Posts Tagged ‘Fibromyalgia Awareness Month’

Myth Debunked VI of VI

June 6, 2021

FIBROMYALGIA DIAGNOSIS IS THE END OF THE ROAD

Many find it hard to accept a fibromyalgia diagnosis, not just because of the condition itself but because of what it means. It can feel like the healthcare professionals are saying ‘there’s clearly something wrong with you but we have no idea what it is… there’s nothing more we can do for you’.  This ties into the point of the trashcan / umbrella diagnosis.

Lack of information and fibromyalgia-specific support at the time of diagnosis can leave many feeling like the diagnosis is the end of the road, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The OP was personally told by her rheumatologist not to go online because she’d ‘fall down the rabbit hole’. I imagine the doctor wanted her to go home, give up and stop bothering doctors.

Acceptance, often a difficult and ongoing work-in-progress for many, can be done in conjunction with keeping open mind, still being open to new developments, diagnoses and tests and treatments while working to manage fibromyalgia in day to day life.

Myself, I knew my diagnosis before my doctor’s did (Did the same with my endo), so acceptance was never much of an issue for me. I think my GP had a harder time accepting it than I did.

While there’s no cure, a multi-disciplinary approach can help to some degree. The likes of pacing, pain self-management therapy, massage, acupuncture, gentle exercise, gadgets, self-help books, medication, supplements and so on will work differently for everyone; both the experience of fibromyalgia and its management will be different for each person. It’s often a case of trial and error for each individual to develop a routine and to find the tools that work more effectively for them. 

My regime is a multi-disciplinary approach as mentioned above. I have a muscle relaxer, an anti-inflammatory, low level narcotics, MMJ and a small selection of vitamins. I also regularly see a physiotherapist /osteopath, RMT, pain physician for trigger point injections, & my dentist because of my TMJ, I participate in exercise which prior to covid was Aquafit for the most part. I try to watch my dietary choices, but I know I still fail there- addictions to sugar & McDonald’s. I am also involved in chronic pain support groups in my area which are currently virtual.

What hasn’t worked for me includes Lyrica, Gabapentin, Cymbalta, Fentanyl and Codeine Contin. I have given acupuncture several tries but have not found it helpful for me & occasionally detrimental. My best friend sees a chiropractor but I found that they were less helpful for me. I also still need to be very careful in the way of exercise so it’s not to over do..

Fibro Sucks! But My Friends Don’t!

May 31, 2021

so we have finally reached the 31st of May, the final day of fibromyalgia Awareness Month. I know I’ve been posting a little extra and almost exclusively about fibromyalgia this month but but else would I do? LOL

what I would like to thank all the people in my life who support me. I made masks for those closest to me as well as myself. I would like to thank each and every one who wore these masks & I hope will continue to wear them until we no longer need them.

This lad is on of my guy friends whom I am fairly close to, but I was surprised when he said he wanted a mask. Apparently he knows others (including 2 mutual friends) with Fibromyalgia.

Tony.

The only one I made a mask for who I do behave an image of is my nephew cuz he couldn’t find his (not surprising, cuz his mom’s wearing it!) But my sister, her 2 daughters, and my Mom & Dad. I thank my family for their support

Cassie & Kyah, Wendy, Dad and Mom

My best friends and their partners.. I’ve known both Catherine & Gerry since high school. I’m lucky to have maintained their friendships after 30 years. I thank them & their partners. Cath’s masks read “I wear purple for my BFF” & “I wear purple for ME”.

Catherine & Brett and Sara & Gerry

As many of you know, I’m involved in Scouting & I had some of my fellows outer request masks as they know how much it impacts my daily life.. I worked with Rainbow 13th directly for 2 years in Beavers & she is our outgoing group chair for one group. Raksha 13th has worked with me at Cub level for 3 years now& is out incoming Ng chair. She has seen how it impacts me and the improvements I have made over the last few years. Rainbow 1sy, well.. I’ve only been working in tandem with her since Covid hit & we initially amalgamated the groups, but like the bffs, I’ve known her since highschool and we did Venture Scouts together as youth.

Rainbow 13th (Charlene), Raksha 13th (Jen) & Rainbow 1st.(Jenn)

& I support me. Some days I have to remember that.

i have 4 masks.. 2 that say Fibromyalgia Awareness, but different patterns.. one that states “I wear purple for my BFF” (cuz my bff has fibro too) & “I wear purple for ME”. Mine, I will have in regular rotation – good thing purple is my favourite colour..

4 different days 4different masks.. & Yes, each has been worn several times over the last few weeks. Very rarely was I not in a fibro mask. & If not, I had purple butterflies!

