New here looking for info for a friend

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cl26
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/18/2010 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
A friend of mine has been having issues for a long time like about a year maybe longer.

She states that her pains were absent during her pregnancy but after she had her child the pains came back. The pains vary from time to time. She used to say that her whole body ached kind of like how you would feel if you had the flu like just achy feeling, then she went to say that her hands and knees hurt, now it is just her hands and arms, she says it hurts to lift her arms past a certain point. Here is the issue though, her PCP says it is fibro, but her rheumatologist says that it is rheumatoid arthritis. The other problem though is that she has taken a liking to pain pills and has spent a small fortune in just the last two months on pain pills that she is buying from various people. I have done a ton of research and everything that I have read points to her having RA not fibro, she doesn't show the signs or symptoms of fibro. Everytime I have seen her she is fine moving around fine and behaving normal. I know a few people who have fibro and their symptoms are very similar to one another but they don't match what my friend says is wrong with her. She is pushing for her doctor to label it as fibro because he told her that if that was the issue he would give her pain pills. She hides the fact that she takes pain pills from her husband and family, in my opinion if you were confident and being honest with your pains why would you hide the fact that you are taking pain pills from them, especially your husband. When confronted about the pain pill issue she gets very defensive and will refuse to talk to me for days.

I want to help her so bad, but she refuses to listen to what I have told her regarding both issues. So basically what I am asking is what are the variations of pain when it comes to fibro, do you have days where you don't hurt at all or is there always pain, but the level of pain vary? Do you experience issues with your hands like does it hurt to grasp something or twist a cap off of something. Is the pain all over the place all the time or is it in different areas when the pain is present? I would love to just talk to some people who have fibro so that I can get some more information.

In my opinion I honestly don't think there is anything wrong with her, I think that she has a pain pill addiction she has been taking them for well over a year and was taking them while pregnant with her child, taking narcotics that are unsafe to take while pregnant but that didn't seem to bother her. Her and her husband live paycheck to paycheck but somehow she always has money to buy pills. Her PCP did have her on pain medication but took her off because I am sure he too noticed that she was abusing them. I just think it is odd that when she claims to be in horrific pain she is still laughing and what not. I know from personal experience because I have two ruptured discs in my back and when I am in pain the last thing I want to do is laugh, I just want to be left alone. I don't know I am just wanting to get more info.

Thanks in advance.

Acheybody
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5930
   Posted 4/18/2010 9:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, it's really hard to say - it hurts my arms also to lift past a certain point - and I pay even more for it later on. The flu-like feeling is familiar, too, as well as the pain migrating and being different every day. I would say that your friend certainly could have fibro from everything you said. On the other hand, it could be RA, or neither, or both. (I believe there's a blood test for RA. Others here will know more about that.) There's a very good thread on here, the 2nd one, Fibro 101 - that has a lot of good information. Part of it is, "What else could it be?"

My own adult son has a hard time believing I'm in chronic pain - but I have been for over 20 years. He says I move around normally, look fine, laugh. He's never had pain to speak of, and he can't see anything wrong, so he doesn't understand that I've had to take my life in my own hands and make the best of it. It doesn't mean the pain isn't always there. I have to unload the dishwasher in stages, over a couple of days. I can't scrub anything, can't carry much of anything, can't walk the dogs, move furniture, garden, bicycle, etc. etc. etc. I have to ask for help at the grocery and I know people don't understand why even if I try to give them the abbreviated version. Sometimes I feel like I'm living "life lite." Pain pills are a godsend, because on those occasions when I've somehow managed to overdo it, they make the pain manageable. I don't take more than I need and I don't get high.

But if your friend is truly abusing them, that's another story. Good luck sorting it all out. You are a good friend!
Debbie
 
  Diagnosed: Fibromyalgia, Meniere's, elevated liver enzymes (why?), keloid scar tissue (from burn) on back, arthritis, scoliosis, lumbar disc damage, IBS, migraine
  Meds: Nortriptyline, Clonazepam, Darvocet as needed
multivitamins, l-lysine, probiotics, magnesium, malic acid, calcium + vit. D, vit. C
  Chiropractic adjustments


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 4/19/2010 12:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, and welcome!  Debbie is correct.  Your friend could have fibro but, nevertheless, shouldn't be buying drugs off other people.  Her pain and her unmonitored pill use could have helped caused an addiction.
 
The pain of fibro waxes and wanes.  A few years ago I couldn't open jars and I could barely hold a pen to write checks.  Now that pain is gone...it's moved on to other areas of my body.
 
