My mom has Fibromyalgia, but I'm suspecting substance abuse

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andib1234
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Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/20/2009 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
My mother is 49 years old and has said she's had Fibromyalgia for the past 10-15 years. I recently visited her for the weekend **I only see her once or twice a year and this was the first time I've stayed with her in about 3 years**. Each evening like clockwork, after 6pm she would loose control of herself. She would stumble, fall and seemed incoherent. She tells me that she's an insomniac and averages about 3 hours of sleep a night, but on the 2nd evening I was with her, she took a 3 hour nap. I was with her the whole time...I could hear her snoring. She was out like a light. After she woke up, around 6pm is when the stumbling & mumbling started again. I told her I was worried & asked her if she knew why she 'got like that' after a certain hour. Her response was emotional, saying she "never gets any sleep"...which was clearly strange considering she just slept like a baby for 3 hours. The following morning I told my step father about my mom's situation & he was very very quick with a far fetched response about altitude **they live in Big Bear, CA which is high altitude, but they have lived there for years**.

I'm trying to figure out if her behavior is because of her fibromyalgia or if it's from some type of substance abuse going on. She did have 2 glasses of wine...but I know that alone can't cause the kind of stumbling & incoherentness I saw.

Sherrine
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 4/20/2009 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Andi, and welcome!  What medications is your mother taking?  Mixing alcohol with medications could cause that problem plus, one of fibromyalgia's symptoms is a sensitivity to alcohol.  She really shouldn't be drinking, I would say.

Be sure to check out the Fibro 101 thread...the second thread on the forum.  There are links to good info about fibro including a list of symptoms.  You will learn a lot about this illness in that thread.

I'm glad you joined in and are looking for answers for this illness.  See if your Mom will join in.  We just might be able to help her some.  We have wonderful, caring ,members that love to help one another.  I hope to hear more from you soon and I hope to "meet" your Mom, too!

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


SassyIsMyKitty
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 223
   Posted 4/20/2009 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I wouldn't discredit her claims of not getting enough sleep. I can sometimes take naps during the day and be out like a light, but then, at night, I won't sleep much at all, and when I do sleep, it is not very restful. I take medication to help me sleep. Insomnia is a very common symptom of fibro. We may get sleep, but our sleep may not nessesarily be the deep sleep that we need. I think it is good, though, that you are trying to help your mom and that you are trying to figure things out to help her. That is very good. I think that your mom needs to see a doctor, with you with her, so you can help her explain the stumbling and mumbling. Good luck to you.
~MDD, Fibromyalgia, OCD, Anxiety Disorders, IBS, TMJ, Arthritis~
 
May your heart be filled with love and joy.
May your mind be clear and true.
May your smiles be many,
And may your tears be few. 
May God wrap you in His arms
Especially when you're feeling blue.


andib1234
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Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/20/2009 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your responses. I do know enough about Fibromyalgia to get me by...however there are certain things that just don't add up. If my mom is taking some form of medication why wouldn't she tell me when I asked her? What's to hide? Also, she doesn't work. Hasn't worked in years & years and says that the Fibromyalgia is largely to blame for why she can't work. So she's not working or really being social at all, and every evening like clockwork she becomes incoherent around 6pm. I always wondered why I would have such strange phone conversations with her on my commute home at night, but after seeing her state of being this past weekend I really feel like maybe it's not just the Fibromyalgia...maybe it's also turned into some type of substance abuse.

Spicey
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 4/20/2009 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Andi, Do you have any siblings or other family that could help you intervene ? I don't blame you for being concerned. You need to be tough and upfront w/ her and your stepdad. Let me/us know how you're doing.

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 4/20/2009 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Give her a chance. Take precautions. You haven't been around. You don't know.
Fibromyalgia is really hard to deal with. Many don't believe the person who is in pain.

In Australia it isn't even diagnosed by doctors! That's in Perth and apparently Perth
is behind times.

I've seen many posts like yours. I'm outta here now and leave it to the people who
know the board.

Even though I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, it doesn't bother me much.
Other things do!
MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Osteoarthritis all levels of spine right down to Coccyx,Spondilytis,Myofascial Pain
Fibromyalgia,Bulging Discs,Spinal Stenosis,Scoliosis,Osteopenia,Chronic Constipation
Carpel Tunel Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder,
Depression & Anxiety

Methadone for Pain, Xanax for Anxiety, and more, of course.


