Dear Clowns Cry Too,
Your email name says it all. Fibro is cunning and baffling. In my few years of living with it, I have now settled into Cymbalta 120 mg. dose once a day–I know some have had serious side effects, and while I am extremely sensitive to side effect of most meds, Cymbalta has worked for me. This year medicare Part D has even lowered the price–oh yeah! I confess I also take CBD gel pills that by at my acupuncturist's clinic, which I rely on for flare ups during times of stress or weather changes. I also use Excedrin headache OTC, which a neurologist recommended when the fibro seems to morph into neuralgia pain.
Otherwise, daily recommended doses of arthritis strength acetominophen especially in winter as of course the arthritis is part of it all. I try to keep to an anti-inflammatory diet-little gluten, little sugar, lots of grains, beans and produce, some dairy. I use yoga, meditation and prayer. Most importantly, I see my acupuncturist 1 to 3 times a week–which is where the story of my healing really began.
I am lucky to live in a city (Tucson) that has 3 community acupuncture clinics, part of the national community acupuncturist movement. They treat in a community setting in large rooms with many recliners, placing needles in just the distal points (acupuncture speak for points on neck, shoulders, legs from the knees down, arms from the elbows down, top of the head for chi energy.) They treat 8 patients at a time, 45 minute treatments, and the price can vary from 15 to 25 dollars a visit. Soft lights, healing music, noise reduction machines help make the clinic feel very private. At $15, the fee is affordable to go as often as I need to. Most urban areas have community acupuncture clinics now. Where do you live?
I am no hippy, but Western medicine can only do so much for such an all-encompassing illness like fibro, which has only recently been seen as a legitimate illness and not a figment of the the little woman's imagination, if you get my drift.Though I have also done yoga for 30 years, which has become a very light workout now as I round the corner to my seventh decade on the planet, yoga classes for elders and disabled folks are available so one can begin a yoga practice at any age or stage.
BTW–none of the opiods really helped and the side effects were too awful.
So, in short, after 3 years of making the management of this disease my top priority, I am managing to live a simple life. I see friends, get out of the house for a short coffee date or trip to the library more days than not. Otherwise, I stay home and putter, read, do my yoga stretches, take very short (15 minute) walks, see my doctors, and keep in touch with friends and family with my phone and my facebook page.I play with my kittens, who are also a big part of my health regimen, meditate, cook real and simple meals. When I can't follow through and show up places folks are planning on seeing me, I call and let them know it is a fibro day, and everyone has gotten used to Peggy's little disability. (At first it is hard to help people understand because fibro in an invisible disability, except for the pain-lines etched in my face and the occasional need for a cane.)
I am not saying this passage has been easy. I was a backpacker, social dancer, river rafter, avid runner and hiker, softball player up until my late 50's and then the limitations came and piled up.
It took me a long time to figure out what was going on. I grieved the loss of my healthy younger body for a long time. But then I decided to see a grief counselor to help me get over the loss of mom and then shortly after, my best friend Rachel, all in the same year as I was struggling with my health, and slowly I learned how better to deal with and accept loss.
So in short, I have been willing to go to any length to have a life, have mobility, and through trial and error, found ways to manage. I am committed to cultivating hope and use prayer as well. Two of our dearest friends died this year of cancer, so I also remind myself that we all age and suffer, and try to keep the bigger picture in mind. Good luck to you on your journey