When pain levels are sky high (like today) I just want to chuck it all and say what's the point? I feel awful and I will always feel awful so what difference does it make how much I weigh? I might as well enjoy one small segment of my life.
01-15-2010, 08:00 PM
Though I can't pretend to have an understanding of truly long term, pervasive pain, I got a big eye-opener with an injury about 8 months ago that caused some muscle damage that is resulting in long-term pain with no timeline for relief (for the medical junkies - the injury caused about 8 myofascial trigger points to form in the muscles around my shoulder blade. These are the same type of trigger points associated with fibromyalgia, or at least related, but limited to a single area). I keep going for various treatments, most of which make the pain temporarily worse and then give little or no improvement. There is no ETA of when it will feel better, though for a lot of patients it just goes away one day.
Given my activity level, it has been brutal...even reaching above my head to put on a shirt is nearly impossible on bad days.
But - when I feel this way - I remind myself of how much better I feel overall with less weight and a healthy lifestyle. Sure, I'll be in pain for heaven knows how long...but I can't control that at this time. What I can control is the other stuff that, ultimately, makes my body feel better over time...healthy habits, clean food, and getting as much movement as I can.
Again, since the area is limited, I can't pretend to know what it's like to have pain over wider areas, and I imagine it makes the good stuff harder to find...but it IS in there. Take control over what you can, and accept what you can't. :hug:
01-15-2010, 09:57 PM
We do this so that we live much much longer lives. I want to enjoy most of my life as best possible, even if it hurts - one small segment won't do.
01-15-2010, 10:35 PM
While shedding the weight might not lessen your pain, you will see quality of life improvements that may make your pain easier to bear. You won't know unless you try. :hug:
01-15-2010, 10:59 PM
I've felt that way before (and I'm sure I'll feel that way a gain), but it's a feeling and not necessarily a reality. I can only speak from my experience, so if none of this applies to your life, I'm very sorry. It's been of so much benefit to my own, though that I will share it (and hopefully something in it will work for you too). Unfortunately experimentation is sometimes all you've got.
I have fibromyalgia (and chronic fatigue syndrome if you consider them separate illnesses, my doctors and I don't - fibromyalgia is just chronic fatigue with extra pain). I also have osteoarthritis, and an autoimmune disease that seems to be attacking connective tissue of the respiratory tract, joints, and skin. I'm on disability for my health issues, and have been for the past four and a half years. When I was diagnosed, I was having difficulty staying awake for even 8 hours a day (made working pretty tricky) and couldn't lift my arms over my head without excruciating pain. Sometimes so bad, I would feel like passing out in the shower when I tried to wash my hair, even using a shower chair.
I'm not in total remission, but I do have much better control of my symptoms. It's taken some experimentation with different prescription drugs and lifestyle changes, but I've found that for myself
1. If there's a support group in your area for your condition - or even another illness in which chronic pain is involved - go to the support meetings. People sharing what works for them, what doesn't, and just sympathizing helps more than you'd realize (you also get a lot of good insider information on good doctors, treatment options, and other helpful information).
2. Warm water - if you contact the American Arthritis Foundation or your local department on aging and disability resources (or if you can't find these, United Way should be able to hook you up) you can find out if there are warm water arthritis or fibromyalgia programs in your area. They are awesome. I would live in the warm water therapy pool, if I could.'
3. Diet does matter. A poor diet makes pain worse. I didn't believe this at first, because I didn't think the pain could get worse (and I didn't know that by eating better, I would be able to manage my pain and energy levels bettter).
If you have fibro or CFIDS, you might consider trying the Zone diet (30% calories from fat, 30% from protein and 40% from carbohydrates), the South Beach diet, or other low GI/GL diets. There's some research data, and a lot of anectdotal reports that reducing sugars and refined carbs reduces pain flares. I didn't believe it would work, but I tried it anyway, and have to admit that I've been pleasantly surprised. A high vegetable, low grain diet has worked wonders for my pain and energy levels.
