This morning I had someone ask me about fibromyalgia. I have had discussion with others about it before and have been thinking about posting on my blog for quite a while on the subject of my fibromyalgia. In the image above you can see the common tender points that are used to identify if someone has fibromyalgia. I have all of them to some degree. The main thing is that a person must have pain in all four quadrants of the body: above the waist on the right side, above the waist on the left side, below the waist on the right side, and below the waist on the left side. There are other "signs" that a person has fibromyalgia and these are also needed for a diagnosis of fibro. The major one is fatigue. I also have that and at times I have it really bad.
So, how to describe fibro? Every day I have pain which never leaves. Some days it is worse and every now and then it actually isn't too bad. Think of how you feel when you have the flu and your body aches all over. That is how I feel on my worst days. Now think of how you feel when you have a headache. That is how my body feels on most days. My worst pain is in my elbows, knees, lower back, and neck. I realize that is where most of the tender points are located...well, that's where I hurt. The worst of the worst is my lower back. That pain is bad and causes me to not be comfortable when I sit. Much of the time I have to get up or move every 15 minutes. It does help me to have a comfortable yet firm chair with lumbar support. Those of you who know me from church have seen that I sit in the auditorium on a cushion and with a small blanket rolled up behind my back. That helps me a lot, but not completely. I haven't yet found anything that helps totally relieve the aches. I love going to Sunday school, however the chairs in there are really uncomfortable to my body and it is very hard for me to sit still.
There is medication that I take that does help me to make it through the day. So far, I have tried all of the three that have been specifically created to help fibro patients. I currently take Savella. I also take ibuprofen three times a day and Tramadol at night. I have tried naproxen, but it makes me very drowsy and gives me strange dreams. Other things that help are getting into a hot-tub. Wish I had one at home, but a hot shower has to do for now. Recently, I went out and purchased a larger heating pad to lay on and it feels so good when my back hurts really bad. Medication has helped somewhat, but has never removed all of the pain.
I will write more about fibro in my next posting (Lord willing), but as I am hurting pretty bad today, this is all I can do for now.