I’d been debilitated by a muscle spasm for five days before going to my doctor yesterday. I would have gone to see him sooner but I didn’t have anyone to drive me and I simply couldn’t drive that far. I’d taken my medication for breakthrough pain and was worried about not having it later in the month. I told him I’d been in so much pain that I couldn’t think without medication to relieve it.
“I don’t know if the spasm is breakthrough pain or a part of fibromyalgia or if it’s unrelated,” I told my doctor.
“Was it a real spasm?” he asked. Sometimes he asks geeky questions.
“Yes,” I answered confidently.
“It isn’t ideal that you took your breakthrough medicine for a muscle spasm, but at that point, you really didn’t have a choice.” He wrote something on his notepad.
Now I wished I’d called his office when the spasm started. He wrote me a prescription for magnesium mixed with a chemical in aspirin. He said people find relief for migraines with the medication and that it may help muscles spasms. He said more about magnesium, but I can’t remember! He also told me to apply wet heat, which I could have done and didn’t. Again, I should have called his office five days earlier. He didn’t mention replacing my breakthrough medication. I don’t like having to ask for extra pain medicine so I didn’t mention it either.
I didn’t have much in me so to speak. It took strength for me to talk loud enough to be heard, much less communicate any concerns or other issues I was having. I didn’t tell him my bladder was still hurting but I was tired. I’d been hurting for days and it wore me out mentally and physically. Sometimes I feel like giving up. I feel like there is no hope. That no matter what, pain will be part of my daily life.
“You know what I told you about the central sensitivity…” he said. I nodded yes. I can’t remember his exact words. He spoke to the pain from the view that fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder, Central Sensitivity Syndrome (CSS), which I think suggest that the level of pain I’ve experienced from the muscle spasm is part of fibromyalgia, but not necessarily a symptom.
I had a college mentor who told me many times, “If you can’t explain something then you don’t understand it.” I guess I don’t fully understand CSS. I understand the general concept, which is enough to know that people with fibromyalgia experience more pain from stimuli, such as a muscle spasm, than do people who do not have fibromyalgia.
I remember my good doctor saying something to the effect of the spasm having caused a blast of pain from my brain that I felt all over my body. He said that would explain why I was feeling so crappy. I’d definitely had a blast of pain!
“Do you have any patients who have severe fibromyalgia, who you are absolutely sure they have it, without a doubt, who gets well?” I asked him.
His answer, which was basically yes, was somewhat surprising to me. I may have also felt a glimmer of hope, but it would have taken a lot to get me out of the despondent state of mind I’ve been in for the past week or more. Too bad because he’s a good doctor with a sense of humor. If I’m quiet then so is he. If I’m in a lighter mood then he’ll tell me a joke, usually a geeky one, but sometimes that’s what makes it funny.
“Yes,” and he turned around in his chair to face me. “There are some people who do get better. They are people who follow a strict routine of exercise. They practice stretches throughout the day every day. They follow a strict diet. They have very strict schedules and that is all they do. These are people who have nothing else going on and devote all their time to practicing these things. The people who are more likely to get well from fibromyalgia are people who have nothing else,” and he waved his hands in the air for an added effect, “nothing else going on — at all — that gets in their way. They are people with nothing else but time.”
Could I be that person I wondered the rest of the day. I’ve got the time. I’ve also got a lot going on.
This morning I visited a blog with the most beautiful photos of places where people were fly fishing. I’d like to do that, even if I didn’t catch a fish. I wish I could go to paradise, where I would have nothing else but time.
Image of clock by Leslie, at IconDoIt, the blog. Copyrights apply.