Posts Tagged ‘Pain medication’

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.

What Do Pain Docs Do For Me?

January 11, 2021

As mentioned in my previous post, I see two different pain physicians. Yes they do both know about each other. Actually, one referred me to the other. But why two? Because they do different things that help differently and for different durations.

I know these doctors know what each other’s are doing because I see them both in the same clinic but different offices. And while there are different offices in different cities, my electronic file is available to them both.

Shots with Dr S

My regular appointment is with Dr S.. I actually started seeing her 10 or more years ago, once a week but now generally only see her every four weeks now. From her I get nerve and trigger point injections.

I get them in my shoulder for the nerve going down my arms, 2 injections on each side of the back, the top of my back at the sides of spine in the trapezius muscle, down my back in painful trigger points primarily in the shoulder blade & the latissimus Dorso muscle, 8 shots in my lower back beside the Sacral & lumbar vertebrae, and on in the back of each hip for the sciatica. So a minimum of a about 20, to up to close to 50. Typically I get 30 shots in my back & neck.

Bupivacaine – for nerve & trigger point injections

Bupivacaine injection is used to numb an area of your body during procedures. It is a local anesthetic. It causes a loss of feeling and prevents pain by blocking signals at the nerve endings.

Epi with Dr J

I also, only in the winter, see Dr J.. He is an anesthesiologist and performs epidurals in my lower spine, specifically my tailbone every two to two and a half months. This is in lieu of the injection shots in my lower back as the pain in my lower back goes up during the winter probably due to the cold & the OsteoArthritis in my lower spine. The epidural covers a lot more space on the lower back and does a better job with the pain has it lasts about 2 months, not just one.

Traimcinolone – For coccyx Epidural

Triamcinolone is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.

Compare: How Do They Work?

The monthly injections with Dr S are done with a medication that is a local anesthetic, While it does help break up the knots of the Myofascial Pain Syndrome, it is primarily a numbing agent forthe pain. Over the years the blockage of pain has lasted longer and longer. Initially it was less than a week whereas now I am almost back to my pre-COVID pain treatment level at almost four weeks.

The epidurals with Dr J are with both the bupicavacine in the lower back and the corticosteroids which is a type of anti-inflammatory. So in addition to the initial numbing, I am also getting inflammation reduction as this medication reduces the signs and symptoms of inflammatory conditions & rheumatologic diseases such as arthritis including RA & OA.

So given that on the weekend, my pain hovered to an 8 out of 10, I am grateful that I was able to book in quickly with Dr J today & glad I’m seeing DrS for the upper back injections tomorrow.

Brain Fog

June 2, 2009

Brain Fog
By Kristy Bassett

Brain fog is possibly one of the most frustrating symptoms I have, not being able to think clearly can lead to major problems. It can not only be embarrassing not being able to think clearly, it can be dangerous.

The first thing to learn when you suffer brain fog is to never participate in any activities where you could be a danger to yourself or to others while it’s there. For me this has meant avoiding cooking and driving when the brain fog is a problem, this may be unavoidable at times, but where possible stick to this rule!

So what can be done? Unfortunately there are no miracle cures to lift the fog, but it can be managed. It’s worth investigating what is causing the fog in the first place.
Possible causes:

  • poor sleep
  • autoimmune disorders
  • hormonal imbalance
  • chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia
  • pain medication or the pain itself
  • allergies
  • iron deficiency and other nutritional deficiencies
  • blood sugar drops
  • dehydration
  • If you are able to pinpoint the cause, it may be possible to treat it simply. For others, the cause may not yet be known, or if it is known there may not be any more that can be done about it.


    Managing Brain Fog:

