I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, depression, anxiety, disc degenetation, it's everyday, I can't remember the last day I've had with no pain.
This is very hard question to answer due to the fact that I am suffering from the exact same symptoms. I have been dealing with these issues for almost 2 years now and I have never been out of pain. I'm pretty sure you are taking different types of medicine for all of this but what I had to learn was to take the pain day by day and sometime even hour by hour. I know I had to be sure to focus more on the good things in my life like my two rugrats and the fact that I am strong enough to deal with this pain every single day. I know I didn't answer your question but I just want you to know there are people out here that understand exactly what you are going through.
Right now I'm waiting for two of my very strong pain pills to kick in so I can get the things I need done around here. This is always a personal struggle with me as well. I hope you have a good doctor to help juggle the different pain meds there is out there. One day at a time is my goal. I wish I had the answer to your question. I do try to get a good night sleep, not easy, but that does seem to help the next day.
Jonimeade; Sadly with chronic pain it is very hard to control. I have found just taking it day by day and had to try many different medications to find some that helped, but the pain is still there I just work at not to focus on it. What do you take now for the pain? And you also have to continue to see the doctor to find the medication that works for you. If you can't get good enough results from your regular doctor. It might be worth your trouble to go to a pain clinic Have your regular doctor recommend someone.
I have all of your problems plus a few more and had a lot of pain all the time for many years. I now have little pain. Some of my answers:
Fibro: I drastically reduced the number of hours I was on the go getting things done. I gave up my perfectionist goals in all areas of my life and now settle for much less. It's unbelievable how much pain is gone by taking life in the slower lane vs. the fast lane. My pain was constant, burning knots and incredibly tight muscles that could make me cry. Now, I get some tension, but stretching actually helps because I'm not nearly so tight. Deep neuromuscular massage works wonders and actually lasts days and weeks if you keep living in the slow lane.
Arthritis: I keep on top of that with my Rheumatologist and Sulfasalazine, stretching, occasional ibuprofen. It used to be ibuprofen every day several times a day before living a slower paced life.
Anxiety: Psychiatrist treated with clonazepam and seroquel. Self control, keeping busy and distraction also play a significant part in reducing anxiety. I have a stressful home life, but handle the stress in a healthy way for me. Both group and personal counseling has helped with this. Caution: drugs like ativan and clonazepam will eventually cause some memory loss. It's good if you can switch to a different class of drugs after a few years on these. I have the memory loss, but can't go without the clonazepam or similar. I just live with the frustration of memory loss.
Disc degeneration: Multiple ESIs (epidural steroidal injection) were necessary at first and through the years as the pain became bad. A series of 2 or 3 usually helped quite a bit. In the beginning I also needed hydrocodone, which still wasn't enough to cover the pain at times. It took a year to get the pain down, then another to get rid of residual pains. They returned for months here and there but then left after some ESIs. I've occasionally been on oral steroids. I've enjoyed many long periods of relief of pain in between the times the pain flared up. I'm currently scheduled for injections to specific facet joints in my back to relieve the arthritis pain for a few months. If that doesn't work, oblation of the nerves is next, which is destroying the nerves so that they can't send pain signals to my brain. Both pain management and Rheumatologist Drs. are doing these things. I'm not in terrible pain for several years now.
Depression: This is dependent on getting the right antidepressant or drug combination for you. Physical activity can lessen depression. Also your way of thinking influences your depression. "Focus on the positive and don't dwell on the negative" can be very helpful. Dwelling on guilt feelings is a negative. If you need to apologize to someone, just do it and move on. Free yourself from guilt and forgive yourself for mistakes. Correct the mistakes if possible. Angry at someone? Yourself? Think it through and act where possible. Then forgive, even yourself, and move on to a better life. Clear the air and you'll feel better.
I hope some of these things are helpful to you. I've gone from horrendous pain to minimal pain and I hope you do, too.
