LOOK OUT FOR SOMEONE IN PAIN THIS CHRISTMAS…

The difference between chronic and acute is just a matter of ‘time’ really. An acute attack of pain is something new that arrived and (hopefully) went. A chronic attack of pain is something that has been there for a long time, constant, like a toothache gnawing away at you come rain or shine.

If someone falls over and breaks a leg they are in immediate acute pain, and by the time they have been looked after in hospital, they usually leave with their pain in control. If someone is in chronic pain due to a toothache or back pain, there is usually nothing that you can actually ‘see’ that is causing it. Treatment for this type of pain can be a combination of things with the help of your GP and Pain clinic.

The average person will cope with some type of acute pain in their lifetime but most won’t have to suffer from chronic pain, so unless they have been in this sort of pain they have no idea what it is like.

Time and time again I get told how ‘well’ I look as if I must be making up how I am actually feeling. Many a day I’ve felt despair, rage and profound disappointment that I could not do certain jobs. My life has changed so much over the years that I can hardly believe it.

But staying positive, which I think I do, helps you through the dark days when the only people who know how much you are suffering are your loved ones. At this time of year everyone, in particular, women (sorry fellas) just don’t seem to stop so there will be many of us suffering in silence.

Soooooo, if you know someone who is in pain just remember to give them a helping hand at this busy time of year.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS AS A TREATMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA…

If, like me you have had Fibromyalgia for some time now you will probably have been given an antidepressant to try for the pain, or maybe even tried a mixture of these type of medications.

If you read all the information on the drug it could immediately put you off trying one but I’ve always felt you should always try before you decide if you want to stay on this type of meditation long term.

I will use my own personal usage of these as an example. Back in 2002 when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I was put onto ‘Fluexetine (Prozac)’ of 20 mg once a day. I seemed to get along well with this during the early years but it wasn’t long before they also offered me Amitryptyline (Elavil) of 10mg x 3 going up to 50mg, which I took alongside my Fluexetine.

I stayed on both these for a number of years but as I increased the Amitryptyline, it left me with one particular side effect of a very dry mouth. I mean really dry whereby I would sometimes struggle to get my words out and I also started having problems with my gums. My dentist suggested eating sugar free gum but to be honest with you I’m just not a lover of gum.

The pain team decided to then change me from Amitryptyline to Nortryptyline (Pamelor) as it was known to not cause as many side effects and could help me sleep better at night which was another symptom of Fibromyalgia that I was suffering from. The dosage was the same dosage as the Amitryptyline.

Fast forward 16 years and this year I was also advised to come off the Fluexetine as I had been on it for so long. They told me to come off it gradually and to see how I felt. I did exactly as they said and even though I was only taking 20mg I struggled so hard not just because I’m in more pain but from feeling extremely low and tearful, which isn’t me.

So, I decided I would go back onto Fluexetine (it’s still on my repeat) but it made me realise how you really can get addicted to these types of medications and that maybe someone should have suggested I tried to come off it a long time ago. I’ve never shied away from taking any medications they have offered me for pain relief and believe you really do have to take them for a few months to see any difference but it is also important that long term use should be taken into consideration.

On the website My Fibro Team they have a page on all the medications offered for Fibromyalgia and its overview of the three I have mentioned are – ‘Nortryptyline Pamelor is a prescription medication originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1964 for the treatment of depression. In cases of fibromyalgia, Pamelor can help reduce pain. The drug name of Pamelor is Nortriptyline.

Pamelor should be used with caution in people with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, or glaucoma. People who are recovering from a recent myocardial infarction (heart attack) should not take Pamelor.

Pamelor is a tricyclic antidepressant. It is believed that Pamelor works in cases of fibromyalgia by changing the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.’

And ‘Amitryptyline Elavil is a prescription medication originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1961 for the treatment of depression. The drug name of Elavil is Amitriptyline. In cases of fibromyalgia, Elavil can reduce pain and improve sleep problems and fatigue.

Elavil should be used with caution in people with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, glaucoma, liver or kidney problems, high or low blood pressure, diabetes, seizures, trouble urinating, or alcohol dependence. Elavil is not suitable for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Elavil is a tricyclic antidepressant. It is believed that Elavil works in cases of fibromyalgia by interfering with nerve signals that communicate pain.