One of the problems with fibro patients is that we look fine.  We live with chronic pain.  If we only had pain occasionally, we would want to be left alone.  But, because we have pain all of the time, we do have to keep on living our lives and that includes having a good time.  So, your friend indeed could have fibro or RA or both.  But, she does need to take care of the pain medication problem.  If she doesn't, the more she takes, the more she will need down the road.  See if she will come on the forum.  We have suggestions that could help her get in control of the pain so she doesn't need to go the pain pill route, or at least not as many pills.  Plus her doctor could monitor her, 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


cl26
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/19/2010 5:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with you both, with my back and the ruptured discs it hurts me just about all the time. It affects a lot more than just my back, it is my hip, butt, and my whole right leg. I am on two pretty high doses of prescription narcotics for the pain which helps keep it at bay but the pain is still there just more manageable. I get the same question how can you be in so much pain if you are doing this or that and do understand that some people might not understand my particular condition since they have never had to go through it personally.

All the research I have done on fibro has given about the same info about it, however the one thing that every one of my friends with fibro say is that it hurts if someone brushes up against them, or grabs them. I also read that fibro symptoms stay present or can get much worse during pregnancy and she said that her pains were completely absent she said she felt great. I do happen to know that for the last week and a half she hasn't had any form of pain medication other than trammadol, but another thing I have noticed is her pain seems to come when it is convenient, she doesn't hurt if she has plans to go out even without pain pills, but will hurt if her husband says he wants to work a double and leave her with the kids (She has two kids of her own ages 4 months and almost 2, as well as a 3 year old step son) even without pain pills she is still laughing and carrying on when she claims to be in horrific pain. I do know from the research that I have done that RA can't be physically tested for, like fibro they look for markers because the blood tests have shown to come up negative of the rheumatoid factor when it should have been positive so it isn't a very reliable form of testing, so they look for key points which she matches several of them. She even has the rheumatoid nodules that are key markers for RA

Symptoms of RA and Fibro do appear to present similarly. RA can be a disabling and painful condition which can lead to substantial loss of function and mobility. She has been on lyrica before which didn't help, she is currently on cymbalta and has been for several months and according to her it doesn't work. Everything she has been given she claims it doesn't work except for pain pills. She also doesn't have a lot of the symptoms that come with having fibro other than just the pain. Now with RA she fits almost every symptom they have for it. Prior to her doctor telling her that if it was RA she wouldn't get pain pills but if it was fibro she would she was saying it was RA and was supposedly going to start treatment for it, but once her doctor said that she started to argue with her rheumatologist that he was wrong that it wasn't RA but fibro but he did do the test for fibro which is checking for the key points, supposedly there is a test that shows a total of 18 markers and if you fit 11 or more then there is a good chance you have fibro.

When you try to talk to her about the differences in her symptoms then she gets defensive and will argue with you about it that the research done is wrong and she is right. I want to call her doctor and tell him about the pain pill problem because she does have an issue especially since she had taken 30 vicodin 7.5/750mg in less than 48 hours. that is ridiculous nobody should take that many pills in that short of time. Fibro doesn't show up on x-rays or blood work, however her x-rays came back abnormal and showed yet another marker for RA so at this point I don't know what to do to help her.

@rianna
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 4/19/2010 6:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello!  Like the others I can't tell you its one specific area, but for me its my legs and lower back mostly.  There are pressure points that you can look up and one day (if she doesn't know them) pretend your giving a massage because she's had a hard day and see if they hurt.  That's how they diagnose fibro for the most part and might help you.  When I get it in my legs and lower back I'm hobbling out of bed and stiff enough to walk like an old lady.  By the time I'm done getting dressed I'm usually ok and can walk upright and normal.  If I get a pain during the day, besides the little pains that make me feel my joints every second, I will limp around because I still have to work or am not in a position when out with friends to go home.  I can't wear high heels or flats because without arch support and cushion my knees, ankles and feet are in too much pain later or the next day to move anymore than I have to.  It feels like an extreme ache that is made worse by moving more and or sitting like a log for hours.  I will take advil before I go to bed after work (I work graveyard) and sleep off the flare up.  It can basically make you feel older then you are and make you feel like the world is passing you by because people your own age are still doing keggers at college.  There have been studies that say that fibro patients feel better during pregnancy but crappy after and or crappier the whole pregnancy.  Go to fibromyalgia-symptoms.org and look for the pregnancy posts on their forum or look up my post "fibromyalgia and pregnancy" and get the link a woman gave me to answer my questions about having a safe pregnancy.  Otherwise other things I can't handle are hand shakes, hugs around the neck, massages and hot baths.  You would think hot baths would help but I feel 88 instead of 24.  Hope this helps!  Otherwise if you love her like a sister and would rather see her better than be a mousy friend I recommend privately getting her help where she has no control.  If that won't make her condition worse.  Lots of people involved ya know?
 
