Fibro and Surgery

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Nuria
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/5/2010 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Greetings All,

This looks like a great place to get information and share stories. I want to briefly tell mine, because I don't know anyone who can quite relate to it...

I have struggled with what has been called, alternatively, fibromyalgia, RA, Osteoarthritis, Depression, an Autoimmune "thing," allergies, oh, just about everything... I'm never entirely sure which it is, but I have much of the kind of misery associated with fibro, so that seems about as good a label as any. I do indeed have Osteo, and in the last year, I have had both knees replaced, after waiting as long as I could stand (or sit) to. I wish I could say this has been a good experience, but both times infection set in, and with the second knee, a life-threatening one that caused the "new" knee to have to be removed and six weeks of wickedly expensive IV antiobiotics to be necessary. As of December 14, I have two new knees, but rehab has been far harder with the second "new" one than the first, and I'm here today because it seems that my fibro has been exacerbated HUGELY because of the six surgeries I have been through (three knee replacements and three "debridings") in the year since the first one was done. I don't think I had any choice but to have the surgeries, my knees were in such terrible shape...but the results have been less than stellar. It seems to me that the symptoms I had in the first place have all multiplied: my nights are MISERABLE, with pain all through my body, particularly my arms (nothing new, but much worse since the surgeries); poor sleep, pain waking me up.... The stiffness and pain associated generally with fibromyalgia are much worse, "brain fog" far worse, exhaustion, etc. You've heard it all, I assume. I've done my rehab exercises faithfully, but I seem to be having a terrible time getting my strength back, particularly in the leg with the "new" knee. The first knee is doing relatively well, but I still have pain and swelling. The worst thing of all is that I now have terrible low back pain, both sides, and can barely walk or stand without limping. My hands, which occasionally throbbed with pain, are worse, with more frequent pain....and the flu-like symptoms come far more often.

I hope all this makes sense: I guess I'm hoping to meet some people here who can give me information and help with fibro which seems to have worsened as a result of surgery. Some of my problems may well improve with time; that is normal with surgery. Yet others seem to be worse, and worsened BY the surgery.

I'd love to hear from you, will keep wandering around here....

Thanks,
Nuria

RedDiane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 906
   Posted 5/5/2010 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Nuria, I feel SOOO bad for you. My knees are bad with OA, too, but I haven't gotten to the point of getting replacements yet. I just had lap band surgery last week, but I'm feeling pretty lucky that my fibro hasn't flared and I am recovering pretty well. I hope you get some relief soon and I hope someone on here can help you. Good luck. Diane
Fibromyalgia since 1984, Sjogren's, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Auto-immune eczema, GERD, osteoarthritis, IBS, RLS, sleep apnea


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 5/5/2010 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Nuria, and welcome!  I'm so sorry for all that you have gone through and are going through.  That sounds horrible.  I hope your doctors are giving you pain relief until your knees heal.

Part of your problem could be that you most likely aren't moving around a whole lot and that is understandable with having the knee surgeries.  Gentle exercises like walking and swimming are wonderful for fibro.  They are easy on the joints, too.  But, I'm not sure when you have knee replacements.  Talk with your rehab specialist about it.  As soon as it's fine for you to start moving, do that.  Start out slowly and build up to a routine.  When I first started walking, I could only go about four houses down and had to turn around.  Now I walk my dog first thing in the morning for 1 to 1 1/2 miles and then I do a lot more walking in my home, shopping, etc.  This makes me feel so much better, gives me more energy, and helps with a good attitude.  I'm sure that sounds impossible to you right now but when you totally heal, I think it's possible.  My aunt had two knee replacements and when she healed she was doing everything she did before the surgeries.

I use malic acid/magnesium supplements to help with pain and fatigue and I also am deficient in vitamin D.  Since I have started with these vitamins and supplements, I have been doing much better with the pain.

Sleepless nights are very common with fibro.  I had an especially bad night a couple of nights ago.  I was exhausted but as soon as my head hit the pillow, my eyes flipped wide open and that was that.  Pain can wake me up, too, but not usually because I now have it pretty much under control. 

Be sure to check out Fibro 101...the second thread on the forum.  There are links to good information about fibromyalgia, including links about malic acid/magnesium supplements and vitamin D and how they work in our bodies.  You will learn a lot on that thread.

