Posts Tagged ‘severe pain from fibromyalgia’

I’m talking about Pain.

In the wee hours of the morning, around 3:30 am today, I woke up.

I was fatigued and had fallen asleep last night, forgetting to take my pain medication and my anxiety medication, both of which I need, the latter of which is for anxiety, but also manages a neurological disorder I have, an essential tremor.

I don’t remember the details of my waking in chronological order.  I remember having the thought that I should definitely update my will.  I remember being scared.  I was really scared.

The pain in my chest and lungs is what was the most scary I guess, but all of it was bad.  My entire body, once again, felt like it was on fire.  It’s more than fire though.  It’s more than a burning.  It’s so much more I don’t seem to have the words for it.

They call it fibromyalgia.  I wonder.  Sometimes I wonder what my doctor would do if I was his daughter.   He has three and often speaks of them.  He is a compassionate man and I like him.  So I’ve wondered this.

Would he take me to some fancy medical facility up north?  Could they help me?  I know he would pay for acupuncture treatments, which helps me tremendously, but I can’t afford them.  He once told me he would like to learn acupuncture himself.  I told him I needed him to keep on being my doctor instead of going off to acupuncture school.  He laughed.

But my good doctor was not here at 3:30 am when I woke up this morning nor was anyone else, except my dogs, my blessings from the universe.  They were here and their being here makes a big difference in my ability to remain sane in such a state as I found myself in this morning.

Not only was I in pain but the tremor was there.  My insides were shaking.  I was sweating a little.  The pain was so intense I had to lie there and get my breath enough to be able to get up and go take my medication.

I lied there for a few more minutes before getting up.  I guess I was in shock.  My lungs hurt when I breathed, which I could barely do.

I’ve been told that the pain I experience in my chest area and when I breathe is from fibromyalgia.  They tell me that the heart is a muscle, which I already know that, and talk about the connective tissue around the heart and lungs, but they have also told me it’s rare to have the kind of serious pain I have while breathing.

Without the medication I can’t breathe.  It hurts too bad.  This is scary and I don’t think the doctors are aware of how serious it is for me.  I guess I need to tell my doctor but what would I say?  He knows I live in pain.  He gives me medication.  Maybe I’m afraid he will say my pain is too much for him and would send me away.  Send me to some pain clinic where I’ll be a number and/or where they might not believe in fibromyalgia.

Yeah, I am scared.

The fibromyalgia doctor I saw twice said sometimes it does get into the lungs and that this is almost like a medical entity of it’s own.  Great I thought.

It’s scary because I think what if something happened?  I live alone and what if I forgot my medication and couldn’t get to it?  I have a phone and I would dial 911, but would they believe me if I told them I couldn’t breathe without my medication?

There is stigma around pain medication and medical professionals are not immune to it.

What would I say if I did dial 911?  I have fibromyalgia.  I can’t get to my medication.  I can’t breathe without it.

Would they think I’m a drug addict?  A hysterical woman?  A psychiatric case?  I wouldn’t be a “drug-seeker,” because I have the “drug.”

It took about thirty minutes for the medication to work.  I could breathe again.  I don’t remember now what all went through my mind during that time, other than thinking about updating my will, but I know a lot did.

It was a painful, scary and depressing experience, but it’s over…or is it?


Fibromyalgia, Severe Pain and Injuries

It hit my legs first.  I felt it deep in my bones when I lied down.  The pain felt like the beginning of a tooth ache.  I changed positions and fell asleep.  Several hours later I woke up with my eyes wide open.  The pain was intense.  I thought I was having a nightmare, but I wasn’t.  It was real.

"Yikes" Fun image by Leslie Sigal Javorek at IconDoIt, the blog!

YIKES!!!

IMAGE CREDIT: Leslie Sigal Javorek, IconDoit, the Blog!