@rianna

Acheybody
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5930
   Posted 4/19/2010 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like your friend does have a serious pill problem. That can be so hard to deal with! Many years ago, my best friend & family member had a drinking problem. I tried to get the rest of the family concerned enough to intervene, but was basically told to mind my own business...so I more or less did. After she was forced to get help, she never forgave me for, in her words, "not tryng hard enough." I hope that you can help your friend without alienating her, but unfortunately that's not always possible.

I don't hurt if someone just brushes up against me, but massages and strong hugs (esp. if I have to crane my neck upwards) are bad news. What makes the diagnosis so hard is that people's symptoms do vary a lot.
Debbie
   
    Diagnosed: Fibromyalgia, Meniere's, elevated liver enzymes -?- keloid scar tissue from back burn, arthritis, scoliosis, lumbar disc damage, sciatica, IBS, migraine headaches, skin cancer twice on face
    Meds: Nortriptyline, Clonazepam, Darvocet as needed
    Multivitamins, l-lysine, probiotics, magnesium, malic acid, calcium + vit. D, vit. C
    Chiropractic adjustments
 
Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 4/19/2010 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
There is no set pattern with fibro.  We all hurt but in different areas at different times.  We have had several members who have gone through pregnancy and felt great, too.  I went through ostomy surgery and did great...far better then I do when a storm is coming. 
 
My suggestion to you is to stop second guessing her diagnosises.  She could very well have both of them.  Many of our members do.  She has seen doctors and was given the diagnosises.  The only thing you should be talking to her about, I feel, is how she is obtaining her pain medications.  She could end up in jail or worse.  She needs to see a pain specialist if she hurts this much and they will try to help her and also monitor the meds she is taking.  She may very well need to go to rehab if she is indeed taking all of those pills.  Many here have had no luck with Lyrica or Cymbalta, too, so the "case" you are trying to piece together won't work.  And, fibro doesn't show up on x-rays or in blood work.  I don't know where you got that idea.  But I do know that if you continue to doubt her, you will loose your friendship.   
 
Please tell her about this forum.  We may be able to give her some great suggestions to help her with her pain without all of those meds.  Not all of us are on prescription narcotics...including me.  So, we may be able to give her a hand. 
 
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


KellieJo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 382
   Posted 4/19/2010 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Agree, getting the medication illegally could have fatal outcome too.

cl26
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/19/2010 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Sherrine said...



</b>, I feel, is how she is obtaining her pain medications. She could end up in jail or worse. She needs to see a pain specialist if she hurts this much and they will try to help her and also monitor the meds she is taking. She may very well need to go to rehab if she is indeed taking all of those pills. Many here have had no luck with Lyrica or Cymbalta, too, so the "case" you are trying to piece together won't work. And, fibro doesn't show up on x-rays or in blood work. I don't know where you got that idea. But I do know that if you continue to doubt her, you will loose your friendship.


</b> this forum. We may be able to give her some great suggestions to help her with her pain without all of those meds. Not all of us are on prescript[b>ion narcotics...including me. So, we may be able to give her a hand.



<FONT>Sherrine


no I know that blood tests and x-rays won't show and diagnose fibro, there is a test, not blood or x-ray of course but a point test that can help suggest fibro as a possibly diagnosis. x-rays will show RA and a blood test that checks for rheumatoid markers will as well, only thing with those is that some people experience numerous false negatives before getting a proper diagnosis. I know several people who have fibro who have also mentioned the same things that most of you have that the pain symptoms vary, just the research made it seem that the pain was the same for everyone which is why I wanted to expand and ask others that are dealing with this. I know from personal experience that if I don't have my meds and I begin to withdraw my body hurts a thousand times worse than it normally would, which is honestly what I think is going on with her. She has been to numerous ER's and has been red flagged at all of them. I was personally with her a couple of weeks ago when she was having "horrific pain" she said she was hurting worse than she had ever hurt before however when I picked her up she was fine acting fine joking around and behaving totally normal. I have known her for years so I am familiar with how she typically acts. When she was in the ER she told the doctor that they weren't sure what was wrong with her yet, but then says it's fibro, then says it is RA but when her PCP said he would give her pain meds if it was fibro all of a sudden she became very hell bent to convince everyone it was fibro. She had an x-ray done which showed markers for RA, she has the rheumatoid nodules, fits most of the symptoms for RA but refuses to listen to anyone who tries to tell her that. If you approach her to talk to her about the fact she takes entirely too many narcotics she will become extremely defensive and will stop talking to you for a little while.

