Oct. 24, 2003 — Depression doesn’t cause the pain of fibromyalgia, a new study shows. But clinical depression can deepen a fibromyalgia patient’s experience of pain. By Daniel J. DeNoon, WebMD Health News
I write articles for the online magazine Living Well with Fibromyalgia. http://facebook.us5.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e25cd0b401311f1df5f897ac9&id=7fa617bf97
I just submitted my most recent article that will be coming out in March. The theme is Well Supported. I was really excited to write this article. I can’t spill the article but I can put a shameless plug-in for it. LOL… Go to the above link and sign up to be a subscriber.
The reason that I enjoy writing my blog, posting in my support group and Facebook page is the amazing friends I have acquired and how great it makes me feel when I can help someone. It makes me feel so much better. I pride myself in being positive most of the time. I mean I just wrote an article telling others how they can support themselves and how to teach others to be your support.
What is the saying about “practice what you preach”?
Beginning in late October when my Grandma went into hospice care I stopped following my daily routine and the things that help lessen the harsh symptoms of Fibro and its evil sidekicks. I stopped going to the pool, I ate poorly (sugar foods) and did not follow proper sleep hygiene. I cried all the time and my thoughts were no longer positive.
The result ~ I am in now the longest most painful flare I have ever experienced.
Why did I lose my positive outlook? What broke this Warrior?
Our family had 10 loved ones pass away this year.
The hardest loss for me to handle has been my Grandmother. She and I had a very special relationship. We shared the most amazing six years living together. She passed away in November with me holding her hand.
I have not been able to deal with losing her. So many things cause me to cry at least 3 times a day.
It is not a surprise that after spending days sleeping in a recliner, driving to Illinois 3 times in 3 weeks and the stress I was under that I ended up in one of the worst Fibro Flares. On a pain scale 1-10, I was a 12+. My 20 minute ride to work would be so physically painful affecting from my hip to my foot. The 20 minute drive time gave me too much time to think. I would cry the entire way there from both pain and the grief I was experiencing.
I kept thinking. I don’t want to live to be 92 dealing with this pain every day.
I began withdrawing from my friends and family. I felt extreme guilt because I was not posting on my Facebook page, my support group and had stopped blogging. I knew that I should be swimming, going to the acupuncturist, and going to bed on time.
I started to exhibit signs of depression. I wasn’t able to complete things that needed to be done. I would see a picture or think of something and start crying. We know the vicious cycle; pain = no sleep = depression = pain = repeat.
I found the pain and depression had begun to affect my mental capabilities. I was forgetting everything. My mind was spinning. I had so many notes to keep track of things and I would lose the notes.
My prescriptions have to be ordered online and I receive email reminders that prescriptions need to be renewed. I forgot to keep up with my emailed messages, while I was caring for my Grandmother.
In January, while I was sorting my meds I realized that I was out of two very important ones. I quickly went on the computer and placed the order. Even though it would be several days before they would be delivered, I never thought of the consequences of not taking them.
I could not sleep on the third night without the medication. I had this awful creepy feeling and restless leg feeling all over my body. I spent the night on the couch flip-flopping. I was experiencing hot/cold sweats and a headache that turned into a migraine.
I thought that once I had my medications again I would start to feel better. My crying and pain continued. I doubled my antidepressants and still no help.
They say that timing is everything. I received my notification from my Employer that I needed to see my physician and have my yearly FMLA papers completed. It would force me to go see my Doctor. I know that I needed help but I needed the push to get me there.
I started to keep a journal thinking that it would be good to have the documentation for my Doctor appointments. I kept it with me at all times documenting everything that I found I had done wrong.
I should have remembered to go back to my Fibro Bible; Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain by Celeste Cooper and Jeffrey Miller has a wonderful chapter on setting up and writing your journal. Instead, mine consisted of a very long list of pages showing all of the errors that I was making. It began to scare me. I was afraid that the Fog had taken over and was progressing faster. This led to more tears. In reality, the cause was depression.(grieving, pain, guilt).
“Seven of the 30 fibromyalgia patients turned out to be suffering from true clinical depression, as well as fibromyalgia.”~ Daniel J DeNoon
“stress from fibromyalgia’s pain and fatigue can cause anxiety and social isolation. The chronic deep muscle and tender point pain can result in less activity. That causes you to become more withdrawn and can also lead to depression. It is also possible that anxiety and depression are part of fibromyalgia, just like the pain.” The signs of depression with chronic pain may include: decreased energy difficulty concentrating or making decisions feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or irritability loss of interest in nearly all activities persistent sad or anxious mood uncontrollable tearfulness.”
In addition, the weather had become brutally cold and my body was aching even more from the contraction of my muscles.
I went to both my GP and my Rheum and I told them both that I needed to see someone. I needed help. I help others daily but I couldn’t help myself. My friends on my support page are wonderful and they understand how I am feeling but this time I needed more help than they could give across the internet.
I finally was able to get someone to take action about my depression. In fact my Rheum told me she was seriously considering locking me up in a 72 hour lock down. I didn’t tell her that one day my Mom told me that I shouldn’t be driving in my crying condition that I could have an accident and when she said that I inwardly said to myself “I hope so”. I did tell her that although right now the way I feel I don’t care if go on ~ that I have a 13-year-old at home that I love more than anything and would never do anything that would ruin her life.
I had to laugh. I found it funny that one moment I was such a danger to myself that I should be locked up and the next minute I was fine to wait 5 weeks until the Psychologist would be available for an appointment. I went the very next day and found a psychologist just as good as the other one that could get me in within less than a week. Needless to say, I switched.
I told my friend afterwards what was decided. She said good – it is a start. You have a plan.
It was decided that I would attend a Physical Therapist to try the TENS Unit and help with my MPS. I would see a psychologist to deal with my loss of my Grandmother, the depression of the ongoing pain and the guilt I had recently been feeling for putting my family through my daily crying in pain and for my loss. I need to learn to accept my new FMLA report where the Doctor stated I can only work 6-7 hour days. It makes me feel like a failure.
What’s the point of sharing this blog with you?
I want you to know that the person who is always the strongest for everyone else is often the one who is desperate need of someone’s shoulder. Things that have nothing to do with your illness can have a great effect on your symptoms. It is important that no matter what is happening in your life you need to stick to your treatment. You need to use calendars, your phone, your computer, your family anything to help you remember to order your meds, take your meds and Keep on Swimmin’. Keep a detailed journal so when you are in a Fog you can look back at what worked or didn’t work. You can’t do it all yourself – you need to ask for help.
I want you to know that as low as I have been I know that it is up to me to get myself back on the right track. I will get myself back to the Warrior I was once. I owe it to myself, my Family and my fellow Warriors.
This week I will go swimming 3x’s, attend a therapy session with a psychologist, a Physical Therapy session and an Acupuncture appointment. I will keep a detailed journal, use good sleep hygiene and remember every day that . . . . . . .
I am a Fibro ~ Warrior Living Life.