Hello all!! I have been lurking around here for the past few weeks and would like to introduce myself. First I would like to agree with most of you in that this is by far the best fibro forum I have found. I have found a lot of info & quite a few laughs. I look forward to getting to know you all.
I am a 37 year old wife and mother of 2. I was dx's with fibro in 2005. Since then I have been living in complete denial. My pain would come in my arms and legs. Mostly my arms. You know what it feels like when you have your blood pressure taken? The cuff inflates and squeezes your arm. Well that is what it feels like, but in both arms and legs from top to bottom and it doesn't stop squeezing. Honestly, I still don't get it. After a week, or 2, or sometimes 3, it would leave. Every time I would believe that whatever it was would be gone and it wasn't actually fibro at all. To my dismay it would return again.
My GP was great! She was very helpful. She tried to give me meds to help but I would refuse anything I had to take on a daily basis. So I took Tramadol, Cyclobenzaprine and Ambien. Ambien was my God send. It wasn't until 2007 that I realized no matter what I tried the pain kept coming back. So I tried Amitriptyline. That only gave me indigestion and made me gain 20 lbs. So I stopped. Right about that time my husband got transferred to Canada. We have just finished our first year in what should be a 3-5 year stay in Calgary, Alberta.
My first thing to do in Canada was to find a Dr. Just so you know I do not like Socialized Healthcare. I hope Obama has a better plan, because there are a lot of flaws. First you have to find a Dr. that is accepting new patients. This is extremely hard to do. Then you go have a meet and greet with them. From what I was told they can turn you away. So if they feel like you would take too much of their time they can NOT accept you as a patient. That scared me. After many, many phone calls (and tears) I found a dr. 45 minutes away. The meet and greet went well. She listened to me, took down my rx's and we were good to go. I asked her about treating fibro she said, “I will work with you. If it gets to where I can’t handle it I will send you to a specialist.” Of course at that time I was not hurting and I was sleeping, so in my mind I was ok (denial). Needless to say the pain returned and I soon ran out of the meds I had. I went back to see Dr in tears from pain and info on Cymbalta which I had found online. She didn’t even look at it. She just wanted to send me to a specialist. She did not even want to refill my meds. I was so mad. Why didn’t she do the referral in the first place? I told her there is no way I was leaving there without a rx. With great hesitation she refilled my rx's. Well since some drugs are a bit different in Canada she gave me Tramacet and Cyclobenzaprine. She did not even replace my Ambien. I wanted to leave this dr, but I couldn’t find another Dr. that was accepting patients. I was stuck. At least I was going to see a specialist. I just did not know when.
Four months later, I still hadn’t been contacted by the specialist. Another flare up was coming on, which I believe has been my worst yet. Within a 2 week period, my sleeping got progressively worse; I started having stomach problems; and I got this horrific headache that lasted for 3 weeks. All this, plus the pain in my arms. I called the Dr. I was referred to. I let them know I was referred to them a few months back and had not heard anything yet. She told me that the wait list was 2 years. I decided to go back to my GP, told her I couldn’t wait 2 years. If she could not help me I was going to find another Dr. Thank God she agreed to help. I started Cymbalta about 2 weeks ago. The first few days were really crazy but I have now adjusted. I also got Zopiclone, so I am sleeping too. My pain comes and goes right now, but overall feeling better. The bad thing is I don’t know if it is the meds or is the pain just going off to its hiding place again. It was really hard for me to start taking Cymbalta. I fought it for so long. I wished I had someone to talk to about it. My husband tries to help, but he only knows what I tell him. I don’t have family around. I have one friend here that listens, but there is no feedback. No suggestions. You know?
I am sorry this is so long. I even went through it to cut back. It feels like I am just vomiting all over you. I don’t know how to make it better, or to make me better. I don’t know how I feel about it. It is just there and I don’t know what to do with it. Almost like a foreign object.
Thank you for a place to speak!
Welcome Alison! This is a wonderful forum and people here are compassionate and caring. I was on another forum for awhile and they scared the living bejesus out of me. Anyway, I know all to well about the Canadian health care system. I have two friends that live there...one had a 'cyst' on her ovary that got so big I could see it through her stomach. By the time she got into a doc they told her she might have ovarian cancer. Another friend had endometriosis and couldn't get into surgery for 8 months. By then it had spread to her intestines and at 32, she had to have part of her bowel removed and a total hysterectomy.
I hope Obama doesn't go to socialized medicine either. We have several friends that are doctors and have anticipated this move and are all giving up their practice and going into research instead.
I also understand the denial. I actually had several years with hardly any pain, then it came back with a vengence and hasn't left me since.
It can also be difficult to find a rhuemy here in the states that understand that this disorder is real. I'm sure you have read through some of the posts and seen many who have been treated like hyopchondriacs and given nothing for the pain and fatigue. I am very fortunate and have one that treats it like he would any other 'real' disease.
One good thing about Canada...we get our drugs there because they are half the price and we don't have health insurance! I know this country is trying to make this illegal...but I only live an hour from the border so just try to stop me!
Feel better, and welcome!
Hi there Alison!!
Glad you decided to join in on the forum. I know you won't be disappointed. This is the best forum there is.. but you already said that...Duh, ~FIBRO FOG HORN NOISE INSERTED HERE~
Something tells me that the future of socialized medicine won't happen here in the USA. I think we'll have several alternatives.. but I'm the positive hopeful type .. so who knows. All I know is something has to change. I see so many people on this forum and out in the world that don't have insurance and are really suffering from it. I've either been self employed or employed at a non profit and never had insurance until I married my husband 9 yrs ago. Anyway I don't think the insurance lobbiest won't allow socialized medicine.. but I don't want to get political.
I think you'll find yourself very comfortable on this forum. We do have a few members that are from Canada too. We have members from all over the place. Join in on the Koffee Klutches in the mornings. They're a great way for us to talk about stuff other than fibro and occasionally we will have a virtual party.. they're lots of fun and can get kinda crazy.
I'm sure if you've been hanging around in the background you checked out Fibro 101, the second thread on the forum, but if not, I really encourage you to refer to it. There's so much info on there and its really helpful.
Again.. welcome and I'm glad you came out of the lurking stage and decided to join us!!
Hugs & Happiness,