What can I do to ease my pain?(I'm new to this)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Natedagw821, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. Natedagw821

    Natedagw821 New Member

    Hey guys,
    I just started posting here last night, so I'll start off with a simple question.
    What can I do to ease my pain? I was diagnosed with FM back in may of '02. I have done nothing and taken nothing since. I've just lived with it. I have a doctor's appt at UofM hospital this coming aug. Long ways away. Until then, what can I do to ease the pain? The pain has gotten steadily worse since I was diagnosed. Wait, I'll rephrase that: The pain has gotten much more irritable, if you know what I mean...
    Feed back,suggestions, and opinions would be appreciated.
    With love,
    Nathan
    Fellow Fibromite
  2. Dlebbole

    Dlebbole New Member

    I'm mostly just bumping you. I have had periods of fibro pain that would not permit me to sleep, but I only took Tylenol for it. It worked for a few hours, then the pain would come back. Others I'm sure will have more experience with what helps. My sensitivities to medications made it difficult to find anything. Welcome . Diane
  3. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I don't take any prescription meds either (had FM for 4 years) but I don't usually suffer from constant, daily pain that is so severe I can't stand it; I seem to get periodic flares that are hard to tough out, but I have periods in between where the pain part is very tolerable; for me the neurological symptoms (muscle twitching, tingling, migraines, "swollen"-feeling extremities) are much harder to deal with.

    Have you tried magnesium & calcium (take them separately; don't buy a formula where they come together)? That can help with some muscle pain. I echo the "bath" theory-----when I'm in a flare, you'll find me in an epsom salts bath 4x's a day!

    Good luck, I'm hoping others here may have more suggestions for pain medications (I have so many drug sensitivities I don't take them except for really bad migraines).

    Feel better!
    Pam
  4. contentedpearl

    contentedpearl New Member

    I use aromatherapy to help my fibromyalgia pain. I use a product called LymeEssence which comes in a massage formula and a bath formula and it has helped me tremendously. The person who developed it, developed it to heal herself from Lyme Disease. She created an antibacterial formula with essential oils for herself and noticed that when she applied it to areas that had pain and other symptoms- muscle pain, nerve pain, tingling, weakness, soreness, etc. that her symptoms improved. She theorized that the pain was a sign that there was a pathogen that was causing problems in the local area, and that this formula was killing the pathogen and reducing her symptoms. I have been using this formula for six months now, and it has helped more than anything else has. It is kind of strong, so people with chemical sensitivities may not be able to use it or they may have to dilute it. There are some interesting articles on her site as well. The other thing that helped me a lot was using a far infrared heat lamp on painful areas. The pain would get a bit worse for a moment and then dissipate. Hope this helps! I know how awful the pain can be.

    Contentedpearl

  5. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    I can't imagine being without my pain medication. I really hate having to take it and don't take it any more than necessary, but I know I couldn't function without it. I take Ultracet for the pain and 10mg. Amitriptyline (generic for Elavil) and melatonin at bedtime to help me sleep. I also take more Ultracet at that time also.

    Your appointment isn't until August?? I can't imagine having to wait that long in pain. Any way you can ask them to give you an appt. sooner? Or call you if they have a cancellation?

    Some people here soak in a warm bathtub and put in (I think about one cup) of magnesium salts (I think that's what they are called-my brain is malfunctioning again). The magnesium is supposed to help with the pain. I also take malic acid to help with pain. I only take one pill, though. I had to cut back the dosage as too much can give you diahhrea. I think the mg. is 400 that I take. For me an ice pack on the area that hurts the worse helps. Some people here swear by heat. Sometimes moist heat helps me, but not dry heat.

    Are you doing any exercises? I know it's hard when you are hurting. I exercise for a half hour four to five times a week. Sometimes I just walk and sometimes I use the exercise equipment in my basement. I also do the stretching exercises beforehand that my doctor's office showed me. It's important to stay as flexible as you can.

    Hope this was a help.

    Ellen
  6. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hello Nathan~~I'm glad you joined us. This is a Wonderful group of caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable people just waiting to be of help to you or anyone. We have all been newbies at one time or another, so don't be afraid to ask ANY questions. Most of all you will find understanding and extrordinarly support. Plus, this site is open 24/7, and on those nights when you can't sleep--you can usually find someone online here even in the wee hours of the morning.

    I read your bio, I was saddened to read that you have been stricken with this disease at such a young age as 21. And obviously, had it prior to the official diagnosis. I am 53, had FM/CFS since I was 15--but wasn't officially diagnosed until around 18 years old. Since not much was known about it back then, I ignored it. I graduated from college, worked for several years, and then went back to gradute school, was under alot of pressure plus going through a divorce, and that was when the FM/CFS hit hard. I graduated and went out into my chosen profession--but no longer felt like my old motivated, energetic self.

