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    Dixiegal12344 posted:
    Hi, I was diagnosed with fibro almost 11 years ago now, but looking back, I had symptoms way longer than this...I was primary caretaker for my kids' father who was sick for 15 years before he passed away.

    I find that stress, anger, getting upset are some of the things that really make me feel bad...I also have lots of problems with depression...just the last month, my depression has been so bad that just a word from someone, a picture, words of a song, or my own thoughts can set off a crying jag...I'm to the point now that when I get like this, I withdraw from everyone...

    I so want to be someone who has a joyful disposition and loving attitude, but when I am in pain constantly, it is hard to have a joyful look on my face...and hard to cope with things that are going on in my life, too...

    I have a disabled son who lives with me....he helps me more than I can say...but he and my youngest daughter both were diagnosed with different types of cancer the same week last November, so I've been dealing with that, too...

    One of my doctors changed me to Cymbalta and that stuff nearly killed me...I wound up in the ER and it took a while to recover...I am very sensitive to medicines, especially the newer ones...even my high blood pressure meds are some of the older ones...I have to take 3 kinds a day to keep my b/p under control..when I take pain pills or even ibuprophen or acetaminophen, it makes me sleepy...the pain pills especially make me dizzy, sleepy and just plain hung over when the effects are wearing off...

    I am in pain most of the time, but it is mostly centered in my neck and shoulders, down my arms into my hands...just recently have started having lots of pain in my legs and feet, too...headaches are a constant companion so I just stay to myself....that way, I'm no bother to anyone else..

    Guess I am just wondering if others have the same symptoms that I'm bothered with and what do you do to help yourself cope?
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi Dixiegal,

    I'm sure others will be saying hello when they get a chance (but please be patient; things do get a bit quieter here on weekends) but I wanted to welcome you here.

    While you're waiting for responses, do some reading here, discussions from other members and from Dr. Pellegrino. Look, especially, for his Mentally Managing Fibromyalgia discussions as they may help.

    As for your symptoms, it sounds very familiar.

    Aside from medications, what do you do to deal with the pain? Do you use heat and cold, exercising, stretching, massage, any supplements, do you control how you sit and/or work, etc.

    It sounds like you're overwhelmed right now... understandably. (((softhugs))) I'm glad you found us.

    How are your son and youngest daughter doing now?
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
    mischelle360 responded:
    Welcome Dixiegal,

    Are you from Alabama? I am and by your name, I was curious...

    I can so relate to so much you have said, symptom wise. I do think the depression is the worst and it does go hand in hand with FM.

    My pain is in my neck, shoulders, back... my legs and feet just ache something fierce.

    My Dr put me on Savella while ruling out all other evils... It has helped some but not near enough. Yet I do feel that if I could eliminate stress in my life, I could learn to control my FM better. If only it were that simple...

    I can only imagine the stress you have dealt with finding out your children have cancer, not to mention your taking care of and losing their father. You have been dealt some harsh blows, it's no wonder you feel the way you do.

    Us Mothers feel as if we have to tote the weight of the world on our shoulders, don't we? We never want to burden others with our suffering, instead we want to help the ones we love with "their" pain, bobo's...

    I hope your Dr's can find something that helps you with your depression. I really think that makes the biggest impact in how we feel. I myself think I would feel better on Prozac than I do on Savella... But I won't know that for a fact until I try it.

    I have never tried Cymbalta, and don't want to from some of the things I have read. Although, I have read where some have had good results with it.. What works for one, doesn't always work for another.

    I hope our find something that helps you. Just know you are not alone...

