Archive for the ‘Pain’ Category

MRI’s Suck

April 22, 2022

Last Thursday & Friday (yes, Good Friday) I had an MRI both mornings. And it was not good.

For those who are unfamiliar with MRI’s, the machine is basically a tube, looking kinda like a doughnut. It has a bed attached to slide the patient in. How you go in & how far in you go, varies depending on what the scan is for. Mine are for my brain so I go in head first, as far in as my elbows . Alternatively, you can go in feet first and I have found out that they have a smaller sleeve kind of version for arms.

My fibro was flaring something fierce and had been since the Sunday prior. I know the MRI machine dors jostle to adjust for the scans, but I’ve never felt like this! Every time the bed was adjusted it was a fast start & a fast stop immediately after. It was very jarring on the body. The fibro pain was excruciating! Add the pain in my left arm from the scar tissue breaking up from my RMT (more coming), and I was almost out for f my mind. And I couldn’t even move my arms because that could cause the scan to blur which could lead to to inconclusive results and a repeat scan.

Add to this situation my claustrophobia, a fear of small spaces. On Thursday, the only thing that has kept me sane and kept me somewhat still, was slow deep breaths through the entire time. Even through each and every shift in the bed. I’m not sure I was able to keep myself motionless sufficently for a clear enough image. On Friday, I was smarter and remembered to take the lorazepam I had so I could quiet my mind while in the machine. That helped keep me more calm and helped relax my muscles. This made my fibro chill out and actually helped decrease the pain. I also was smart and lay my arms in a more relaxed and comfortable position before going in. The movement of the bed adjusting was still very jarring on the body, but with the breathing I was able to cope better.

When I got home, I went straight to bed to catch up on sleep and the lorazepam was really starting to knocking me out.

Results are still pending.

Pain Is Up!

March 29, 2022

i had originally scheduled a different post with the same title.. One that should have posted in December, but some of it isn’t relevant anymore, and I’m in a different place, so I am changing it..

Why? Cuz for the first time in years my pain is at a 7/10.. Keep in mind, I picture 20/10 to be the equivalent of having my limbs cut off with a full chainsaw without the benefit of anesthesia or passing out from the pain.

Whats making it worse, is I had an epidural a few weeks back, so my lower back & my pain due to Osteoarthritis is pretty much non-existent. That means, I have fibro pain & *just* fibro pain at a 7/10. Normally when I hit a 7, it’s a combo of fibro & OA. When that happens, if I can dull out the OA pain, I can deal with the fibro.

Pain Scale 7-8/10
Pain Scale 7/10

So, its *all* fibro pain & last night I was almost in tears, even with extra (Double) muscle relaxers & narcotics – even a good chunk of alcohol. So there’s not much more that can be done for it, and *nothing* they will do in Emerg to help. They won’t given me any meds stronger than what I am on. Narcotics or a muscle relaxer.

When I do visit the ER, I typically get a toradol shot & a Xanax. Tonight that won’t do anything to help.

The only good thing is that I see my pain doc. Honestly, not sure my shots are even going to help I expect she’s going to recommend a lidocaine infusion, the one treatment I’ve not tried. I think I’m going to say yes this time.

Why so much pain?

Simple, if you read my previous post about CBD, you’ll know my GP thinks it’s my medical marijuana. So I’ve been off the MMJ since February 17th. While not as bad, I’m still nauseated and I am still throwing up. I’ve been on this medication for about 4 years now & it was a huge help getting me off fentanyl..

Due to the extreme bruising, he, my GP, also yanked me off the arthrotec, an anti-inflammatory, a few weeks before that. But I still bruising.. I have been on this medication for decades, since my mid 20s…

So I’ve lost two of my treatments that were helping my fibro, but do not seem to be resolving the problems I took to him.

As a result my pain has been slowly creaping up & I’m experiencing allodynia again. Basically, it is a sensitivity to touch. See next week’s post for more about this & how it’s been impacting me..

Endometriosis Awareness 2022

March 18, 2022

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

What is Endometriosis? In layman’s terms, it’s when the cells the are supposed to live in the uterus also live outside the uterus.

What does that mean? Well, it means those misplaced cells act like they would it they were in the right place. They have the menstrual cycle, but it’s on the bowel, on the outside of the fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries, etc, on the rectum, on the bladder, on the kidneys, basically any of the organs in the abdomen. But not only that, these cell can migrate anywhere within the body. This includes more serious, but rate places like the heart, lungs, the spine, and the brain.

