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    The Fatigue
    dolld posted:
    Hi Friends,
    I'm wondering if anyone has a problem with being "tired" all the time? I have degenerative disc diease of the back, plus radiculopathy(sp) pain of the left leg.Plus I was told I also have some mild degenerative arthritic changes at the c5-c6 and c6-c7 with bone spurs in my neck, ugh!! I have also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia! I feel as if my entire body hates me. Despite the pain, I try to walk at least two miles daily. But after I walk or clean the house I feel so tired I literally have to lay down. Some days I fall asleep after my walks, but most days I'm just tired. I take morphene, vicodin, and a muscle relaxer to control my pain, and Ive been able to reduce the amount after my neurostimulator implanted in my back. When I told my doctor about my fatigue he gave me Ambien, to help me sleep. The only problem is it takes even longer for me to get up! Im so tired of bein tired! I need adviced. It's hard to have a life when it takes every once of strength to get thru the day.
    1wareaglefan responded:
    Hello, Dolld....I also have fibro along with spinal issues that cause pain. Besides pain, fatigue is one of the major symptoms of fibro. So, yes, I'm tired most of the time!

    I was just wondering...were you having trouble sleeping before your doctor prescribed the ambien? Also, the times I've tried muscle relaxers (even just at night), I was so tired the next day, I decided I didn't want to take them. So that could be making you more tired.

    I also discovered I had low vitamin B-12, and I was very fatigued from that. I got better after taking the shots on a regular basis.

    I don't know if any of this helps or not....I hope you're able to feel better soon!

    Take care.....Elizabeth
    annette030 responded:
    I have taken ambien pretty much daily for about 15 years now. Once I went off the ambien and tried other sleep aids, but they didn't work, so my doctor put me back on ambien at a slightly higher dose. I prefer it to other sleep aids because it has a very short half life, about 2.5 hours, so I don't get the hangover that I got from other meds similar to muscle relaxants.

    My primary symptom from FMS now is pain, but fatigue runs a close second for me. I really have not found anything that helps much. I am disabled and no longer working, so I just try and factor naps into my daily routine when I can.

    I have DDD of my cervical spine, FMS, and migraines. I just had surgery on the 19th, but I feel like I am recovering well.

    I simply do not sleep much without the ambien, my pain levels then go up through the roof. Life is no good without sleep, lol. 5-6 hours with ambien is better than 1-2 hours without it.

    Take care, Annette
    bren_bren responded:
    Hi Doll,
    Are you confident in your doctor's diagnosis of fibro? Have you considered another physician's opinion? To me, with all of the activity, your body is capable of doing it - even if you are fatigued afterwards - you may be dealing with a hormone deficiency. Have you had your thyroid checked?
    I know how you feel. Some nights I finally fall asleep for about 8 hrs, then I can sleep for 3-4 hrs the next day..very abnormal. But I am not as active as you are. I recently had my cortisol levels checked - results = adrenal exhaustion/ low testosterone. This is what is primarily contributing to my issues w/ fatigue.

    You are doing quite a bit of activity, so there appears to be some balance in your overall health - what about nutrition?
    I am seriously doubting you will find some "magic bullet", but it is definitely worth talking to your physician who prescribes the Ambien. Please let us know what you pursue.
    Best of luck, B
    nowthis responded:
    Ugh, the Fatigue is as bad as the pain some days!

    I hate how it affects our lives!!

    First of all, im 25, only 25 and i just feel EXHAUSTED all the time. I'm going to see my PM dr in the morning,and i plan on asking him if he can give me anything to help me sleep. At this point im going to bed around 3-4 AM and usually up at 8 or 9.It is 1:40 AM now, appt is at 10:40, so hoping to get atleast 5 hours of sleep at some point tonight.

    I know it sounds crazy and it is crazy how i can be so tired but have such a problem sleeping!

    Hope you get some good rest & get energized soon!

    divineinsanity responded:
    Get on board, I'm on Nuvigil to help with those exact problems. I'm on pain meds also that would kill a small horse, and muscle relaxers, etc. About to have spinal surgery too. Hang in there, just add Nuvigil, and it will even things out for you. It did for me.
    divineinsanity replied to nowthis's response:
    Easy, I was that age 2 years ago. You need something to give you a boost, not help you sleep or any of that stuff. Nuvigil or Provigil, or if you have or had ADD or AD/HD, then you already know what other meds i'm describing.
    granmabrenda replied to 1wareaglefan's response:
    Have you had a sleep study? sounds like pain interferes with your sleep? if you have sleep problems there are meds for this that improve the fatigue that accompanies these types of pain conditions and the meds we need to manage pain. the meds i am taliking about are provigil, nuvigil or ritalin. if you do not have any counterindications you doctor may want to try one of these. i have found they help me with sardoidosis nruropathy and polyarthritis, with pain and fatigue being my biggest issues. Also it helps to plan for periods of activity followed by equal amounts of rest. Some days it is 30 min. up and 30 min. down
    Iknowaboutpain responded:
    Chronic pain can carry with it several problems.
    Depression, lack of energy, sleepless nights, and increased pain that disrupts ones life.

