My name is Holly and this is my first post here. I hope to find some insight and support.
I am a full time working mother of 2 girls (3 and 7). I've been married almost 11 years.
I started having severe anxiety and depression 2 years ago when my DH was laid off. I have had ups and downs ever since. Sometime in that time span, my panic attacks increased and I developed a TMJ disorder.
I see a psychiatrist (Pristiq 100mg, Ambien 10mg, Xanax 2mg) as well as a therapist. I also see my regular doctor (thyroid disease, severe migraines). I am also going crazy trying to get my TMJ under control. I'm seeing a specialist for that as well. (My jaw joint is the size of a 3 year old). I have a night guard and a soft guard (daytime).
Everything hurts. My head, my neck, the top of my shoulders, my shoulder blades, my bones, I'm stiff... I am like 10x older than I was 2 years ago.
I can't manage a full work week (thank goodness my work is flexible and it's fine as long as I meet deadlines.) I have at least 3 migraines a week, not to mention tension headaches. I can't relax my muscles in my shoulders or my jaw.
I'm missing out on my kids, I'm missing out on my life.
I had an appointment to see my FP today to talk about this and she had to reschedule.
So, the big question (if anyone has made it this far)... how did you know you had fibromyalgia? Is there anything to help? Am I going to spend the rest of my life in pain (whether this is my Dx or not?)
Yes, life can get better. If you have FM, there is no magic pill to cure you instantly with no side effects, but there are a lot of options. You can talk to your doctor about what types of medicine might be helpful.
Also, you may want to consider exercise or massage therapy. I imagine you don't feel like going out and running a marathon right now, but gentle movement might loosen up those muscles some. And it also sounds like your emotional tension may be part of it. Have you ever learned to meditate? Or taken a yoga class? Yoga can provide both gentle movement and a chance to relax mentally. Massage, you may have to start very gentle so it doesn't make you feel worse. Find a massage therapist you trust and can communicate well with.
Hang in there. It took a while for me to find a set of treatments that works for me, and I still have bad days, but I am much better than I was a few years ago.
You know what you have to do Holly, but its far easier said than done, you need some motivation. FM has been with me for most of my life and decades before I was diagnosed I learned that exercise was the only way to keep my pain levels under control, so that's been my continuing motivation. I walk and do stretching / toning / flexibility type exercises.
My brother was diagnosed with FM 4 years after his second bout with cancer. He educated himself, and then kept telling me, every time I gasped or grunted trying to do something, that I had it too. I finally looked it up on the internet to find out what on earth he was talking about and it was like reading my own medical history. Armed with that knowledge, I went to my doctor, who sent me for dozens of medical tests and xrays. In the end she sent me to a rheumatologist, not for possible FM, but because of wide-spread osteoarthritis. The rheummy said that I had FM, and oh, the OA, its probably hereditary. I have TMJ too, as well as chest wall pain (costochondritis) and a host of other syndromes linked with FM.
I've changed my diet somewhat - no wheat, white sugar, caffiene or chocolate; I always ate relatively healthy but had a really bad sweet tooth. I no longer have that sweet tooth; within a week I had no more cravings for sweets; I've never missed bread or wheat products; the sight of pastries nauseates me now. A "week-long" experiment has turned a new page of life for me - I've lost 30 pounds since January without being hungry or counting one single calorie. I now refer to chocolate as "evil brown things"..lol..
I hope some of this can help you Holly; I'm sorry you've had to come to this board to find answers, but I think you've come to the right place. From what you've described of your condition, it could very well be FM.
Thanks for your post, Christine. I appreciate your words. I know I can modify my diet, I had GD with both of my pregnancies. It didn't take long to get rid of the sweet tooth and hunger for carbs. I just can't eat chewy things, and most protien is chewy (chicken, steak, salad). If I do cave in and eat a salad with grilled chicken, I pay the price with a jaw attack.
I feel pretty good this morning even though I woke up for 2 hours last night. Hopefully I will get a lot done at work today.
try a whey protien drink. i don't eat meats. go thru the mourning process of being altered, it is necessary. then you can think clearly and choose your next way of life.
never forget the most precious moment of a childs day is bedtime. knowing mommy is there to kiss them night-night. you are there and that is most important to them. what shape you are in is not as vital to their security as you just being there.
love makes a good mommy, not energy.
She refused to give me a muscle relaxer or anything to help with the constant muscle spazams that plague me daily. The only time I'm OK is when I am asleep. I use an Indian Health Service and I also have private health service. Her nurse spoke with her and she said go off of my Xanax and she'd give me something. Uh. Give me 3 months and I can go off my Xanax. Xanax isn't something you quit. I'd be in the hospital having seizures. My PA's happen daily and in the middle of the night. I cry constantly and it is my crutch right now. It isn't a pain killer by any means nor is it a muscle relaxer. I told the nurse to cancel my appointment and take me off the patient list.
I found a doctor that will treat my FM. I also found a PM doctor. My problem is I go on vacation on Friday and I can't get into the FM doctor until late June. I get to suffer until then.
The good thing is I am on Topomax and it has killed my migraines.
The whole thing makes me cry every day. I just don't want to hurt anymore. I can't keep up.