Agmaar
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 4/20/2009 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Depression is very common with chronic conditions.  That messes with you in all kinds of ways.  Sleep is certainly one of them.  And the problem can be quality of sleep.  In addition to some form of insomnia, many of us are not getting restful sleep.
 
When I overloaded and crashed in Dec. I spent several days In patient and several days in IOP.  I learned a lot.  With some of these conditions - people are actually trying to self-medicate.  Trying to gain some control over our lives and deal with issues/symptoms.  The big three are drugs, alcohol, and - yep - caffeine.   lol .... after thinking about it - yep - I'm doing that exact thing with caffeine.  Using it to try and cope with low energy times.
 
Anyways, if you pursue this as some kind of subs. abuse, I'd suggest thinking of it as "Is my mom trying to self-medicate?  If so - how is she doing it?  Why is she doing it?"  It might help you understand the underlying cause - and maybe you can figure out how to help her with the underlying cause.  I think it would be a lot more productive than the "OMG you're abusing *****" approach.
 
Many of us can only get thru one day at a time.  Be understanding of your step dad.  He may be working at full capacity as it is.
 
Hope this has helped in some small way.
Rich
 
Lyme, anxitey, depression, chronic C. Pnuemoniae
 
"... expect the unexpected ..."  (O. Wilde)
 
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." (Mark Twain)
 
 


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 4/20/2009 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   

Most people with fibromyalgia do not go into a deep REM sleep.  That is when the body starts to heal itself.  Many of us don't dream or doze a lot.  We also can have sleep apnea.  Your Mom might be in that area because you said she was snoring.  Last night, for instance, I was up every 1 1/2 hours.  Even though I did get some sleep, it wasn't a restful, healing sleep and I have been dragging all day long.  So, even though your Mom was sleeping and snoring for three hours doesn't mean she got in a deep, restful sleep. 

It's things like this that you will learn if you read the Fibro 101 thread and do some searches.  There is a lot to this illnesses and many observers don't believe it is real.  But, trust me, for 22 years my body has been through a lot and it DEFINITELY is real!

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


patsie
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 4/20/2009 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome,

i just want to add that a cyclical thing as you are describing can very well be depression and have nothing to do with meds or alcohol. In my studies of depression many years ago I learned that certain individuals have a very specific time of day that this behavior pattern can happen. Doctors believe it is at this time of day for the individual b/c it represents a very bad time in their lives. Could she possibly associate 6 with a bad experience. Not impossible at all.

Patsie

pattipanda
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 4/20/2009 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   

Prehaps she's forgetting that she already took one of her medications and took it twice.  I did that with xanax once and I was kind of out of it.  I don't believe I was stumbling or mumbling though.  Like someone else said, it's hard to tell what her problem is if we don't know what meds she's on.  Alcohol can be a bigger factor than you think.  People with fibromyalgia are really sensitive to alcohol.  If I know that I'll be having a glass of wine, I don't take my pain meds or my xanax.  I would be terrified to mix them.  I'm not a person that has any hang ups about people having a drink now and then, but people with fibro or those taking medicine should be extra careful about having a drink. 

I also agree with Rich, I think there are folks out there that self medicate and I think it happens more than one might think.  He also mentioned depression and people do some pretty desparate things when they're depressed.

Andi... I don't know what your mom's problem is.  But I don't blame you for being concerned.  I agree with Spicey about any siblings that could step in??  I know if I saw my mom in a condition like you explained I'd be worried too.  Maybe you need to spend a little more time with her than just one weekend to get a better handle on the situation.  That's what I'd do.

I hope you'll stop back and let us know what's going on.  Believe it or not.. I'll be thinking about you and hoping that all turns out for the best. 

Take care,


Patti
 
Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel, Psoriasis. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Xanax, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown


pattipanda
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 4/20/2009 2:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh.. one more thing... she could be diabetic. Since this is cyclical.. that might have something to do with blood sugar. Sorry ... meant to mention that in my earlier post.. LOL.. Fibro fog!! Geez!!
Patti
 
Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel, Psoriasis. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Xanax, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown


GamJill
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1279
   Posted 4/21/2009 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi andi-
 
I know I will have a glass of wine once in a great while if I go out and meet friends for a special occasion. I only have one glass, because if I have two I feel drunk, and that is having food in my stomach. The combination of meds and wine could be causing it. Altitude can play a part. When we would vacation in Montana (the Rockies) and when my parents would drink with our friends out there, I know it did not take them much and they were feeling it. But like you said she has lived there for years and you would think her body would be adapted to it by now. 
 
