Variations of Fibromyalgia Treatments – What Works and What Doesn’t?

Yesterday was an exhausting day for me. That’s why things were quiet here on The Journey. Today is a bit better so I am baaaaacccckkkkk. Part of the problem is that yesterday were MIchael and Lauren’s final full day of school. I was very emotional about it. I remember each of their first days of Kindergarten and now they done with their final regular day of their senior year. They just have to go a couple more times to take 3 exams they weren’t exempt from. So in addition to working around here between rest periods I decided to torture myself by looking at their baby books. DUMB IDEA!!! I don’t recommend it on a day like yesterday. It’s getting more and more difficult to claim denial now. Their graduation party is tomorrow and graduation is one week away. UGH!!

Ok – enough of that. You came to read about Fibromyalgia. I thought today I would talk about some of the different treatments that I have tried. Maybe I’ve tried something that you haven’t thought about so we can keep learning from each other. Just like the other day feel free to leave comments about things that you have tried – whether they’ve helped or not. What doesn’t help you may help someone else and vice versa. Plus remember that each comment you leave will enter you in the Fight LIke A Girl tee shirt giveaway tomorrow. By the way, the drawing will be in the evening since we will be covered up with a double graduation party most of the day.

Of course I think I’ve tried every anti-depressant and pain medicine available on the market. The combination I’m taking now seems to be working. In addition to Fibromyalgia I also have chronic depression and anxiety disorder. I’m just gonna list the things I can remember that I’ve taken. Here we go: Wellbutrin, Paxil, Prozac, Neurontin, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Lyrica, Ambien, Trazadone, Celexa, Elavil, Zanaflex, Robaxin, Ultram, Vicodin, Percocet, Nucynta, Morphine, Fentanyl, Actiq, Effexor, Pristiq, Zoloft, Darvocet, Xanax, Ativan, Demerol, Elavil, Lortab. Ok I think that’s all I can remember. I’m sure there are more. Sometimes the side effects were too much for me. Sometimes they stopped working so we had to change. Sometimes I just got no benefit from them at all. It’s all part of the “game”. It’s just a fact of life. Finding the right combination can take a while. Just be patient and try what they doctor suggests. If he’s a doctor you trust then all he’s trying to do is find the right magic formula for your system.

I’ve also had various procedures done. I’ve had trigger point injections, which is a lidocaine injection to the trigger points bothering you the most. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it works short term and sometime you get a lasting benefit. I’ve had nerve blocks. I’ve had Radio-Frequency Ablation, which is when certain nerve endings are carterized to block the pain signal. The first time I had it done it worked beautifully. Because the nerve endings regernerate themselves the procedure has to be repeated. When I had it done for a second time a year later it wasn’t as successful. I’ve had Botox injections – not for wrinkles – but for the expectation of pain relief they discovered helped people who suffered with headaches.

I’ve been treated by a chiropractor. I’ve had massages. I’ve used electrical stimulation to relax muscles. I’ve gone to rehab a number of times for therapy. I’ve had acupuncture. I’ve done Yoga – which is really nice and does work for me when done consistently.

I’ve used various homeopathic remedies. I’m currently using Advocare – which is really helping a lot. I use Spark and the BioTools products daily. I can tell a real difference in my fatigue levels and pain levels when I don’t use them. I was really impressed with the benefit I got so I signed up to sell it for the discount. I’d be glad to send you some samples if you would like to try it yourself.

Spark comes in 7 different flavors

BioTools – Two products in one package

As I said earlier, it can take a long time to find the magic formula for you. Try not to get discouraged – I know that is so hard. But there is no healing pill you can take and get better. Fibromyalgia is a lifelong battle. Eventually you can get to the point where YOU control IT instead of IT controlling YOU. Don’t give up! Because that’s definitely not gonna do any good. Keep trying until you find the right thing for you. My current medication formula, massage, Advocare and pacing myself is working for me.

Now it’s your turn – comment! Tell us what you’ve tried! What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? I’m taking notes!

Opening Up The Wounds

I have been putting off this post for a VERY long time. And the original reason it started bothering me infuriates me even more but I really can’t get into that very much. So if it seems like some of this post is a little disconnected….well, it will be.

