To HRiskRN, kadywill and sapphire 311 and other nurses

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sugar_crystal, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. sugar_crystal

    sugar_crystal New Member

    It's good to meet you sapphire 311. You asked a question under another topic of mine that I've been curious about too. "How many nurses develop Fibromyalgia and related disorders?"

    In the late 60's and early 70's, before AIDS and wearing astronaut gear for mixing medications, we used cleansers to clean instruments, mixed chemotherapy and IV hyperalimentation with our bare hands.

    I had worked with some nurses already in their 40's and 50's when I started out who had been doing this for years. My mother-in-law was a nurse who worked on the postpartum unit where I worked L&D. About 10 years later, 2 of the nurses that we had worked with all those years ago died of lymphoma. The question came up then if the chemicals we were using were toxic enough to cause problems...well, DUH!

    As a child born and raised on a farm in south Texas (yes, we picked cotton and raised cattle,etc) in the 50's, DDT was the new kid on the block and my dad used it to spray our vegetables. When I lived in Corpus Christi in the 60's and 70's, they sprayed regularly with Malathion for mosquitos because of encephalitis outbreaks. I had VEE after hurricane Celia in 1970 with a 106+ degree temp. My brother developed ITP (with a platelet count below 1000..we thought it was leukemia) and my sister developed lupus. My other brother has two children with birth defects. I just had constant pain, migraines from age 10 and clumsiness that was unbelievable. I could deliver babies, worked with open heart surgery patients and start IV's with the best, but that takes fine motor control. Somewhere in there, I fell easily, not always knowing where my foot was on stairs and broke my left ankle three times over the years.

    How much of all nurses go through causes them to develop these crazy symptoms? How many of us are there out there?

    Does it seem that a high percentage of nurses seem to develop FMS and it's related horrors? It would be an interesting thing to study and try to understand. Youall that I have talked to so far seem to be in relatively the same age bracket. Is it the stress, the pulling and tugging and resulting injuries or something that we have all been exposed to over the years? I really didn't have any physical injuries except a messed up epidural with my second son (it took her 7 times to get it in for a c-section and it didn't work right even then).

    Maybe some virus, bacteria...who knows? My mother-in-law worked until she was 68, but she worked post-partum the whole time (no high risk exposure). She's fine now although she thinks I'm a drug addict. The rule to follow there is always lock away your meds away from nosy people. By the time she told the whole family (my father-in-law has 6 brothers and sisters and countless cousins, etc) whenever my speech would slur because of "fibrofog" or I just didn't feel like going anywhere, she was convinced it was drugs. And I wasn't taking anything by Advil and Tylenol then! Now that I am, she is convinced she was right all along. Be sure to lock away your meds from children and mothers-in-law.

    Now I am on a long acting opiate, am out of a wheelchair and make sense more often than not. At least that's what my husband and sons say and they lived with me through this whole ordeal. I had never seen my husband so angry as when she made those statements to his family when he knew what I took and multiple doctors were trying desperately to find out what was wrong with me. I still have bad days, but at least I'm relatively functional. I just want to go back to work.

    Love to you all,

    PS Sorry for all the editing...I haven't slept in 36 hours.
    It's not been one of my better days.

    [This Message was Edited on 02/05/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/05/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/05/2003]
  2. selma

    selma New Member

    A poll about the same thing was done a while ago. Type in the Search messages (above)Nurses. Then type in Teachers and nurses. Alwats use the back symbol on the task bar not under the info.. Good Luck, Selma
  3. Combatmedic

    Combatmedic New Member

    CNA's and EMT's !!!! (*grin*)

    My mother was an LPN, she had cancer first, and shortly after her hysterectomy (endometrial cancer), she only returned to work for a very brief period of time, she was diagnosed with fibro a short while later, had to quit nursing all together, went to a small factory (MINIMUM WAGE----$5 somethimg an hour) for about 2 yrs or so, and then just had to quit all together.

    I was a CNA in nursing homes for 4 and a 1/2 yrs, then finally got my dream job at the hospital. I was completely incapacitated with vomiting about 5 weeks after I started my job.

    For me though, the military is what did me in. I was in the national guards---disabled due to fibro. My aunt was in the Army 12 yrs---disabled from fibro. My cousin was in the Marines----disabled from Parkinsons and severe asthma---dx'd with Parkinsons at the age of 29!!!
    The only person NOT disabled is a 30yr old cousin still in the Air National Guards.


    We will probably never know where our illness came from exactly.....for me, it's possibly: bad genes, immunizations, injury, car accident, physical stress, emotional stress, and a possible link with a genetic disorder I have (malignant hyperthermia), chemical exsposure, etc. etc....

    I know that if all the nurses, CNA's etc were getting sick due to something occupational related......we should be hearing of just as many doctors, if not more, with this DD.

    I'm aware of Madwolf, but, I haven't heard of many doctors out there with this. (that's obvious with the way most of us are treated by them!)

    I'm not saying there aren't any docs without this, just because "I" don't know about them, I'm just saying, you don't hear of it much?

    Good subject though. I think I will forever be pondering. What did I do to myself? What caused this? Why did I get sick so soon? And so on and so forth.
    I'm just one of those people that could easily "think myself to death" LOL


  4. sugar_crystal

    sugar_crystal New Member

    I apologize for just saying nurses. It takes all of us to make a team and a medical team that works. The title line doesn't leave much space to be more specific. But after work with PA's, LVN's, NA's, lab techs, RT's, and every other department in a hospital setting, we all became very close and had to learn to work together to make it work.