And as for Fluexetine- Prozac is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987 to treat depression. In people with fibromyalgia, Prozac can help improve mood and reduce fatigue. Prozac may also help reduce pain, sleep problems, and fatigue. Prozac is also known by its drug name, Fluoxetine hydrochloride.

Prozac should be used with caution in people who have a history of depression, seizures, anorexia, glaucoma, and heart problems, as well as those who are taking diuretics.

Prozac is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) class. Prozac is believed to work by changing the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. 

The My Fibro Team website has lots more information on medications taken for Fibromyalgia and is well worth reading if you are trying something new. Do you take any of these medications and if you have did they help with your pain?

SIX GREAT PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU COPE WITH THE FESTIVE ACTIVITIES…

Christmas is nearly upon us and many chronic pain sufferers will struggle to get out during and after the festive period. Apart from the buying of presents, there are lots of other activities that come about at this time of year. For instance, the nativity play, the Christmas party, the family get together and the list goes on.

The simple act of sitting down on something that is not suitable for say a person with a back problem could actually create more pain for them. So, I’ve looked into portable outdoor seat/supports/cushions just for this reason. My top choice would be –

Highlander Folding Outdoor Sit Mat Lightweight Padded Portable Stadium Seat which is constructed from High-Density foam and a hard-wearing durable Polyester. It’s LIGHTWEIGHT, COMPACT AND PORTABLE: Weighing only 380g and measuring 40x40x4cm when folded and will offer comfort and support use after use. This one I found was available on Amazon and is £13.99

The Back Booster helps support the lower back, helps relax lower back muscles and is very lightweight and portable, nylon carry bag included. It inflates in a few breaths and deflates to pocket size and is £14.99 available from The Back Booster.

A coccyx cushion of which there are quite a few about. I cannot live without mine and have them in every car and upstairs in my stud. Whenever we go away take one with me and use it when I go to the cinema. I would honestly be quite miserable without mine so here’s a couple to choose from. The Drive Coccyx Cushion which is on Amazon at the moment for £9.95 This fully portable, uniquely designed cushion can help relieve that pressure and may help to prevent back pain by suspending your coccyx over the cutout section.

Or The Sciatica Relief Cushion which performs just like its name and is well worth the investment of £31.50 The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is a class 1 medical device designed to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve while sitting allowing the nerve space and time to heal. By placing the cushion on your seat every time you sit you are able to stretch your sciatic nerve whilst reducing the increased pressure the nerve experiences during sitting. This cushion is specifically designed for people who have sciatica pain symptoms that are aggravated or exacerbated while sitting or seated. It is easy to use, safe and specifically designed for sciatica pain relief.

I would also add this Adjustable Tripod Walking Stick and seat as if like me you cannot even stand for long in a queue then this is just perfect. The Height adjustable walking stick seat is designed to provide support and comfort and provides a stable and comfortable seated position when you need a break from standing. This particular one is from Amazon for £25 but there are also a number of them on Complete Care Shop website. 

Finally the Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion from Complete Care Shop which is ergonomically designed, and provides excellent levels of comfort to the user and is ideal when travelling. It is suitable for long train, plane or car journeys and is of a lightweight, compact nature making it tremendously portable. Made from high-quality memory foam, it helps to alleviate pressure and tension and will not lose its shape. This black Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion is supplied with a removable velour cover and costs £8.89

Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion

A POEM ON PAIN WRITTEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT…

Isn’t it strange, how nature makes you forget,
That terrible pain you have and continually get.
It comes in waves when you least expect it,
And you think, please stop now and give me a rest for a bit.

With my batteries recharged, I’m ready for the next bout of pain,
Gosh, I forgot how it was driving me insane.
I keep my head high and everyone says I look just fine,
But they have no idea how I really feel at this present moment in time.

I may not have bandages and plaster anywhere on my body,
But believe me, it just keeps on coming back and driving me potty.
Now I’ve tried everything available in the book,
And yes, it helps but only with my foot!!!

I’m writing this poem as I just can’t sleep,
It’s that awful pain again from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.
I’m sure one day someone will find a cure,
But until then I shall just have to suffer some more.

So, while your sleeping like a baby in bed,
Think of me some time while I try again to clear my head!
I’m afraid that’s all I can think of, for the time being anyway,