I think it is something you would have to sit down and really talk to her about and let her know how much it concerns you. Hard to tell what is going on if you are not there every day. Wish you both the best and that you can get this figured out.
 
Jill   
 
 
Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
 
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  


andib1234
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/21/2009 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks to everyone who responded, all of it was a big help. I will definitely give her the benefit of the doubt, but I will also have a talk with her & hopefully she won't feel the need to hide anything from me. Thanks again. -Andi

Spicey
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 4/21/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
OMG ! In my post I did'nt mean to sound so harsh... Your mom needs your love and support without judgement. All support here is just incredible !

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40603
   Posted 4/21/2009 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I am glad that you are giving her the benefit of a doubt. There could be a very good reason why she seems so incoherent. I hope that it is something simple and nothing serious.

Best wishes to you and I hope that you can find some answers.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


SassyIsMyKitty
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 223
   Posted 4/21/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish you the best of luck with this situation. I really hope it all turns out for the best. I would consider going to the doctor with her and discussing all of this with him/her. I think that might help. But, it is just a suggestion. I really do wish you the best of luck. Let us all know how things go.
~MDD, Fibromyalgia, OCD, Anxiety Disorders, IBS, TMJ, Arthritis~
 
May your heart be filled with love and joy.
May your mind be clear and true.
May your smiles be many,
And may your tears be few. 
May God wrap you in His arms
Especially when you're feeling blue.


K9
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 5/8/2009 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
cactus, what on earth are you talking about?
I have Fibromyalgia, and nothing else!
I take Lyrica 225 mg/day and Tramadol (150mg time-released) and amytriptilene 7.5mg


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 5/8/2009 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Cactus,
Medications are a necessary part of many people's lives to survive. They guard me from death from hypothyroidism syndrome, death from diabetic complications, and a host of other problems that my body is battling right now. The "normal living" that you speak of means early death for many. If someone suffers from chronic melancholia then anti-depressants can bring them into the world of the "normals". Not using medications would leave them alone and isolated. People take medications because they need them. Believe me, no one would choose to wake up and start choking down a handful of pills every day unless they were necessary!
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Agmaar
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 5/9/2009 12:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Anyone who wants to stay away from meds is free to do so.  But an interesting perspective on this is to consider just what "normal living" has meant.  Some things to consider:
 
 
At birth, in 1900, average life expectancy was 47;  1950, 68.  Currently in the US it's about 78.  As people aged, many also had low-quality lives due to arthritis, strokes, TB, polio, diabetes, all kinds of things. 
 
Actually, all of us who use this forum regularly are dealing with quality of life issues of one sort or another.  It's not like we asked for these conditions.  Meds, therapy, and venting/discussion on this forum are all examples of things we do to be as productive as possible and have the best quality of life that we can.  For most of us it's a daily struggle.
 
There are trade-offs with everything.  Most of us have had take a hard look at the benefit of some meds relative to the toll it takes on us.  These are difficult and very personal choices. 
 
The "simpler times" and "good old days" weren't so great in a lot of ways.  Just something to consider. 
Rich
 
Lyme, anxitey, depression, chronic C. Pnuemoniae
 
"... expect the unexpected ..."  (O. Wilde)
 
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." (Mark Twain)
 
 


IronCladDaisy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/9/2009 4:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Sherrine said...

Most people with fibromyalgia do not go into a deep REM sleep.  That is when the body starts to heal itself.  Many of us don't dream or doze a lot.  We also can have sleep apnea.  Your Mom might be in that area because you said she was snoring. 

I had the same thought about sleep apnea. Between that and the fibro, it would definitely keep her from getting any restful sleep, so she could very well be extremely sleep deprived.

Though I think many of the other posters have also brought up conditions to consider as well. Definitely encourage your mother to see a doctor.