    As a student nurse, we went to school days and staffed the hospital at night (ancient times) and I learned then to respect the other people I worked with in a hurry or I would not have survived. We depended on each other.

    As I said I haven't slept for over a day and a half (not unusual for me...I've been awake for 5-6 days in a row). Too many night shifts, I guess. But God bless you, one and all. I'll never do clinical nursing again, but I'd like to work as a nurse again in some capacity. The old saying is your job is what you do, not who you are. I have never believed that for a minute.

    My prayers and good thoughts to one and all,
    [This Message was Edited on 02/05/2003]
  5. sugar_crystal

    sugar_crystal New Member

    Dr. Devlin Starlanyl has written two books on Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome. One is "The Fibromyalgia Advocate" and the other "Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome: A Survival Manual". They are both excellent and are written by someone very familiar with all of this. She has both.

    I read about a book a day when I can concentrate and I have just about devoured the internet on this topic alone. I guess medical people have Type A personalities contributing to stress contributing to FMS contributing, etc. etc.

    Unfortunately, nothing answers the "why" and the cause of such misery. But we will have to all stick together or we'll be overrun by fools that have the "It's all in your head syndrome".

    Love to all,
  6. rigby

    rigby New Member

    I have CFS and Fibromyalgia I also live in Texas cattle, etcI worked on a pedi renal transplant floor since I had already had my kids I got all the patient with all the virues like CMV. I only wish I knew what I know now lupus is big in my father sid of the family have a lot of girl cousin with this problem and not in medical field so who knows
  7. Combatmedic

    Combatmedic New Member

    My post (the beginning of it) was not real serious. I was sort of "ribbin" you a little. I don't really mind, (Madwolf probably doesn't either) there's enough disagreement going on here, I want to try my best not to be responsible for starting any of it. I was just sayin' there's a lot of all of us here *grin*........ there DOES seem to be a lot of nurses.

    I completely forgot about Dr. Devin---and I have her book! lol

    I didn't mean for you to feel the need to respond to my post at all. No need. As I said, most of it was serious, I was just kinda sayin' "Hey, don't forget US!" *grin*

    Have a good day/ well.

  8. desertlily

    desertlily New Member

    Well, I just wanted to add my two cents in - I'm also an RN but have only been working since 1993, mostly in L&D and Level II nursery. I'm 42 and have been dealing with CFS/FM for two years now. I made myself quit a year ago this month, under protest,(I loved my job) but actually I was relieved not to have to try and keep up anymore. It was one of the most difficult things I've had to go through, not just physically, but emotionally. A lot of who I was was wrapped up in my job, and it was quite a blow to really not be good at it anymore because of my illness. It's been a rough year, but emotionally and spiritually I'm doing much better now - physically, well, that's another story!

    My theory is that we all have a genetic predisposition, but that because as medical people (and teachers, for that matter) we're exposed to so much more stuff that can trigger the illness, that that's why we seem to be overrepresented.

  9. debonlake

    debonlake New Member

    I'm a RN also. When I first started having problems with thie DD, 15 years ago, I was working on surgical unit. It is ironic how many of us in the medical field have problems. Back then, no one had the slightest idea of what was going on and I went through tons of testing with no results. Thank goodness, at least we have more information available to us. Also, wonderful groups like this!!!!! Deb
  10. northwoodssue

    northwoodssue New Member

    Hi Crystal:
    Most of us back then did not wear gloves for the routine things, emptying bedpans, starting IV"s for a long while before it became known that we needed to protect ourselves. I started nursing in 1983, and am 53 years old. I t was difficult to use gloves to start IV's, I remember that the most. But what bothers me most, is that I was exposed all those years to who knows what!!!! I also worked in ICU, and we had several cases a year of "unknown" viruses that killed patients. We were never informed after the fact just what we were exposed to! I also gave chemotherapy several years, and mixed the drugs, but always under a hood and with gloves. Put still , I wonder what I was exposed to.
    I think alot of us "old" nurses who worked like this for years were exposed to alot more than we know.
    I have multiple chemical allergies, especially the one that is used to clean surgical instruments. Forget what it's called - some kind of "aldehyde" - with severe chest pain.
    I think you are on the right track with this, but unfortunately no one cares about us nurses now. I'm almost tempted to go back to school and get a degree to research these type of things. Wish I had the energy to do so.
    Keep on posting, and let us know what you find out.
  11. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    sorry to be so tardy~~I've been offline for awhile!
    Yes, I'm an old nurse who never wears gloves like I should ~~am latex intolerant and, although they provide the no-latex gloves for me, the others are more accessible and I generally just don't use them unless I'm doing a sterile technique such as a cath. Venipunctures/IVs have always been easier without gloves.....oops, OSHA would have a conniption!
    My first hubby and I married when I was 17. His family grows Christmas trees and used many, many, MANY, insecticides while we were married. My son grew up doing the same. I lived with them and washed the clothing and worked in the trees and gardens with them. Our well water tested positive for these insecticides, some of which have been banned. My father was always convinced that my health issues were related to this. My mother thought it was from toxins I was exposed to from my job as a nurse. My husband thought it was because I weighed two pounds at birth and had an alcoholic mother and suffered neglect during my formative years. Who knows??? Maybe it's a cumulative thing. I just know that there hasn't been a definitive diagnosis made for the crazy things I've suffered with since my first pregnancy in 1974, except for the FMS. There's a lot more than that, but it's my only REAL diagnosis at this time! Maybe a postmortem will show everyone what REALLY is going on in this bod of mine!!!
    I DO believe there are a lot of healthcare personnel suffering from our DD. There could be many reasons why.
    Good post!!!
    [This Message was Edited on 02/07/2003]