing symptoms.

    Diagnosing PAD

    PAD diagnosis begins with a physical examination. Your doctor will check for weak pulses in the legs. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) test (see illustration on the right) is also usually done. It’s a painless exam that compares the blood pressure in your feet to the blood pressure in your arms to determine how well your blood is flowing. This inexpensive test takes only a few minutes and can be performed by your healthcare professional as part of a routine exam. Normally, the ankle pressure is at least 90% of the arm pressure, but with severe narrowing it may be less than 50%. If an ABI reveals an abnormal ratio between the blood pressure of the ankle and arm, you may need further testing. Your doctor may recommend one of these other tests:

    Doppler and Ultrasound (Duplex) imaging: a non-invasive method that actually visualizes the artery with sound waves and measures the blood flow in an artery to indicate the presence of a blockage.
    Computed Tomographic Angiography (CT): a non-invasive test that can show the arteries in your abdomen, pelvis and legs. This test is particularly useful in patients with pacemakers or stents. more
    Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA): a non-invasive test that gives information similar to that of a CT without the use of X-rays. more
    Angiography can also be used, but is usually reserved for use in conjunction with treatment. During this test a contrast agent is injected into the artery and X-rays are taken to show arteries of the legs and any blockages that may be present.

    As stated earlier, PAD often goes undiagnosed. This can be dangerous because PAD can lead to painful symptoms, loss of a leg and/or increased risk of coronary artery disease and carotid atherosclerosis. Because individuals with PAD have this increased risk for heart attack and stroke, the American Heart Association encourages anyone who is at risk to discuss PAD with his or her healthcare professional to ensure early diagnosis and treatment.

    PAD Risk Factors and Possible Complications

    PAD risk factors you can control

    Certain risk factors for PAD cannot be controlled, such as aging or having a personal or family history of PAD, cardiovascular disease or stroke. However, there are many risk factors that you can control including:

    Cigarette smoking — Smoking is a major risk factor for PAD, and smokers who develop PAD are diagnosed with it about 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
    learn more

    learn more

    Diabetes mellitus
    learn more

    High blood pressure
    learn more
    Physical inactivity — Exercise increases the distance that individuals with PAD can walk without pain and also helps to decrease the risk of heart attack or stroke. Supervised exercise programs are one of the treatments for PAD patients.
    learn more

    High blood cholesterol
    learn more

    Taking care of only one risk factor is not as effective as taking care of all those that you can control. Learn the facts. Develop a heart-healthy lifestyle, and cooperate with your healthcare professionals. Your heart will thank you by functioning better and lasting longer.

    PAD Treatments and Medications

    Treatment for PAD focuses on reduction of symptoms and prevention of further progression of the disease. In most cases, lifestyle changes, exercise and claudication medications are enough to slow the progression or even reverse the symptoms of PAD.

    Learn About

    Smoking Cessation


    The most effective treatment for PAD is regular exercise. Your doctor may recommend a program of supervised exercise training for you. You may have to begin slowly, but simple walking regimens, leg exercise and treadmill exercise program 3-4 times a week will result in decrease of symptoms in as few as three months. Exercise for intermittent claudication takes into account the fact that walking causes pain. The program consists of alternating exercise and rest in intervals in order to build up the amount of time you can walk before the pain sets in. It is best if this exercise program is undertaken in a rehabilitation center on a treadmill and monitored. If it isn’t possible to go to a rehabilitation center, ask your healthcare professional to help you plan a program that is best suited to your situation.


    Many PAD patients have elevated cholesterol levels. A diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can help lower blood cholesterol levels, but medication may be necessary to maintain the proper cholesterol levels. Learn more about managing high cholesterol.

    Smoking Cessation

    Tobacco smoke greatly increases your risk for PAD and your risk for heart attack and stroke. On average, smokers experience symptoms of PAD 10 years earlier than non-smokers. Stop smoking. It will help to slow the progression of PAD and other heart-related diseases.

    NOTE: If you are taking any of the medications discussed below, it is important that you don't stop taking them without consulting your doctor.

    You may be prescribed high blood pressure and/or cholesterol-lowering medications. It is important to make certain that you take the medication as recommended by your healthcare professional. Non-compliance with these medications increases your risk for PAD, as well as heart attack and stroke.
    Medications that your doctor may prescribe to help improve the distance you can walk include cilostazol and pentoxifylline.
    In addition, you may be prescribed antiplatelet medications (aspirin and clopidogrel) to help to prevent blood clots.
    Learn more about medication compliance.


    For a minority of patients the above recommendations and treatments are not enough, and minimally invasive treatment or surgery may be needed. Minimally invasive procedures consist of angioplasty or stent placement (as is done in the heart for CAD) or clot-removal treatment. They are non surgical and are performed by making a small incision through which a catheter is inserted to reach the blocked artery. A tiny balloon is inflated inside the artery to open the clog. A stent – a tiny wire mesh cylinder – may also be implanted at this time to help hold the artery open. Sometimes a medicine can be given through the catheter or a special device can be inserted through it to remove a clot that is blocking the artery.

    If there is a long portion of artery in your leg that is completely blocked and you are experiencing severe symptoms, surgical procedures may be necessary. A vein from another part of the body can be used to “bypass” and reroute blood around the closed artery. Your healthcare professional will discuss your options and help you choose the best procedure for your individual situation.


    Medicine Chart

    Health Tools

    Peripheral artery disease (PAD) often goes undiagnosed. The test for PAD is quick and simple. If you are at risk, ask your physician for the test and reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke.

    Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi Aventis are proud sponsors of the Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Web site content.

    Get fruits! Get veggies! Get healthy!
    Now it’s easy to keep your healthy routine on track. With this handy chart, there’s no more guesswork about what you did when.
    learn more...

    Hope you are feeling better soon. Welcome back to the board!!!!

  4. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Do you, in fact, live in Santa Fe, or is that just a screen name?

    If you do, I live just down the road from you in Albuquerque. I have CFS and am completely disabled with it.

    I'm glad you found this site; it's a great community of people, and there's a lot of good information.

  5. Santafemimi

    Santafemimi New Member

    Hi Kholmes,

    No I actually live in Pennsylvania, in the Northeastern corner. East of Scranton. Very close to the Pocono Mountains - where we get a lot of snow in the winter!

    I would trade for the warm weather in Santa Fe though!!!
  6. blessedmom2four

    blessedmom2four New Member

    couldnt possibly get any closer. ihave been recently diagnosed in july myself so am in the process of working on lifestyle changes.

    eating healthy, alittle tread mill, supplements (not many right now) i am seeing a rhemetoligist in sept. they said the dr. cares for FM patients.

  7. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board. Lots of nice people here.
  8. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    and try the klonopin..


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