Hi Jonimeade, i know being in constant pain can make you feel so alone, and your family and friends probably do not understand, but you are not alone, we are all here suffering with pain too, we need to support one another. I have suffered with pain since the age of 11, i do not know a life without pain and never will. Be strong
I have had ALL the same symptoms for almost 8 years now. I was prescribed pain meds and also received shots from a Pain Management ..they help temporarily. I hate to tell you, but in my case I finally just got up off the couch and out of bed and starting dealing with the pain the best I could. The best way I can describe my pain, it is like a throbbing toothache our the pain you feel when you have the flu... I wish I could tell you that the pain will go away, it only has differing levels of how bad you will hurt. 8 years later I am still in pain, which by the way causes us to have the other crappy stuff, like depression. Try going to a Pain mgmt. Clinic where they can help you more than a regular physician. It took me at least 3-years or so to be able to deal with the constant pain... the depression will always be worse in my opinion, so be sure you talk to doctor about all of this. I'm sorry I cannot help you more... I remember when the fibro hit me for the first time... I understand your delima! Relax and a hot bath helps me when it hits hard.
No, it doesnt go completely away sadly. First thing you need to do is to accept that it is not going away completely, Next, you learn to reduce and control pain until it is at a tolerable level. Your goal is no longer to be pain free but to get it to a level that is tolerable and lets you get on with your life. This sounds simple but the hardest part is to accept your pain. As far as what helps, this is different for everyone because pain is different for everyone. Consult a good pain management doc. They are the only ones you can get decent pain meds from. GP's or primary care docs just cant prescribe much in the way of pain meds anymore. This is, really, a good thing in a way, as they are not trained properly to manage long term pain anyway. A good pain management doc will help you find out what pain treatments work best for you. Dont forget simple things like ice and heat application, topical rubs, hot baths, massage etc. It helps too, to keep busy.
Get your mind off of pain. I like to read on bad days. It helps me get away from my pain to immerse myself in a good book. Find something you can do that will get your mind busy on something other than dwelling on how bad you hurt. You may never be "pain free" but your pain can be well controlled and allow you to live a quality life with the right doctor and an acceptance to the fact that you will always have some pain and learn healthy ways to manage it. It is just like many other chronic disease (like diabetes, for instance) it cant be cured but it can be managed with meds and lifestyle changes. Read up about pain and the conditions you have that cause pain then you can find out what will work the best for you! Best of Luck and hang in there. You are certainly NOT alone.
I agree with all of the comments made. And Jonimeade, I share you maladies switching out the fibromyalgia for coronary artery disease, both osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes to name a few.I have had chronic pain for over 10 years due to these and several more maladies; the most recent RA, of which my "previous" internist overlooked as there were no abnormalities in my labs, and when I asked about the nodules that I had and continued to get, his "uninterested" reply was, "your getting older, and like an old battleshipship, they are skin barnacles, and the pain I continuously suffered with, I got only the "rolling eyes" as an answer.
I had been seeing a pain specialist for other chronic illnesses, some were degenerative disc disease, lumbar & cervical, and she got me to a wonderful rheumatologist, which said my RA had been "percolating" unaddressed for 5+ years! Additionally, I have had coronary artery disease which required bypass surgery, stents etc. for 17+ years! The point being, my pain specialist, rheumatologist, cardiologist and "new" internal medicine doctor all work together. NO, the pain nor catastrophic lethargy are not gone and I understand will NOT go away, and my chronic heart condition restricts some of the treatments that are available to others, but what I do for myself is accept the days that are worse than others, there is no shame in down shifting when your body needs it. Additionally, I stopped asking myself, "why me", there is no answer and if there was, it wouldn't matter. I suggest, if you don't have one yet, obtain a pain specialist to work with your rheumatologist, and remember, having good mental health is an essential element to be able to cope, all of your organs, to include, but not limited to, bones/joints, muscles, eyes etc. your mind needs to be healthy too requiring a professional, encourage all of them to work along side of themselves and you... we deserve the best and we are responsible to get the best doctors to execute their specialties in treating us. Hang in there, our responsibility is to create a medical support team for ourselves of professionals that you interface with and share your experiences with the members of this online team, we can learn and educate one another by sharing and listening.
I hope my response was of value to you and those that took the time and had the energy to read this :)
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