college fibro blues

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musekill
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted Today 2:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been trying to find an active fibromyalgia forum online. I just need some place

I'm 21 and was diagnosed with fibro at 13. High school was a wreck for me (on and off homebound, graduated 10 credits under the requirement) and my motto the past two years has been that I've improved while I've been in college. This is my third year at community college and I hope to transfer to pharmacy school... someday. My first semester in college, Fall 06, I had straight As, was able to get up for my 9am class and only went one day over my allowed absences. I was working 23 hours per week as a cashier on top of it.

However, lately I feel like I've been getting worse and worse each semester. Withdrawing from classes is becoming a habit. I moved my first classes to 10am and I'm still not able to get in. I'm taking my electives online, but I can't keep up with the work without sacrificing my math/science grades. My grades are horrible and I've had to retake classes. I'm only working 17 hours per week at my new job (Pharm Tech).

If I take less classes, I lose my health insurance. If I work less, I can't pay my tuition. I sort of got around that dilemma last year when I became aware of medical withdraw (withdraw from a class and get a refund to retake it). However, that of course is upping my withdraws.

I even took steps last spring towards getting the fibro under control. I take Lyrica when I wake up and before I go to bed. I take Concerta with my Lyrica in the morning, as well as a cup of coffee. I take Tylenol PM on most nights with my Lyrica. I've been back in therapy for almost a year now and go every other week.

I'm turning 22 soon and I just don't feel like I'm making any progress. I'm at my wits end with what to do (in tears writing this). I feel like I'm going to be in community college forever. I feel like my chances of getting into pharmacy school and then actually getting through pharmacy school is slipping through my fingers. I have my heart set on Pharmacy so bad. There just doesn't seem to be an end in site. I keep telling myself that next semester I can do it and then I stumble yet again.

I feel so alone at the moment. My mom has fibro as well, but for certain reasons at the moment (other things going on in our household) I just don't feel like I can talk to her. Although my boyfriend is rather understanding toward fibro, he's been dealing with his depression issue lately... and I've felt like I have to be the strong one right now. Heh, and my therapist... the other things going on in my household has been occupying the last few sessions. My friends... keeping up image I guess.

Thanks to anyone who has read thus far. I just needed to get stuff off my chest.
-Doreen-
Pre-Pharmacy Student. Retail Pharm Tech. Fibromyalgia.
MuseKill: the name I came up with for a personal domain when I was 15. At 21, I have no clue what it means. It's just my online pseudonym.
----------------------
The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Post Edited (musekill) : 12/5/2008 4:29:49 PM (GMT-7)


mamanan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted Today 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
First of all, I want to welcome you to the site. You'll find this to be a wonderful place to get ideas on coping, and to vent when you need to. Everyone here is so understanding and supportive. I can't believe the amount of young members lately! I can't imagine having had this DD when I was in my 20's. There are quite a few goign to college, even some in high school, hopefully they will be around shortly to offer some advice. Hopefully you will be able to get your symptoms under control again soon. If you were that well off before, you can be again! Good luck to you, and please keep posting.
Waiting for appointment with rheumy (March 2009) to get an official dx. waiting, waiting, waiting....
Taking malic acid/magnesium combo, what a life saver! and amitriptyline


Jokat
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 278
   Posted Today 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   

Musekill,

Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your troubles, and I truly hope that you find the answers that you seek.

Work is hard enough with Fibro, but work and school with fibro takes alot out of a person.

I can relate to your struggles as a full-time student and full-time worker. The best advise I can give you is to get into one of the adult learning programs at some of the colleges....the ones that have class once a week and in the evening. It is still condsidered Full-time so it should not effect your status for your insurance. It is in the evening so it gives you the whoel day to work yourself up to going. Get a lunch time or afternoon job to get your PT hours in...that way you can use the morning hours to get your muscles and mind working for the day.

I gave up Lyrica because it was contributing to my Fibro Fog (made me drowsy). I prefer the pain to the Foggy feeling, especially when it comes to school.

Hang in there and DO NOT GIVE UP! You can do anything you set your mind to despite the joy of Fibro! Get your degree and become the Pharmacist you want to be. Fibro will just make getting there a bit more challenging but I hope that you are one of the success stories we get to read about.

You are stonger than Fibro and it can not take away your dreams!

Keep up the fight and I am proud of you for getting this far. I know it has been VERY challenging. You are clearly a determined person.

 


JoKat
 
Fibro is a life sentence, but not a death sentence.
Fibro since 2005


Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted Today 9:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi musekill and welcome to our family. Sadly, we are seeing more and more young college students on here so your not alone. Read the fibro 101 thread, second on first page, it contains lots of great info. Some are having great results with the malic acid/magnesium combo.
 
This is a great group of people and I'm glad you found us. Read as much as you can, ask questions and vent when you need to. We are always here for you.
 
luv and hugs
Marlee
 
 
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
 
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
 
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin


musekill
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted Today 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Mamanan, thanks for the welcome. "If you were that well off before, you can be again!" Thanks.



