Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coping with Fibromayagia

A friend of mine had a relative who was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia (or CCS - Constantly Crappy Syndrome) I wrote her an e-mail of some with some tips I thought of, and thought I would share with those who are currently coping with fibromyalgia.

- I take 10 mg of lexapro (SSRI) a day and that immediately reduced my pain. However, my symptoms arose when I went off of this medication before, so it’s possible that this is only applicable to me (this brand). It's also possible that going on the medication made me more susceptible to this diagnosis in the first place.
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) can reduce nerve pain
- Doctors recommend Aspirin but Ibuprofen worked much better for me. It’s ok to take 1,000 mg / dose every 3 hours or so of Ibuprofen for up to a month before hurting your body’s systems. That’s not true for Aspirin.
- Massages and stretching helped A LOT. It hurt at first, but consistent massages (with a practitioner who you communicate easily with on what is tolerable and not tolerable) was really helpful.
- Heating pads worked AMAZINGLY well. Hot baths, Jacuzzis, etc…also work really well. Icing some parts helped, made others worse.
- Booze made it MUCH worse. It compounded feeling like crap like crazy.
- Simple carbohydrates - sugary drinks, sweets, lots of bread, popcorn, white rice, etc… REALLY increased the fatigue.
- Depression is very common with chronic pain. Please be sure to talk to someone who understands a chronic illness (friend, family, coworker, therapist, doctor). Talking about what you’re going through is VERY important. I would have a crying time occasionally and feel emotionally a lot better. Be sure to eat enough. A lot of times, depression leads to a lack of appetite, which makes you feel worse, which makes you not want to eat, which perpetuates. Force yourself to eat if necessary. IT WILL make you feel better.
- Having a friend/someone who is with you a lot suggest times when you’re worse and better is a great way of having an outside opinion of triggers. My boyfriend was the one who discovered going off the SSRI was the beginning of my fibromyalgia symptoms and the one who recommended going back on it (it worked).
- Try as much as possible to reduce stress. Tell people no.
- Listen to your body. If you’re starting to feel worse, don’t go and party/do more than you should. That was really hard for me to deal with, but it’s important to rest up before it gets really worse.

1 comment:

  1. So did you find out it's fibromyalgia? It must be comforting to at least have a specific diagnosis...