I have continued to ignore it but I think I’m just gonna feel better if I just say it and get it out of my head so I can move on. Who knows – I may type it all and end up not even posting it. A lot of people will be happy about that one.

About 18 months ago – after 3 years of being on Facebook – I suddenly disappeared. I was gone for a year. If you know anything about me at all you know that I am a transparent person. I deal with invisible illnesses but I feel my ministry is to bring them to the light to provide support and information for education. I live with Chronic Depression and Fibromyalgia. Those conditions may be easy for some people to hide but they aren’t for everyone. That comes into play in the reason for a lot of what I share in the realm of social media. Am I TOO open? Maybe for some people. Should that be MY problem? NO! I am ME! If you don’t like what I do or say – that is not my problem. It really doesn’t have to be ANYONE’S problem. A better explanation is that it’s probably just none of your business if it bothers you. I don’t make your business MY business so please grant me the same courtesy.

There are people in my life who have personalities completely different than mine who would prefer I wasn’t so transparent but they have graciously not expected me to abide according to their personality. I really can’t explain how much I appreciate that. I am a stay at home mom. I started out being a SAHM because it was the right thing for our family. However, since becoming ill, it has become a necessity because of my medical problems. So the online world has become, for the most part, my only contact or influence with the outside world. It has not been an easy transition. But I have now settled into a routine with it. I have this blog (which is a place I can, for the most part, be open and honest). I have Twitter. I HAD Facebook. That’s when the problem began.

Someone stepped up and voiced to those around me that THEY thought I was TOO OPEN on Facebook. This person (who has NEVER had a FB) told me, to my face, that they have looked at my Facebook and “it seems to all be all about you”. Honestly, my blood pressure went through the roof, my chin hit the floor and I was speechless (for a few seconds). EXCUSE ME? THAT’S WHAT FACEBOOK IS!!!!! It’s MY profile with MY information with MY thoughts with MY likes/dislikes. I’m not sure where this person, who had never had a FB got off telling ME how to run my FB profile! And 18 months later I, honestly, still don’t get it. I was infuriated. I don’t think I have ever been madder in my life. And the pace of my heartbeat right now tells me that it still really makes me mad. So, to keep the peace, I deactivated my account. Some of you may know when that happened and I disappeared.

I took a year to rethink the entire thing. I refocused some of my priorities. I spent some time away from social media. It was hard in the beginning. Then I began feeling like it was time to go back. I really missed the contact I had with people thru my accounts. I missed the ministry I had. I realized I needed that outlet in my walk thru my illness and the seclusion it brings. So, I stripped down my friends list to a group of people I knew I could trust to not judge me. In actuality if you search for me you won’t even be able to find me. I have certain accounts blocked from spying eyes who look for opportunities to find fault.. I find myself thinking twice before saying things, which is probably a good idea. I have just maintained more control over those who I let into my circle. I do confirm some people who send me friend requests. However, 90% of the people who send me a request I do not confirm. It may not be because of them personally but because of who I might find myself opened up to by “being their friend” on FB.

So I suppose that person did me a favor in a round about way. And I suppose I still have a lot of anger toward them – which I need to deal with. My relationship with them will never be what it was before. But I think this confrontation did teach me to be even less judgmental than I was before. I’ve never thought of myself as being a judgmental person because I don’t like to be judged. I’ve become more sensitive to it in other people – especially those around me. I snap my mouth shut a lot more. And believe it or not I am not easily offended. I kind of think this situation was an exception to that because I believe it was MEANT to be offensive. I must say I find myself even more guarded about what I say and share. I suppose that’s not a bad thing. I’m struggling with finding the balance between being transparent and over sharing. I’ve learned a number of lessons thru this experience. I know some people have wondered about why I’ve not friended them or let them in. Who knows – I may in time. But right now I’m a little tentative. And I’m still very raw. My spirit is bruised. My heart is wounded but healing over.

Well, thank you for reading if you made it this far. I expect some  hand slapping in the comments. But I hope you’ll understand if your comment doesn’t get approved. Sometimes a person just needs to protect themselves. Thank you for your patience with me.