    I went to physician after physician, rheumatologists, specialists, and received no help. Many (as you will find) do not believe in FM. I suffered from a never-ending aching, pain, debiitating fatigue, poor quality of sleep, woke up the next morning feeling as though I had been run over by a herd of elephants, drug myself to work, was forced to stop being as active as I "used to be", had headaches, brain fog to the point I couldn't think right, and went from having a photographic memory to very poor, short memory recall. When the bad "Flares" would hit--I hurt all over. It hurt to breathe, move, get out of bed, do anything. I couldn't think, couldn't remember anything, dropped everything, bumped into everything, had diarrhea or constipation, and just plain could not function.

    The various rheumatologists I saw that concurred the diagnosis of FM put the through a host of anti-depressant therapies which either made me sick or did not help. And gave me flexeril which I was allergic to. All of them refused to give me any medication for the constant pain & aching.

    As the years passed, I developed osteoarthtris, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. These illnesses they could see "evidence" of on x-rays or blood tests so they gave me anti-inflamatories. None of which helped the FM/CFS.

    I was born with severe asthma/allergies and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and because that could be "authenticated" I have been continuously treated for that. But, I received no recognition for the FM/CFS.

    Two years ago, I was diagnosed with advanced degenerative disc disease {ddd} with multiple back problems, and a couple of months ago with nerve damage from the ddd. The ddd was believed because it showed up on x-rays and MRI. The Othopedist I was referred to went over my ddd case and history. When I told him I also had FM--he laughed right in my face and told me that FM was a label they put on "neurotics". I told him that just because he was uneducated about FM did not make me a neurotic--and thus I never went to see him again.

    As having ddd is extremly painful & debilitating--along with the arthritis(s) and constant aching of the FM and exhaustion of the CFS--I began trying all kinds of alternative therapies--physical therapy, yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Qong, vitamins/herbs, changed my diet, and had acupuncture on my back every other day for a month. When it got to the point that I was missing so much work due to the pain and disabiity, I finally went back to my primary physician who looked over the list of everything I had tried--and he then (mercifully) put me on narcotic pain management--with which we also consulted with a Pain Specialist. I was put on 10mgs of oxycontin 3x's a day, 5mg percocet 3x's a day for breakthrough pain, soma for a muscle relaxer, and .5mg klonopin for sleep and restless legs.
    It took me 10 days to get used to the meds, but after that--I could not believe the difference in me. Though these meds were not given for the FM, but for the ddd--it instantly relieved the pain & aching of the FM. I had rediscovered life again! I found the "me" I had lost so many years ago. I could get out, do things (within reason), get quality sleep, feel refreshed in the morning, the stiffness and lack of mobility was gone, and the FM flares were fewer and less severe. AND, when I overdid it or a flare came on--I had genuine MEDICATION to take care of the pain & aching--and I was back on feet sooner. I can say the only thing it didn't help with was the memory loss/fibro fog, and CFS. But imagine....being Pain Free!!! Or having some serious medications when you were in any kind of pain. After suffering needlessly from the age of 15 to 51--I was finally 'relieved' from all that agony.

    Two years after the start of being put on narcotic pain management, my medication was raised to 20mgs of oxycontin 3x's a day, 10mgs of percocet, 1mg of klonopin, and to take 2 to 3 soma a day. Because the only drawback to narcotic pain management is that you build up a tolerance and a physical dependency to the narcotic, and therefore, it may have to be increased as years go by. Please be aware there is a MAJOR difference in "addiction" and "physical dependency". Addiction refers to perpetual mis-use and abuse of the narcotic for which it was intended. Physical dependency is a medical distinction by which you have taken the narcotic as directed, for which it was intended, and due to the nature of the narcotic your body has developed its own by-product of physical dependency. When and if you ever go off of the narcotic, you and your physician must taper you off of it slowly in gradual increments.

    I don't know how severe your FM is, or how bad your flares are. But without treatment, FM can drastically change your life, your lifstyle, and turn you from a person that you once "were" to a very different person that you "become". In truth, it's heartbreaking to watch yourself go from someone active, vital, full of passion for life, having a zeal for living, and a real participator....to someone whose body feels 100 years old, and just aches from the sidelines watching. We grieve for the loss of our old selves. Some of us here (much younger than me) cannot work at all, cannot pick up their own children, lose their relationships & marriages because they are always sick, or exhausted, or aren't the person they used to be. As you read the posts, you will find many who cannot even find health providers who believe in FM--or who refuse to give them medication to ease their pain--and so they suffer needlessly every hour out of every day. Some cannot even get out of bed for extended periods of time.

    The point & purpose of this novel I've written to you--is DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO YOU. From your bio you sound like a vital, young, active, sports "participator", and an enjoyable, educated guy with his whole life ahead of him. Don't let this disease rob this from you.

    FIRST: Read and educate yourself all about FM--know your own body and know more about FM than your doctor/specialist does. Knowledge is power, and never forget that these health providers work FOR YOU. You pay them. If you are not satisfied with your physician or specialist--find a new one until you find one that will honestly help you. Don't settle for LESS....because no matter how inadequate the service is you get from them--they are not going to refund your money.