4. Talk to your doctor about fish oil supplements. This is another thing I tried out of desperation. I learned that I was allergic to NSAIDs (they were causing severe asthma symptoms) so I had to go cold turkey off them. I still had my tramadol, but it wasn't enough for pain, and I was in agony, and figured I'd just have to learn to live with it (my doctor wasn't willing to prescribe narcotic pain meds, and for me I've found they don't work better than the tramadol, anyway). But I read that high dose fish oil (NOT cod liver or fish liver oil - high doses of those can be dangerous because of vitamin E overdose) had allowed many folks with arthritis and other pain conditions to reduce their pain meds. I'm on 3000 mg a day (1000 mg capsule 3x a day).
Again, though - always talk to your doctor AND your pharmacist before taking any supplements (I always do both, because doctors aren't always up on the possible interactions in the same way pharmacists are).
5. Make sure you're on appropriate pain meds. I know a lot of people don't believe in pain medication, but chronic pain patients don't always have that luxury. Using pain meds appropriately can give you a large portion of your life back, and improving function is not addiction.
6. Sleep. Make sure you're getting the best rest you can. This is perhaps the hardest, and yet most vital for me. In my sleep study, we found that I spend very little time in the deepest most restful stages of sleep. Getting more sleep isn't always of much benefit, if I'm not getting deep sleep. I'm on amitriptyline and cyclobenzaprine at bedtime to increase the proportion of deep sleep (it seems to help, somewhat).
I've made some really tremendous improvements because of lower carb dieting (low-calorie, but high carb diets do not help my pain or energy levels), so I know it can (in some cases) make a tremendous difference.
After losing only 30 lbs, my sleep apnea went away. It's been about a year since I've needed to use the shower chair regularly (I used it for the first time in many months just this week, because I have some sort of nasty respiratory virus and felt weak enough that I didn't want to risk it).
Many of the things I can do that I couldn't do before are so small, they almost seem insignificant and I can easily take them for granted - until I lose the ability again. I felt really annoyed at having to use the shower chair, and it felt like a giant step backwards to have to use it - but "it's the flu for crying out loud" I told myself. Stuff happens, but I don't want to go back to having to use a chair in the shower, or having to use a shampoo with conditioner because I don't have the strength to rinse, repeat.
I'm starting to rant and ramble. I hope some shred of what I've said might be of some help to you. If not, I'm sorry. Coping isn't easy, but the alternative isn't so very great either. Hang in there, and keep fighting for as much of a real, and full life as you can.
01-17-2010, 07:01 PM
:hug: Well, you won't really know if the weightloss will help you until you get there ... although, I imagine it will improve how you feel in some ways. Some doctors say that even losing 10 lbs can take stress off your body to make you feel better and be healthier (and 30 lbs is even better). Maybe just aim for something like that for now ...
You can make small changes and still enjoy your food -- we do. We love our food: all I did was take our favorite dishes and cut the fat and sugar down (and subbing to some degree); and they still taste great. I don't think you have to eat lettuce and cardboard all day to lose weight or get healthier ...
Look around this site, there are fab recipes all over the place and on the net too! Tonight, we are having chicken breasts and roasted veggies in a creamy mushroom sauce, and baked apples with granola for dessert -- healthy and absolutely delish!
AMANDA ~ I injured both my shoulders; the right one the worst. The therapist back then told me it was the worst thing I could have done to my rotator cup, and that TIME was the only thing that could heal it -- and she was right. I can use it for most light things, except anything that is repetitive or straining like throwing a ball over-hand; vacuuming, or stirring a lot by hand. DH does the vacuuming for me now; I dust mop now. I throw underhand and use lots of kitchen gadgets for mixing. I had to find other ways to do things; and if I accidentally overdo it, I have to rest it for awhile ... :hug:
KAPLODS ~ some great info there IMO; and always interesting to read too ... :hug:
01-18-2010, 03:36 PM
Hi Honeybjones - I don't think your feelings are that unusal. Chronic pain is hard to deal with, but we can't get into the pity party situation. Keep trying to eat healthy. It is hard to lose weight when you do have chronic pain, because the metabolism seems to have come to a dead stop and there is really no way, other than exercise, to get it going again. That can be a real problem is you have chronic pain issue. Throw in those meds we take, and we just tend to gain weight. It's a hard fight, but if you make small changes, like eating whole grains instead of the more processed white flour products, brown rice, instead of white it will help. Instead of having a bunch of junk food in the house, keep popcorn handy (without butter and salt) and learn to like it. Keep fresh fruit handy as well. Somehow it seems easier to reach for cookies than an apple, but if you make a real effort, you will be feeding your body nutrients that are required, rather than junk.
