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Posted By : Tommybomber - 3/4/2017 12:43 PM

I am posting for the 1st time and not sure quite where to begin. I am a 54 yr male and after a one year odyssey with uncontrolled pain, I was finally diagnosed with FM. The pain started in my neck and shoulder on the left side and spread to my chest and then neck and shoulder on right side to having widespread pain all over. Also have trigger points or knots all over as well. I am an Army vet and receive my healthcare (cough) through the VA as I can't afford ins. The VA has been as big a challenge as the FM. I am so worn out, both mentally and physically, that I find myself flirting with extremely negative thoughts. I am suppose to get married this fall but feel that I will be such a burden to my fiance that I am seriously thinking of calling off the wedding. I am somewhat in denial still about the diagnosis and want to believe, in spite of the evidence, that I have something else and will get better. I know deep down this is not realistic. In the mean time, I am in considerable pain and hardly sleep at all because of it. I have been taking neurontin and was on oxycodone but just finished a taper off that drug as it had minimal benefit.

It is a huge help to read other posts on this website and to know that others are going through the same thing or worse and are able to continue on. thanks!

Posted By : Sherrine - 3/5/2017 7:23 AM
Hi, Tommybomber, and welcome! First of all, I do want to thank you for your service to this wonderful country. It takes a special person to put their life on the line for others. Thank you!

I'm so sorry that you have come down with fibromyalgia. It is a painful illness but there are ways to help get in control of the pain. This is where the forum comes in handy. We have all sorts of suggestions that could help you feel much better. I feel better than I have in years. It's a matter of that discovering what works for you to control the pain. Opiates usually don't help people with fibromyalgia so that isn't surprising that you ended up tapering off your medication.

I personally did not want to take the high powered drugs that they offer for fibromyalgia so, instead, I wanted to try over-the-counter things and I was really blessed because they did work for me. I take ibuprofen with food, Tylenol, magnesium malate, vitamin D3, and a muscle relaxer called Robaxin that has made as significant difference in my pain. I also walk daily as a gentle form of exercise and I pace myself when doing things. I do get a gentle massage once a month and that helps me too and I do trigger point therapy on myself. All of the above has help me be in control of my pain and I have lived a full and enjoyable life in spite of this illness. Medication that works for one doesn't necessarily work for another with fibro so it's more a trial and error type thing. You will get many ideas on this forum though. But you really do need to keep moving. Sitting and laying too much makes you stiff as a board and you will have more pain.

I mentioned the trigger point therapy to you because you mentioned all the trigger points that you have. I bought a wonderful book called The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. I found it on Amazon and it isn't very expensive either. If you google it, it should pop up. This Workbook shows diagrams of the areas of the body that you might be having pain in and it also shows where to find the trigger points causing that pain. Press on the Trigger points as hard as you can stand and then massage the spot. Repeat the pressing and massaging and then move on to the next spot. Do this several times a day and you will find the trigger points not only get smaller but also they aren't as sore. I had a painful neck and found two Trigger points the size of marbles at the base of my neck on each side of my spine. I used this technique and now they are completely gone and I have full range of motion in my neck. (You never should press directly on the spinal column.). My massage therapist taught me to do that and I've passed this on to the members on this forum. If you can't reach the spot, use a tennis ball against a wall, lean into the ball to cause the pressing and then move your body just a little to simulate the massaging part. You can put the ball in a tube sock or a leg of a nylon to help keep it from dropping.

I have used the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook the actually cured myself of a frozen shoulder. I couldn't lift my arm above my shoulder nor could I put it behind my back. My doctor was suggesting cortisone shots in the shoulder but cortisone is a nasty medication for osteoporosis and I have that too. So I declined. He sent me for physical therapy and that did help a little but I still was having quite a problem when the PT was done. This is when I heard about Trigger points and found the Workbook on Amazon. I looked up the shoulder and also frozen shoulder in the index and saw where the Trigger points were and proceeded to use what I described above. Much of our pain is referred pain so I wasn't totally surprised to see that I not only had Trigger points in my shoulder but also in my chest wall and neck that were causing problems with my shoulder! I now can lift my arm sky high and put it way behind my back and almost up to my shoulder behind my back. I have used this when awaking from pain in my side also. The Trigger points for that were actually along my spine. I used the technique for about five minutes, was able to get comfortable enough to get back to sleep, and when I woke up in the morning I had absolutely no side pain. So this really does help. By the way, I showed the Workbook to the physical therapist, she copied a couple of pages and also ordered a Workbook for herself! ๐Ÿ˜Š

A burden??? That's depression speaking to you. Many members have some depression because of the chronic pain. But love has no boundaries. If the tables were turned, would you consider your fiancรฉ a burden because she developed an illness? Of course not! You can feel better than you do right now. You will find things that work better for you to be in control of the pain. i know because I've had fibro for 30 years and feel a lot better than I did back when it reared it's ugly head. I have learned how to focus on other things and I don't think or talk about illness except when moderating this forum. I know I will most likely always have pain but I can shove it in the background. Thinking about how you feel just magnifies it. Right now fibro is controlling you but soon you will be the one in control.

I am a positive thinker and that has helped me a lot with this illness. The words "I can't" have been taken out of my vocabulary. I always try to do things and surprise myself over and over again! For example....I have many gardens. I love gardening but that means I need to mulch too. I spread 96 bags of mulch one year all by myself. It did take me several weeks because I paced myself but that gave me bragging rights! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I've done a lot of traveling and have stood on glaciers, parasailed, snorkled, etc. all with fibro. No way am I going to let my life pass me by. There is a wonderful link in Fibro 101 about how to maintain a positive attitude when you have chronic pain. I have referred back many times to that when I'm having a bad spell.

You will find Fibro 101 at the very top of the forum. There are links to good info about fibro and you will learn a lot there. There are links about magnesium malate and vitamin D3 and how they are used in the body. Many are deficient in these and that causes more pain and these have helped quite a few members. All of Fibro 101 is good so do read it.

I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. Don't hesitate to ask questions because we are here to help you. Hope to hear more from you soon.


Forum Moderator/Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Glaucoma, Scoliosis, Ankylosing Spondylitis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Posted By : Ljm2014 - 3/5/2017 9:47 PM
It is a bad disease, but I had it very young,

Got married , worked, had kids, volunteered and have a good life..

The trigger point handbook was awesome for me too. My hips and thigh area would lock up. And I would have to wait weeks to get into therapy, hobbling with when that starts I can do releases myself and save so much time, pain and stress..these releases take only minutes..

You will still have pain, but it's empowering to know how much you can help yourself..

I often found helpful information by researching fibro myalgia and alternative medicine ..

Because I cannot take lots of mess, I do use topical pain relievers which can help with about half my pain levels..

Put any questions out here..only about 20 per cent are men.


Posted By : puppylover - 3/7/2017 3:40 PM
Welcome Tommy! You have already been given wonderful advice. I just want to welcome you.

I had fm even as a child. Of course it was just 'growing pains'. I married young, had 3 children and kept active. That is very important.

I'm five years cancer free, had multiple surgeries including a recent knee replacement. Yes, I still am in pain everyday, but I follow a lot of the suggestions Sherrine mentioned. I take one or two tramadol a day and Tylenol. It's kind of trial and error to find what works. We all are so different.

My husband does not really understand my pain all of the time, but we are still married after 52 years. You are still going to have fm if you do or don't get married!๐Ÿ˜‰
And on the eighth day God created Golden Retrievers.

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