  • Try to avoid activities that are beyond your capacity, if possible rest is advisable
  • Caffeine: If there is no choice but to be able to function, it is the one time where stimulants such as tea or coffee may be a good idea to get through. This shouldn’t be a routine, but can be a crutch if necessary. Remember that once the caffeine has worn off you will likely feel worse than you did before the caffeine consumption. Warning: regular caffeine consumption is not recommended for those with fatigue.
  • Supplements: MAY help if there is a deficiency to improve energy: the most beneficial to energy are B vitamins, iron and coq10.
  • Manage your pain: (if this is the reason) as well as you can
  • Make notes as reminders: if you have to remember a lot of things in a day, it may be handy to write a list on a notepad to carry around with you, so things can be ticked off and not missed
  • Set reminders: this can be in a calendar, or diary, or through a computer program, whatever is going to be something you check often. Reminders can be for events such as a birthday, or when a bill is due as an example.
  • Take regular time outs: even if you are busy, it’s possible to take 5mins to shut your eyes, or do some stretches. This can help clear your head and stay focused; if your mind isn’t well focused the last thing you want is to overwhelm it.
  • Be sensible with your activities: Finally tackling some great written work may not be the best idea at these times, reading can be a good idea, but keep it something you can easily focus on, don’t add to frustrations just because you’ve always wondered if Dickens really is that good.
  • Work when you’re at your best: If it’s possible, try and work at the best time of day for you. Some people may find that the brain fog is worse earlier or later in the day.
  • Eat regular meals: avoid high sugar meals when you eat. A sugar spike means your sugar will drop. You don’t have to be diabetic to have sugar spikes and drops.
  • Avoid known allergens: both environmental and food allergies.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid chemical exposure: If you are chemical sensitive, be sure to avoid chemical exposures from creams, cleaning products, etc. Those with chemical sensitivities may find exposure triggers brain fog
  • Open a window if in the car: I cannot actually explain this, but even being a passenger in a car has been a trigger for brain fog for me personally, opening the window a touch can help this.
  • Deep breathing: It could help to clear your head just to do some simple deep breathing, it helps to swing your arms above your head as you breath in, and slowly lower them as you breath out, the action will help open the diaphragm and allow for deeper breathing.
  • Exercise: This recommendation comes with a warning, for some people with certain conditions this could be a very bad idea. If the fog is a side effect of extreme fatigue, physical activity could make it worse, in these cases rest is what’s needed. For others a short walk may clear the head.
  • It may be helpful to keep a diary; this is helpful to monitor any symptoms. Keeping a record of when the brain fog occurs can help identify possible triggers. It also allows you to identify what makes it worse and what makes it better. A little trial and error of techniques to manage it such as those mentioned above will be needed to find what works best for you.

    Source: The Recovery Room – http://www.recoveryroom.com.au


    My own comments:I agree with most of What Kristy has said..

    Pace yourself at all times, and rest as needed. Rest is taking at least fifteen minutes to relax, preferably laying down with your eyes closed, otherwise you are not truly giving your body a break.

    Water is awesome – it helps clean the toxins out of your body, a natural flush so to speak. 8- 8oz glasses of water. Myself I can stomach that much straight water.. I half juice with water when I can.. Makes it easier.. But not too much cuz juice can be high in sugar & calories.. An alternative to crystal light or other 0 Calorie powder if you can tolerate the sugar substitute.

    Skip the caffeine.. In addition to the crashes & everything Kristy mentions there is also the fact that if you drink too late (& how late is too late depends on the caffeine & sugar content) it will keep you up and be detrimental to your sleep..

    Eating regularly is my biggest problem. The recommendation is three small meals a day with three snack in between.. This allows your sugar levels to be more consistent over the day that sparatic eating, as well as the simple 3 squares a day. You are also less likely to snack. If you are going to snack, try & make it veggies.. Keep pealed carrots & celery in the fridge and have a stock of fresh fruit around. I usually avoid raw veggies, ignore the fruit & go for cookies. I do find it easier to make salads at night with dinner than a 2nd veggie because I keep a greens salad mix in the fridge that is ready to go & you can add more if you want; cucumber, radish, pepper, apples, celery, or cheese are options here. Just a tip to make things a bit easier.

    Reminders are necessary for me.. We’ve tried also of different plans and tricks to help with this. We’ve used a white board. We’ve used an automated to-do list on the web. We’ve used an online calendar, as well as a local (on my pc) calendar – this helps keep my appointments organized as well as birthdays/anniversaries, but not daily stuff around the house. We tried post-its, and notebooks but I’d loose them or start a new book/list. I currently have a written to-do list that we re-evaluate daily or every other day to keep me on track, to adjust for pain & fatigue, and to prioritize tasks.

    Avoid allergens – I think this is a no brainer.. gets tested if you haven’t already. I have my environmental testing done.. need to get my food testing done.

    Exercise, in my opinion is necessary, despite what Kristy says. I try to do yoga & aqua fit regularly.. I agree that some are not able to do that much, so even a walk around the block, or one of those exercise videos specifically for Fibromites. I have one and it’s all based in a chair. There is also chair-based yoga in some areas that are available, usually for seniors.

    Kelli