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Old 08-13-2006, 12:05 PM   #1
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Question New to board-wife with ? re: husbands FM diagnosis

I have a few questions regarding my husbands fibromyalgia diagnosis. I have read quite a bit on this topic and actually am not sure that what he has is this. He has much pain in only his arms (shoulders down - both arms). Very sensitive to touch. However, he does not have the all over flu-like pain as described. It has also been mentioned quite a bit that it causes loss of sleep. My husband can sleep easily 15 hours each night on the weekends (and any other time if given the opportunity). He has now in the last week been diagnosed with this and given Ultram which makes him high and doesn't really help the pain in his arms. At this point I feel as though he thinks it has given him total leeway for sleeping his life away as a result of reading that this disease is untreatable and he will have to live in pain forever. I am very frustrated as he has had this arm pain for quite some time and I do not know what to do. Are there diets that can help, does excercise help? Is the seratonin treatment I have been reading about really helpful? Is this even what he has? I am sorry I am all over the place with this but I don't know where to go.

 
Old 08-13-2006, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: New to board-wife with ? re: husbands FM diagnosis

Hi Linda,

Fibro is a pretty individual thing. What works for one person doesn't help everyone. It's possible that in future there will be tests to determine which "subset" of fibro one belongs to. There can be a number of different causes for the same expression of symptoms.

One of the best things to do is to make sure you & DH are satisfied that complete testing was done to rule out other causes for the pain. Some docs are quick to apply fibro as a label, but it is really rightly applied only after ruling out other potential causes.

It's always a good idea to ensure that a complete thyroid panel has been done, as low levels of free thyroid hormones can cause pain similar to fibro. The vast majority of docs merely screen TSH, which is quite useless. The tests that need to be done are free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies. It's best to get physical copies of test results, and if free thyroid hormone levels are low, to find a doc to work with to raise them to the midpoint of the reference range. Doing that has been helpful to many people. Arm & shoulder pain, as well as sleepiness, are not uncommon with low free thyroid hormone levels. And easily, inexpensively treated if that is the problem.

Fibro is less common in males than in females, but it is important for both to have free testosterone level tested. If there is a dip, that can interfere with muscle repair, and lead to constant pain in a limb that is frequently used. It also leads to low energy levels. Again, this is something that is easily treatable, with few side-effects, should it turn out to be a problem.

Your husband's response to the Ultram should be reported to his doctor in the near future. It sounds like maybe not the right med for him, although it has helped many with fibro.

Does exercise help? Well, yes, it's very important to maintain function & prevent degeneration, however for most fibro sufferers it must be undertaken in a very gentle, building slowly fashion. Doing vigorous exercise on a tender body part can trigger a severe flare of pain. So it's a case of "less is more," but always trying to gently increase, week by week.

You will hear about various diets that help -- low salicylate, low oxalate, testing & removing food intolerances. Each of these has a following, but there is no one diet that has been found thus far that helps everyone. BUT, it can make a huge difference for some people.

By seratonin treatment do you mean taking an antidepressant? Like the "depression hurts" ads on TV? Personally I think this is being highly oversold, but again, there are individuals who do respond. Studies show that in a small fraction of cases, antidepressants do reduce or eliminate fibro pain. In a larger proportion, they can be energizing for those whose fibro is complicated by low energy level.

There are many different treatments that have helped people with fibro, but it IS hard to get a grip & not be overwhelmed when newly diagnosed. The best thing I can recommend to you is to first ensure you are satisfied that adequate testing was done. And then sort of "steel yourself" for trying various things until you find what works.

If DH's pain is limited to his arms, I would be very tempted to track down a doc who does trigger-point therapy, or one who does trigger-point injections. Those can be highly effective, but again, not for everyone. Something you can research, anyway.

One book I always rec. to newbies is From Fatigued to Fantastic, by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD. The author is a fibro sufferer himself, and director of a research center for effective fibro therapies. The book contains over 400 pages of thoughtful commentary on numerous medications, procedures, alternative treatments, and self-help measures. It can be found at many public libraries & bookstores, or special ordered. It is perhaps more focused towards those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, however, there is a lot of overlap with fibro.

Best wishes, and I hope you stay in touch along the way on your journey.

 
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: New to board-wife with ? re: husbands FM diagnosis

Just wanted to say thanks to the informative reply. My husband will be going back to the Doc on Friday and we will have these items checked. I will also be checking out that book and some homeopathic therapy. My fear is more than anything that the meds are just covering the pain and not really helping the problem. I am now reading a lot of these other posts and gathering quite a bit of great information. This is a good place to be and I appreciate all the help. I will be back after test results. Thanks again.

 
Old 08-16-2006, 09:27 AM   #4
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Re: New to board-wife with ? re: husbands FM diagnosis

Hey, Linda

I was interested in knowing whether or not your husbands arms hurt when he moves them or just to touch them. Can you feel knots in the muscle and are they more sore than the rest of his muscle? Thanks, Kimzer

 
Old 08-18-2006, 05:25 AM   #5
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Re: New to board-wife with ? re: husbands FM diagnosis

He has pain in his shoulders and elbows mostly - still and moving. His skin doesn't necessarily hurt unles you grab him or something similar. My mother goes to a neurosurgeon and he stated that fm is something that some doctors just diagnose without going further and that it could be a pinched nerve or disc in his neck which is treatable. We are also going to check that. What are your thoughts?

