Unintended Consequences Of Chronic Pain And Fibromyalgia

Unintended Consequences Of Chronic Pain And Fibromyalgia

 

I’m an adult with an ear ache. Well, actually I’m a man bordering on old age and it’s not an ear ache, but it’s earaches, one in each ear. My throat starts to hurt along with a three day headache that will not go away so I go to the doctor. I’m not proud, in fact, I’m quick to go to the doctor when it comes to relieving  any type of pain.
With fibromyalgia I am sick of the pain. If I can relieve some type of minor or regional pain, I’ll do what I can. So the doctor agrees, I am sick. I get ten days worth of antibiotics. I get some cough syrup, cough syrup without narcotics. I already have a prescription for that. Yeah. I’ve been through many a sinus infection and many an upper respiratory illnesses, both viral and bacterial. I know that if I respond favorably within two to three days, it’s likely bacterial and I’m on track. Otherwise, it’s viral and I have to wait it out. It’s sad that I know this much.
I’m taking my medication regularly for three or four days and I’m responding well. Then all of the sudden I seem to be backsliding. Not good. So the question is why? I don’t want to be sick. I don’t want to expose my grandchildren to whatever I have. Being sick on top of chronic pain and fibromyalgia is just miserable. It’s worse than miserable, but unless you have a chronic illness or a chronic pain, you likely wouldn’t understand. So then, the question is why am I backsliding. Why are my symptoms getting worse and not better like they were a few days ago?
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It takes longer to figure out since my memory is foggy and my deductive reasoning skills are reduced by fibro fog but I do figure it out. I take too much medicine. Too many pills. I guess that’s a matter of opinion. I don’t technically take too many pills because every medicine I take is prescribed, even the Calcium, Vitamin C and other supplements.
You see, the problem is that my memory, motor skills are kicking in when I take my morning medicine and my night time medicine. I look at the bottles, sometimes skipping the labels because after six, eight or twelve years of taking the same medicine daily, I know what the bottle looks like. I know what the pill looks like. I have made several phone calls over the years to the pharmacy to ask why the shape or color of the pills in a particular pill bottle are different. They look it up and say that for that particular bottle, it came from a different manufacturer this one time or that they changed the shape of the tablet or the pill is a different color because it is now generic.
I think to myself, when was the last time I took my antibiotics? Now that I’m thinking about it, I start to wonder when I last took that two color capsule. I go through my pills, sorting them by morning and night time schedules. There’s a slightly translucent white pill bottle remaining along with an old bottle of Meclizine that I need to dispose of. The white bottle turns out to be my antibiotic. Crap! I realize that I have been on autopilot for so long that I passed over that antibiotic bottle the last few days. I haven’t been taking my new pill.
What’s done is done and I need to move on. I have changed the way I manage that pill. I have been taking it properly now and the symptoms are again improving. I now place the antibiotic next to my pain medicine that I take throughout the day. That reminds me to take it morning and evening.
After dwelling on this strange circumstance, I realize that among the many unintended consequences of medicating and treating fibromyalgia and chronic pain is that sometimes other temporary medicines get lost in the shuffle making it harder to deal with what most people would consider normal medical issues like the occasional sinus infection or ear aches or whatever. After twelve official years diagnosed with fibromyalgia I am still learning about how to live with this chaotic illness. Yeah.

Inspirational Fibromyalgia Quotes

Inspirational Fibromyalgia Quotes

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Inspirational Fibromyalgia Awareness

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Strength, Courage and Hope

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A New Day Of Hope

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With Hope We Can Persevere

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Never Give Up. Never Surrender

