Fibromyalgia … isn’t just pain!

fibro symptom pic

I was talking to a friend at gym this weekend and was telling her about how I have to choose my clothing.  She did not know about Allydonia.  She like so many others have no idea what it means to have Fibro.

I don’t expect non-fibromites to “get it”.  They can’t.

Just like I can’t understand what it is like to have Cancer or have lost a family member to that awful disease.

I have seen enough of my friends deal with having it themselves or one of their family members that I understand what the stages mean, what it means to have bone cancer,  the various treatment options & the side-effects that can occur.

If you have read my blog before you are aware that I am not fond of the Fibro commercials on TV.
The only good thing is that more people are aware that it exists.

However, so often when someone hears that I have Fibromyalgia their comment is
“Oh, I have seen the commercials for that on TV” assuming the solution is so easy.

What a disservice those commercials have done for us living the life with Fibromyalgia.
They make it sound that all we experience is pain and with their “drug” the pain goes away.

When I tell someone about my health issues, I say I have Fibromyalgia & only 7 of its “evil sidekicks.”

Ok, I used to say that.  I now am the proud owner of 11 of the “evil sidekicks” (note sarcasm).

No-one really wants to know our long list of symptoms and coexisting conditions.

I can almost guarantee that half of our families do not even know what we have been diagnosed (especially since if you are like me every time I go to the Doctor~I add something to my list).

I am still trying to understand all that Fibromyalgia can encompass.  To start with, I didn’t know there are 3 types of pains.

Fibromyalgia pain itself is divided into 3 types.

Doctor Speak: Hyperalgesia is the medical term for pain amplification in FMS. Our brains appear to take normal pain signals, and turn them up making them more severe than they would normally be.

Fibro Warrior:  If someone “lightly” taps us on the tush as a fun “slap – IT HURTS US!!!

Doctor Speak: Allodynia is believed to be a hypersensitive reaction that may result from the central sensitization.

Fibro Warrior:  It feels like you have the worst sunburn you have experienced all the time. Clothing, touches, the wind – HURTS!!

Doctor Speak: Paresthesia is the sensation of tingling, prickling, or numbness in a person’s skin that has no apparent physical cause.

 Fibro Warrior:  It feels like when your leg “falls asleep”.

I have been working on building my Fibro Facebook page and blog to offer informational tabs along with introducing myself to the newest members of my support group.

I started to type my Fibro history and which of the “evil sidekicks”(co-existing conditions) I have been diagnosed realizing that it really doesn’t explain what that means.  In order to have a better understanding one needs to read the long symptom list and associated conditions.

Sounds like an easy task; simply google information on the Fibromyalgia definition, symptoms, co-existing conditions or treatments.

Right?  No.

There are so many lists to choose from; Which list do we go by?  They can be so confusing.

I thought I would make a page that has it all.

One definition described Fibromyalgia as; “a rheumatoid disorder characterized by muscle pain and headaches”.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful if all it meant having was to have muscle pain and headaches?

I chose to use the following definition;

    DEFINITION

“Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, stiffness, and multiple tender points. “Tender points” refers to tenderness that occurs in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips”.

    SYMPTOMS

There are many  lists available showing as many as 100 symptoms usually including coexisting conditions. I have always found Healingwell.com a very helpful and supportive site.  Below is their list; Highlighted = I have it.

