Thursday, October 23, 2008

Living with Chronic Pain

What does Fibromyalgia look like? I guess if you asked each of us that have it, we would all give a different answer but in my mind it looks like this huge, gigantic overgrown swollen about ready to burst top of a volcanic mountain. But then, it never erupts, it just remains swollen and nagging all the time, never changing, just nagging!

It feels like a giant tooth ache all over your body and it never goes away. Oh sure, you can medicate it, but even the NSAID's , Aspirin, Muscle Relaxants & other pain medications made to make you feel better, never take the nagging pain away. Some of them diminish the pain a bit and make it more tolerable and others just make you feel drained and drugged!

It isn't always the diminished pain either, one NSAID I was on had me waking up every morning looking like a huge water balloon. My eyes were so swollen I could barely see, my fingers were swollen like giant sausages so much I could not bend them & my feet, well my feet are always in pain and I always feel like I am walking across hot coals, but add swelling to them and it was unbearable!

So, we turn to seekers. We write to others seeking knowledge in how they are feeling, what works or doesn't work for them because we are seeking possible answers to our own pain. We read websites, articles, books and check Fibromyalgia and Arthritis sites seeking the newest answers to help alleviate some of our pain.

We spend money we don't have on things that might help us. In my case it is a constant changing of shoe inserts, socks, foot soaks, new shoes and while these help, they only help for a few hours and some just cause me more pain. I seek relief for my foot pain that my Rheumatologist tells me is an ortho problem, my ortho doctor tells me is arthritis related and my primary care doctor tells me is a heel spur. For over 3 years, I don't think so! So I am still seeking answers to help me walk better & I will see a podiatrist soon.

We lie to family and friends telling them we feel just fine because we seek normalcy in our relationships and by being in constant pain, sooner or later even our spouses get tired of hearing about it, so we quit talking about our pain and suffer in silence.

We seek eastern medicine or at least I have....accupuncture, reiki, reflexology hoping to open up whatever may be blocked and closed or pressing on our nerves. We get massages, sacrificing our medications to get an hour massage and hoping that will unblock and help us. We are seeking alternative therapies hoping ancient wisdom has the answer.

What I am NOT seeking is pity! I don't want anyones pity, but I would appreciate a little understanding from those that do not suffer this debilitating condition. Please stop telling me to buck up and suck it up. Stop thinking exercise is the answer, because I get up in the morning and stretch and try to walk, but even the shortest walks cause throbbing pain. I do NOT however take the riding carts in stores, choosing to push the cart and lean on that. I DO have a disabled plate on my vehicle & use it when I am in extreme pain!

I was watching a medical conference from University of San Diego last evening on You Tube and saw specialists in the field of Rheumatology explain that they now realize that Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain is NOT muscle related, but central nervous system related and that many of us like myself suffer from other conditions such as chemical allergies (I cannot be anywhere around PineSol, cleansers or bleaches) without causing me to go into severe Asthma attacks.

Is is stress or trauma related? Some say yes and others say no. In my case, I believe it is. I have had lower back problems off and on for years, however, it wasn't until I worked a police shooting incident where my adrenaline hit such a high point and then bottomed out that I started having chronic pain and sleep problems.

Is that the answer? Maybe, partially, I have no clue. But someday I am hoping to find an answer, to challenge the medical world to concentrate on the cause and then perhaps we can find the clue to a cure. Until then, I will continue to seek answers not only for myself, but for those of you out there who are also seeking answers.


Sherry said...

I can totally relate to saying your feeling good just because others are tired of you complaining and honestly, I get tired of hurting. I just want to have a day were nothing hurts! A day of honestly saying, "I feel great today!"

There has to be more out there and if you find something let me know and vica versa!!!


grandmarockton said...

YES! I understand and agree, we look NORMAL but pain is something you "walk in my shoes" that others will never understand until they do! GOD BLESS!

Rainma said...

Thank you ladies and yes Sherry, I will let you know and keep reading my blog, because when I find the answer I will post it here.

Cathy said...

I totally understand what you are saying, especially about not wanting to complain day after day. I have had friends say, "Oh, I didn't know you have RA." I try not to talk about it constantly although sometimes it is in my mind constantly.
As I have found some causes for my RA, I have also discovered that my illness has brought good too. I have met many wonderful people like you, I have discovered my own strength and weaknesses and much more. Cathy