Jokart, thanks so much for your reply.

My mom is a professor at an adult-geared school (Strayer University) and they don't have a health science program. Those types of schools are rather expensive compared to community college, anyways. I pay my tuition out of pocket to reduce my debt in the long and reduce interest payments when I get to Pharmacy school (so I'm not working crazy hours while I'm in pharmacy school). My current tuition per semester is about $1,300. Then books are between $200 and $500. However, my college has classes from 7am to 10pm, so maybe it might be a good idea to push back my class times a bit.

As for work, being a Pharm Tech gives me an advantage just in case my GPA and transcript isn't the best. Besides my current pharmacy, there isn't really options in my neighborhood. I already have to walk 30 minutes to and from work. In addition, my current pharmacy isn't looking for daytime techs. All the daytime techs are full-time.

Lyrica also made me drowsy, but it waned after the first month. I'm still at 75mg BID (haha, thats how much pharmacy is in my blood, BID was what automatically came out... twice a day). Thats still a pretty low dose. The cup of coffee in the morning helps. I also went onto Concerta to help with the concentration and cognitive problems (tested in high school, slow processing speed, poor working memory, difficulty discriminating visual details) a little after going on Lyrica, since Lyrica made them a bit worse. The Concerta really helped. However, I can see why college students do not take their ADD meds during schools breaks. I think Concerta may be responsible for turning me into a moody, irritable witch. I'm definitely giving up the Concerta during winter break.

Thanks for your kind words at the end. I needed that.



Marlee2, thanks for the welcome. I'll take a look at the thread you mentioned.

colabear2890
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 103
   Posted Today 10:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey! welcome! i'm 18 and i've had fibro since i was 11. i'm a freshman in college. I go to a 4 year college.

i don't really know much about how meds affect people, since i don't take any for the fibro now. i use to take a lot, but i always got the side effects or they didn't work, so i stopped.

there is a thread called 17 year old with fibro, or something like that, it talks about college there.

are you registered with the differing abilities office on your campus? i'm not sure what its called at your school, if its something different. they are really helpful for me and i got so many accommodations through them, i'm not sure if i would have made it this far without them.

talking with other people who have fibro really helps me, especially younger people, since i had never talked to anyone else who had fibro really before this year. it's nice knowing you're not the only one out there with it.

well if you just want to talk, or if you have any questions, just ask, i'm on this like all day usually
Good luck!!!
-Aliza

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17095
   Posted Today 12:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Musekill, and welcome!  I am one who takes the malic acid/magnesium supplements and they have really helped me with pain and fatigue.  They don't help everyone but it might be worth a shot.  They are pretty inexpensive, at least where I get them.  There is a link in the Fibro 101 thread....second thread on the forum...and it tells all about the supplements, how they work in your body, and where I get them.  Be sure the check that out.  This might help you.
 
Jokat is absolutely correct!  You CAN do anything you put your mind to.  It might not be in the time frame you had in mind but it can be done.  Just set your eyes on your goal and don't look back.  Don't dwell on how you are feeling.  That doesn't help you one bit.  A positive outlook is a huge help with this illness.  You will come up with ideas on how to work around fibro.  You definitely don't want it controlling your life.  We are here to help you.  Just ask!  We have wonderful people here that have great ideas to help you along so don't hesitate to ask.
 
I'm so glad you found us and joined in!  I hope to hear more from you soon!
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


musekill
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted Today 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Colabear, yes, I'm registered with the Special Needs office. I get an accommodation letter each semester from them for my teachers for extended test time. Other than that and listening to my complaints every once in a while and giving me handouts about anxiety and study skills ::rolls eyes::, they don't really offer any more help than that. I'm thinking about asking the Special Needs guidance counselor to ask around to see if there are any other students with fibro willing to meet up and talk.

Yeah, it is nice to know that others are going through the same thing. Thanks.

musekill
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted Today 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sherrine. Thanks for the suggestion with malic acid/magnesium supplements. However, because of my experience in retail pharmacy and my own research, I'm skeptical of nutritional supplements outside of a daily multi-vitamin. Research into Airbourne put a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to nutritional supplements: questionable methodology in trials, not FDA approved thus not regulated and claims don't have to be true for them to put it on the bottle. However, if people feel better taking them, I have nothing against it. I will look into it, though, since not only do I have fibro, I'm extremely fascinated by meds/biochemistry (thus pharmacy).

Thanks for the kind words. I sometimes have to remind myself that my timeline isn't everything. Health insurance is the major issue with the timeline. With our current health insurance, I'm kicked off at 23. My college doesn't offer health insurance, so my options are: get into pharmacy school by 23 (not happening) to get health insurance through that school, get my doc to convince my health insurance companies (health, prescription, mental, dental) to continue my coverage under my mom, or marry someone. I kinda have to tell myself to hell with the strict timeline; my peace of mind and health is more important. I'll find a way to deal with timeline related problems like health insurance. I, in general, tended to have a positive outlook until the past six months or so. I just need to find it again.