1. PAIN   2. FATIGUE   3. SLEEP DISTURBANCE   4. PARESTHESIA   5. DEPRESSION 
6. ANXIETY   7. PERSONALITY CHANGES  8. MOOD SWINGS   9. SUBJECTIVE SWELLING OF EXTREMITIES   10. HEADACHES  11. COGNITIVE FUNCTION PROBLEMS   12. FREQUENT UNUSUAL NIGHTMARES 13. DYSTONIA   14. FREQUENTLY SAYING WRONG WORDS   15. BURNING SENSATIONS   16. LIGHT HEADEDNESS 17. MORNING STIFFNESS    18. EASY BRUISING   19. MILD BUTTERFLY RASH(LUPUS TYPE) 20. NEUROGENIC INFLAMMATION   21. DISEQUILIBRIUM- Vertigo  22. MUSCLE WEAKNESS   23. SCIATICA 24. PHOTOPHOBIA    25. ALTERATION OF TASTE, SMELL and HEARING  26. LOW FREQUENCY, SENSORINEURAL HEARING LOSS 27. DECRESED PAINFUL SOUND THRESHOLD  28. TINNITUS   29. OCCASIONAL EXAGGERATED NYSTAGMUS 30. CHANGES IN VISUAL ACUITY   31. INTOLERANCE OF ALCOHOL    32. ENHANCEMENT OF MEDICATION SIDE EFFECTS 33. INTOLERANCE OF PREVIOUSLY TOLERATED MEDICATIONS    34. WEIGHT CHANGES      35. RESTLESS LEGS 36. HEIGHTENED AWARENESS   37. POSSIBLE CARBOHYDRATE INTOLERANCE   38. IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME 39. HEARTBURN 40. SUB-NORMAL TEMPERATURE  41. NIGHT SWEATS  42. SENSITIVE TO TEMPERATURE EXTREMES 43. HEART PALPITATIONS   44. BREATHING DIFFICULTIES   45. HEART MURMUR 46. IMPOTENCE 47. SEVERE PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME   48. FREQUENT VAGINAL YEAST INFECTIONS   49. MUSCLE SPASM 50. NON-CARDIAC CHEST PAIN   51. PELVIC PAIN  52. ABDOMINAL WALL PAIN   53. DRY EYES AND MOUTH 54. TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDER   55. RAYNAUD’S- like symptoms   56. CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME 57. HAIR LOSS    58. VULVODYNIA   59. PLANTAR ARCH

WOW!  Wait we aren’t done.  Now we need to add conditions that seem to co-exist along with Fibromyalgia.  I call these conditions “the evils sidekicks”.    It isn’t known if Fibro causes these other conditions to develop or if they cause Fibromyalgia. No matter what you have to learn how to manage the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and its “evil sidekicks”.

The Evil Sidekicks

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)
Anxiety Disorders
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Tinnitis (ringing in the ear may be present)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/CFIDS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Interstitial Cystitis Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Osteoarthritis
Cervical and Low Back Degenerative Diseases 
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Hypothyroidism
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Polymyalgia
Prolapsed Mitral Valve
HIV Infection – Immunodeficiency Syndrome,
Xerostomia (dryness of the mouth),
Kerotoconjunctivitis Sicca (dryness of eyes)
Sjogren’s Syndrome – includes Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Raynaud’s Phenomenon
Allodynia
Polymyositis Ossificans
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
Myofascitis
Restless Leg Syndrome
Migraines
Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, Sleep Maintenance disorder
Depression
Multiple sclerosis

This list is long and I don’t know about you but I don’t have an idea what most of these terms mean. It is my hope that by reading these lists you have learned that Fibromites are like Snowflakes – no two alike. We each have our own ever-changing increasing list of symptoms and side effects.

I will leave this blog with one last list ~ Mine

FIBROMYALGIA

Symptoms                                                     “Evil Sidekicks”
Pain                                                                Allodynia
Fatigue                                                          Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Muscle Spasms                                            Photophobia
Dry Mouth                                                    General Anxiety Disorder
Hair loss                                                        Seasonal Affective Disorder
Depression                                                    Mild Scoliosis
Anxiety                                                          Degenerative Disc Disorder
Subjective swelling of extremities              Sleep Maint. Disorder
Headaches                                                    TMJ
Cognitive Function problems                      Attention Defecit Disorder
Frequently saying wrong words               Periodontal disease
Light headedness
Morning stiffness
Easy bruising
Sciatica
Weight changes
Digestive issues
Sub-normal temperature
Sensitive to temp extremes

I am a Fibro Warrior ~ Living Life!

warrior

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2 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia … isn’t just pain!

  1. Reading this has made me feel like I am not crazy..I am 47 and just got diagnosed 2 months ago..I have several symptoms. .but consider my case on the mild side…especially when I read about others. I feel like my body has turned on me..and now I know why some of these things have been happening to me

Looking forward to hearing your comments!

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