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    Can it be done without drugs?
    maggiethedoglover posted:
    Hi all,

    Having been on more medication than I desire, I have been thinking about reducing my pain medication, Tramadol, and my main fibro med, Lyrica, with the hope of eliminating them altogether, eventually. Although I haven't done so already, I will be seeing my doctor about some horrible foot pain this week and will discuss it with her then.

    My question is to those of you who may have been on meds and now rely entirely on vitamins and supplements and also those who never took prescription drugs but are managing their fibro.

    My main motivation for doing this is to reduce the fibro fog and the chronic fatique, as well as any other side effects that I may be causing my body.

    Please help me and others who may feel that they do not want drugs if they don't need them.


    Soft hugs,


    Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats - Voltaire
    Dollbug responded:
    Hello maggie....MiMi in NC....I am one of the FMers who take Prestiq daily for depression....that's all I take....I have tried different kinds of medicines that did not help me cope...and caused side effects also....I have learned how to "control my FM pain by taking vitamins and supplements and doing other things as well....I have found nothing though that has helped the chronic fatigue that I have....

    I take Fibro Response, Vitamin D, Super B Complex, Calcium, Omegas, plus I do have other health issues...but these are the ones which help my FM pain...(the Fibro Response is from Vitamin store)

    I have also found out that if I tweak them sometimes...then they work better...sometimes I will just change to a different brand...if I think they are not working like they did in the beginning...

    I have had several surgeries and I only take pain pills for a couple of days after them....I have found that I do NOT like the way I feel when I am taking them...

    I have also read that pain pills do not help our FM pain but for a very short time...

    I do take Co Q 10...which is suppose to help the fibro fog...

    Please remember though...that what works for one...may or may not work for another....only you will know when you have found something that is working for you....and it does take took me a long time to figure out just what I needed...

    Take care and good luck...


    My personal exchanges are Vitamin D and Pain and Wrath of the Dragon....if you care to visit..
    maggiethedoglover replied to Dollbug's response:
    Hi MiMi,

    I was hoping you'd reply. You are an inspiration to me.

    Were you ever on regular fibro meds and pain pills? I am on Lyrica, Tramadol and Lexapro (for depression).

    It 's just so horrible to think of living my life this way. I am 66 but, until recently, I worked an average of 60 hours per week. Then I retired in May. Although I am broke, there are many things I would like to do in retirement that the chronic fatique won't let me. It did help to reduce my Tramadol somewhat. Instead of 100mg 3 or 4 times/day, I take 50 most times and only 100 if the pain is worse than usual.

    Were you in a lot more pain before your vitamin/supplement regimen? If you were on prescription drugs, how did you wean yourself off?

    I expected a lot more replies to my discussion. Are you the only one that you know of who does it without drugs?

    So many questions! It's kind of scary even thinking of doing it without drugs.

    Guess I'll also be getting my doctor's opinion, even though she seems to be learning along with me. Also research....maybe that pain management site can help.

    Thanks so much for your reply. I hope your broken bones heal quickly.

    Thanks also for being a stalwart of this site and holding it together as you do. You are an amazing women.

    Soft hugs,


    Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats - Voltaire
    KatmanduLou responded:
    I'm doing quite well on Elavil. Period. If I get any acute pain (mostly muscle spasms) I have Tramadol, but don't take it regularly. I asked my doc about Lyrica, but he said he didn't want to change my med, since it's working.
    Best, Lou
    TomJust responded:
    Hi Maggie,
    I'm taking 90 mg of Cymbalta and Tylenol for pain. I've had negative side effects from all the prescription pain medications I've taken. I use ice and heat for pain and stretch and meditate when it's really bad. Try to get out to walk daily.
    I still get Fibro fog and fatigue even though I'm not taking pain medications. I think for me, they are just part of the fibro syndrome. I share your frustration.

    Best of luck with your doctor.
    maggiethedoglover replied to KatmanduLou's response:
    Thanks Lou,

    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" always was a good rule to live by.


    Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats - Voltaire
    maggiethedoglover replied to TomJust's response:
    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your reply. I know all of my fatique isn't due to drugs and won't go away, but I do feel less tired since I decreased my Tramadol. I use heat, stretching, relaxation tapes, slow deep breathing, whirlpool baths. They all help. The thing is, I really don't want to be on medication for the rest of my life. However, when I'm in a flare, I don't know how I could handle not having meds.

    How do you use cold....just for acute injuries?

