Posts Tagged ‘symptoms’

Yet another treatment: Robaxin

March 20, 2010

After going to my doctor a couple weeks ago, because I’d been in a bit of a flare and my back had been bothering me more than usual (I’ve been needing more Vicodin than usual, which isn’t much but is concerning. She focused more on my fibro pain than my back pain, which upset me at first, but I think might be okay now that I know her suggestions.

She decided to think about my situation and then call me and offer some suggestions, so 5 days after my appointment, she did call. She suggested Robaxin, a muscle relaxer that works by depressing the central nervous system. She recommended 750mg at night before bed, and hopes for a 25% decrease in fibromyalgia pain over the next two weeks.

I’ve taken it for 4 nights now, and there seems to be a need for finding the best time to take it (which can be annoying), because right now it looks like I need to take it about 3 hours before bed, to give it time to take effect and to allow me to function in the morning without waiting 3-4 hours for the groggy zombie feeling to wear off.

I will say I’ve been very productive so far (compared to before). It might be a combination of the outstanding weather we’re having, or a new medical marijuana product I’ve found, the Robaxin, or all of the above. I had a great two days off with my husband and friend, and yesterday even walked in the pool for awhile.

Clearly I overdid it yesterday, too much pool walking, and then a walk to the corner market for dinner items. I’m really exhausted and really uncomfortable, but I *do* think I’ve seen an improvement, and even when I’m sitting here in a lot of pain, I’m so thankful for all I did yesterday and over the last few days.

It’s an unusual feeling, having to “settle” for “a little improvement” over “getting my life back.” With fibro pain improving, I’m left with mostly back pain, and between the pain in my back (and even with improve fibro pain), my cloudy brain, and uncontrolled fatigue, I know I won’t be working any time soon, if ever again. It’s weird to me that I have improved symptoms, but they’re not improved enough to get “better.” It’s a weird feeling to have to lower one’s standards or expectations about reasonable treatment.

However, if this is going to be a long-term thing, I could probably get used to the Robaxin. That time in the pool yesterday was just heavenly.

fibro fog

March 15, 2010

One of the most annoying symptoms of fibromyalgia has been the “fibro fog” or “brain fog” that (I feel) is getting worse as time passes. Common symptoms of fibro fog include:

* short term memory loss
* difficulty remembering where you left something
* difficulty remembering plans
* difficulty with language, including trouble holding conversations, understanding conversations, and expressing thoughts
* difficulty finding the “right” word (written or spoken)
* trouble remembering simple numbers (addresses, home phone number, PINs, etc)
* difficulty following directions, instructions, and maps
* transposing or reversing letters and numbers
* trouble concentrating and focusing (particularly when it comes to multitasking)
* trouble retaining new information
* trouble recalling old information

I’m frustrated with this more than I’m frustrated by the physical symptoms, because I used to be proud of my ability to articulate and communicate, as well as my ability to multitask and utilize forethought. The written word is easier to manage, since I can spend as much time as I need to on a post, and go back to edit; however, conversations take on a whole new meaning, since I mix up words and can’t get words out, sometimes.

I can’t even imagine how annoying it must be to have a conversation with me where I’m asking you to “hand me that thing over there next to the other thing so I can do this thing with it.” I remember being irritated with my mom in the past when she’d say similar things. I can’t help but wonder if she had fibro fog while I was growing up (she often talks about aches and pains and poor sleep), but I always blamed it on her night shift work and poor communication skills. My poor mum.

Fibro fog has affected several of my favorite activities, from cooking and baking (because I lack the forethought to adapt recipes to make them my own, or create a new dish, and I often leave out or make mistakes with ingredients and steps when I try to follow a recipe to the letter), to writing (I get distracted quickly, after 200 words or so, and lose my train of thought when I try to leave myself notes and come back to the project), to crafts (I keep starting projects and forgetting them when I start something new: so far it’s been sewing and knitting I’m saddest about), to visiting new areas and trying new places (I can’t keep the places straight, and when I try to maintain a running list of “things I’d like to do,” I lose the list, even when it’s electronic). I really love playing Words With Friends on my iPhone (it’s like Scrabble), but I’m really not any good at high point words, or complex words. I figure it’s good brain exercise to play at all, and it’s fun (even when I’m getting my butt kicked), so I’ll just pretend like my brain isn’t turning to swiss cheese).

Fibro fog also affects important activities of daily living, like when it comes to remembering medication (I’ve forgotten I’ve already taken my Advair and take a second dose sometimes) and vitamins (time passes quickly, so I lose track of it), or I forget I’ve already put deodorant on and put it on a second (or third) time, or brush my teeth a second time.

Fibro fog is also why I haven’t posted much lately. I keep forgetting. Even when I have a great post idea, I’ll send myself an email or make a sticky note as a reminder, and then it gets buried under other emails or sticky notes, and then eventually I get overwhelmed and trash all the unanswered emails or sticky notes, and trash them all and start fresh. Rinse, lather, repeat.

The newest Really Annoying Habit I’ve got is that I get upset because I can’t find something that I *know* is nearby, I look all over a small area for it (like the coffee table or in the refrigerator) over and over again, and finally ask someone, exasperated, where the lost item is, only to find out it’s literally directly in front of me, next to or on top of something I distinctly remember seeing and acknowledging, but I swear that remote control was NOT THERE when I was looking furiously for it a second ago. My husband (and friend living with us) are extraordinarily patient, since they haven’t said a word about this Really Annoying Habit. Aren’t they wonderful? I’m so lucky. :)

Gosh its been months

January 18, 2010

I have thought about this blog a lot! I don’t have a good excuse for not writing. I still have fibro. I’m still fat. I still have a short fuse when it comes to tolerating stupid.

Anemia: I’m still anemic. When I went to the hematologist last, the idea was that after 6 iron treatments, I’d give my veins a rest for a month (still have phlebitis in my left hand, it’s still periodically very painful), come back for a retest, and resume treatments. However, my hematologist could not find my chart, and my instant CBC results were normal (the info that takes 24 hrs to generate is more useful in my case though), so she said I was fine and she didn’t need to see me any more. She clearly dismissed everything I’d been through, and didn’t remember anything about me (understandable without my chart), and made up numerical data regarding my previous visits. What a waste of a copayment.

I’m secretly glad not to be getting weekly iv’s however. I’ll ask my gp to run the numbers again at some point. I can’t imagine I won’t need more iron in the future.

I saw an endocrinologist about possible PCOS, and the bloodwork was negative twice, so my periods are irregular for no good (and no measurable) reason. Another wasted copayment. I’ll just hope I see menopause soon :)

I’ve had some new pains that seem more like fibro tender points and I’m betting that’s exactly what they are. Just above the outside of the ankle. The middle of the outside of the lower leg. Outside of the thighs. Forearms, biceps, fingers and hands.

I went to the doctor about my hand pain, just to document it, and when I told her this reasoning, she stopped and said many of her patients say this and she thinks it’s because they haven’t been believed in the past, and were not treated properly to boot. I almost burst into tears right then and there. It’s true: when I have to tell a doctor to write something down, it’s clearly because I’m not respected as a person. We decided my hands weren’t arthritic (no more than usual for having a few broken fingers growing up), but it was likely a new tender point (fibro friends note: this is unusual, in the hands, but not uncommon! Speak up to your docs if you notice this), and we’d image it if it changed or worsened.

My husband got me an electric throw blanket, and it might be the greatest invention ever. I highly recommend it if you have temperature regulation problems! The throws are cheaper than full sized blankets and run about $40 or so.