How Fibromyalgia Affects My Daily Life – Stress

How Fibromyalgia Affects My Daily Life – Stress

It’s no secret to anyone who has had a chronic illness for a long time that stress aggravates your condition, especially when that chronic illness is pain centered like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or other chronic pain disorders.

Yesterday, I had a very vivid experience that illustrates this point.

Without boring you with the details, I’ll summarize the event. My daughter is finishing up her cosmetology education. She had one last project. When my daughter handed in that last project, Darlene failed it with spurious claims on not following directions. She followed the instructions to the letter and so I called up the head instructor Darlene, and she told me what she told my daughter. What the instructor told me and what my daughter told me about the guidelines of the project was almost word for word the same instructions, yet she had the nerve to fail her.

I tried to explain how wrong it was, using her own words against her, in failing my daughter. She was stubborn and wouldn’t budge. A while later the Vice President of academics called us and asked that we bring in the project as part of her investigation. We did. During the conversation, it became readily apparent that she was taking the side of the teacher. The facts were not disputed, but she took the side of her friend. Although, to her credit, she provided two compromises to resolve the issue.

how_fibromyalgia_affects_my_daily_life_stress1My daughter choose an option and then I let myself dive into to her for the sake of justice. Since there would be no consequences for Darlene I decided I needed to make my case and educate this Vice President on the concept of consequences and justice. Granted, I did this from the standpoint of anger, but my points were valid. Finally, after I said what I wanted to say twice or more I stopped, thanked her for her time and found my daughter and left. Looking back on it, while I had valid points, I acted out of anger. I will write more on that in a later post as a way to manage stress.

This is where the story really begins.

This is where the story begins in dramatic fashion. Within four, maybe five minutes, we were still driving in the complex, I felt my lower back muscles move and twist and spasm. The pain wasn’t too bad because I had recently taken a pain pill and muscle relaxer. But when I started to feel those muscles move and squeeze I was amazed at how soon after that ordeal stress kicked into my body and physically manifested itself.

This story is just one more of a million ways about how fibromyalgia affects my daily life when stress is involved. This epiphany opens up room for me to consider in the future how to control my anger, that will be a topic for the future.

Troy Wagstaff ©

84 Possible Fibromyalgia Symptoms

84 Possible Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Of those who respect fibromyalgia as a legitimate medical condition, most of them associate chronic wide spread pain as the primary symptom. Some also recognized chronic fatigue and fibro fog as additional symptoms. But what many do not realize or appreciate about fibromyalgia is that there are more than 82 symptoms that go along with fibromyalgia, either as a primary symptom or overlapping secondary symptom.

Also consider that many of these symptoms can be unrelated to fibromyalgia and could easily be symptomatic to other types of illnesses or diseases. This list is presented as something to think about and as information you may want to talk to your doctor about.

This list of fibromyalgia symptoms are alphabetically ordered.

  1. Abdominal cramps
  2. Abdominal & Digestive Symptoms
  3. Awkwardness
  4. Bloating & nausea
  5. Bruising or scarring easily
  6. Chronic wide spread pain
  7. Clumsiness
  8. Confusion
  9. Coughing
  10. Cravings for carbohydrate and chocolate
  11. Delayed reactions to physical exertion or stressful events
  12. Depression
  13. Difficulty speaking known words, other language impairments (dysphasia)
  14. Diffuse Swelling
  15. Directional disorientation
  16. Earaches & itchy ears
  17. Fatigue
  18. Fibro Fog
  19. Fibrocystic (lumpy, tender) breasts (as an overlapping condition)
  20. Foot Stiffness
  21. Foot Pain
  22. Free-floating anxiety
  23. Frequent Chronic Sciatica nerve pain
  24. Hair loss (temporary)
  25. Headaches
  26. Hemorrhoids
  27. Hip Pain
  28. Impotence
  29. Inability to recognize familiar surroundings
  30. Insomnia
  31. Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)
  32. Irritable Bladder
  33. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  34. Light and/or broken sleep pattern with unrefreshing sleep
  35. Loss of libido
  36. Loss of ability to distinguish some shades of colors
  37. Migraine Headaches
  38. Mitral valve prolapse
  39. Mold & yeast sensitivity
  40. Mood swings
  41. Morning stiffness