    Soft hugs,


    Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats - Voltaire
    maryfibro24yrs replied to maggiethedoglover's response:
    Just weighing in here,
    I've had periods during the course of this FM where I used no drugs. The hardest part is weening off the "big ones"! A few months ago I found myself with no money, so no medications! Withdawal was horrid and it took almost a solid month to not feel the withdrawal! When I finallly got the money I tried taking the minimum but still found no improvement. I couldn't get off the couch! The worse one to not have is my sleep aide. Next worse is no muscle relaxants! The rest like Ibuprofen etc I still try to wait until I'm all balled up in pain before I take it! The other stuff I take is not prescription and is used for intestinal management of IBS, antacids for GERD, I was taking OTC prilosec for a few years now I just graze so that my stomach does not get full enough where it's a problem. Like Mr Tom I use a lot of ice or heat and other palliative measures. I'll never be pain and symptom free and I had to accept that! Don't let it stop you from doing things though as I have found that when I am able to distract myself with pleasant activites I don't "think about" or feel the pain as much!
    Keep us posted as to how you're managing!
    TomJust replied to maggiethedoglover's response:
    Hi Maggie Darlin',

    Funny you should ask about ice and acute injuries. I've got my ice slushie bag on my ankle right now. I took the dogs out at 5:00 this morning, hit a patch of frost or frozen ground and went down, ending up with my right leg out and behind me. Feel it all the way up to my hip, but the ankle's the worse. The dogs were startled but so good and stood still until I could get up and get their leashes. My slushie bag recipe is 2 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol. I keep the mixture in zip locks in the freezer and they stay malleable so they conform to the spot you're icing.

    On better days, I use heat; heating pad or microwave moist heat pad, then I stretch gently and then use the ice. Done daily I find good benefit. Psychologically, I've begun to think "The ice is on. I'm going something good."

    Tramadol made me very irritable, even to my sweet pooches, so I had to stop that one.

    As to flares, I've been in one since Sunday eve. I move more slowly and limit my activities and try to sleep but often can't. My flares feel like I have flu, so it's not just pain, it's swollen glands, sore throat and fatigue. And our least favorite, Fibro fog.

    All my best to you...wishing you a sunny day, even if it rains.

    TomJust replied to maryfibro24yrs's response:
    Dear Mary, Tom here. Great advice about diversion. It's the reason I spend so much time online. It occupies my mind and diverts my attention. I just have to set my timer to remind myself to get up and walk around every 20 minutes or I get stiff. I've become quite the armchair traveler, and with Google maps I can drop down into the map and look at the street view of what I've been looking up.
    I spent 6 weeks coming off one med. Terrible experience!
    Wishes for a happy day.
    maggiethedoglover replied to maryfibro24yrs's response:
    Hi Mary,

    After all of my brave talk, I had a huge flare yesterday and was in total agony. I don't know if any of my dreams of being drug free will ever come to pass.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Right now I still have health insurance (for 3 more years until the $$ runs out of my health retirement account). I can't imagine having to go through withdrawal and all of that pain because of a lack of funds.

    Please vote for people who will support the new national health plan. I am afraid of it getting overturned. As it now stands, if we keep the law, the medicare donut hole will gradually close. So many greedy people who care only about themselves, are trying to overturn the law.

    Many soft hugs,


    Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats - Voltaire
    maggiethedoglover replied to TomJust's response:
    hi Tom,

    You sound like such a wonderful, caring person! I am so sorry you fell. Hope it is better soon. 4 years ago, that was how I broke my elbow, walking my dog on an icy evening.

    You already have ice? Here in southeastern Wisconsin, we have had a lot of rain but, so far, no snow or ice. Even so, it seems like winter is well on its way and I still have 20 unplanted tulip bulbs. All I need is one decent day when I am feeling good.

    Thanks for sharing and for caring about everyone.

    Soft hugs,


    Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats - Voltaire
    xperky replied to maggiethedoglover's response:
    Maggie - I was wondering if a flare might happen, but hey, you are giving it a good try. It may take longer, and require a slower taper for you. Or, you may find a minimum drug level that keeps you away from flares and not over drugged. I hope you find a happy medium for now.

    Hugs to you during your flare.
    With Compassion,
    TomJust replied to maggiethedoglover's response:
    HI Maggie!

    I'm so sorry to hear about the flare. I'm responding to your response to Mary because I agree so completely with you about the importance of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I think it needs to do even more for American. I think Medicare should be available to everyone. The system is in place and would shift the emphasis on healthcare and illness prevention away from profit and toward people care.

    Did you know that the average Dutch man is 6'3"? Dutch women are correspondingly tall. They are in better health than Americans in general and they all get better prenatal care because of their....cover your ears!....socialized medicine.
    By the way, American are growing shorter and fatter and less healthy as the years go by.

    So that's my rant for this morning. Four your sake and millions of others I hope people in government wake up to the needs of the citizens.

    Thank you for your most lovely compliments! I'm touched and it helps so much to hear something kind. And you...well, you're have to be a good person.

    KatmanduLou replied to maggiethedoglover's response:
    My dc said something like "oh, those ads..." He said that some people come in and demand the meds they see on TV, and sometimes he has to convince a patient that just because it's new doesn't mean it's better.

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