Now that I am beginning work on my second book (I was almost finished when my husband told me he didn’t like being in my books. Since I typically write personal, narrative, non-fiction books, it’s hard to keep him out. So now I am re-writing the book as fiction. Ugh.) The main character in the book has many illnesses like me. I will use this opportunity to write about certain illnesses and the different techniques I’ve used to either heal or manage them. I thought some of you might want to read about this in advance.
One of my first illnesses and most difficult to manage is fibromyalgia. I have a wonderful book that my brother Brian got me and suggest that anyone who suffers from this autoimmune disease get the book. It’s called “Good Living with Fibromyalgia" and it’s written by the Arthritis Foundation.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals. I have all the standard characteristics of the disease except mood issues. I believe that is because I already suffered from depression when I was diagnosed with it and I still fight both illnesses simultaneously.
Now that you know what it is, the next question is what can you do about it? I take medications to help manage the pain. This includes Celebrex and Gabapentin. Celebrex is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat mild to moderate pain and help relieve symptoms of arthritis (e.g., osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. I also have rheumatoid arthritis and there was a lot of back and forth with doctors about which I have. It has now been determined that I have both.
Gabapentin works in the brain to prevent seizures and relieve pain for certain conditions in the nervous system. I cannot take Lyrica, the commonly prescribed drug for fibromyalgia, due to one of the side effects which is blurred vision.
Fibromyalgia is the second most common rheumatic disorder behind osteoarthritis and, though still widely misunderstood, is now considered to be a lifelong central nervous system disorder, which is responsible for amplified pain that shoots through the body in those who suffer from it.
When I lived in Colorado, I saw a wonderful physical therapist who performed a unique touch therapy to calm my central nervous system. Unfortunately, I have not found a similar doctor here in Arizona but I keep looking!
When I am having a flare, which does occur if I use the computer more than my allotted two hours per day then I will apply a CBD cream (I am currently using Sunmed full spectrum topical cream). I have to be careful that no TCP gets into my system as it will cause anxiety but in the cream format, I have found that after a few days of usage I do get relief.
I also suffer from chronic pain due to my many other maladies and now take a compounded Naltrexone to help with that. Nothing is as good as Fentanyl but my doctors were concerned that with all the overdose problems, I might lose my ability to use it so it was better to just go ahead and ween me off it.
I believe that covers everything I know and use to combat this illness. Anyone who suffers from it has my deepest compassion and rarely does a person just have one autoimmune illness. But we will keep fighting the good fight and most importantly keep our mood positive!
Also, please add to this conversation as I would like to hear what others are doing.