    Take Care!
    sykesg98 responded:
    Hi and welcome. Because of your post I had to sign up to comment. I have had FM for six years now. It was miss diagnosed for five years, because I am a guy. You should ask your Dr. about Savella. I didn't like the Cymbalta, I felt even less sociable with it. I like the Savella because I did not feel like I have as many bad days anymore. The flare ups have subsided a little, and I feel more active again.Everyone with FM responds to it differently. But we all know how you feel, it's the people who don't have it that don''t understand.
    1wareaglefan responded:
    Dear Dixie Gal, I'm from Alabama, so I'm a dixie gal too! My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine the emotional pain you're having to endure right now. Please know that I'm praying for you.

    I have pain in my neck, shoulders, arms, hips, buttocks, and legs. I positively couldn't survive without an antidepressant. You might try one of the older ones, like prozac or elavil. I personally couldn't take the new ones like cymbalta or savella. Sometimes I think the older ones aren't even considered, but for some people they work the best. I'm on prozac, and it helps with my mood, sleep, and to a certain extent my pain. I also take darvocet for the pain.

    I hope you have a good doctor who will work with you, because finding the right medicine combo usually takes some time.

    I also hope you'll continue to come here for support and information. We care, and we're here for you!

    Take care and God bless you......Elizabeth
    angelldakota responded:
    Dearest Dixiegal..... Welcome to our FMily...

    You have certainly been thru the wringer... I can understand the flairs you have been having... Stress and depression are no-no's when it comes to FM... but you... like me and so many others... have so much to deal with and can't really avoid the stress... and usually right along comes the depression...

    How are your Son and Daughter??? I pray they are better... They have had a hard road too... I can understand not wanting to burden them... I find my FM is easier to hide then the other problems I have... which is a bunch... FM is easier for it is the un-seen syndrome... but like my son says.... the fatigue and headaches and some of the pain... more then not... can"t be hidden... Not from a loved one who knows you so well and loves you so dearly...

    It shows in your actions... your face... your hibernation... Which I am very good at lol... It shows in your depression... in my mood swings... it shows in my appetite... and sometimes I stutter and slur my words... and can't concentrate and ask the same questions or lose track of the conversation or what I am saying... He says it is obvious then...

    I hope you get to feeling better soon... I hope you have a good Dr that can help you... Read the resources and tips here and read some of Dr. P's posts... He is our Dr. in our FMily and also has FM... so just put Dr. P in the subject bar and ask him anything... He is the best...

    And thru the group you will find understanding... compassion... help... similar experiences... and a knowledge from first hand experience...

    You are not alone... Come back often... Talk about anything ...FM... Life... Laugh and cry... etc...

    bless you ... take care... luv... jan/angelldakota
    Dixiegal12344 responded:
    Thanks so much for the warm welcome and the notes on how to help myself.

    My children are doing better, but my son has ongoing therapy until further daughter has recovered from the chemo and radiation, but both of them left other problems in her body, so she is dealing the best way she knows how...she lives approximately 4 hours from me, so it is a hard driving trip when we go to see her and her family...

    As for helping myself, I get a massage when I can afford on a fixed income doesn't give too much leeway when it comes to finances...I try pain pills but they only make me drowsy or dizzy and don't kill all the this point, I worry about getting addicted...

    It has been so hot here the last few months to walk outside, but now that it is cooling down some, I plan to get out and walk...slowly, at first,

    I do stretches especially for my neck and shoulders that help some and my legs and feet feel better after some stretching..

    I take Juice Plus to help me...the fruits and veggies both...they help in ways that I can't explain...but I know when I get without for about a week, it begins to get where I can't walk without a cane, get up out of chairs or up and down stairs without help..

    As for the questions about whether I am in Alabama, no, I'm not...I live in South Arkansas not far from the Louisiana border...born and raised here, so I can claim to be a "dixiegal", too....hahaha

    I suppose one of the things that bothers me the most is that I can no longer play the piano without lots of pain...I was church pianist for many years and still feel that is a ministry for me, so it really hurts when I can't do that any more...sad to say, I haven't even tried to play here at home any since the last big flareup where I had immense pain...that time, I had physical therapy, but that gets so expensive...Medicare paid their part, but I was still left owing approximately $ that really hurts ! ! ! ! ! !