So everyone who supports someone with Fibromyalgia, on their behalf, I thank you. Whether it’s doing our groceries wearing a mask for Fibromyalgia Awareness or just checking in to make sure we’re ok,, we do appreciate you & your support.

Thank You!!

Myth Debunked V of VI

May 30, 2021

IT IS A MIDDLE AGED WOMAN’S ILLNESS

Although more women than men are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the condition can affect men, women and children. The condition doesn’t discriminate by age, race or gender.

Myself, my issues started at age 19-20 when I has mono during summer break

They have also found that with the new criteria, there are many more men who are getting accurately diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

30 Facts!!

May 24, 2021

Originally written for the 25th Anniversary with 25 facts,, this is a list of things you should know, from someone with Fibromyalgia. From someone who experiences it, not just studies it. I have taken the original, modified it and added to it from *my* perspective as my experiences with fibro are not the same as hers. OP info available at the bottom.

  1. Every morning is a tough morning.
  2. I can sleep all day and still feel like I just ran a marathon.
  3. If I went out last night, I need a day or two or three to recover — its okay, it was worth it.
  4. When i’m tired, let me sleep.
  5. Certain foods make me flare up, For me that’s items like Ice cream breaded food products (like fish sticks or chicken fingers), mayo & salad dressing, KD, etc.. Some I know why, others no clue.
  6. When I’m in a flare, leave me alone in a dark room but please check in, even if I don’t answer. It makes me feel cared for & loved .If I am flaring and I am responding, I’m likely asking for a ride to the ER.
  7. Yes, diet matters, but in flare mode, all bets are off.
  8. Yes, my face is swollen. No, I didn’t gain 5 pounds overnight… Well I could have gained, but not on my face.. So, Yes, that is a tell that I am in a flare.
  9. I have many different sizes of clothes in my closet to accommodate flare vs. non-flare days. I currently have clothing from a medium ( very generous medium) to 3x.. I’ve lost weight, so likely only a few items & eventually they will go too.
  10. Fibro Fog sucks. Ya know when you get absent-minded every once in a while? Misplaced your keys? Misread something? Forgot to water the plants? That’s Brain or Fibro Fog. While it happens to everyone at some point, it not the norm. For people with Fibromyalgia this is the norm. Every day. I have even lost my train of thought, mid-sentance. It happens enough that those close to me don’t bat an eyelash when it happens. Some even see it happening & will remind me of what I was saying. The worst, is fogging out when I drive & I love to drive, but have to be super careful to make sure I am clear minded.
  11. Ask before you touch. Some days, I can barely tolerate the feel of clothing or even my hair on my skin. When I’m ok, give gentle hugs please — my skin & muscles may still be tender. But if I give you a bear hug, you can give me one back!
  12. Bright lights, loud noise and too many smells can overload the senses and can cause nauseous (or worse) or kick in a migraine.
  13. Allergies play havoc on my body. Scented products like perfumes & body products are typical culprits Sometimes I don’t even know I’m allergic until I experience it, So it’s a bit of Russian Roulette when I go into public because I can’t control what scents other people wear. Food allergies/sensitivities do not make life any easier either, especially when eating out.
  14. I am a human barometer ( there’s a post around about that.. I can typically tell it’s gonna be too cold, too wet, too hot.
  15. Yes, i am on medications, sometimes even alot of them. I have a decent relationship with the pharmacy staff, and I know exactly what all my medications are, the dosage, and why I’m on it & how it helps.
  16. To me, car rides are joy rides cuz I really love to drive. I need to stop every hour or two to keep my legs from going numb or seizing up. It, for me, is so worth it! But so many with fibro feel differently than I do & equate it to a highly painful roller coaster ride.
  17. Some days it’s OK to let my Fibro win. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  18. I can get moody. You would be too if you were in pain all the time, be patient with me.
  19. Don’t be surprised if I can tell your mood as soon you walk in the room. My Fibro/spidey-senses are tingling.
  20. My day, week and month are carefully planned to accommodate my Fibro. Only important events & people like you are scheduled.
  21. If I cancel my plans with you, don’t be mad.. Remember, I made plans with you, because you are important to me. I am trying and obviously want to hang out with you, so please keep any nasty commentator yourself as I already feel guilty.
  22. Your friend with Fibro that says they have no pain doesn’t make me feel any better. Plus if they have no pain, they may not have fibro cuz *all* Fibromites have *some* level of pain at *all* times Alternatively they could simply lying either about having fibro or about being totally pain-free. Also, just cuz someone says they are “Good” that’s does not mean pain-free
  23. “You should exercise.” ROTFLMAO. Have you considered going to the gym while you are in the middle of the flu with body-wide aches & pain, fatigue? Didn’t think so, so how can you expect me to when I have body-wide aches & pain and fatigue? Yes, I do exercise, but I’m not a hypocrite. Do you know how long it took from me to go from bobbing in the water during aquafit to get to my current level of exercise? Years!! It helps, that I have lost weight. Before you use me as an example of of someone with fibro who is ‘fit’, remember that I started my journey to become healthier & to increase my fitness level in the winter of 2012, almost 9 years ago. And I would not consider myself ‘fit’
  24. Going to the doctor makes me sad & sometimes overwhelmed— it’s a reminder of my condition. And it doesn’t help that I have at minimum a half dozen medical appointments each month – GP, Pain Doc, RMT, Physio/Osteo therapy, Gyn, Neuro, Dental, Psych, mental health support groups, and one offs for tests like bloodwork, ultrasound, x-ray, MRI or CT.
  25. There are zero no-pain days, but my low-pain days are my happy days. So if I’m looking good and acting good and I’m social, I’m better, right? No, just a good *low* pain day. Fibromyalgia is chronic & will not go away
  26. Because of Fibro, the mandated downtime gives me the opportunity to write this blog, and I’m grateful. Unfortunately, some of that downtime does not even permit blog writing because the pain or fatigue is*too* intense, so I have missed posts.
  27. Because of Fibro, some Fibromites get to spend more time with their families than if they were healthy.
  28. if i am being a dick about my health, you will not change my mind. I have to figure it out myself. For those in my life who put up with that for years, I am sorry.
  29. Because of Fibro, I’ve become part of a strong, supportive community that reminds me I’m never alone.
  30. Yes, I have depression. No, it’s not because of my fibro. My depression started at age 16, but fibro, we believe, started from Mono when I was 19-20. So, obvs they started at different times plus I do know the triggering event that started my depression.

