BRAIN DEATH AND FIBROMYALGIA – Marilyn Armstrong

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost 20 years ago, but it never flattened me the way it has this time around. I’d like to blame the whole thing on Donald Trump. In fact, I think I am going to blame it all on him. He has raised the national stress level to such a degree that we have an actual national epidemic of high blood pressure and overall stress.

For the past six weeks, I’ve been too exhausted to function at any normal level. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop because you’re not dealing with it well. Life charges on, crawls along, limps, wheezes and generally somehow or other gets the job — whatever it is — done. This has been a rough one.

I have been so tired that all I want to do is sleep. Except that sleep is difficult at the best of times and this is not the best of times.

According to the Mayo Clinic

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, although a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures can also help.

Widespread pain

The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache. I think it has long passed dull pain and moved into higher thresholds but that’s just my opinion and not having a medical degree, what do I know? Oh, and it has to have lasted for at least three months. Do years count? To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.

You have no idea how much I hate being asked how much pain I’m in. It brings out my violent streak.

Fatigue

People with fibromyalgia often get up tired even though they have slept for long periods. Sleep is often disrupted by pain. Many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.

Discovering you’ve forgotten how to think

A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks. Writing one or more posts a day has really been difficult. I feel like my brain is packed in cotton-wool.

Although no one knows exactly what causes fibromyalgia, it most likely involves a variety of factors working together, typically arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, or both), IBS, insomnia, etc. Since fibromyalgia can be triggered by psychological stress, I blame Hizzoner.

Why does it hurt?

Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This involves an abnormal increase in brain neurotransmitters. Also, the brain’s pain receptors develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they overreact to pain signals.

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed more often in women than in men. If you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you are more likely to develop fibromyalgia. I have two out of three. So far, I’m missing lupus, but the future holds unlimited hope.

Complications

The pain and lack of sleep associated with fibromyalgia can interfere with your ability to function at home or on the job. The frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition also can result in depression and health-related anxiety. Many doctors don’t seem to “get” the link between fibro and emotional overreaction.

I don’t see any problem connecting the dots between being in pain (everywhere), exhaustion, lack of sleep, and a feeling pissed off about pretty much everything. Mostly, I’m pissed about feeling so crappy and trying to somehow manage life anyway because it doesn’t take a pass while you recover.

So I figure, why not blame it on Orange Head? I loathe the bastard anyway, so it’s got to be his fault.

Why am I writing this?

I’m having a lot of trouble keeping up with life. I’m tired. I feel dull and stupid. It’s hard for me to read. It’s hard to think. I feel unusually awkward, clumsy — as if I’m always on the verge of falling down. So if I’m not reading as many posts or for that matter, writing as well as I think I should, all I can do is blame it on my dying brain.

And Orange Head.



Categories: Arthritis, blood pressure, Health, healthcare, Marilyn Armstrong, Medical humor

Tags: , , , , ,

50 replies

  1. When I was working, I had two friends who dealt with this. The male jogged every day and kept symptoms at bay – it worked for him. The female suffered through each and every symptom with only the help of braces, heat, ice – the usual things you try. Hope this find you feeling better this weekend.

    Like

    • I started to get extra sleep and that helped. I took my medication. All of it. On-time. But mostly, I sat around and tried not to do anything I didn’t need to do. I nodded off a lot. I couldn’t read much, so I reblogged and rewrote a lot. I ate very little since everything made me sick. At least the exhaustion has worn off, but the aches are lingering. I think I survived, though.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is a real case of whatever floats your boat. I’m told that for some people exercise helps, but under the best of conditions, my spine is gonzo. Nonetheless, I forced myself to get out. walk, and try to keep the house clean. It was difficult to get myself moving when everything hurt, but if I didn’t move, I fused in place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. IS it possible to share your article to another site or FB page?

    Like

  3. I am new to your blog; actually, I am new to blogs period. you are the first person that I follow as of this evening. Thank you for sharing your experience…I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia recently, however I have been suffering the better part of 20 years. Your post speaks volumes to me; I thought I was just losing myself, in a sense…vs my symptoms being affiliated with my diagnosis.

    I started taking Nortripyline (75 mg), Baclofen (20 mg) at night, which have helped… and added Full Spectrum CBD (1500 mg). Narcotics have been apart of my regimen for some time but I am trying to replace narcotics with CBD, especially knowing this condition will be with me until the end…

    Just sitting here, typing, is painful…
    Looking forward to reading more…

    Like

  4. I hear you 100%. I thought I was over-reacting to this latest fibro & migraine flare it’s been going on for weeks and I went over everything, food, drink, was I doing enough self-care? I’m sure you know the list, it’s been rough, I usually go through a tough flare @ change of seasons but it never lasts this long and I’m never this foggy this long. I agree with you we should blame it on Mango Mussolini.

