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Fibromyalgia Is My Thing #12 - Medication, Meditation and Exercise

Updated on March 12, 2011

To Medicate or Not to Medicate!

Fibromyalgia is My Thing! Breakthrough

Today I received a call from a fellow fibromite. She is in my support group. She called to let me know about a new drug for Fibromyalgia. She has taken it for two weeks and says she feels better than she has ever felt.

So I decided to look it up and check it out.

According to the documentation this is more a preventative for Fibromyalgia than a treatment. Not so, says my friend. Who can argue with that? She is the one benifiting.

The contraindications are confusing. I have heart issues, so I needed to call my cardiologist for his approval.

Since we all (those with Fibromyalgia) are truly 75% different from each other, what works for one will not work for all. That is a given and a very important point for all Fibromites to remember. Although we share many symptoms, we also have our own unique battles.

Medication, meditation, and exercise are the three remedies touted for this crazy disease. I would like to discuss them one at a time.

Medication is out there for the taking. My suggestion would be to check with your doctor (who is fibro-friendly) before deciding to take any medication. It may react adversely on you.

Lyrica is the first medication to be marketed strictly for Fibromyalgia. The contraindications are on the flyer that accompanies the medicine. As well, the internet has a wealth of information. Never start any medication without reading up on all of the adverse side effects. That would be silly.

I was going to a pain clinic when one of the doctors insisted I at least try Lyrica. I refused for weeks and finally caved. I took it one time and found out the hard way - it is definitely not for me.

Muscle relaxers, anti-depressants, sleep medicine and pain medicine are among the pills we are tempted to try. So go ahead and try, but do it with wisdom and caution.

Make sure you will not be alone when you take these medications (or any new medication at all) as the Fibromite can react like no one else would and find themselves in a life or death situation.

That sounded dark, did it not? I’m so sorry. I did not mean it that way. I meant only to caution you. You and I are much alike in that we are most definitely different.

I do take medications. I take a mild antidepressant for sleep and I take a medication that increases my serotonin and when I really need it, I take pain medication, and muscle relaxers. I am in control. It took me years to find the right combination.

I will often forego the pain and muscle relaxer meds if I know I am not going anywhere or if I can tolerate it (it, being the pain). I’ll admit, I’m a bit paranoid about pain meds as they can literally destroy your liver. So I err on the side of caution. Sometimes I simply NEED the pain medication and relaxers, so I take them.

Were you aware that as a fibromite, you feel pain seven times stronger than those without Fibromyalgia? Each of us is different. That tolerance comes at different rungs on the ladder. Know where your rung is.

Medicines, thus far do not cure fibromyalgia. However, some medicines may help improve fibromyalgia symptoms, especially muscle pain and frequent waking during the night.

No one is going to call us out for the meds we do or do not take. The only person we must consider when taking medicine is ourselves. We make the choices and we live with them…no one else.

Do make sure that your primary care physician is Fibro-friendly. If not, consider changing physicians. Those who are not sympathetic to the Fibromyalgia patient are, at times, dangerous to our well being. Just a word to the wise.

Meditation is easy and not so much. I always cringe when folks tell me to try meditation. That is, I used to. Finally I have learned how wonderful it is and how vital to my mental well being. Something I had to come to in my own time.

Meditation can take place anywhere you choose. You can set aside a special place and time to meditate, or you can grab a corner, a table, a parking space when you need to meditate. There are no hard and fast rules.

Meditation is - simply to ponder things in your life; to reflect on that which is important to you; in other words to think things over in a quiet atmosphere.

The key to me was, to learn to tune-out whatever the noises are in the background so I could go inside myself and find out what was really on my mind. It took a while.

Today, I am more able to meditate and come away feeling good about me than ever before. I no longer “ponder” over my mistakes. I sit quietly and the thoughts I need to ponder, come to me.

Meditation can be awkward at first and feel odd, but well worth the time and effort it takes to begin. Eventually, meditation will come naturally to you.

Exerciseis often thrown about by those who know little about Fibromyalgia. They reason, it is a muscle problem, therefore exercise is the answer to a cure.

First of all, there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, only management of the disease.

Exercise can be a blessing or a curse to the fibromite. It all depends on approach, attitude and consistency.

One of the most helpful pieces of advice I have ever received was to exercise in the water. I exercise in the warm therapy pool.

I have to take care not to over do my exercise. For instance, I am just now, after nine months absence, getting back to the warm therapy pool. I used to attend the low-impact classes. Today I am not able to live up to that schedule. However, my goal is to work my way into that position, where I can attend classes once more. I find it so much more fun and easier, actually, if I exercise with someone.

Stretching exercises are good, when done in moderation. To “stretch just ‘til it hurts” is a huge mistake. If it hurts, it will continue to hurt until you stop offending it. So number your stretches “low” until they are really easy. You can do them several times a day, but not closer than four hours apart. Your muscles need the rest.

Yoga, in moderation and at a very low beginner level, for longer than a beginner would need, is very good. I don’t recommend advancing in your Yoga until at least a month after you are extremely comfortable in your current level. Yoga also works on the mind. You can work meditation in with your yoga.

Walking is my favorite type of exercise, although at the moment I am walking such short distances that it frustrates me. At that point, my lovely daughter reminds me where I was just a month ago and I am once again aware that I have made good progress.

Aren’t adult children simply wonderful? I certainly think so. Mine are! J

So there you have my recommendation on Medication, Meditation and Exercise. I hope I have helped some of you.

I will be writing a hub strictly on the medications I know about for Fibromyalgia symptoms soon.

Until then, miles and miles of smiles coming your way.


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