My experience with Chronic Pain started in my mid 20’s. My fingers started to hurt something fierce. I went to the doctor and he said you have osteo-arthritis in your fingers. What? I was only in my 20’s. When I told my mom she told me it starts early in our family. (One of my daughters K2 is following in my footsteps almost to the letter).
From that point on I made frequent visits to the doctor with new joint aches and got the same answer. Osteo-arthritis. When I was in my mid 30’s I had severe back pain. Still a type of arthritis he said, but this one is called Degenerative Disc Disease and it meant the discs between my spine were giving out.
There wasn’t much that controlled the pains, but I used an NSAID of some kind daily. Not good for me, but if not, I couldn’t move and definitely couldn’t walk. I started with OTC and then in my 50’s switched to prescription strength. All it gave me was mild pain relief. I had had chronic pain since my mid 20’s.
From my mid 20’s I also suffered from TMJ and terrible headaches. Remember my one daughter is following in my footsteps including Fibromyalgia.
In my 50’s I suddenly developed severe neck and back pain on the same day. I gave it a few days to go away on its own like it usually did. My headaches were getting more severe. My body was stiffer than it had been. I went to the doctor (PCP) and they told me it was probably arthritis we’ll take x-rays. Well I knew there was no maybe about it. I had had arthritis all along. The PCP calls and is excited says, no problem. It is just arthritis. Damn it, I said to the woman. I have had arthritis almost my entire adult life, that is not causing this pain.
So they refer me to a orthopedic doctor. He takes one look at the x-rays and he can see the discs and the symptoms indicated a pinched nerve in my neck. So I had MRI’s of my whole back area, all 3 areas to be exact. I had herniated discs in all 3 sections. Nearly 1/3 to 1/2 of my spine is herniated now. I kept complaining about other pains and that my skin hurt to touch, just lightly touch. He sent me for an EMG for the nerve test (neck and both wrists) and then to the Rheumatologist because he thought it was Fibromyalgia causing the other problems and to a pain doctor for steroid shots and pain control with narcotics. I was also sent to a neurologist just to make sure it was not something in my brain and nerves besides the pinched ones.
In October of 2010 the Rheumatologist confirmed that I had Fibromyalgia. He said it sounded like it and to turn around. I wasn’t thinking and he pushed 2 fingers into 4 of my trigger points and I jumped and screamed bloody murder. He asked me if that hurt. Uh no I always scream and jump like that when someone touches me. Damn it, of course it hurt. Fibromyalgia was confirmed. As I read the symptoms I realized all the crazy things that had been happening to me were from the Fibro. I had brain fog to the point I could barely do my job and I was afraid of being fired. I couldn’t explain things, even simple things, to the customers on the phone. It would just pop out of my mind and words wouldn’t come. I was forever apologizing and having to ask the supervisors. This was not the normal me. I couldn’t seem to learn or remember how to do things. I stared at the washing machine as if I never saw it before.
I told people I could get lost going to work. I wasn’t kidding. I got lost going home as well. One day I sat in the car for 15 minutes trying to figure out where I was supposed to be going – work was where I was supposed to be. I would get lost going to visit my kids. Couldn’t do simple math. Forgot left from right. I would panic driving because I couldn’t remember the difference between a red light and a green light.
The pain was tremendous and every medication they tried failed in some way including allergic reactions. I am taking Cymbalta now, but I don’t think it is helping the pain. It is working as an anti-depressant.
I had injections in my neck and back. The 2 in my neck didn’t work and the one in my back made it worse.
I started going to the chiropractor and he hurts me every time when he pushes on the trigger points as part of the adjustment. The extreme headaches were from the Fibro and the pinched nerve in my neck.
Sometimes the Fibro makes me numb, sometimes it is pain and aches, sometimes it is the feeling of a burning sensations under the skin or like someone is grinding glass under your skin.
It makes my TMJ flare up which makes my face hurt. My hair hurts sometimes. I have IBS which makes certain foods a problem to eat. Fast food burgers tear me up inside.
I can’t stand hugs and sometimes even my clothes and/or bedding hurts. Try to sleep when your back and hips both hurt. There is no way to lay comfortably. I can’t sit for long periods of time because there are trigger points low enough to pretty much sit on.
Some days the pain in my hands and feet is beyond belief. There are trigger points on the knees making climbing the stairs or going down painful.
I am sure there is plenty I have forgotten, but that should give you the gist of what I put up with on a daily basis.