fibro_symptoms2

  1. Muscle Spasms
  2. Muscle Twitches
  3. Nails that curve under
  4. Night driving difficulty
  5. Nose bleeds
  6. Other family members with fibromyalgia
  7. Pain that mimics heart attack, frequently from costochondritis
  8. Painsomnia – Insomnia directly related to pain disturbances
  9. Panic attacks
  10. Paresthesias in the upper limbs (tingling or burning sensations)
  11. Pelvic pain
  12. Pelvic Pain
  13. PMS (as an overlapping condition)
  14. Poor balance and coordination
  15. Post nasal drip
  16. Pronounced nail ridges
  17. Ringing ears (tinitis)
  18. Runny nose
  19. Sensitivity to pressure changes, temperature & humidity
  20. Sensitivity to noise
  21. Sensitivity to light
  22. Sensitivity to odors
  23. Sensory overload
  24. Sensory Symptoms
  25. Short-term memory impairment
  26. Shortness of breath
  27. Sleep starts (falling sensations)
  28. Specific tissue pain
  29. Specific muscle pain
  30. Staring into space before brain “kicks in”
  31. Stiffness caused by sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time
  32. Sweats, usually night time
  33. Swollen Hands
  34. Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  35. Tendency to cry easily
  36. Tension Headaches
  37. Tingling Hands
  38. Tissue overgrowth (non-cancerous tumors. lipomas, ingrown hairs, cuticles, adhesions)
  39. Trouble concentrating
  40. Unaccountable irritability
  41. Unexplained weight gain
  42. Unexplained weight loss
  43. Urinary frequency
  44. Vision changes (including rapidly worsening vision)This list is for informational purposes and is not a diagnostic aid. Always consult your health care provider for any diagnosis or treatment of any of the symptoms.

Not All Fibromyalgia Symptoms Are Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Not All Fibromyalgia Symptoms Are Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Most people discover that they have fibromyalgia after a long bout of chronic pain. Then it usually takes a year or more to get it correctly diagnosed. In the meantime and for the next several years they discover additional symptoms of fibromyalgia like chronic fatigue, fibro fog, IBS, chemical sensitivities, dizziness, impaired motor skills and the list really goes on and on.

I’ve heard that there are more than sixty symptoms related to fibromyalgia. I haven’t researched that statement yet but here are a lot of additional fibro symptoms to consider such as Chronic muscle spasms, or tightness, chronic fatigue and decreased energy, Insomnia, waking up feeling just as tired, as when you went to sleep, stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long, difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks (“fibro fog”), abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome), tension or migraine headaches, jaw and facial tenderness, sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold.

Even more fibro symptoms are feeling anxious or depressed, numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet, increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder), reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise, a feeling of swelling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet.

not_all_fibro_symptoms_are sympRemember, there are countless more symptoms of fibromyalgia. But here is the point, when you notice a new symptom don’t just assume that it is a fibro symptom, at least get it checked out before assuming anything.

My first example from my decades long experiences that illustrates this concept: I have been having problems recently being way more fatigued than usual. I went the doctor to check it out. It felt a little more than traditional chronic fatigue symptoms. To make a long story short, I found out that my heart rate was hovering in the mid 40’s. Sometimes and low as 40. That can make a person very sleeping. I am currently being monitored by a Cardiologist.

The second example is related to dizziness. Dizziness can be a symptom of fibromyalgia but it, like most of the symptoms of fibromyalgia can by symptoms related t other things. Occasionally I have dizziness with fibromyalgia. In the past I have had a few inner ear infections. I started getting much more dizzy than usual. Went to the doctor to finds out I have an inner ear infection and fluid build up behind both ear drums. I was able to get some Meclizine to help with the dizziness. I was told to take Mucinex to help get rid of the fluid.

Ten days later I went to my doctor again and the fluid was gone behind one ear and the other ear was infected. Got an antibiotic and after three days I am seeing improvement.

If I had not gone to the doctor then I would have got really dizzy and sick and suffered longer than needed.

My third example is that I take medicine for IBS, irritable bladder, anxiety, muscle spasms, to manage fibro symptoms. Always treat the symptoms if they are a part of fibro or not. Chronic pain is more than enough to deal with, manage your other symptoms the best you can.

