The melodrama of my health problems continues, and finally I have a diagnosis which explains a big group of my symptoms. The symptoms being the chronic pain and the diagnosis being fibromyaglia.
“Fibromyalgia (FM) is a medical condition characterised by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. Other symptoms include feeling tired to a degree that normal activities are affected, sleep problems, and troubles with memory” – Wikipedia
The diagnostic process involves ruling out other conditions (such as arthritis) and the presence of a distinct pain-point pattern.
Naturally, for a contrary lady such as myself, fibromyalgia is controversial condition inspiring lots of disagreement within the medical community. It even has an accompanying band of trolls, haters, deniers and conspiracy theorists on the internet! Goody.
Offal’y lucky lady 😀
I have so far been very lucky though, I have seen a good rheumatologist, have several amenable doctors at my local surgery and I have already had, pre-diagnosis, some really helpful treatments like insoles and physiotherapy from a specialist department which is just up the road. Also, I now officially don’t have gout after all! Whoop! I can now eat as much offal as I like… which is still none!
Pills are a downer
I am waiting for the main bulk of my treatment to kick off, in the mean time I have been trailing some medication…. which has not gone well.
The first one they tried was Amitriptyline, an antidepressant used to treat nerve pain. The side effects I had included panic attacks, crying and regular bouts of despair. Frankly it’s been totally shit.
I have finished that now and am just about to start on another kind called Clomipramine. Both the doctor and the pharmacist seemed hopeful that this one will be okay, but the list of side effects is just horrendous, so I am not sure how I feel about it. Even if it works, I am not aiming to stay on this long term. The primary method of controlling fibro is exercise.
Exercise Roller Derby as a cure
I am hoping for things like hydrotherapy and additional physiotherapy from the NHS, plus a graded exercise programme and some other cool stuff I am looking into. While I am waiting for this to start, I am carrying on with my long contemplative walks, daily gentle stretching …. and my insane quest to learn to play roller derby.
The way I see it, Roller Derby may not be the ideal exercise for someone with fibromyalgia, but it’s exactly right for me. It motivates me!
Without Derby I probably would never have got a diagnosis, I hadn’t really taken my body and health seriously enough to even get close. It’s even hard for me to figure out how long I have been unwell for, because I have just ignored myself for such long time I just never registered what was going on (or not going on) with my body. In this sentence I even referred to my body as being myself! Progress!
1 week till fresh meat
I have 1 week left till my sinners to winners course starts, and I really am terrified. I am scared it’s going to be total hell this time round, actually feeling, or starting to feel, what my body is telling me as I try to hold myself upright on skates… I know this is going to be hard, harder than last time for sure. It’s going to hurt.
That said, I have come a long way with my physio and I know I can do some basic things on skates now, so I have a head start on where I was last time round. So it’s… cool. I am gonna be okay.
And after I am okay… I am gonna rock!