Original published by Puja Rios on May 11, 2007 at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/25-facts-for-fibromyalgia-awareness-day_b_59148663e4b01ad573dac1c2

Myth Debunked IV of VI

May 23, 2021

IT’S ‘JUST WIDESPREAD PAIN’

LOL! Aren’t you the funny one? If only….

Widespread pain is the common factor among those with fibromyalgia, though there are also particular points in the body more sensitive to pain (‘tender points’) that many experience and are often used in the diagnosis of the condition. Pain types also vary, from stabbing and burning, to aching and throbbing. There are also numerous other symptoms commonly found with fibromyalgia, from digestive troubles and fatigue, to stiffness and cognitive problems (aka ‘fibro fog’).

Symptoms not only vary between people. They can vary for the same person, minute by minute, day by day. It’s unpredictable and no two days are ever quite the same. There can be ‘flares’, where symptoms are considerably more severe compared to that person’s usual baseline; such flares can be unbearably exhausting and painful.

The extensive myriad of symptoms of fibromyalgia can’t simply be pushed through nor is it a case of mind over matter.

Pain Scale

May 20, 2021

Most people don’t think that much when asked what your pain is.. “10 being the worst pain imaginable” Ok…but some people have an active imagination others not so.much…

Some people would think a broken arm is the worst feeling imaginable – Seriously?!?.. Some choose childbirth & yeah that hurts like an Fkn S.O.B…Or so I’m told.. Similar pain levels as Kidney stones.

Ok.. I’ve had kidney stones – they severely suck, but I only rated the kinda pain as an 8/10.. Cuz there’s worse pain that I could feel.. Like having limbs cut off with a chainsaw without the benefit of anesthesia.. Yeah, that would be my 10..

So when I go to the ER & I say I’m a 7/10.. They think yeah ok.. then I tell them what I consider to be a 10.. then they look at me differently.

So think it through the next time you talk to your doctor or someone asks your pain levels… & Clarify what you consider your 10 to be.

Myth Debunked III of VI

May 16, 2021

IT’S NOT A REAL CONDITION

What makes a disease, disorder or illness real? The terms used for any condition have been coined by someone for the first time and added to medical manuals to account for certain diagnostic markers or symptoms.

What makes that condition real? The lack of a specific test to definitively conclude the presence of fibromyalgia does not make it any less real than the many conditions that likewise lack a particular test for diagnosis. Diagnosis of fibromyalgia is challenging and often involves a process of elimination. Nonetheless, there are specific diagnostic criteria to be used in a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is also an invisible illness. Just because someone may look ‘fine’ does not mean that they are. Many Fibromites and those with chronic pain have become skilled at downplaying just how poorly they’re feeling and how bad their pain and other symptoms really are. “I’m fine” is probably our most common lie.