Troy Wagstaff ©

This is not medical advice. This is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice. Consult your doctor for any questions about your health.

6 Fundamentals Of Coping With Fibromyalgia

6 Fundamentals Of Coping With Fibromyalgia

1. Accept the fact that you have it.

2. Accept the fact that, at the present time, fibromyalgia is incurable.

3. Manage the various symptoms as they come upon you.

4. Don’t be afraid to let go of the you, you used to be before fibromyalgia.

5. Look for a new you that you can be in spite of fibromyalgia.

6. Look for the spiritual strength you need to give you the energy to cope with Fibro.

six_fundamentalsIf you can accept the fact that you have fibromyalgia and that at the present time fibromyalgia is incurable you will save yourself a lot of money and a lot of stress. There are people out there that want to make money on peoples misfortune. If you knew, for an absolute fact, that doing a certain thing would, for sure, cure you of the chronic pain, fog and fatigue called fibromyalgia, would you be willing to pay almost any sum of money? I know I would. We can make easy marks for shysters.

Coming to terms with the fact that there are things you can no longer do because of fibromyalgia and that there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, then you can take that stress, and pressure off of you and focus it on dealing with the present, which is you with fibromyalgia.

Most people find out that they have fibromyalgia from chronic throbbing pain and then with differing speeds, other symptoms start to afflict you. Don’t just assume that it is par for the course. Treat each and every symptom that comes your way appropriately with the doctor. The additional symptoms, if left untreated, can become as bad as or worse than the chronic pain.

You’ll find that, like most people with fibromyalgia, you can’t do what you used to do. You should accept that, and take the energy you would spend fighting the fibro disease and apply that energy to becoming something that you can do with the give and take of fibromyalgia.

Often, when you are spending so much energy dealing with the pain of fibromyalgia and the many other symptoms associated with it, you can slide away from the spiritual energy you need most. Keep aware of that possibility and try to keep or get that spiritual energy to help fighting the hated monster, fibromyalgia.

Perhaps there are more fundamentals in fighting fibromyalgia. What have you found to be a fundamental in your fight with this terrible disease?

Troy Wagstaff   ©

This is not medical advice, just my opinion.

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Exercising

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Exercising

I know that talking about fibromyalgia and exercising in the same sentence is a turn off for many fibromites but before you tune out this topic, please remember, I have had fibromyalgia for thirty-one years. I have experience about this subject and that experience may surprise you.

Over the thirty-one years I have had fibromyalgia I have been on a roller coaster of success and failure with trying to establish an exercise program. I will save the details for another post. In short, though, I’ve only found three forms of exercise that I have been able to do for any length of time, walking, swimming and weight lifting. Again, the details are worthy of a separate post. I just want to say I have found appropriate exercise to be beneficial to partially manage fibromyalgia and here is my story that drives that point home.

a_day_in_the_life_of_fibromylagia_exerciseI have had several sicknesses unrelated to fibromyalgia over the past month or so, but in the middle of all that, I have managed to spend some time, less time than normal, on the treadmill. The past eight or nine days I have had a middle ear infection or a large fluid buildup behind my eardrums. It makes me dizzy and seriously distorts my hearing. One day I hear better than I have for thirty years and the next I can hardly hear anything. One day almost all noise bothers me and the next day I can watch TV. All the while my equilibrium is out of whack. This means that it’s very hard to exercise, for anyone and especially me where my primary exercise is walking on the treadmill. Even holding on to the bars, no way.

So for about that last eight or nine days I have not been able to exercise with one small exception; I managed to walk about seven or eight minutes on the sidewalk with my walking sticks and my daughter walking along side of me in case I fell. That small amount of time didn’t help much.

Yesterday I noticed my abs was sore, along with my thighs, buttocks, and most of my back was sore. It was the kind of sore I didn’t have while I regularly exercised. Those of us with fibromyalgia are expert at reading the different types of pain. This pain wasn’t the type that makes you think “I’m going to die” pain, but rather, it is the miserable and uncomfortable pain. Normally, it is a tolerable pain, but for us fibromites it is way too much pain.

