Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Posts tagged ‘polyarthalgia’

Symptoms — Just Try to Explain

As I attempt to write my thoughts, I am overwhelmed with the myriad of symptoms my mind and body are experiencing! The shooting pain in my legs*, the burning and stabbing in my thighs*, the burning and stabbing in my back*, the ice picks stabbing my feet, the stabbing and searing in my arms/wrists/hands/fingers, the burning and deep aching in my right arm, the burning and pressure in my hips*, heavy brain fog (or Fibro Fog) are the primary symptoms that come to mind…to distract and scatter my thoughts further from each other. (*Exaggerated on the right side.)

For those of us with chronic illnesses/conditions, our brains can stall out while we trying to express what our body is going through when asked this “routine” question by our doctor.  (Using doctor visit as example because that is the one place that we do our best to be as completely honest and open as possible! If you are like me, you do your best to hide the truth from those around you.)

The answer to this “routine” question is further complicated by the combination of our illnesses/conditions and the medication(s) we are taking. I looked up the most common (10 or fewer) symptoms of the following for quick reference:

Fibromyalgia: Pain, Sensitivity to Touch, Environmental Sensitivity, Muscle and Joint Stiffness, Muscle Spasms, Exhaustion, Trouble Concentrating (Fibro Fog), Chronic Headaches, Bowel Troubles, Depression (http://www.fibrotoday.com/10-common-symptoms-fibromyalgia10/)

Polyarthralgia: Pain, Joint Tenderness, Stiffness, Redness, Fatigue, Tingling or Unusual Sensations, Burning Sensation at Joints (http://www.healthline.com/health/polyarthralgia#overview1)

Neuralgia: Severe Pain, Burning, Stabbing — usually due to an irritated or damaged nerve, so it is localized (http://www.healthline.com/health/neuralgia#overview1)

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome): Abdominal Pain and Cramping, Diarrhea, Constipation, Alternating Diarrhea and Constipation, Changes in Bowel Movement, Gas and Bloating, Food Intolerance, Fatigue and Difficulty Sleeping, Anxiety and Depression (http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-signs-and-symptoms-of-ibs)

I then looked up the 10 most common side effects of medications that I have used. (My experience is limited due to the extreme hypersensitivity of my system.)

Cymbalta: Nausea, Dry Mouth, Constipation, Fatigue, Tired Feeling, Drowsiness, Difficulty Sleeping, Loss of Appetite, Dizziness (http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-signs-and-symptoms-of-ibs)

Nucynta: Nausea, Constipation, Fatigue, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Itching, Runny or Stuffy Nose, Increased Sweating, Dry Mouth, Sleepiness (http://www.rxlist.com/nucynta-side-effects-drug-center.htm)

These abbreviated lists demonstrate our conundrum. Our illness/conditions have a huge laundry list of potential symptoms a number of which overlap, each of us is unique in how they manifest –from minor inconvenience to full-fledged disability. Making it all the more confusing for all those we interact with.

Our conditions are complex (we have multiple illnesses/conditions)…the medications prescribed for us add another level of complexity as the side effects can further exacerbate our conditions while providing some level of relief. So please do not take my long pause prior to answering out of context, I must temporarily “check out” to conduct an inventory list….that will be promptly jumbled by my “Fibro Fog”…and result in a bleak attempt to put into words the way I feel.

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Bound

I have experienced so much during this struggle with Fibromyalgia/Polyarthralgia/Chronic Pain Disorder/IBS/etc.

IMG_3274Yet I have found the most wonderful blessing hidden within this!

The best gift ever….from my Sister-In-Law…the wheelchair obtained for my Baby Sis Funeral!

This chair has seen me through the lowest of times! It is ever with me….allowing me to be out and about with my family.

It has also opened SO many doors!  People stop and share their stories with us….they share a smile….a laugh….a tear….

This chair has become a wonderful opportunity to interact with individuals who would never let on that they too have battled….have dealt with health or other issues.

I was reminded of this again today when we stopped into a small local shop we had not yet visited.  Upon seeing me, the owner immediately started to relate….to talk about his struggle….to offer me support…..

I am beyond humbled….and SO thankful for the hidden blessings in this condition!!

Diagnosis

My mind won’t let me rest without writing a quick update! Went to the doctor today and received a diagnosis. I have Polyarthalgia with Fibromyalgia! Thus the intense pain all over. (Yes…typing this is a challenge tonight!)

I filled my prescription today. Starting on a low dose of Cymbalta…..will evaluate how body is responding to it over the next 4-6 weeks.

I will have some additional blood work in February. Doctor wants to check out a few other additional possibilities. She wants to rule out other conditions so she will be checking my parathyroid and metabolic rates.

Very tired by end of day! I am to keep active….yet not overdo…..supposed to try to rest at night. Quite the quandary as those of you who have dealt with chronic pain know! We must rest for our bodies to heal….yet the pain cycle interferes with our ability to get quality rest!

I am on yet another mission! Time to read and learn all I can about my newest diagnosis…..then I can pay attention to my body and learn how to regulate my activities to find that balance of being active and yet not overdoing it! While being patient as I must allow my body the time to settle down……

Another journey! More lessons!

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