Thanks again.

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17095
   Posted Today 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Ahhh...I see  you did NOT check out the link I sent you do.  There are scientific studies showing that it does help people with fibromyalgia...the American College of Physicians to be exact!
 
I do not go to health food stores and search out stuff to try.  I want science behind it.  That's why I took the time to write that link for people with fibro to consider.  
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


musekill
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted Today 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Sherrine, I said I will look into it, not that I did look into it.

The first two links listed (http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=24&m=1238999 ) are not peer-reviewed primary research articles. They are reviews of studies. Reviews of studies are not critically examined for scientific rigor like the actual studies are. In addition, they're from biased sources: nutritional supplement websites. When doing research, always consider if the source affects the conclusions.

Here's some peer reviewed primary research articles on Magnesium/Malic Acid supplements...

The main article that everyone seems to cite is here: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a784261594~db=all
Year: 1992
At the end of the abstract they say, "a double-blind placebo control trial is currently underway." That implies the study the were writing about was not a double-blind placebo control trial. That's a big no-no in the scientific research world. Studies that are not double-blind placebo control trials cannot be trusted. Period.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8587088
Year: 1995
"RESULTS. No clear treatment effect attributable to Super Malic was seen in the blinded, fixed low dose trial. With dose escalation and a longer duration of treatment in the open label trial, significant reductions in the severity of all 3 primary pain/tenderness measures were obtained without limiting risks. CONCLUSIONS. These data suggest that Super Malic is safe and may be beneficial in the treatment of patients with FM. Future placebo-controlled studies should utilize up to 6 tablets of Super Malic bid and continue therapy for at least 2 months."

In other words, when patients and researchers didn't know if they were receiving placebo or supplement, there was no effect. When patients knew they were receiving the supplement, they reported improvement. This is typical of the placebo effect. The study is questionable, though, considering they changed two variables at once: upped dosage and made it open label. Thus, theres no way to tell if the improvement was due to placebo effect or an upped dosage. That's scientifically unsound. The authors probably got a huge backlash for that.


I skimmed a lot of the articles found here: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&client=firefox-a&q=fibromyalgia+malic+acid+Magnesium&btnG=Search

My key issues:
1) Most have questionable methodology. They're open label, or they switch to open label mid-study. Thats a huge problem. open label is looked down upon in the scientific community.
2) The studies are done by the same group of researchers.
3) The bulk of the studies were done in the 1990's. My professors in college don't allow me to use studies more than five years old.



My point is not to invalidate that it has helped you. I'm glad you've found something that has helped you. It's just not for me. I'd love to read a recent primary research article that did a double-blind placebo control trial if you can find one. If you find one, I may be able to get the full-text from my college's journal databases and could PM it to you.
-Doreen-
Pre-Pharmacy Student. Retail Pharm Tech. Fibromyalgia.
MuseKill: the name I came up with for a personal domain when I was 15. At 21, I have no clue what it means. It's just my online pseudonym.
----------------------
The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. ~Henry Ward Beecher


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17095
   Posted Today 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's a good article.  It's called "Magnesium & Malic Acid Supplementation Often Beneficial for CFS & FM Quality-of-Life Measures - Studies and Top specialists Report" 
 
 
This has helped me so much.  I was leery before trying it but it worked.  It's not all in my head...this really has helped me a lot.  If you don't want to try it, that's totally up to you.  Just trying to help.
 
Sherrine
 
 
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


musekill
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted Today 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Once again, that's not a primary research article. The article is a secondary source. Once again, the studies cited are either ancient history in scientific literature (basic research rule in science and medicine: no more than five years old), were not published in a peer-reviewed journal (thus not trustworthy since other scientist didn't approve the scientific credibility of the study), their methodologies are questionable (open-label trials), their conclusions are off (based on open label extension rather than full study) or the source/publisher has an obvious bias (a nutritional journal is going to be obsessed with nutritional "cures").

It's basic college-level research skills and critical thinking.
http://www.une.edu.au/library/eskillsplus/research/primary.php
http://libguides.drury.edu/content.php?pid=1026&sid=4721
http://www.library.cornell.edu/olinuris/ref/research/skill26.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/open_label
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_blind

::sigh:: I'm going to excuse myself from this forum. As a health professions student getting basic research skills drilled into my brain, I don't belong here. I'm going to end up in too many arguments over scientific credibility.

Since you're a mod, please delete my two posts in this forum. Thanks.
-Doreen-
Pre-Pharmacy Student. Retail Pharm Tech. Fibromyalgia.
MuseKill: the name I came up with for a personal domain when I was 15. At 21, I have no clue what it means. It's just my online pseudonym.
----------------------
The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. ~Henry Ward Beecher

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