Fibromyalgia Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

Fibromyalgia Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

Borrowing a famous line from the greatest movie Forrest Gump, “my momma always said, life was like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re going to get.”
If you have fibromyalgia, you know that like a box of chocolate, you never know with fibromyalgia what you’re going to get. Of course, we all know that with fibromyalgia comes chronic widespread pain, we know that it is a Central Nervous System disorder and we know that at the present time, there is no known cure. But that is where the certainties of fibromyalgia stop.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia are vast and by some counts include over seventy symptoms. If you are recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia you are in for a long ride to discover what other symptoms you’re going to have. Once you find a way to manage the chronic pain you might notice, many more issues that are common with fibro like insomnia, fibro fog and many more.
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With a nice big box of assorted chocolates you get a nice assortment to experience. At least you have a choice, do I buy this box of chocolates or not? You don’t have a choice with Fibromyalgia.
I made my own box of assorted chocolate to illustrate a point. That’s the beauty of assorted chocolates now days. They have web sites where you can customize what you want inn a box of chocolates, but there is no choice which fibro symptoms you get. You can’t customize your symptoms on a web site. Even if you could, what would you want to select?
Whereas with a box of chocolate, you might get a Milk Chocolate Almond, with fibro you might get depressed. You could get a Milk Butter Cream, or with fibro you might get fibro fog. If you’re lucky you could get a Milk Walnut but with fibromyalgia you could get fatigue. The Milk Pecan Bud is nice, but with your box of fibromyalgia you get may get Fibrocystic breasts.
For me no box of assorted chocolates would be complete without some dark chocolate like a Dark Almond. With fibromyalgia you might get chronic hip pain, I hate that one, probably the most.  Dark Walnut is nice, but Foot Stiffness or Foot Pain is terrible. I love Dark Peanut but I hate the headaches and sleep disorders. I like Raspberry Truffles, they’re very rich, but one in a box is good.  Muscle  Twitches and Spasms are bad and I hate them both.
What’s ironic using this interesting comparison about fibromyalgia and boxes of assorted chocolates is that another symptom of fibromyalgia is cravings for carbohydrates and chocolate.
This article, I hope amuses you just a little, maybe if I am lucky the corners of your lips turned up just a bit. But it’s hard to be amused my fibromyalgia and its scores of additional symptoms as if the chronic widespread pain is not enough. For the most complete list of symptoms that I know about, go to Fibro Symptoms.
Troy Wagstaff

WHAT IS THE WORST DISEASE TO LIVE WITH REGARDS TO PAIN?

WHAT IS THE WORST DISEASE TO LIVE WITH REGARDS TO PAIN?

I can’t speak to all serious diseases, but I can give you all a real story that compares some of the  worst, most painful illnesses known to mankind.
what_dieaseMy dear sweet wife came down with colon cancer. It almost killed her before it was accurately diagnosed. They looked at her age around thirty-eight to thirty-nine years old, and disregarded the symptoms that would point them to a grapefruit size tumor in her transverse colon. They detected a blockage which they could not get rid of. Finally a diligent gastroenterologist detected it. We demanded emergency surgery to remove it and we took an aggressive approach to fighting the cancer. That and a lot of prayers on our behalf beat it.
The tumor was remarkably painful, typically the pain danced between an eight to a ten on the pain scale. Then the recovery from surgery was very painful and the chemotherapy was very painful. But she survived. It has been about twelve or thirteen years ago and she is doing great.
Shortly after her recovery, she came down with neuropathy in her feet and toes. That was painful but manageable. I  finally got a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. I was finally seeing a great pain specialist, Dr. George. I was, somewhat managing my pain. No fibro pain can be completely removed as those with fibro can attest to.
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Then, a while after my initial fibro episode, my wife was diagnosed with Breast cancer that has metastasized into her armpit. We elected a full mastectomy. She survived a very painful recovery and very painful chemo treatments. She had surgery, then chemo followed by radiation therapy. She was at a stage three. It’s been eight or nine years since that fight with cancer. Twice a cancer victim, twice a cancer survivor.
A while after finishing her fight with breast cancer, we were talking about our painful moments with our respective seriously painful illnesses. She made a comment that really surprised me. Keep in mind that throughout her whole life, her greatest fear was cancer. Her comment was, “I think I would choose cancer over fibromyalgia. With cancer there is light at the end of the tunnel. You live or you die. The pain eventually goes away. But with fibromyalgia, there is no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel.”
Her comment really surprised me. She really grasped the never-ending painful torment of fibromyalgia pain.
So what is the worst pain related illness out there. I can’t say with absolute certainty, but I can say the fibromyalgia is one of the most common illnesses listed under chronic pain.
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Gone But Not Forgotten