To use a better example of why I think all of this with her is fishy we were texting back and forth because I have been researching trying to find different info for her to help her since she seems so clueless. It was a normal conversation then when I asked about the x-ray that came back with RA markers she lied and stated she never had an x-ray, got defensive and stopped talking. I know that she is doing this because the person she is getting the pain medications off of is a person that I know. I am not close with this person we more or less say hi when we see each other but he knows that I know her and had said something to me. I recently asked him to cease providing her with any form of medication because it isn't helping her, there is a difference between someone trying to rid themselves of pain and someone looking for a high. The kid agreed to stop helping her and hasn't helped her in two weeks, the first week she did nothing but whine and moan and call off of work non stop assuming she was dealing with withdraws from all of the meds she was taking in excess. Then after the first week things were fine, she hasn't had any form of medication and she is actually acting a lot better than when she was taking the meds.

According to her she has a referral to the pain center, the same one I am being seen and treated at for my problem with my back. Some people had told me to mention to them about the fact that she has been abusing the narcotics, then others told me to tell her doctor, and then again some said to tell her husband. It all just sounds too fishy to me that if you were confident in the fact that you were being honest about a diagnosis why be so secretive about things which are not personal questions, especially if you would consider someone to be your best friend, why lie about x-ray results, why keep the fact you were prescribed pain medication from your doctor supposedly from your husband? Nothing about this is sitting right with me, I am more than willing to help her if she has either one of these conditions or both but I just have this gut feeling that this is all one big sham in hopes of obtaining pain medications. I feel she lied to me about some things because she thought the person she was getting her pain meds from would find out and then cut her off. Usually when I have a gut feeling about something I am right and something about all of this doesn't sit right with me especially since basically everything she says is conflicting. So I am not trying to work against her with this diagnosis but I just feel that she is trying to fool her doctor since this disease can't be proven or disproven in hopes of obtaining constant scripts for pain meds.

TressiaN
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 4/20/2010 12:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Cl26,

if in fact your friend is abussing pain meds she does need help, and I think it is great that you are worried about your friend. But you have to realize trying to contol her life is not your job. You are only pushing your friend away and she will never listen to you. You can only do so much and then she has to want to be helped for it to work. She may be in alot of pain if she does have RA or Fibro and going about it the wrong way to get pain meds, but you cant control her. Just be a friend and get her to see the doctors and they will figure it out themselves. And if she needs help to better manage the pain then convince her to come on here and talk with us. Let the doctors do the diagnosing and you just be there if she falls.

Tressia
 Diagnosed with -FM, Degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, arthritis, Lupus., undifferentiated connective tissue disease. 
Medications- Plaquanil, 800 Ibuprofen, Lortab, Cymbalta 


cl26
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/20/2010 4:56 AM (GMT -7)   
TressiaN said...
Cl26,

if in fact your friend is abussing pain meds she does need help, and I think it is great that you are worried about your friend. But you have to realize trying to contol her life is not your job. You are only pushing your friend away and she will never listen to you. You can only do so much and then she has to want to be helped for it to work. She may be in alot of pain if she does have RA or Fibro and going about it the wrong way to get pain meds, but you cant control her. Just be a friend and get her to see the doctors and they will figure it out themselves. And if she needs help to better manage the pain then convince her to come on here and talk with us. Let the doctors do the diagnosing and you just be there if she falls.

Tressia


she knows I am looking up information for her regarding both of these fibro and RA. Her rheumatologist has supposedly said it was RA already but with her I am not sure what is truth and what is not. The only issue I push is the pain medication because she has two small children that she cares for solely during the day while she takes all of this and it isn't fair to them. She had asked me to help find out what was wrong so I have been researching and sharing some of the info I found. However I did notice that when she obtained some info about fibro after that her symptoms changed all of a sudden when she went to her PCP. I am not wanting to say she is lying but if you were to see how she looks when she is supposed to be in excruciating pain then you too would question whether or not it was all legit. she is known for her dramatics and numerous people question her symptoms as well as her diagnosis. I am just the type of person who likes to have all the info about something in front of me so I can fully understand something.