CINDY30
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 5/9/2009 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I have found that with myself, I get extremely tired the same time every day (around 5:00). If I actually have the opportunity to sleep, I am dead to the world and extremely irritable and incoherent if awoken. I also do not sleep well at night. My boyfriend tells me that throughout the night I toss and turn until about 4 AM, then I actually zonk out and sleep for a few hours. It doesn't seem to matter when or how long I sleep, I always feel as though I didn't rest. I can only imagine what years of this is going to do to my mental state much less my motor skills, so I imagine years of sleep deprivation are to blame for your mom's stumbling and incoherent behavior. These are fibromyalgia symptoms. It affects mood, coordination, balance, and short term memory. Remember that fibro affects all of us differently. In your mom's case, her inability to sleep may be interfering with the other aspects of her life to a greater degree than many other fibromites. You should talk with her about your concerns just to be sure there isn't any substance abuse but be mindful that all of this could be just the fibro. Honestly, it sounds like my situation only worse.

kathydownunder
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 447
   Posted 5/9/2009 11:27 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Andi,

You could of been looking in my kitchen window from about 5.30 0f an afternoon it gets so bad I can not wash a dish let alone cook ameal it gets so bad some afternoons. What causes it I can not tell you but from about 3 in the afternoon my body seems to come up against a brick wall. I have been told they are now looking into the fact there could be different types of FM I was talking to someone on the phone about FIBRO and he had read the same information and yes I am one of the lucky people who do not wake up feeling like death if I get any sleep at all. But afternoons are my worse time my kids have had a joke at me at times that I am like a drunk I stumble around fall over drop things slur my words you name it I do it. But it is like most things with FM it comes and goes if you are worried and can not go to the Doctor with your Mother see if you can get your step father to talk to the Doctor and get her to send you a letter about you mother maybe she is on the wrong mediction I have no idea what she is taking and no I do not drink but I have had a drink at parties 2 is my limit and I never drink with my medication so to drink I give up the pain killers. Give your Mother a chance as I have said Fm is different with all of us. My Doctor has FM so she looks at me and sees what works and doesn't I am willing to try different medications as they become availiable here in Australia. And YES Fibro is had to have anyone even know what it is here we do not have a support group. But a few of s have got together to support each other and talk on the telephone to get our problems off our chest. My kids are great they have all left home now but still see me almost every day to check up on my husband who is also ill if not calling in the phone. Give your mother a chance and have a talk to your step dad he will know what is going on.

Kathy


tyno3
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 5/10/2009 5:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Andib1234: Hello. I am a Fibromyalgia suffereer, who was diagnosed in 1990. I have been living for this time in varying states of steadiness. Unsteadiness, for me, is an after 3 PM phenomena. I awake, do everything I can by 2, or 3 PM, lie down to rest, sometimes sleep heavily for a couple hours, and then awaken groggy, foggy, unsteady, erratic, jerky movements, and yes, to an outsider, I might appear drunk or drugged. My brother-in-law (#1), once commented about my Mother's Multiple Sclerosis; " I, meaning he, think she's strung out on major painkillers. I don't think she has MS, at all." Well, she got the MRI, and there are plaques building around her neurons in her brain. So, my guess is, always compassionate understanding.
Hypothyroidism, Fibromyalgia, Facet Joint Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, menopause, Migraines, Chest Pain, Anxiety and Depression/BiPolar II
Synthyroid .075mg., estradiol.5 mgs., Amyltriptilene, 100mgs, bedtime, Tylenol 3 PRN (six-eight, daily), Valium 7.5mgs. daily prn. Flexeril, prn (not so helpful), Zoloft,150mgs., Zomig approx. 12 per month, prn., Meds for High Blood Pressure, vary.


SassyMyKitty
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Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 673
   Posted 5/10/2009 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
My sister says that there is no such thing as Fibromyalgia, and that I am just making it all up to get attention and pain pills. My grandmother, who has fibro as well, tells me to just ignore it. It is just so hard to believe that there are still so many people out there who don't believe that our illness is real, that it is just all in our heads or we are making it up. It drives me crazy.
I have to see my sister today for the first time in over a month. We aren't speaking, mainly because she doesn't want to speak to me. So, I am a little nervous about the dinner we are having over at my mom's for Mother's Day. I am going to be nice, but if she starts something, I am not going to just sit there and take it. I will stand up for myself. I am tired of her pushing me around and telling me that I need to grow up and all those kinds of things. Sorry, I am getting off topic here. I apologize.
All that I'm living for,
All that I'm dying for,
All that I can't ignore alone at night.
All that I'm wanted for,
Although I wanted more.
Lock the last open door, my ghosts are gaining on me.
-Evanescence "All that I'm living for"

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