Approach

We all have those days. You know what I’m talking about it. The days that begin at a level 4 but end at a 10. The days that you find yourself curled up in a ball, whimpering for it all to end.

And it will end. That’s the thing with fibromyalgia flare ups, they comes and goes in waves. Your stress will end. The cold rainy weather will pass. And yes, your mother-in-law will return home. The trick to surviving it is your approach. I try to do it with laughter. And on that note, I leave you with this:

Chronic Pain: High Wire Act

In the early morning, as the dew is still wet on my window, I catch slight glimpses of what can only be images of my past life. I am on a high wire inside a big brightly colored red and yellow striped tent struggling to find my balance. Light-headed from the lack of oxygen, my arms fully stretched out, and the view of the dirt floor many feet below me, this early morning dream leads me to believe that even the slightest move will send me falling to my death. Each journey out across that tightrope should be easier; however, every walk is different, every crossing new, and each path comes with it’s own challenges.

Living with chronic pain is like walking that high wire. You must find your own balance to make it through your day. The Flying Wallendas had courage every time they journeyed across their high wire. Just like them, living with chronic pain is a performance art of unfathomable courage and skill. For when I hurt, I have to pick myself up and try all over again, never showing pain or fear. For just when you think your life is under control, something happens to throw you off. It always does. The audience gasps in amazement. You can hear them almost whisper in your ear, “You can do it, just one more step”. While others are just there to watch you fall. The question is who are you going to listen to as you make your journey across your own tightrope. Even without all the glitz and glamour inside that big red and yellow striped tent, we are walking that same high wire on a tight balance of survival.

Coming soon to a pharmacy near you: generic pain meds!

In the world of pain management, we have to take the good with the bad. And sometimes with all the treatments we have to make ourselves feel better, the bad part of pain medications out way the good. Their level of toxic-feeling side effects, then the medications we take to lessen those side effects, and of course the price of these medications all add up to their negative points. One insurance company will pay for a medication, where another won’t. When they don’t cover it, you cry at the price. But, it’s always an issue to cry then when you write the check for the pain medication, or cry later when you are rolling on the floor dying in pain at home. With all the endless variables of what is going to work for your condition, you might just as well play the lotto- you might have better luck.

There is hope because this strange field of pain medications and their side effects is going to change sooner than we think. The pain management world is big money business. Which, for us means that they will keep trying new medications and therapies for us. Years ago, Endo labs made a break through with their Lidoderm patch, thus changing the way pain relief was given to a patient. The topical patch gave relief over the course of a day with little to no side effects. Now, Endo is facing the big challenge of the Lidoderm patch coming in generic form. Great for us, less money! Bad for Endo.

The research field will keep advancing in the field of pain management. Business analysis say that this trend will keep growing for the next 3-5 years! We will see an increase in generic pain medications. Even though many of the branded medications have been the fore-runners in the treatments, its time they stepped aside. New treatments will be pushing their way into the market, and making their mark to help many patients find relief. Many of these will not cost as much as their older competitors, which is a great advantage in this recession.

According to one report (via), many of the new drugs hitting the market are reducing their R and D They are building off of brands they already have in production, either by line extensions or expanded formulations. They have learned what they need to know by the medications they have on the market and are just expanding on them. This will help build companies into being more specialized in the pain management arena, and make use of their products with expired patents.

Hopefully, with many more players in the pain management research field, we will have medications that cost us less, with better results and with less side effects! After all life is short, and I want to live every moment to the fullest!
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Reiki: does it work for Fibro?

reiki-1 Since Fibromyalgia is such a complex condition, it takes a intricate level of healing to manage its symptoms. One has to look out side the realm of just modern medicine and sometimes back to ancient eastern medicine for cures for pain.
Reiki is a Japanese healing practice that promotes health and well being through a non-invasive technique. And for people affected by fibromyalgia, non-invasive is key. Anything that we can do that does not hurt us that will help to lower our stress levels and improve our overall well-being, we will try. ( Hey, I remember one time being in pain, I placed cod-liver oil on my stomach because I read somewhere that it would help reduce my cramps. It didn’t. It made a huge mess. I still laugh about it today, and that laughter is important. So, in the end it worked.) Reiki works by laying hands on the person to help them. It is based on the idea of our life’s energy force is what keeps us healthy. When that energy gets low, we get sick. The cool thing about it is, you can practice it by yourself, have someone help you, and you do not have to stop your other medical treatments to try it. But do it work for fibromyalgia patients?

The NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) says that Reiki does not improve symptoms for patients of fibromyalgia, based on their study. At the University of Washington, Seattle, the researchers did a study of 100 people funded by the NCCAM to see how Reiki worked on people with fibro . They tried Reiki on a couple of different ways- hands on subject, and hands off subject, neither of which produced any affect on their pain. Are their too many variables when it comes to fibromyalgia to do a proper test? Or is this ancient art of healing which dates back to the 1800s just too old for the complexity of fibromyalgia?

What do you think?

To read what NCCA has to say, look here: nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/050809.htm

Study of Naltrexone effects continues

Researchers at Standford are now into their next stage of clinical trials of looking at low doses of Naltrexone for use with fibromyalgia patients. The first study which was implemented early in 2007 showed hope that Naltrexone might work for fibro patients with little side effects. Typically, Naltrexone is used in 50 mg dose to help treat alcohol and opiate addiction. They tested the drug for fibro in a very low dose, around to 4.5 mg. Instead of blocking the bodies pain receptors, the dosage of the medication “modulated activity of glial cells to act as a neuroprotectant and suppressant of proinflammatory cytokines”. (medpagetoday) The study was lead by Jarred Younger, PhD and Sean Mackey, MD, PhD. Here’s a great chart showing their results:
ldn
“Overall, self-reported, daily fibromyalgia symptoms (scale 0 – 100, with 100 being most severe symptoms). Time periods are: baseline, placebo, LDN, and washout. The data are separated into drug responders (solid line, 6 people) and drug nonresponders (broken line, 4 people). Drug responders are individuals who had at least a 30% greater reduction of symptoms during LDN versus placebo.” -stanford.edu

Hopefully by the end of this year we will know if the dug will help those of us with fibromyalgia.

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Link to Stanford post

ResearchChannel – An Update on Fibromyalgia

Here’s a great lecture from The Standford University Medical Center Health Hour:
ResearchChannel – An Update on Fibromyalgia

Shared via AddThis

Exercising with Fibro

I know what you are thinking, ” Exercising with Fibromyalgia? Are you nuts? I hurt all over. How on earth am I supposed to exercise?!” I know that is exactly how I have been feeling for the past 8 years of my life. Then one day I woke up and said, “Fibro will not win. I might have a chronic condition, but it does not have me!” That was step number one, making the mental choice to change my life for the positive.

Step number two is a little harder. It came when I physically tried doing something. My body does not respond the way it did before fibromyalgia was apart of my life. Some days I hurt too much to even get out of bed. And other days I feel good enough to go to work and out with friends in the evening. Therefore, the challenge is how to add exercise into my daily routine on my good days and my bad.

Now at this point, I’m sure you are asking why exercise at all, especially on the days where my pain is the worst. Here is why:

Exercise will:

* Help alleviate your pain naturally

* Increase your flexibility

* Strengthen your muscles and joints

* Strengthen your immune system

* Help you sleep better

* Help your circulatory system

* Decrease risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart attack and stroke

* Help you lose weight; which reduces stress on your joints

For more information on why exercise is important, please see this research study done by Dr.Rooks, published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

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