Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lupus and Fibromyalgia Similarites

I have an online friend who mentioned the symptoms of lupus being similar to fibromyalgia so I decided to look it up. Without getting into all the specifics of this disease I do want to say that the people suffering from this certainly have my admiration because on top of all the aches and pains, severe life-altering fatigue, skin rashes and fevers there is also the possibility of loss of kidney function, anemia and hair loss. This is only a partial list of what lupus can do to your body so my heart really goes out to those sufferers.

The reason I brought this up is because so many illnesses start out similarly in symptoms and can so easily be misdiagnosed, therefore, it is crucial that you become aware of your own body so that when you do go into the doctor you will be able to accurately describe your symptoms. I would write them down and keep a running list as certain problems arise because some are infrequent and you might have forget to mention it.

I also want to invite anyone suffering with aches and pains that seriously alter your life to feel free to comment and be a part of this blog. Fibromyalgia happens to be my diagnosis and I am doing everything I can to educate myself and others about this chronic illness but as I mentioned before, pain is pain, and we all can relate to one another regardless of the label put on the diagnosis.

I would love to hear from each of you how you deal with your illness on a daily basis. Do you find yourself scheduling your activities around it or do you press on and just bite the bullet. For me, the best time of the day is about 2 hours after I have taken my tramadol. I am in the peak of performance and I know I can last several hours before I start to fade. My friends and kids know that I am a morning person and don't bother to ask me to do something late in the afternoon.

I take a 2nd set of my pain pills around 4:30 or so and then I am generally pretty good until bedtime at 11:30.

I have had this long enough to have figured out what works for me. Many times things need to be done or appointments are scheduled in the latter part of the day, but on a regular basis I try to have everything finished before 2:00 in the afternoon. Working on my mosaics is not in this category. I love to work on them anytime of day as long as I feel comfortable enough to sit for a long period of time.

I am not a person who deals well with pain, so if I can take something to release the tension and pressures of the pain then that is what I am going to do. The quality of my life is much better if I am either pain free or experiencing minimal pain. I do know several people, my son included, that simply won't take anything unless the pain gets so bad they have little choice.

I can't honestly say I understand that concept unless there is concern for addiction or reliance on it as I can't imagine having pain constantly and try to get much done. But I want to make it clear that I recognize that each of us has their own way of coping and what may work great for some may not work at all for others.

What do you do?


Michele Emrath said...

I can't say that I have a plan yet. I am still working out the details. But I do WRITE. Writing helps me deal with the emotional side. Blogging and reading other people's blogs helps me communicate and learn. Laughing with my children keeps me human.

The main thing I have integrated that makes me feel better is yoga. I try to go in the mornings because, while it can be painful in practice, it makes me feel so much better afterward. My whole day is rejuvenated after yoga.

As to pain meds and other treatments, I am so early in my fibro diagnosis and treatment that I don't even have a permanent doctor yet. I have a feeling it's going to be a long road.

Do Beautiful Things

Lori said...

Every Monday I make goals. Often I make more goals than I can possibly meet, it gives me choices. I try to take my pain meds and continue with as much exercise as possible. Mostly this consists of walking or biking, or maybe underwater treadmill and swimming. Sometimes I need to take more pain meds and lay down or take a short nap. Hey, it happens, it's not the end of the world! Sometimes you just plod on and don't wait for the pain to leave, it may not and you just get stiffer and further behind. I always remind myself it could be worse!