The severity of pain lessened dramatically when I got up and moved around.  I was in that state of mind where I wasn’t fully awake, yet like a dream, or nightmare, I had more of a feeling than a detailed memory afterward.

fibromyalgia severe pain invading every cell

The memory of the deep pain I woke up with evoked an image in my mind.  I imagined thousands of little creatures; their legs strong and claws sharp; grasping and gnawing at the fibers in my legs; having invaded every cell.

By mid-day my upper body started hurting again.  By the end of the day, I found myself crying.  I realized there was more going on than the regular level of pain I live with.

I put Lidoderm patches on the places that hurt the most and took breakthrough medication; extra pain medication that I don’t normally have to take.

I didn’t know what to think.  Was it my lungs or the connective tissue around my lungs, I wondered?  The pain in my upper back, like the pain in my legs earlier that morning,  was  so deep and inclusive that I couldn’t tell if it was bronchitis or muscle pain.  My muscles felt bruised.  Breathing hurt.  I hurt all over, inside and out.

The patches and extra medication helped and the next day I was able to take the dogs for a walk.  My young, but strong dog, pulled my arm.  A surge of pain moved through the center of my back, which is when I remembered a dog walk two days before this new pain hit my body.

The dogs had spotted our neighbor.  They adore her and hurled forward when they saw her.  I held the leashes, running behind them for ten or twenty feet.  It had hurt, but the worst of the pain was yet to come.

One event like this can cause a flare up of fibromyalgia pain that might last a couple of days or a few weeks.  Injuries can cause severe flares and pain levels to permanently increase.  

Due to post-exertional pain and fatigue, the smallest of chores or tasks can cause days of illness.  I’m not good at pacing because the ideal rate of speed is so slow, but I’ve learned the consequences of over doing things.

Moving into my apartment caused me so much pain that I had to go on a different and stronger medication after it was all over.  Planting five plants in my yard two summers ago put me in bed for the best part of a month.  Falling from my bicycle on Halloween caused me to go, “on a tendon and ligament adventure,” as my doctor remarked.  Not long after the bike accident, while cleaning a ceramic cabinet knob, I endured severe and deep cuts to two fingers. 

Yikes!

Injuries that other people get over fairly quickly can cause flare ups and become chronic pain conditions for a fibromyalgia patient.

Pain is pain.  Living with it is hard and sometimes, depressing.  Pain can be physically, mentally and emotionally completely consuming.

I cannot imagine not having medication that relieves the intensity.  I simply can’t.  I seriously think that my body would probably go into shock or I would have a heart attack from pain.

Before Medication…

I took my dogs along with me on a camping trip to one of my favorite places in the mountains.   A friend had come to help me set up camp.  It wasn’t easy and it rained, but I knew the weather would clear soon.  The morning would bring beautiful bird songs, close views of the white-tailed deer who legally own the place, and because of the few number of campers, the sounds of nature would wake me upon the first shadow of light.

I woke up around 2am in more pain than I had ever felt before.  I sat there for several hours, literally crying in pain.  Before meeting the beautiful morning I had anticipated, I had concluded that I could not continue to live with the pain I was experiencing. 

My thoughts had gone downhill for sure.  I felt that anyone who expected a person to live with that kind of pain seemed inhumane.  I wanted the same compassion as my dog had been given when we learned she had bone cancer.  My tail wasn’t wagging anymore.  I wasn’t laughing anymore.  Food didn’t matter anymore.

That weekend changed my life.  I had been ready to die.  Fortunately, I had a good doctor who told me to try taking a pain pill.  I did and it worked.

I realized better what a toll the constant pain had taken on me and my life, after finding relief in medication. 

Taking pain medication doesn’t necessarily mean you are out of pain.  I think many people simply want to reach a tolerable level of pain they can live with.  Most people I know who live with pain want very much to function as much as possible.

I have pain-free days, but most of the time I have some level of pain.  My muscles are usually tender.  My body usually feels bruised. 

I have flares, but I’m truly grateful that I don’t have to live every moment of my life in severe unrelenting pain.  I’m also grateful to have a doctor who understands very well that fibromyalgia hurts.

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Post edited and updated on the eleventh of April, 2013