    Like

    • We need to blame someone, and he is my top candidate to blame everyone on. But this one did go on a VERY long time. The daily migraine. Every joint in my body hurt. And my brain left home without me. I’m good, as long as I have a brain.

      Like

  5. Considering all that you have going on within your body and as most doctors have often told me, “your body’s playing tricks on you is it?” bs. I’m distinctly proud of all you accomplish. I’m touched at the explanation too as I haven’t seen you around much and wondered if you were ok or what was happening. xoxoxo Just all, we love you and care, and we’re here. It’s good to know what’s happening in the lives of those you sincerely care about, so thank you very much!

    Like

  6. Like the person commenting above “it hardly seems appropriate to hit “like”.” I don’t like. Thank you for providing that list. So. Empirically I DO have fibromyalgia. I know why it occurred too – too much stress over too long a period. That ruined me physically. The problem seems to be getting the medical professionals to LISTEN. One of my worst side effects (good a word as any) is my ‘mini migraines’. When those things hit, ordinary day light hurts my eyes, my ears ring because the noise (even ordinary noise) is too much, and the daily cacophony of that horrid truck yard and the idiots who insist on flinging huge chunks of something into a metal garbage bin drive me mad. I HOPE (sincerely) that you can find a way to relax woman. I know your pain level is so severe that sleeping comfortably or normally is probably impossible. Would noise cancelling head phones help? Meditation? I’m sorry. I wish there were better answers for sufferers of that horrible disease – and yes it’s a disease. Progressive, debilitating and life ending. Please take as much care as you can. We (the world) are in sore need of sensible intelligent people with good communication skills. To lose your voice would be devastating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • See if you can find a woman doctor. They usually listen better. And don’t try to attack the whole problem. One part at a time. Mine is a lot of things. Arthritis — rheumatoid and osteo. Migraines. IBS, Stress and more stress. It’s a big pile of crap, but it usually doesn’t hit me all at once.

      There really ISN’T anything but an empirical way to determine it. There ARE no tests. None at all.

      Like

      • Thank goodness for that!! I hadn’t ‘connected the dots” that fibro might be what’s ‘wrong’ with me basically, until I started talking to a neighbor who was diagnosed. On the list you provided, I have chronic joint pain (all my joints), arthritis, IBS and Crone’s (sp?) disease, GI problems (stress related), headaches, sound and light aversion (time to time), depression, anxiety resulting from severe stress and a lot more. I’m of the opinion that my unstable diabetes is also affected by the fibro. Because if I get stressed, the diabetes gets a whole lot worse. Add to that the skin manifestations like rosacea, and there’s a comprehensive picture of a systemic problem. The medical ‘professionals’ think I’m cracked. Well I AM, but not because I’m stupid.

        And like you they don’t all gang up at once, thankfully. Imagine that. No, forget it. DON’T imagine that. It’s too awful to imagine.

        Like

        • We are one piece. Lately, doctors seem to try to diagnose us as if each part o us is separate. My hips hurt? No need to look at my spine. It’s really stupid. Of course your diabetes triggers other stressors. It’s all related. Everything.

          Like

  7. This too will pass Marilyn.
    Leslie

    Like

  8. I second Sandra above. How you keep on is a main, daily inspiration to me.

    Like

  9. You are an inspiration to me. Take care of yourself. Your blog is wonderful – I appreciate the time and effort to produce something so wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually didn’t want to write about it. I was just hoping it would go away by itself. But it didn’t and it has lasted a long time. It will back off. Eventually, but in the meantime, It’s just hard to accomplish much.

      Like

  10. I totally empathize. I’ve got the horrible headache today. I hope your flare diminishes greatly and soon! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sending loads of hugs, sympathy and hope things improve . . . . . . . and thank you so much for taking the time to share xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think many people — even those who have the problem (there are actually two of them, both nearly identical in symptoms — polymyalgia and fibromyalgia) and one-third one that actually IS a disease that generally doesn’t get diagnosed because there are no diagnostic tools. But I thought I needed to mention that I wasn’t ignoring everyone. I was just having a really hard time.

      Like

  12. It hardly seems right to ‘like’ this one, Marilyn… but you have explained a misunderstood problem and its chain reactions so well…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I feel so sorry for the pain you’re in, Marilyn. At one time I also was afraid that I have it too. But mine turned out to be a autoimmune disease, sero negative arthritis. Thankfully the med I am taking is working for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Not a pleasant problem. Again something that women are chosen

    Liked by 1 person

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  1. IN THE SPIRIT OF DOING WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING … Marilyn Armstrong | Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

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