    Again,thanks for the warm welcome and hope to get to know you all better and better ! ! ! ! !
    Dixiegal12344 replied to sykesg98's response:
    Thanks for the welcome...I haven't heard about Savella...just what is that supposed to do for me??? If it treats me like Cymbalta did, I want no part of it ! ! !

    You are so right about the people who don't have it who don't understand...I myself was one of older sister was diagnosed with it more than 30 years ago when it was called something that time, I sort of felt she might be "putting on" a little bit...around here, that means she acted like she was hurting, etc, but really wasn't to get attention...since I was diagnosed, I went to her and apologized for even THINKING! she might be acting that way to get attention, much less saying it out loud...poor girl has suffered so much with this stuff for so long...I understand now why when she retired, she just withdrew from the world...but of course, that was the wrong thing for her to she has early onset Alzheimer's, so I suppose deep down, I worry about that happening to me, too....

    I know that it helps to discuss this with folks who know and understand, but I sure hate that anybody else is going through what I am....I'm thankful that I have raised my kids and don't have to deal with small ones on a daily grandchildren are adults now, but I have 3 small great grandchildren, the oldest almost 8 years old, and he lives up the road from, we have done a lot of baby sitting and I know that wears and tears on a person with FM...
    CLKWC1964 responded:

    So sorry you have had so much to deal with and are still dealing with. Bless your heart. Anyone would be depressed and in pain under such. I too have pain in neck shoulders, down into my arms- hands and also legs and feet. I have been diagnosed for 10 years and had symptoms also prior to diagnosis. My FM started with severe fatigue and progressed into pain.

    I have dealt with some major stressors in my life also and do believe this has not helped matters at all. I refuse to give into this monster. I choose to live my life to the fullest possible despite the pain and fatigue. I am almost certain that my determination at times makes things worse for me personally. I do a lot of volunteer work and am also working part time for the flu season.

    In answer to your question. I believe we have to find a balance that works for us. Proper diet, taking supplements- such as vitamin D, magnesium, B- complex, etc does help some of us. Go to tips and tools on the side and there is some great information to be found there. You may have to do some trial and error for yourself to find the right balance that works for you. Relaxation- in any form you can get it - yoga, meditation, hot bath with candles and soft relaxing music, etc. Massage therapy and physical therapy are used by some successfully. Explore all your options. Is there anyone who can help you to relieve some of your burden? You are carrying a heavy load and have been doing so for a long time it sounds like.

    I will keep you in my prayers. Keep coming back here it is so good to be able to vent and share with others who understand to a degree what you are going through. We all are suffering with this pain and fatigue that goes along with this demon. Glad you found this site. God Bless you. Cat :0)
    shirley2010 responded:
    Hi Dixie ... u are not alone. i think i started with anxiety/depression when i was very young and it worked its way to my extremeties only ... the older I became (less active maybe), the worse it was.

    When the drs. first told me that my trigger points indicated FM, few had ever heard of it ... the drs. were not that familiar, not even specialist going back 15 or 20 years ago.

    The Dr. gave me Paxil , i think 40 or 50 mg. all the way up to a 100... it saved my life i think... i am now down to 20 mg. only 1 time a day !!

    Hang in there , and remember like my mom always says, " it is always darkest before dawn.

    I think FM is always there, but,hormonal in nature...
    Dixiegal12344 replied to shirley2010's response:
    Hi, everyone, I know I'm not alone, but this stuff sure hurts and it is nice to be able to tell somebody how I feel without them thinking that it is all in my head....Lord knows I'd never wish this on anybody, even someone I dislike..

    Today was particularly stressful for me and needless to say, I have had lots of pain and fatigue...some days I am so tired that I can hardly function..

    Anyway, it is certainly nice to hear from you all and it would be great to keep in touch..

    Thanks ever so much again ! ! ! !

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