What does it feel like? It hurts!! Most women have a regular menstrual cycle. Some women have bad cramps and heavy bleeding..Us with Endo have horrible cramping, debilitating pain that last the duration of the cycle & for up to a week prior & after, and those cycles are irregular & erratic – some times lasting up to 2 weeks, sometimes with only a week, or days, in between. And remember, this happens in those cells that have meandered into the rest of the body, so not all the pain is necessarily in the lower abdomen

What else can happen? In addition to those fun issues already discussed there can be issued with infertility.. With tissues not being where they are supposed to be, the women’s reproductive system is turned into a war zone. And it can really f*”kin hurt to engage in sexual activity. Cuz the tissues are not where they are supposed to be, internal and things very easily get rubbed the wrong way. Add to that the common co-morbidity with Irritable bowel syndrome which in and of itself sucks.

Crash & burn & burn some more.

December 19, 2021

I went to Lakeridge Health to get help on Friday. But for the most part I’ve been screwed.

It’s Sunday & other than a 15-20 minute chat with the doc in the ER, I’ve seen no physician. The on call shrink who prescribed my meds has completely screwed me over I missed THREE doses of my antidepressant – which given that I’m here for mental health is excruciatingly bad. Finally back on as of this morning I was given a muscle relaxer & a Tylenol three on Friday in the ex for my fibro and that’s it.. nothing since.. but she did prescribed a Parkinson’s med for muscle spasms – huh? So my pain is skyrocketing… & It’s not freaking muscle spasms. & Have not been given any arthrotec (antiinflammatory) that I also take.. You should see my ankle from hurting it almost 2 weeks ago.. it’s exploded cuz I’m not treating the swelling

I have finally gotten the last nurse on the last shift to finally reach out to the doc to get something prescribed & his replacement is actually being more diligent & she has followed up twice now..

Then add to that my sleep.. while long, there was very little deep or REM sleep, so not much healing sleep here either

But God. This is the worst experience. Worse than being sent back home with my ex after a major OD (my ex was why I’d OD’d).


I dont know if I’m going to be able to get my shopping done for Christmas, let alone my baking.


This is supposed to be helping me It’s not. It’s making me worse

Flaring! Flaring bad!

November 23, 2021

Yesterday was the perfect storm. Everything conspired against me.

  1. Poor Sleep. According to my fitbit, for the last several weeks, I’ve been getting usually between 4 & 6 hours of sleep a night, average rating poor-fair. There’s the occasional longer, better sleep in there, but not often..
  2. Forgotten Medication. When I left for the cottage early this morning, I forgot all my meds at home. Admittedly I didn’t need them all today, but there are certain ones that I do have to take at certain times for them to be effective. Unfortunately, those got left at home. I did have limited or weaker alternatives which I suppose is better than nothing.
  3. Emotional Stress. I am currently having problems with my current relationship. I’m not sure if it’s something I can handle and accept or not, so there’s alot going on there..
  4. Poor Diet. Due to the aforementioned stress, I haven’t been eating.. I haven’t been eating well & I haven’t been eating much. Neither is good, both is worse.
  5. Activity. Spent the day in bed.. with my boyfriend, not sleeping. While this is usually a good thing, due to stress, I was unable to truely relax and enjoy it. So I was getting the workout without all the longer term benefits
  6. Physical Stress. After I’d started going down hill, I had a horrible drive home. What would normally be a nice relaxing 1½ hour drive home from the cottage turned into a 3+hour nightmare. Between accidents causing an entire highway to shut down for over 14hrs, excessive detours, multiple accidents on said detours, snow.. The body begins to tense up more & more & more.. and with me being in the car I wasn’t able to like stretch or anything creating more physical stress

For the first time in over 3 years, my pain turned to a solid 8/10.

After 2+ hours, 4 Tylenol3, 4 muscle relaxers, an anti-inflammatory, my CBD oil, prescription edibles, and a backrub with A535.. the edge started to come off, but I also started feeling the effects of over medication too..

I just can’t win..

Burn the Bras!

November 12, 2021

No woman can say they love all their bras. In fact most women *hate* their bras.

With some women with fibro, especially bustier ladies like me, can not wear a bra.. We have a low tolerance for the discomfort from the shoulder straps. Yes, they dig in for every busty woman, but because we have chronic pain, we tend to feel this sort of thing more keenly.

