Tag Archive: Chronic fatigue syndrome


Chronic Pain: End of My Rope

I try so hard to be positive but there are times when I just can’t manage it. In fact, I think often times it is just a cover: I plaster a smile on my face and pretend that I am really doing better than I am. But today the floodgates have opened and I am crying. My fibromyalgia pain is through the roof and there is no point in pretending I am okay, because I am not. I just am not. I am pretty much non-functional and I have been that way for a while. Pain and unrelenting mind-boggling fatigue. I never even knew it was possible to feel this much fatigue. Imagine not sleeping for a year, that is how bad it feels. My pain is from the top of my head to my very toes. Aching, sharp pains and muscle spasms.

Imagine trying to type a simple post like this. It takes forever. My brain is in a fog all the time, I can’t remember how to spell, forget grammar as well. My hand co-ordination is horrible. My eye-sight is fuzzy even with new glasses and magnifying the page. It is the way you see when you have not slept..

Imagine being home bound because you can’t drive anymore without having accidents. I use the dial-a-ride service for the disabled. But when I go out I can’t enjoy myself. A simple shopping trip is torture. I use a cane because my balance is off. I once broke my knee in a fall. My muscles feel incredibly weak and heavy. I go to Walmart and first I go to the in-store McDonalds and treat myself. Then I slowly make my way around the store. I have to take breaks and sit down. It is especially trying if I need to get stuff from both sides of the store.

I used to enjoy browsing, now I can’t do it. I need new clothes and the thought of having to look and try them on is overwhelming.

It may take several days to recover from my shopping. The pain and fatigue is always worse afterwards.

All I can say is if you have good health, treasure it! I am 50 years old going on 90.

Needless to say this is not conducive to good mental health. For a long time before I got sick and when I was working at the mental health social center I thought I would never be depressed again. Never say never I guess.

Conventional medicine has no answers for this except medication. I am already on a ton of medication for bipolar disorder. Some of the medications I take actually are used to treat fibromyalgia as well as they are supposed to reduce nerve pain. But they don’t work for me.

Another option is addictive pain killers. No thanks, I already got in trouble with sleeping pills and tranquilizers years back. Besides one of the insidious affects of pain pills is that your body can get used to them and they are not as effective. So the dose has to be raised. This leads to addiction but that is not all. I have read comments on online forums from people with fibromyalgia where they say that they keep having to be put on harder and harder drugs to get relief, but there obviously is a limit to how big a dose you can get without killing yourself. What ends up happening is that they run out of options, even the strongest ones don’t work anymore.

Now I will say that everyone reacts to medications differently so not everyone has this problem. But the operative word here is “tolerance” People who get addicted to medications when their bodies process medications differently than other people. I have already had that experience with tranquilizers and sleeping pills where the effects wore off and the doctor just kept raising the dosage. After a while I was in a constant state of withdrawal and started to abuse them both.

By the way a good doctor will monitor a patient for signs of tolerance. Mine didn’t. I just thought my symptoms were getting worse. I had never done drugs in my life and so it never occurred to me that I could become an addict.

So…what are my options? I can’t go on this way, that is for sure. Truth be told, many times I do not want to live anymore. But I am not going to take that road again. I have hurt people before with my suicide attempts and I am not going to do that again. But there are times when I pray for God to take me. Since I am still here I guess I know what the answer is.

I am going to do some research online on using meditation for pain management. I have not thought too much about it because frankly, it is pretty difficult to meditate when you are in pain. But since I keep seeing headlines that say that meditation helps then maybe I should look more closely. Maybe it is a different method than what I have tried before.

I just want to get functional again and maybe even have a little joy in my life. I may never get the life back that I used to have, but I just need to stop this black hole that is eating me alive.

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English: My turtle ZuZu(red slider) taking my ...

English: My turtle ZuZu(red slider) taking my snail Garry for a ride :)) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The white-lipped snail (Cepaea horten...

English: The white-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I used to think that I was like a turtle when I saw others race by me. But I realize now that the turtles are racing by me, so I guess I am a snail. A snail who would love to hitch a ride on a turtle.

The main reason why I am a snail is that I have chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I had to quit my job. I can’t even drive anymore because I was too tired and I got into accidents. Even shopping is difficult, and I rarely do a full grocery trip.

I am doing something positive with my blog. I pretty much lost my purpose to live when I quit my job. Doing this blog is a lifesaver for me. However it is frustrating to not be able to do more. I would like to earn a living with my writing. I do have the talent, but I am simply too exhausted to do much with it.

The other problem I have is that it takes forever to do anything and my brain is so foggy that I make simple mistakes. My spelling ability has gone completely out the window. I used to be a good speller but now I have trouble even spelling simple words. My grammar is bad, too. Don’t ask me to diagram a sentence! Basically without word and grammar check I would be lost.

I am trying to push myself to do more but basically the only way I can do that is by taking baby-steps. It is hard because I am finally tapping into my writing ability and I feel motivated to see how far I can take it.  I know there are writing opportunities out there even if I don’t have a formal education. I am thinking of starting a separate blog to do book reviews. But I do not want to start something that I can’t finish. I don’t have the reading comprehension or the memory that I used to have. Maybe I could write down notes while I am reading.

But just because I am a snail that doesn’t mean that I can’t do something. So I guess I’ll keep creeping along and hopefully that will take me somewhere.

A Recipe For Recovery

English: Illustration of the pain pathway in R...

English: Illustration of the pain pathway in René Descartes’ Traite de l’homme (Treatise of Man) 1664. The long fiber running from the foot to the cavity in the head is pulled by the heat and releases a fluid that makes the muscles contract. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the keys to dealing with depression is doing little steps every day to improve the quality of your life. This is also true with any chronic illness. I myself am also dealing with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Having both mental and  physical problems make it a challenge for me to stay positive.

Today for example I woke up exhausted and in a lot of pain.  Naturally that made me depressed too. I would have liked nothing but to stay in bed all day. But I couldn’t do that because that only makes the pain worse. My muscles become stiff without some activity.

My usual pattern has been to turn on the TV and sink into an even more morose state. I feel like there is nothing I can do but endure the pain, both physical and mental.

But now I am doing something different. I may not be able to eliminate my problems, but I can do little things that can make my life more bearable.

So today I took a hot bath with mineral salts and real lavender essential oil. That soothed my mind and warmed up my muscles. Then I was able to do some simple stretches. After that, I did some inspirational reading.

That doesn’t sound like much but it did help.  The key for me is to take little steps to move forward.  It is more than just filling my day, it is about feeding my body and spirit. It is a recipe for recovery.

I intend to slowly add some yoga and ride my exercise bike. And try some meditation and other spiritual exercises. Read more positive books instead of focusing on all the bad stuff going on in the world. I know from past experience that these things really help.

It really is a choice of whether I want to be sucked down into the abyss or if I want to rise above it. I choose the latter.

It’s a no-brainer.  😉