Gone But Hopefully Not Forgotten

A Resurgent FibroChampion

blog_meme_gone_not_forgottenI have maintained a low profile for the last month and a half. I have been working on finishing my first novel. I first started writing my Blog, FibroChampionsBlog at CallahanWriter.com to promote the cause of fibro awareness. I then realized that, having fibromyalgia myself, for more than thirty years, one of the things we need besides a cure is validation and inspiration. I’ve been working on adding posts related to that way of thinking. I have a set of memes or graphics that I will be adding to my Blog shortly, which came from my rough draft of the novel I am working on. I think most fibro patients or fibro champions, as I like to call us, will appreciate them.
After writing off and on for a while, mostly for my Blog, I learned from my neuropsychologist that fibro fog affects the body much the same ways that brain damage or traumatic brain injuries affect the brain. Just because you may have brain damage or TMI doesn’t always mean the damage is permanent. Some or all of the memory portion can be reclaimed by physical therapy.
fibrochampionsblog_9Yes, physical therapy. I’m not talking about exercises that work the muscles and joints, but exercises to physically work your brain. I heard an ad on the TV or radio about seniors learning a foreign language to help them keep their memory sharp. I ask my doc about that and she said it is true. She went on to say that any language-art affects the brain the same way.
I asked about writing, would writing have the same effect as learning a foreign language? The answer was yes. She went on to say that any activity that works the brain actively, like reading, computer games that need strategy, writing, learning languages, puzzles, crosswords, sudoku etc., they all have the same effect. Unlike the muscles in our body that need time to rest and recover between workouts, the brain can and should be worked out every single day for best results.
I like reading and writing. In the past two years I have read about a hundred books. I have written a lot. Somehow, I got the idea to write a novel where the protagonist, the main character has fibromyalgia and has to deal with it through out the story. I wanted the story to have fibromyalgia as a conflict against the main character.
I have spent six months writing the book and completely thrown away one story line and finally found the characters I wanted and then threw out two plot lines until I finally settled on a plot that could go the distance.

 
You all know how fibro fog does more than affect the memory, I finally had what I wanted, I just needed to complete the rough draft. I had serious doubts I could finish it and so I finally put everything aside and forced myself to do nothing else but wallow in pain and work on completing the novel to the first draft level. I needed a story laid out from start to finish. I needed it as much for a sense of completion. Big projects can be difficult for us fibrochampions. Now that I have finally completed the rough draft, I have a sense of major accomplishment and I feel like I can take the story all the way to publication. That won’t be for a few months, but I feel like I can actually do it.

 
AND I can say that after about eighteen months of physical therapy for my brain I am remembering things a little better. I still have serious memory issues, but over the last couple of weeks I have noticed a small difference in my memory.
What I want to say to you all is that physical therapy for the brain works and most of us are disabled and have the time to work the brain every day via computer brain games, reading books, especially creatively written books. Writing is good. Languages are good. Eighteen months will pass where you try it or not. Two years, three years, five years, or ten years will pass by, whether you try or not. Everything that counts as physical therapy can be done in bed, on a couch or recliner. Good luck.

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Memories

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Memories

I’ve had fibromyalgia for about thirty-two years, diagnosed for about twelve years. For all of you who have fibromyalgia for any length of time can relate to this, in concept. Probably not the exact situation, but the concept at least.

I was watching a rerun episode of M.A.S.H., it was the one where Klinger tries to get Winchester to invest in the hula hoop and Frisbee. I wonder when and where those two classics came into being. But the memory I had was like a series of video clips of me throwing a Frisbee. I threw the Frisbee in a grocery store parking lot late at night with the parking lot lights on so we could practice skipping the Frisbee on a hard surface. I threw the Frisbee a lot in parks all over. I could competently throw the Frisbee in three or four styles including under my leg.

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The fun review of the mental video clips was followed by some despair as I realized, “there is one more thing I can’t do.” Luckily I no longer own any of my Frisbees so I am not tempted.

It’s both fun and sad to have fun memories or recollections from the past. It’s always fun to reflect on the fun of a former life before the new life of disabling fibromyalgia. But it is sad because in many cases, those fun memories will stay as memories and be things we can no longer do.

Troy Wagstaff

 

Visual Evidence Of Creationism With A Flash Flood

This post has been updated with the formation of a small canyon in Wyoming that is about 2,250 feet by 150 feet. It took two weeks to form this familiar looking canyon.

Fibro Champions Blog – How fibromyalgia affects me on a daily basis . . .What I have learned about living with this chronic invisible illness. It may feel the end of life as we know it . . . But there is hope

Visual Evidence Of Creationism

There are many National Parks, especially in the western United States that feature grand vista’s and incredible formations. Some of these National Parks are the Grand Canyon, Zion’s, Capital Reef, Bryce Canyon, Canyon Lands and many more. At the top of some very high rock formation at Zion’s nation park there is fossil evidence of sea life, thousands of feet above sea level.

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As you walk and hike through Capital Reef national park and other nation parks there are brass placards telling you how certain formations are formed, according to science.

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There are several pictures of spectacular formations in various national parks and from southern Utah included in this post to compare to the video at the bottom of this post that was taken of a flash flood in southern Utah four days ago from a drone.

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 Here is the footage of a flash flood. Notice…

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