I wish you the best in your endeavors. It is hard to live with chronic pain.
01-26-2010, 12:13 AM
Yes. I have TOTALLY felt that way. It's totally normal. Seriously. It's okay to lose it every once in a while. It isn't fair. I get it. Some days are just one "thing" too many.
I want to encourage you to stick with it as much as you can. But know that I have SO been there (just yesterday in fact). I can't give you any advice as to what gets rid of that feeling. Sometimes my dogs do it, some days my husband is enough, some days... I just have to take time to cry and watch tv under the heating blanket. :hug: People tell you not to have a pity party, but I say have one!! Allow yourself to grieve sometimes, just not all the time cause you'll lose the life you have left to it.
PS: I am 25 and I've had fibro (and Celiac Disease but that doesn't have long term damage LOL) since I was 17.
01-26-2010, 12:37 AM
Well thanks everyone for your feedback. I am doing much better. I had a nerve block 2 weeks ago and the recovery was rougher than I had anticipated. I loaded my frig (home and work) with lots of fruit, vegables and whole grains and lost another 2 lbs.
01-28-2010, 08:19 AM
Glad to hear you are feeling better. I have lots of days like the one you were having. They can be soul-destroying. I have constant chronic pain and in truth I have realised only recently that I comfort eat as a way of dealing with the pain.
I'd go along with the other post that you should stick to it when you can, but don't be too hard on yourself if it all gets too much.
Best of luck!
01-28-2010, 08:30 AM
((honey)) Pain is horrible. I've got lingering arthritis in my spine from a car accident several years ago. My right hip was also permanently messed up, my right shoulder was re-injured for about the third time in my life, and to this day I cannot sleep for long on my right side because of all the old injuries. (Thank God I'm left-handed!) Recovery has been long and slow. It hasn't been all that long ago that I've been able to walk without a cane, and I still have trouble taking stairs.
I suppose there are some things I might always have trouble with, but I find pain management is easier when I do a lot of gentle stretching exercises. There's one move I do that I call "the elephant." I back up against a wall. Near it, but not pressed against it. Then I slowly bend down, bringing my hands as close to the floor as they will go. My hands clasp and form the "elephant's trunk." I hang there, feeling the stretch in my spine, for a few minutes. Then I lift up slowly. Side lunges are good for my hip sockets and inner thighs. Holding my arms at shoulder level and gently stretching them backwards helps to keep my shoulders loose. In general, the more I stretch, the less pain I feel. And, I don't know the source of your pain, but I'm finding that the stronger my muscles are, the less strain there is on my joints.
Hope this helps. :hug:
02-07-2010, 11:08 AM
YES!!! I do know just what you mean!!!!I can't offer anything in the form of advice because I am also dealing with it...let me know if you find a trick to help!! I could use it!
02-07-2010, 01:01 PM
So I ate the cheeseburger and fries and let's all be honest here--it made me feel better. But then (as of 2/1) I eliminated starches from my diet, dropped a few more lbs, the nerve block kicked in and I remember to take my Vitamins..I mean Vicoden every night. All in all I feel much better.
02-27-2010, 05:56 AM
absolutely. The only real "joy" in my life is food, in particular chocolate. I am in so much excruciating pain that will never ever go away I think it sucks I have to take away the one thing that genuinely makes me happy. I can't go on vacation, I can't shop and galavant in clothes even if I was thin. WTF is the point of getting thin just to sit here in bed. I will always be in pain and tkaing away the one thing thatt brings me joy seems assinine. Makes me depressed even thinking of it.
02-27-2010, 01:02 PM
I'm having one of those days too. And I can say honestly, eating a bit of chocolate is just enough to take the edge off the pain, just a little but its the difference that is keeping me sane.
I just need to make it through today, see how I am tomorrow and try and get back on the preverbial horse.