Just because I haven’t written about my fibromyalgia in a while, that doesn’t mean it has gone away or been cured. It’s been with me for the past 44 years and I suspect it will be until the day I move on to the next part of life (which damned well better be fibromyalgia free!!). There has been no cure. There are some treatments that help, chief among them learning to listen to your own body’s signals. But no cure.
So why haven’t I been complaining as much? One reason is that a medication my doctor finally got me to try has actually had a positive impact on me. The reason I resisted is that it’s an antidepressant and I wasn’t depressed. But since I know fibromyalgia is related to brain chemistry and hormones, I agreed to try Cymbalta. Well, wasn’t I surprised. It helped immediately for both pain and fatigue. Even fibro fog hasn’t been as much of a problem. It was evidence for me that my assumptions about fibromyalgia are on target. Bear in mind that this medication has helped me. I cannot say it will help you. I cannot say, if it does help you, that it will help as much or in the same way. But it has helped me and it has reinforced my beliefs about the source of fibromyalgia pain.
I have still had fibro flares. One particularly nasty one found my right shoulder and upper back locked up tight in a painful spasm for 5-6 days – I forget exactly how long because the medications for pain made me a bit foggy. I still got things done, but not much. Then, as the right side began to relax, the left side flared up in the same place. I figured one of two things had happened. Either the left side was feeling “left out” (pardon the pun) and wanted some attention, or I had overcompensated by using the left more than usual and it was clearly not happy about being overworked.
My current regimen is:
- (Most important & most difficult) Keep stress as low as possible
- Ibuprofen & Flexeril for flare-ups
- Thermacare heat wraps when I feel a flare-up in the making – sometimes will cut it off
- Being aware of posture & body mechanics
- Exercise – just walking on my treadmill for cardio
- Meditation & conscious deep relaxation
- Keeping my mind busy on things that interest me & I care about – it’s hard to think about pain when your mind is engaged in something you enjoy.
Keeping fibromyalgia at bay is a never-ending battle. But it is a battle worth fighting!
So if you have fibromyalgia, I hope this post has given you some ideas or some hope. It can’t be cured right now. But you can live a happy, productive life in spite of it. I should know, after 44 years!