Bra Straps can Cause Irritation, Redness, Chaffing, Friction, Bruising and Pain

The underwire is another deadly aspect of many of the current styles of bras. Yes, the wire end are rubberized to protect us, but they still jab into you. I had one that was so bad that it started ripping through the material. The smartest thing I did with that bra was to remove the underwires.. It was a whole lot more comfortable after that.

Underwires Severely Suck

Sometimes even just the strap around the ribs can be very painful. This goes for sports bras or short tank top styles aswell. I wouldn’t be surprised if that pressure is agitating a form of costochondritis.

Bands on Bras Tend to be Worn Too Tight, Mistakingly Thinking it’s Better Support Its Not & it Hurts

One last thing is that so few women are wearing the proper size of bra. And out size does change. Here is how to measure yourself for a bra:

  1. THE BAND: Measure around the body directly under the bust while wearing a bra. Round up to an even number if necessary. For example a measurement of 42″ gives a Band size of 42, but a measurement of 43” + 1”(rounding up) gives a Band size 44
  2. THE CUP: Measure around the fullest part of the bust. This is the bust line measurement. The cup size is determined by the difference between the bust line measurement and the frame size.
What is the Difference Between Your Measurement Under the Bust and Your Measurement at the Fullest Part of Your Chest

Stress Impacts the Body

November 5, 2021

You all know stress impacts the human body. No one knows this more than people with Fibromyalgia. Part of our issue is that our muscles cannot relax because of the pain signals we are receiving at all times. Add stress to that, with most common physical reaction to stress is muscle tension. So adding tension to an already agitated muscle makes for a disaster.

No one knows yet 100% of the cause of Fibro. If it’s actually a physiological issue or if it’s a neurological reaction? Either way, the addition of the tension to the already agitated muscle, skyrockets the pain, with definite real pain.. Not just a neurological misfire that we could potentially be having.

And before anyone says I’m minimizing pain, I am not. People with fibromyalgia feel pain every single day. – it’s the cause we don’t know. We don’t know if the cause is something physical in the muscles, we don’t know if it’s part of the nerve chain or even something in the brain. We.just don’t know And as many of you know, I’m in a remission with my Fibro. I still feel pain, but I’m better managed and had made alot of changes a few years back. As a result, my pain levels rarely rate over a 5 – right now. I have, in the past, been bed bound. So I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum. I am the last person to downplay anyone’s pain let alone someone with Fibromyalgia.

But back to stress… I’ve been dealing with some pretty intense issues lately.. The big 2: 1. Problems with my Mom & our relationship.. 2. Issues with the guy I’m seeing – relationship may be ending. And I don’t think either one reads this blog. Those are the big ones but there is always in additional normal day to day stresses..

So….. On Monday night I had a breakdown. A complete emotional & mental breakdown (this does not include the meltdown I had earlier that day). I was in such hysterics that at times I could barely breathe.. You also don’t want to see what my kitchen looks like, cuz it all hit me as I was cooking stir-fry, which means three pots on the stove, each carefully times so everything finished hot at the same time. Interestingly enough I could feel myself deteriorating and the rice was pretty much done, the meat was pretty much done and the vegetables were almost done so I took the presence of mind to grab storage containers and just put everything in the fridge because there was no way I was going to be able to eat it and I have no family to feed. But I didn’t give myself enough leeway and ended up destroying the contents of the shelves with the storage containers.. Apparently I have a decent arm because I found, after the fact, empty storage containers or lids in my dining area, my office area, one almost in the living room and also my bedroom.

I ended up calling the local mental health line & spoke with a gentleman named Craig who listened & offered support..Initially, my mind had been racing with a lot of dark negative thoughts.. But I finally got calmed down enough after over an hour of venting. & I was no longer in that dark and twisted headspace.

I woke up Tuesday morning physically & emotionally wiped. Unfortunately this was one of the days that I just can’t say no. I had to drop my mom off at her doctor’s appointments because she no longer drives. I still also had to finish prepping my Cub Scout meeting.. Which meant I also had to run my Cub Scout meeting because this week got dropped in my lap on Sunday. The meeting went well and I was able to get out of my head for almost 2 hours not thinking about those big two issues. By the time I got home in the evening after my meeting, I stripped down, showered, got extra medicated and watched some mindless TV. That’s all my body would let me do – I pretty much hit the wall. Oh & eat some of the stir fry from the night before – lol.

And this excessive physical reaction is 100% due to stress exasperating the Fibromyalgia and some of my ppother chronic pain issues.

