Hi Cathy: I skimmed through your first post last week, but have been so busy I didn't get back to the forum until now.
I can relate to much of what you said. The stiffness when I wake up. The foot pain and needing orthotics. Not able to walk a lot at times. And those flares....
I don't have a lot to add to all the good answers you've gotten already. But a couple of things: I previously posted about
foot pain and I recall a few other posts from others here. Maybe you could search something like "orthotics." I used to have custom ones, but can no longer tolerate super hard soles--I need something flexible, yet supportive. I buy the soft kind at Wal-Mart (I have a very high arch).
I am currently wearing a lightweight Skechers slip-on shoe I love! I can wear them for a short while in a store, but generally I wear a bit thicker soled tennis shoe.
Yes, I did find out I have something besides fibro, but tests are inconclusive and the neurologist's best guess is something like cerebral palsy! I was shocked to learn this, since I was about
45 years old! He told me I probably had it since I was young!
It never hurts to get tests to rule out other things. But there's really little I can do except deal with the issues---mostly the stiffness and being very klutzy. The neurologist asked me if I'd always been klutzy and I told him 'yes.'
I'm still working hard at finding new solutions to all the issues. I use muscle rubs, heating pad, heated slippers, various thicker-soled socks, change shoes throughout the day so my feet don't stiffen more, try to find time for something fun and relaxing, garden in the sun (does take me some time to stand up again if I'm sitting on my garden cushion pulling weeds!), and since I developed sciatica last year, I'm researching that. Thankfully, the heat from the sun helps me in the summertime; winter is very difficult and I live in a very cold winter climate.
One thing I've researched: some of the nerve tablets that are available OTC like "Nerve Fix" "Nerve Renew" and related. I saw that alpha lipoic acid and the B vitamins are in most of them; also some have things like valerian for relaxation. You can get too many B vitamins (and really any of these or other vitamins or herbs), so a big caution to check with your doctor, of course. I also always look up the recommended daily dosage as I have found some things can overlap and I don't want too much of anything.
I really hope to "someday" get off the gabapentin and Flexeril and find positive alternatives. But winter time, especially, I find meds are a 'must' for me. I'll keep working on that!
Dream Products has a good catalog of things for health and comfort, such as padded socks, creams, etc. I love that they have a paper catalog--easier for me than going online to look. I also like Swanson Vitamins or Puritan's Pride.
I know my age is a factor--am over 60. I try hard to keep active but not overdo it. My faith helps me a lot, and also things like listening to relaxing music. I use lightweight weights every day and want to move onto other exercise forms. Dancing is a fun exercise.
I don't know if this helps much, but I do hear you! Take care and keep posting. Hope things are better soon!
Pray, hope, and don't worry." St. Padre Pio
"Happiness is not a destination; it's a method of travel." St. John of the Cross
"The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful, to make the most of what we have, to be happy with simple pleasures and have courage when things go wrong." Laura Ingalls Wilder