 
Old 08-18-2006, 07:56 AM   #6
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Re: New to board-wife with ? re: husbands FM diagnosis

hi linda,
welcome. so glad you found us. glad you are reading around here. exercise is vital as are diet and water. we each have a different body balance so finding the method that helps your hubby takes time.
attitude also is so important. if you believe you are helpless, you are. i did for the first year. that was over a decade ago. i was in a wheelchair, bedridden and in such pain. then i quit being a quitter and got my act together. now i exercise every day. i have lost 50lbs. i can do everything i used to do. i just do them with respect for my body. slow and easy. the only thing i cannot do is work. reliability is no longer an asset i can live up to consistantly.
adjusting is hard. i found a good therapist to teach me coping skills i could use in adapting to fms and the other goodies i have. 9 years of therapy. now i find joy in every day. every little project i complete a magnificent accomplishment.
i still have down days. i pick out a few good movies and curl up with my popcorn.
tell hubby to hang in there. tell him it is a lousy cop out. life is too short to miss it. tell him it is a lonely world where he is headed emotionally. a very lonely world. been there and it really is not worth visiting.
you hang on too, little sister. being the mate of a fibro is not an easy road. you will find the balance between caring and tough love. he needs both.
peace and three hugs,
bluelakelady

 
Old 08-18-2006, 11:54 AM   #7
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Re: New to board-wife with ? re: husbands FM diagnosis

Hi,

I'm new to this board also and have not been diagnosed yet. Funny you say he has chronic elbow pain. I've had "tennis elbow" for about three years now and cannot shake it. I've been through drugs, therapy and all kinds of elbow pads and braces. I do not want surgery. I used to lift weights and now it kills me to pick up a coffee cup. Doctors say it's very hard to treat since you cannot just stop using your arms to let them heal. My tendonitis is worse in my right elbow which is my dominating arm. I have shooting pains, numbness mostly at night or when I use my computer mouse too long. Horrible achiness that will throb for hours. The pain goes all the way down to my wrists. Any of this sound familiar?

That's another reason I've not been getting quality sleep. You lay the wrong way and your arms wake you up. I don't like to take meds so for a natural alternative, I'm using Arnica (herb) cream. It's been proven to help w/ inflamation and pain. I first bought CT Cream it was was amazing but it costs over $20 jar. I found cheaper versions of Arnica Montana (leopard's bane) on-line. I paid about $5 plus shipping. Sorry I don't remember what site I was one. I swear it works. It's not a miracle cream but will get you through the day. Apply three times per day religiously. I didn't feel any relief from the CT Cream for almost 3 weeks then it finally kicked in. Don't take arnica pills, they have really bad side effects.

Good luck!

 
Old 10-06-2006, 01:39 PM   #8
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Re: New to board-wife with ? re: husbands FM diagnosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougrobin01
Hi, I'm using Arnica (herb) cream. It's been proven to help w/ inflamation and pain. I first bought CT Cream it was was amazing but it costs over $20 jar. I found cheaper versions of Arnica Montana (leopard's bane) on-line. I paid about $5 plus shipping. Sorry I don't remember what site I was one. I swear it works. It's not a miracle cream but will get you through the day. Apply three times per day religiously. I didn't feel any relief from the CT Cream for almost 3 weeks then it finally kicked in. Don't take arnica pills, they have really bad side effects. Good luck!
Hi dougrobin..Where do you get your arnica creme for $5..I know you can't post a link but you could say like "herbworld" com..Thanks..K

Last edited by HisKid1973; 10-06-2006 at 01:41 PM.

 
Old 12-03-2006, 05:58 AM   #9
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Hi Linda!

I just read your post and both my husband and I have fibro. He was diagnosed last year. I was diagnosed 6 years ago. He has a lot of pain in legs and has flu like syptoms. I am a nail technician and do a lot of pedicures so my problem areas are pain in both shoulders and severe lower back pain. I see you mentioned urtram, I take the ultracet everyday, 2 in morning, your body does eventually get use to the buzz as I like to call it. Somedays I take 3 at a time, like today, did 5 pedicures yesterday! My sympathy to your hubby and for you being the strong understanding wife who cares enough to find this wonderful message board to reach out for help. My husband started cymbalta last week. He thinks he feels a little better. He was on Lyrica for 9 months, but no go. He will be weaning off that shortly. Prayers to both of you and please keep in touch, Tammy

 
Old 12-03-2006, 06:37 PM   #10
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Re: New to board-wife with ? re: husbands FM diagnosis

Linda, take your husband to a good orthopedic upper extremeties doctor for a second opinion.

Tendonitis in the rotater cuffs can cause pain there and down the arms. I am currently suffering from this. I do have fibro but the orthopedic doctor says I have inflammation in the rotater cuffs causing the pain.

 
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