Acheybody
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5930
   Posted 4/20/2010 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I empathize - I am the "gather info" type, too. And with the children, wow, that's a lot to be worried about. I forget what you said about her family, if there's anyone there who could get involved too?
Debbie
   
    Diagnosed: Fibromyalgia, Meniere's, elevated liver enzymes -?- keloid scar tissue from back burn, arthritis, scoliosis, lumbar disc damage, sciatica, IBS, migraine headaches, skin cancer twice on face
    Meds: Nortriptyline, Clonazepam, Darvocet as needed
    Multivitamins, l-lysine, probiotics, magnesium, malic acid, calcium + vit. D, vit. C
    Chiropractic adjustments
 
Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.


cl26
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/20/2010 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Acheybody said...
I empathize - I am the "gather info" type, too. And with the children, wow, that's a lot to be worried about. I forget what you said about her family, if there's anyone there who could get involved too?


To me what seems a bit off is that I have caught several lies she has told. Today when we were talking I asked why her doctor didn't give her meds to deal with the pain and she responded with "because he isn't sure what is wrong" one minute she has a diagnosis and the next she doesn't so I don't know what is going on. Honestly my gut instinct is telling me this is all in her head because if her doctor truly thought something was wrong with her he wouldn't have taken all pain medication away from her and dosed her down to get her completely off of them. I have chronic pain been dealing with it for over a year and a half so I know how bad it sucks to deal with it but I got my diagnosis' from the right doctors and just assumptions from my PCP but couldn't get the needed treatment until the specialist gave the ok. I just have a gut feeling that this is a huge fake out to get her doc to prescribe pain meds and now that he isn't giving them to her anymore she realizes that she either needs to come clean or just stick with her story and play it out for however long until she grows up and owns up to her problem. I only intervene when it comes to the fact that she is taking so many pain meds while caring for a 4 month old and a 1 year old and her 3 year old step son that is not safe.

Another reason I feel it is is made up is because her husband doesn't know she is on pain meds, and def doesn't know she has been buying them off of someone she hardly knows and takes them while caring for their kids. my husband has known about everything I have been on since day 1 because he is my main support person I wouldn't hide that from him because I need him by my side to help me with the struggles I am going through. So I just think it is fishy she won't tell her husband.

cl26
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/20/2010 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
@rianna said...
Hello! Like the others I can't tell you its one specific area, but for me its my legs and lower back mostly. There are pressure points that you can look up and one day (if she doesn't know them) pretend your giving a massage because she's had a hard day and see if they hurt. That's how they diagnose fibro for the most part and might help you. When I get it in my legs and lower back I'm hobbling out of bed and stiff enough to walk like an old lady. By the time I'm done getting dressed I'm usually ok and can walk upright and normal. If I get a pain during the day, besides the little pains that make me feel my joints every second, I will limp around because I still have to work or am not in a position when out with friends to go home. I can't wear high heels or flats because without arch support and cushion my knees, ankles and feet are in too much pain later or the next day to move anymore than I have to. It feels like an extreme ache that is made worse by moving more and or sitting like a log for hours. I will take advil before I go to bed after work (I work graveyard) and sleep off the flare up. It can basically make you feel older then you are and make you feel like the world is passing you by because people your own age are still doing keggers at college. There have been studies that say that fibro patients feel better during pregnancy but crappy after and or crappier the whole pregnancy. Go to fibromyalgia-symptoms.org and look for the pregnancy posts on their forum or look up my post "fibromyalgia and pregnancy" and get the link a woman gave me to answer my questions about having a safe pregnancy. Otherwise other things I can't handle are hand shakes, hugs around the neck, massages and hot baths. You would think hot baths would help but I feel 88 instead of 24. Hope this helps! Otherwise if you love her like a sister and would rather see her better than be a mousy friend I recommend privately getting her help where she has no control. If that won't make her condition worse. Lots of people involved ya know?


@rianna


you recommended doing the massage to see how she reacts, her and I were talking earlier and she said she was hurting so I told her to have her husband give her a massage, she then replies with that he gives her full body deep massages every night and they help. So how would that work if she doesn't hurt if someone is giving her a deep massage? Would fibro patients hurt from a deep and/or rough massage?
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