Support group – follow up

Support Group – follow up

I attended my first “in-person” support group for Fibromyalgia last night. I think there were about 10 people in attendance – of which most of them were new to the group.
I didn’t have any idea what to expect – I was nervous to attend.
My thoughts; I wish that I had been aware of this group when I was first learning about Fibro. I am looking forward to the speakers that they have scheduled over the next few months. I not only learned new things but I think it helped me remember where I was when I first was struggling with accepting this new challenge. I hope that what I learn at these meetings will not only help myself but my Fibro Warriors.
While we were sitting there – one thing already became apparent – the lights were too bright. They tried to keep the lights off – but then some couldn’t see the board. I was prepared – I always have my shades with me now.
The speaker was a Licensed Psychologist who deals with Chronic Pain Rehabilitation.
He spoke about the causes of FMS, explained the “central sensitization” or “autonomic dysregulation”. HUH?
Simpler terms; the nervous system goes into a highly reactive state which causes the symptoms of FMS. The nervous system controls both physical and psychological symptoms.
That explains why there is such a long list of symptoms that can develop in a Fibromite.
He also discussed the three types of treatments; medications, exercise and cognitive behavior therapy.
Below are the notes that I took; Keep in mind I was a bit foggy.
The studies that have been done show that the older meds such as Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline seem to be more effective then the newer ones like Cymbalta and Savella.
Nortriptyline was used as an anti-depressant but now is more commonly used as a sleep aid.
Gabapentin – is an anti-seizure medicine. Side effects; Increased appetite, vertigo, dry mouth.
Exercise; mild low impact aerobic exercises building up to at least 20 minutes a day/3 times a week of an activity that increases your heart rate. This helps to relax the autonomic nervous system.
Cognitive Behavior; Coping skills, ways to compensate, mindfulness, relaxation therapies.
It takes a combination of all three of the types of treatments and the continuous use of them in your daily life.
I think that it helped answer so many questions and help clear up a lot of misconceptions such as it would get increasingly worse as time goes by, some had never heard of Fibro Fog, and some are still in the “I can’t” phase. I admitted occasionally I still go through the “what if’s” and have those moments that I need to force myself to go swim but that I now won’t allow it to keep me from living life.
It was a very positive experience and I look forward to the next meeting.
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