Embracing life with chronic pain.

Posts tagged ‘symptoms’

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.

Advertisements

Update — Coming Off Cymbalta

Coming off Cymbalta even with doctor supervision and support has been a HUGE challenge!! Yet, it is nothing compared to the cold turkey symptoms, albeit there has been some overlap.

During the first two weeks with the reduced dosage, I have experienced electric shocks, intense brain fog, burning that is overwhelming, skin beyond overly sensitive–lightweight blouse causing stabbing sensations that reach to my core, and nausea…to name a few.  I have also had increased ringing in my ears making sleep a challenge!

I am now to the next step…which is one of the lower dose capsules every other day for two weeks. Should be interesting! LOL  Since there is so much going on in my body, I have continued to take the two short acting opioids.  It will definitely be an interesting conversation with the pain specialist this next Thursday!  My guess is we will up the dosage of the pump and then stay at that level for 3-4 weeks as we see how my body settles.

It is very exciting to think that I will be Cymbalta free by Labor Day weekend!

The Brain on Fibro

Those of us with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Disorder, Neuralgia and the like are dealt quite a handful of symptoms.  The quantity of symptoms as well as the intensity vary from person to person.  Although our conditions manifest differently, we can each relate having experienced the intense “Fibro Brain”…

Examples of “Fibro Brain” or “Brain Fog” that I have experienced:

  • Forgetting what I was just told.
  • Walking into a room, not remembering what I was doing.
  • Forgetting to brush my teeth.
  • Unable to find the dog brush, even though I thought for certain I put it away in the correct drawer.
  • Walking to the bathroom and forgetting what I needed to do.
  • Losing my phone…then finding I had placed it on the bed.
  • Sitting down and realizing that I need to brush my teeth.
  • Grabbing the lotion instead of the hair gel to put in my hair.
  • Using the conditioner as shampoo.
  • Using the shampoo as conditioner.
  • Unable to focus for even a few minutes.
  • Unable to watch a movie at a Theatre.
  • Forgetting the note on my phone when at the doctor.
  • Unable to find the batteries when staring right at them.
  • Looking for my glasses (when they are on).
  • Using the wrong name for items.
  • Standing at the shower entrance and not knowing what to do next.

Of course, these are just a few of the many frustrating things that we deal with when we have Brain Fog.  I find that the best thing to do is just smile or laugh…then do what you remember you needed to do!

 

My View

I wish I could share

The beauty beyond

The colors outside

My window I see…

The stark white bark

Leaves of early fall

Green with yellow

Deep…dark red…

Tall grasses

A myriad of green

Tall pale beige plumes

Bent and gently swaying…

Dark clouds shifting

Slowly moving overhead

The sun hidden

Warming the clouds…

Give Yourself a Break

It has been a long time…a very long time since I have given myself permission to remain in my pajamas for the day. Yet that is exactly what I did this morning!

The electric shocks continue to course through my body…my ears are ringing so loudly! Still! The oversensitivity of my chest is SO overwhelming! Words cannot express the pain that is permeating throughout my entire body…coursing through…causing waves of nausea.

Oh the joy of living with Fibromyalgia/Polyarthralgia/Chronic Pain Disorder/and the like!

I am doing what is SO difficult for each of us…I am giving myself a break!  My symptoms are in control now…however, this is temporary!  It may be tomorrow…the day after…or next week…it will come though!

I will awake one day soon with the notable absence of these terrifying shocks…the incredible “out of body” feeling…the deafening, high pitched screaming in my ears…

My only focus today…is rest…do not feel obligated…enjoy the comfort of pajamas…of a warm fire on a cold day…

Electric Shocks

imagesFrom out of nowhere

It strikes…

Coursing throughout

My body…

So hard to describe

The zapping…the tingling…

The overwhelming inability

To have any control…

Sensations flooding

My brain…

As if I am connected

Directly to a power outlet…

Attempts to close my eyes

Increase the disorientation…

My head is reeling

It is spinning as if not connected…

Resting as best as possible

Not knowing how long…

Will these electric shocks

Go away sooner…or later?

Another Symptom of Fibromyaglia

I thought I had experienced the gamut of symptoms that Fibromyalgia and Polyarthralgia could throw at me!  It has proven me wrong!!!!

For the past couple of days, I have had the strangest sensations!  Like little electric shocks followed by a feeling of being completely unbalanced.

So…being the inquisitive type like I am…I began reading through as many of the University reports possible regarding these odd prickly/electric like ripples……

I found the following:

“The feelings and caused causes of fibromyalgia electric shock sensations can be described as follows:

Sensations

Feels like an electric shock traveling through one’s body, sometimes accompanied by a “falling sensation”.
Feels like pins and needles but more painful, alarming and pulsating.
Jerks the joints of arms, legs, fingers and toes
Can come on at any time and is like a flash of light followed by electric shock tingling.
Feels like “creepy crawlies” or ants crawling under one’s skin and causes the skin to tighten and jerk.
Feelings of twitching scalp along with facial twitching of mouth, eyes, and eyebrows.”

In further reading, I find that this “Fibromyalgia Electric Shock Sensation” can happen anytime, anywhere, intermittently…..that it can last for days, weeks or sometimes months!

Yikes!  It is SO bizarre!  Like a current that is rushing, randomly through the body…..and that “falling sensation” is scary!

I am thankful that I have undergone so many tests in the recent months to know that my “body” checks out as “normal”….I am thankful that this is just one more symptom of my condition!  (No…it does not take the scariness away….it just helps me to provide some positive self talk as I deal with this craziness!)

Tag Cloud