There are several different version of this all of which are accurate.

Just because a condition cannot be seen from simply looking at a person does not mean the illness does not exist.

I Got my Shot

May 14, 2021

Recently, I received an email from Sobey’s Grocery stores in response to my request to be waitlisted for the vaccine.. They said, I was eligible for the COVID vaccine, for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Finally!!

AZ Vacvine

I went & signed up. It turns out the closest location for the shot was in the city a Gerrard & Vic Park. I’m sure there’s not a lot of you familiar with the geography of Toronto but from my home it is approximately 50 km or just over 30 miles ( just under an hour away) to that specific grocery store for my shot. But I was going to be going into Scarborough (East Toronto) anyways because of Lilly’s surgery. I figured I’d would kill two birds with one stone.

My Shot, Thursday

So my appointment was on Thursday, at 11:30am. It was super quick. By the time my brain registered the sensation of the needle, she was already putting it syringe into the sharps bin.So, even if you don’t like needles, it’s not that bad. I stayed the required 15 minutes. No reaction initially other than some moderate nausea.

Waiting n the cubical for the pharmacist to give me my shot

The nausea stayed with me for the day. I was a little tired afterwards & had a short nap which helped me feel a little better. Even went for walk with my sister in the evening.

My Reactions – That Night

By 2:00am the nausea was worse, so much so that I had an empty bucket beside my bed, just in case.

Shortly after that I noticed I was cold. I was eventually shivering despite pj’s and warm bedding. My temperature at this time was 38 & change in Celcius .

My arm was sore, but most people have that reaction. My fibro was triggered and my pain was climbing everywhere. At worst I’d say 5/10.

By 5:00 this morning my body had switched from shivering to sweating. I was also having a headache kick in. I took some Tylenol with codeine and was finally able to get back to sleep.

My Reactions – Next Day, Friday

I was abruptly woken up by my Mom at 10:30am for a temperature check. It was 36.8, completely normal. After checking Lilly & giving her meds (see her surgical post if you are interested), I went back to bed. Fortunately in the morning, the body wide pain had taken a step back and no more shivering or sweating. I did still have the headache, and the nausea but it was not as bad.

As the day wore on I’d flip from chills to overheating, but no temperature. The nausea kept up and I did rush to the bathroom with dry heaves. The body-wide aches went back up by bedtime.

My Reactions – Day 2 Post Vaccine, Saturday

Still has ongoing flipping between chills & hot flashes. Left arm still sore.. Ongoing body aches all during the day.. Still nauseous, but not actually vomiting..sent alot of my time resting.

My Reactions – Day 3 Vaccine, Sunday.

Chills & hot flashes completely abated by the evening and the nausea aswell. Still had body-wide aches & pains.

My Reactions – Day 4 & 5, Monday & Tuesday.

I think by this point I was completely finished reacting to the actual vaccine, whoever my fibromyalgia decided to react to the vaccine reaction. Oh so fun. So by the time I woke up on Monday I was in a lovely little fibro flare that has lasted several days. Only thing I accomplished was the opening & closing of my Tuesday Night Cub meeting.

So, by this point my actual immunoreaction to the medication in the vaccine was done, but not the end of this saga of my vaccine.. Read here for more on this story.

New Diagnostic Criteria 2016

May 13, 2021

As of 2016, new criteria for the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia were determined. The previous test was a trigger point test of 11-18 points reacting gave a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia when not other condition explains it. This is no longer considered a valid marker for Fibro though many doctors still use this outdated model.

According to this, my WPI is 10 & my SSS is 8. That’s one criteria down. Symptoms have been around for decades. Dr Bested did a full panel of tests, needing 2 separate visits cuz of how much blood they required for the tests. All it found was that my vitamin D was a little low, but normal and vitamin B12 was lower than normal – but I knew that already.

So by this criteria, guess what!?!? I have Fibromyalgia!! Surprise!!

May 12th, Awareness Day

May 12, 2021
International Awareness Day for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Today, May 12 is International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.. also known a Fibro, FM & FMS, the rigging for today is Purple.

Today, May 12 is International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Awareness Day. Also known at CFS, CFS/ME, ME/CFS & ME, the ribbon for today is Blue.

Today, May 12 is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Day. Also known as MCS, the ribbon for today is Green..

CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia & MCS Awareness Ribbons for May 12th