For the last two years of exercising, I have felt physically good about exercising but never wanted to find out if it was helping my pain levels, to do so would mean I deliberately stop exercising for a while. Exercise is good for you no matter what, so I just kept going. Now that I have been benched for enough time to notice, I can see that to some extent, my pain has been relieved by exercising.

But here is the main point. In spite of the increase in pain caused from not exercising, I have not felt the need to increase my pain MEDs. Yet, as soon as my dizziness is over, I will resume my walking on a treadmill or on the sidewalk. It does make me feel better enough to want to keep exercising, but doesn’t affect my pain levels enough to influence my pain MEDs up or down.

Troy Wagstaff ©

This post is not medical advise or medical suggestions. It is just personal observations and opinions.

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Dental Work – TMJ – Part 2

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Dental Work – TMJ – Part 2

On June 22nd, I went to the dentist. You can read about that visit at How Fibromyalgia Affects My Daily Life: Dental Work. That was on a Monday. About seven to ten days later I noticed the symptoms of TMJ starting with my upper left jaw. That is where the dental work was done. Having had TMJ three or four times since fibro was officially diagnosed. I had prescription strength anti-inflammatories from a previous issue. I also had the pain reliever’s so I started treatment as soon as I realized the symptoms.

I can’t remember the exact day the symptoms started because I was dealing with some serious dizziness issues and then this week I was diagnosed with a middle ear infection. Since this Blog is written by a person who really has fibromyalgia, my posts are dependent upon my health.

a_day_in_the_life_of_fibromylagia_dental_tmjThe point of this follow-up to my post, A Day in the Life of Fibromyalgia: Dental Work, is to mention that even though I had a great experience with my visit to the dentist, about a week or so later I started to get the symptoms of TMJ which we, as fibromite are sensitive to.

My dentist is great and in spite of his sensitivity to my fibro symptoms, no one could control the need for my jaw to be wide open during the dental work. As a result of the pressure on my jaw, I got a case of TMJ. It wasn’t a terrible case of TMJ, I’ve had worse, I think treating the symptom’s quickly made have controlled the TMJ from getting worse, maybe.

Will you always get TMJ after every dental visit? Maybe not. My visit before the filling was a check up and cleaning and I didn’t get TMJ symptoms so I don’t know if TMJ will follow every dental visit but I would be on the look out for it. Perhaps consult your dentist at the time of your visit to get prescriptions for TMJ MEDs just in case the symptoms appear. I don’t know if your dentist would be willing but it doesn’t hurt to ask and it certainly helps to be prepared. I have been taking the TMJ therapy for about four or five days and the symptoms are almost gone.

So when going to the dentist it is, I think, a good idea to be prepared for the possibility of TMJ after your dental work is done.

What has been your experience with dental work and TMJ? What has been your experience in general with going to the dentist with fibromyalgia?

Troy Wagstaff ©

This is not medical advice and in no way assumes liability.

Hope, Fibromyalgia, Despair and Contradiction

Hope, Fibromyalgia, Despair and Contradiction

Hope is like the waves of the ocean crashing on the beach. At first your feet get wet, and over the time, the waves get bigger, bringing in more hope, making you more wet. Eventually the waves of hope completely engulf you leaving wet with hope.

Then the waves recede back into the tumultuous ocean to leave all but your feet dry again.

waves_of_hope_fibro_despairPain is like the waves of the ocean crashing on the beach. At first your feet get wet, and over the time, the waves get bigger, bringing in more pain, making you more wet. Eventually the waves of pain completely engulf you, leaving you wet with pain.

Then the waves recede back into the chaotic ocean to leave all but your feet dry again.

Despair is like the waves of the ocean crashing on the beach. At first your feet get wet, and over the time, the waves get bigger, bringing in more despair, making you more wet. Eventually the waves of despair completely engulf you, leaving you wet with despair.

Then the waves recede back into the turbulent ocean to leave all but your feet dry again.

With the tides, the waves of hope, pain and despair come and go, engulfing you, but eventually leaving you dry and hopeless, with less pain and less despair. The contradictory waves of fibromyalgia are a fickle thing always at the beckoning of the tumultuous sea.

CallahanWriter ©

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