Stuff That Doesn’t Mean We’re Okay

October 29, 2021

Posted on February 28, 2017 by MyFibroTeam

Life as a “normal” person is turned upside down when suffering from & living with chronic illnesses. Often these conditions are invisible. This can cause many to not understand and not believe that you’re as sick as you claim. They have to realize the despite the image we may project, we are in pain Every Single Day.

Then there’s the Catch-22.. Should I put forth an effort into my appearance when I miraculously do go out to look ‘normal’? Should I show up looking as bad as I feel? Or should I even bother going out? It’s a tricky thing — trying to live normally when your life no longer is. People tend to be surprised when we post a well-articulated paragraph on Facebook, have a good laugh, talk about things other than sickness (apparently lately ive been talking non-stop about Cub Scouts), write a highly researched, factually correct well written blog post, or bigger things like going on vacation even if it is just to go up to the cottage.

It is sad that we need to point out these things. It has hit many of us more than once that appearance, timed-just-right clarity of thought or momentary positive mood seem to adjust the perception of those around us creating more doubt in the truth that we each are really very, very sick.

So to that end, Take into account that while we may do things one day, these activities are not necessarily our norm, or it is something we have planned for well in advance. Review this non-exhaustive round up of things that do not mean we’re lying and actually okay:

1 – Articulation/Ability to Communicate Well

Admittedly this is currently one of my prominent disabilities, impaired cognitive function. However, many others can found themselves in the middle of a conversation in a rare moment of a clarity & articulation. And even myself even more rarely. These are the times where we have clarity of mind, excellent though process and the ability to communicate well. . In these moments, we are not communication like someone who is ill. It impairs the idea that Fibromyalgia and many other chronic disease do have cognative impairments.

i have actually spoken with several others with fibro who are highly cognizant in the change of their levels.. Personally I’m pretty sure my IQ has dropped at least 20 points by now, if not more.. In my mid-20s, I had an IQ of 180, thats hitting genius level. I haven’t had access to retesting, so I dont know 100% sure, but its pretty obvious to me.

2 – Laughing and Smiling

Apparently, those of us who are sick are not allowed to be happy, be joyful and positive. Yes, we are in pain & have memory/cognative issues, are drained & exhausted, have issues with sleep and deal with mental health issues, so some think it would get us down and we would not want laughter. In actuality, we need it the most because it feels good.. Smiling and laughing have little to do with someone’s health or pain levels. Those with chronic conditions have become strong from all the suffering they experience, they can still laugh and smile while in pain, which says not that the pain is low but that the need for relief is high.. Additionally laughing with others releases endorphins in the brain and it activates the release of the serotonin, both of which are homegrown feel-good chemicals which can only make us feel better.

3 – Getting Out

Being social is something we need to do. We can get both depressed and anti-social due to our chronic conditions. Some go “all out” as far as appearance: hair fixed, makeup, jewelry, and a dress. But I’ve never been one for being ‘dressy’ so when I go out I tend to be in jeans & a nice top. I’m not going out to impress, I am going out to have fun & enjoy myself.. But, I do tend to dress a little more sexy & with make-up when going to a club..

Some go out frequently. Personally, for purely social purposes, I go out once a week, maybe twice (without covid) . But, I also go out for Cub Scouts weekly which is different than social but is still getting out. I also get exercise – I walk weekly with my sister & our pups. We end up talking the whole time. I have also recently joined an exercise group that meets weekly which is also both social, but also exercise. Unfortunately, with my bff living out of town, & her also having fibro, we dont get to actually see each other that often even tho I have a key to her place.. I’d probably go out more if she was closer & she wasnt so busy with work..

So while we can & do get out, its not always a reflection on our health level. Sometimes we need to make accommodations. I’ve gone out to a bar, medicated on narcotics, to be with friends. (No, I wont drink) I’ve gone to Cub Scouts Day Camp the day after an unsuccessful ER visit, looped up on muscle relaxers & anti-inflammatories or MMJ. I had to go – I had half the equipment *&* the itinerary. Dont worry, there are other leaders because if I’m medicated, I don’t count for ratio. I’ve also usually had either a hot shower or preferably, a hot tub, when available, after almost any type of workout to minimize and even help prevent any residual issues I might have the next day or two. Unfortunately, there are still many times that I still need to cancel plans with scouting, friends, family & intimate relationships.

4 – Technological Activity

Technological socialization is all a lot of us have, especially with COVID. We tend to find typing on a keyboard or on text to be almost always easier. With the hermit life many of us live, we might also avoid telephone conversations because in & of themselves they can be stressful & exhausting. So when my whole body feels like death warmed over, but I’m usually more able to move fingers either on the laptop of cellphone. While a “activity” in no way suggests any other type of activity whatsoever, many people assume that because you are participating online that you are fully functional. Sometimes we express ourselves via social media just to stay sane.