I suffered from lower back pain for years.  Your pain could be from lack of using those muscles or from carrying yourself differently with your new knees, I would imagine.  But, for me, learning how to get in and out of bed and in and out of a car helped me a lot.  Here is what I do. 

First of all, I do not sleep flat on my back because it makes my back hurt more.  I don't sleep on my stomach either.  I sleep on my sides with a pillow wedged behind my back.  This way, I can partially be on my back but have support.  That helps me.  I also get out of bed using a cane.  I roll on my side, draw my legs up in a sitting position so the legs are actually hanging over the floor, and then I push off with the cane.  Gravity will bring your legs down and you will be pulled to a sitting position without using your back muscles.
 
When getting in and out of a car, sit on the seat with your feet on the pavement.  Then, either using the seat or the steering wheel, swivel your feet into the car while keeping your back straight.  I buy cars with leather seats because they are slippery.  But, when I rent a car and get cloth seats I had to come up with another idea...and I did!  I get a garbage bag and a towel.  I lay the garbage bag on the seat and the towel over it.  Then I do the above.  The garbage bag and towel let  your rear end swivel like you were on a lazy susan!  LOL  Just reverse the above to get out of the car.
 
Don't use your back muscles when you are lifting things up.  Use your legs instead.  By doing the above things, my back rarely hurts me now.  I hope these suggestions will help you, too!
 
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


Nuria
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/5/2010 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your replies. Most of this I am familiar with, and I have been doing regular exercise since I had my last surgery in December. I am afraid to get into a pool yet, because until I'm absolutely sure my incision has healed, well--I just won't do it. I'm terrified of returning infection. However, I do ride my stationary bike 20 minutes a day, and that helps a lot. Also, there are weird and arcane exercises my PT has given me, both for back and knees. One of them involves lying on a "pool noodle," balancing on my spine and doing leg lifts! Odd, but helps. I was told that rehab would be harder after all those surgeries; it's the increase in fibro symptoms that drives me crazy. I take Tramadol (I weaned myself off the Percoset as soon as I could), Neurontin (a great combination; I took it before the surgeries), and I use Trazodone and Melatonin at night. I think I'm going to go see a rheumatologist as soon as I recover a bit.... I am thoroughly sick of doctors' appointments!

And still hope to hear from someone who has been through something approximately like this who can tell me it WILL get better!!

Nuria

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40588
   Posted 5/5/2010 3:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nuria,

And welcome to the fibromyalgia forum. I am so happy that you have joined us.

In my opinion, every surgery is a shock to the body. And I think a shock to the body can make your fibro flare up. So I am thinking that the surgery alone is what has made your fibro flare up and that it will get better in time.

Give yourself a chance to heal. And I think the fibro will subside too. JMHO

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


Nuria
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/5/2010 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I tend to agree....surgery is a shock to the body, and I've had six of 'em in a year. I did read an article that said there is a correlation between fibro and various kinds of trauma, surgery being on of the traumas listed. Feels like my whole system is throwing a tantrum!

Nuria
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/5/2010 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
By the way, Karen, I notice you list allergies as one of your issues....and I do believe that allergies have way more to do with this than we'd like to think. In the year before I had this surgery, I fasted for a week, and I never felt better. I think I'm going to do it again, once I've had time to build my system back up.

Nana Monster
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 952
   Posted 5/5/2010 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nuria,
I had ortho knee surgery on my left knee nearly 2 years ago. I did the physical therapist thing but didn't see much improvement
with it. The knee was way out of line when he got done and he said I would eventually need both knees replaced. I started using
Super Cissus RX and Bio Sil and got the knee back where it belonged and rebuilt the collogen some. I went to a new knee
dr today and was told most of my problems seem to be from the arthritis and fibro and I DO have callogen left in the knee that
the other dr said wasn't there. It took me almost a year on the herbs to fix the problem and am going back on a high dosage to
see if I can rebuild this knee, too.

Do you have the iceman machine they give you with the surgery?? That helps a lot with the pain.

Nana Monster

Nuria
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/5/2010 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
In truth, I don't have huge amounts of knee pain...when I get up, and sometimes if I walk more than usual...but it's the pain in the rest of my body that is worse than it ever was.

When I had my first knee done, the other knee really started to go South....it was misery until I got it done. In my case, there was pretty much nothing left there....I waited for as long as I possibly could, in the hopes that I wouldn't have to have it done again; but I probably will, I'm only 58. "Only!"
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