In several of my articles I have referred to the fact that I suffer from fibromyalgia. Nothing is really known about it such as the cause and in some cases it is hard to describe what it is. That is my case.
Several years ago I fell off of an icy porch and landed on the bottom step with my lower back hitting each step. This bruised my entire back and of course the doctor put me on several medications to get me through the healing process. Even though the pain let up it came back several different times so my doctor left me on the medication and in fact increased it several times.
Fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed when a patient has generalized and unexplained pain for three months or more. It was at that time my doctor put me on a medication that would be taken on an ongoing basis.
The first challenge of a person with fibromyalgia is to not increase their medication on their own. Often narcotics are given and their body gets used to it. From a personal standpoint what I want to do is look at what is recommended and what the reality is in my life. I am reasonably sure it is similar for others.
You do have sleep disturbances and it is difficult to enjoy sleep because you stiffen throughout the night. There is the possibility according to the Arthritis Association that you will have mood and concentration symptoms which I do. Of course I have other mental problems such as manic depression and that plays a role in this I am sure. Headaches are another problem with fibromyalgia which I do not have. My fibromyalgia is treated with narcotics and nerve pain medication which others also take. It is understood that sleep hygiene is important but it is difficult to do. When you get older you tend to wake up because you do not sleep as soundly or as long and also some medications interfere with sleep. A regular nighttime routine is important to accomplish sleep hygiene as is exercise. Exercise is difficult at times because of the pain from fibromyalgia yet you need it to help with pain and sleep better. It can become a vicious circle.
What does all of this boil down to?
Fibromyalgia is an illness that is personal. It affects people as differently as there are victims of the condition.
Who does best in getting through it day-to-day?
The person who can maintain a schedule has an edge. If a patient exercises by schedule they will benefit. Also if a person will force themselves to work through the pain they will benefit. That person is rare.
If you have fibromyalgia work with your doctor; let the doctor help you by keeping a log. That will go a long way in identifying your needs.
Personal Experience and Knowledge
“Fibromyalgia,” Booklet, Arthritis Foundation, 2007