If I post something non-health related or — shocker — something happy on social media or my blog, I wonder if others see it as me being “well,” which is never the case. Our illnesses are always, always there, even if we’re not talking about them at the moment. No matter how much we wish to ignore them, we would still prefer to make them go away.

5 – Announcements that Imply Activity

Many of us are creative people in some format even if is just colouring.. Due to COVID, many people have added extra creative outlets over the last 2 years.. But every new pursuit that is public in any form makes others wonder if, as mentioned above, people see those pursuits or accomplishments and think, “Oh see, she’s doing well.”

But you need to understand: I am on disability and I have no “real” job. My life revolves around creative outlets, medical appointments, cub scouts, health & wellness, Lilly, family, friendships and my social media & Blog. With my very messed up sleep schedule, I do dishes and laundry when I can, and attempting to keep both my pup Lilly and myself fed. Seriously. All of that is my every day. And as little as that seems to be, to my body, that is a whole freakin’ lot. And it gets overwhelming, and some days I can’t even do half of that.

But some days — or nights in my case — are better than others. And that healthy girl who lives buried in me somewhere is begging to come out and create, and sometimes I just have to listen. So when I post about the awesome stuff my Pack is doing, share images of my latest painting project, talk about my love of soccer, add to my Varage Sale store, or am chilling up at the cottage for a few days, all this is done either on a good day, or only take a portion of my day, but is the only activity.. What you see are ‘snips’, brief moments it time, a small glimpse into the parts of my life I want to share. And even then, some of those can be done while still laying in best, resting my body, but still having an active mind.

We are never fine. Whatever assumptions you make based on how we look, how we move, what we do, or even what people “think” we can do, the only thing safe to assume: we are always worse than you think we are


The original post was first published here, While I have kept some of the content, I have also made multiple changes with my own feedback, comments & experiences.

The original author Kacie Fleming has learned about health and treatment options into the nearly six years since being labeled with fibromyalgia. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and spends her time working on her handmade jewelry.

Recent ER Visits

October 22, 2021

A few weeks back, I was talking to my mom about my health and we were discussing one of my previous trips to the emergency room. The visit in question was due to mental health not physical but it’s still triggered a thought in my head.

I used to be a fairly regular patient when I lived in East Toronto.. At my worst I was in the ER at either Centenary or Scarborough General 2-3 times a month for quite a while.

With this conversation, I came to the realization that I haven’t been to the ER or the hospital since covid started, and the world shut down March 2020.

This means that I had not had to go to the ER for my pain at all for almost a year & a half! Personally, I think that’s pretty good!


Before anyone tells me that a trip to the ER is pointless & they will just accuse me of wanting drugs and won’t take me seriously. I believe I’ve actually addressed this issue previously.

When I go to the ER, I’m not looking for narcotics. What I want is big shot of toradol and some sort of stronger muscle relaxant. What this does is it calms down my osteoarthritis which makes the rest of the issues significantly more manageable.

There is even one doctor there at Oshawa General who also used to be at Centenary where I used to go when I lived in Toronto. Because of being a frequent flyer when I was in Toronto, this physician knows me on sight, knows my likely issue, and will turn around and say “Toradol shot?” And he writes the order for me. I can be gone in minutes once I’m in the back when he’s there.

Food Choices with Fibro VI

September 21, 2021

While it might be appealing to battle FM symptoms like fatigue with a balanced dose of cola drinks, chocolate, tea or coffee, but caffeine can impede with your capability to get the relaxing and restorative sleep that we require. This is a big issue in diminishing painful FM symptoms. The journal, Arthritis & Rheumatism, also advises that sleep difficulties might in fact play a vital role in FM development. If you enjoy drinking caffeinated drinks or highly caffeinated foods, ingest them through the first half of the day merely to abate sleep issues.

Caffeine in its many forms, Pop, chocolate, energy drinks, Coffee/Tea/ Hot Chocolate

Again, because of the Coke products that I like this is another Achilles heel. Fortunately I have recently found Coca-Cola flavored Tic Tacs it actually taste like Coke. They don”t have the high amount of sugar or caffeine which is a good thing but it also does not have the fluid and hydrating aspects to help keep my body hydrated (yes, I know there’s also salt & stuff in there)