    SECOND: Get some health insurance if you don't already have some. These office visits and prescriptions can become extremely expensive. My monthly medical expenses run me $660 a month (not counting specialists)~~and I only work 3 days a week.

    THIRD: August is a long time to wait for a medical appointment. Keep the appointment, but in the meantime find you a physician that will help you get some relief. You have that right. Why suffer needlessly for the next 5 months?

    FOURTH: You will find that vitamins/herbs/medications/exercises, special diets,and other health routines work differently for different people. It is a process of trial & error to see what works for you. However, there are a few things that are universally favorable for all of us such as: long, warm, relaxing, aromatic soaks in the tub. I know that many of us are shower people--but a soothing soak in epsom salts and perhaps some nice smelling essential oils (or whatever you find that helps you) will honestly make you feel better; another is a good, hour long massage; learning to rest and pace your activities--listen to your body--it will tell you when enough is enough, eat healthy, get some type of exercise at least 3x's a week, re-arrange your bed & bedding so that it supports your body--buy good pillows; find a lotion, ointment, or salve that works well for you and massage it into your aching parts (I prefer Tiger Balm), cut down on caffeine or better--eliminate caffeine, learn to say "No" when you don't feel like doing something.

    FIFTH: EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS so (hopefully) they will understand what is going on with you (especially on brain-fog days when you act like a space-cadet or can't remember what they said yesterday)and can offer the type of support that will be so important to you.

    SIXTH: Play {and appreciate} the "Good Days", try and maintain a positive attitude and hold onto your sense of humor, at the first sign of lingering depression--find a good therapist--they can offer tremendous support, comfort, understanding, medications, ideas, reality-checks and referrals if needed, if you find a physician that doesn't believe in FM--leave! If you find a physician that is willing to treat your FM pain with medication--they will generally start you on the lowest form/dose of pain med they can--if this medication does not work for you--Tell Them. Help your physician to help you. And, try not to be too offended when some physician comes along one day and tells you there's no such thing as FM, insinuates that its all in your head, and refers you to a psychiatrist. That's just their lack of knowledge showing.

    There will be others along to Welcome you and to point out some basic ideas that help no matter who you are or what your condition is, and also to offer some tips that help them.

    We're glad you've joined us Nathan, and we hope to hear from you often. Best Wishes, Carol....
  7. teawah

    teawah New Member

    Hi Nathan, I also am sufferring from alot of pain. The cloudy weather makes it so much worse. The things that I do that help are many. Hot baths for one. Life changes have made a big difference for me also. I used to smoke. Quit. I used to drink. Quit. Now I try to eat right and take alot of vitamins and supplements. And the occassional vicodin. Mostly heat and ice. Melatonin, 3mg helps me sleep and with good sleep comes better days. I spent alot of years on prescription drugs and really got fed up with the having to take one more to deal with the side effects of another. When they say diet and excersise are the best things they are right. But sometimes you can't do the excersise thing BECAUSE of the pain. I was one of the early diagnosed people and have been used as a guinni pig for all the so called "Break-throughs". The good old fashioned heat and ice are the ones I come back to over and over, after finally telling the Drs to stick their drugs. Hang in there and feel the pain so when you have a good day you can appreciate it and enjoy it. Teawah
  8. amilyne

    amilyne New Member

    hi nathan, well i know what you mean about it getting worse..i too was diagnosed in may last year and i live in minnesota..i personally believe that because of winter is why its gotten worse..the cold whether is bad for fms..i cant believe that you have to wait that long to get into a doctor..is there some reason why you cant get in to see a different doctor or are you waiting for a specific doc?? i read your bio and we have alot in common..i love linkin park and i like metallica but i like thier older stuff much better....im 22 ill be 23 on the 19th this month...i wish you luck with getting a good doctor ..i cant seem to find one that will treat me for the pain..i get the "drug seeker" treatment bad..which i believe is because of my age. i know its kidof lonely being young with this and im sure possibly harder because you are a guy..if you ever want someone to talk to you can email me if you want ..amilyne22 at yahoo...well good luck...im sorry i dont have much advice on how to relieve the pain..although a nice bath or shower feels great for a little bit ot listening to music. well good luck and welcome.
    -ami
  9. amilyne

    amilyne New Member

  10. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Hi Nathan, welcome to our world. As for pain, I take 'Pro Energy'(malic acid and magnesium glycinate), also ZMA (zinc, magnesium, vitamin B-6) the ZMA is also the most wonderful sleep aid, besides helping with the pain, muscle spasms, and twitching.

    I do not take meds, just supplements. I have had FM for 20 years plus, and the magnesium has been the one shining light in my life for pain and sleep.

    Both products can be bought at the site here, just go to the 'Store' link at the top right of this page and you can read about then, also we have a free catalog and a newsletter you can have sent to you.

    Glad you found us, and hope we hear from you often.

    Shalom, Shirl

  11. Natedagw821

    Natedagw821 New Member

    Thanks a lot for all of the suggestions and caring responses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God love you people!
    Take care, and God bless:
    Nathan