    In many cases, Narcotics, are not beneficial.
    Why? unlike acute pain, chronic pain is there for more than 6 months and continues thru ones life time.
    Narcotics are not ment to treat pain on a long term basis.
    Your nervous system and brain become accustomed to the narcotic, and your body starts to respond in a way,that can place you in mini withdrawl.
    Your body stops responding to the dose of medicine your on, and screams out that it needs more in order to get the pain under controll.
    The more you need to take, or the more often you need to take the narcotics, the more it begins to affect your cognition, memory, wakfullness and sleep patterns.
    Not to mention other organs in your body, for example your liver..
    Other medications added can just increae these problems instead of helping.
    There are many Chronic Pain facilities that you can contact for help with management of your chronic pain. They can also help with your lethargy and sleep problems.
    Depending on the nature of your pain, There are " Other "ways to manage it, and Other medications that might help you as opposed to Narcotics. Please research out these Chronic pain facilities, and ask your physician about them also.
    Best wishes to you.
    lbush202 responded:
    Hi Doll,
    wow, we have the same life. Watch out for the ambien. I started eating in my sleep. After 2 months on ambien, I was found drinking wine in my sleep. Make sure you have some one to keep an eye on you until you find out how you respond to the ambien. I wish you luck with your pain and fatigue. I have found no relief for the pain and fatigue.
    Minfire responded:
    I second the suggestion to get your hormones checked. Do an adrenal fatigue test. I was having trouble even walking, I was so tired. I had to hold onto friends backpacks to be able to walk across hallways during school, and I'm only 18.

    Even though when they tested me I didn't have hypothyroidism, sometimes the tests are wrong. They put me on hypothyroid meds anyways and now I'm 200% better, if still very sick. My fatigue is no longer the biggest issue in my life.
    In addition, my cortisol levels and vitamin D levels were low, so we're supplementing those. Are there certain times of day you have more energy than others? Might be because of cortisol problems.

    Good luck!
    jody80918 responded:
    Drop the narcotics and try some medical marijuana. You might gain a few pounds if you're not careful with the munchies, but you will improve tolerance to pain and likely see improvement in quality of life, if you're not the high strung, paranoid, government employee type. Relax and enjoy the short life given by God. Peace.
    poetryfrog responded:
    I have fibro, IBS, depression, anxiety, hypothyroidism. My rheumy put me on Cymbalta to help with the pain mostly. She also put me on Trazadone which is a second anti-depressant that helped me stay asleep but not feel overly groggy in the morning. I'll usually take tylenol and/or Tramadol at bedtime too even if I'm not hurting. The pain from a pressure point may be triggered in the middle of the night if I turn over into the wrong position. The Trazadone really helps me to get a more restful sleep which is very important. Also give yourself more time to be in bed. I usually reserve up to 10 hours just for sleep. The Cymbalta during the day helps kills 75% of the peripheral nerve pain I have & 50% of the fibro pain, but not all. According to articles it's a SNRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) which blocks the reuptake of serotonin and allow more serotonin to travel from neuron to neuron. That results in improved mood.

    It would be good for you to have your thyroid levels tested (TSH) and for Vitamin D deficiencies. A large daily dose of vitamin B complex will help with overall energy. Vitamin B must be used in conjunction with the other Vit B's to be most effective. I throw in caffeine in the morning, if I have a chance, just to get going a little sooner. Be careful with Ambien and Ambien CR & some of the other sleep meds. They can cause some nasty side effects. Some you don't realize until much later. I couldn't remember 1/2 of my day and my cognitive ability tanked horribly, even simple math didn't add up correctly for me. Not to mention other side effects like severe mood swings, anxiety & of course one of the most common is the eating during the night which means you're not getting restorative sleep, just amnesia :P If you're up and around, then you're not sleeping properly which isn't ideal for anyone with fibro.

    Visit a Rheumatologist who is familiar and knowledgeable about fibro & similar conditions and review all of your medication options and more tests that can be causing your severe fatigue. Fatigue is a big part of fibro, but it seems to me that when I was that tired myself I had more going on with my body than just the fibro. It was my thyroid & vit D levels too as well as finding the right combo of medications for myself. Here's a link for a Webmd article on the Effective Medications for Fibromyalgia . Back pain isn't something I've had to deal with, but that mixed with the fibro doesn't have to put you so severely out of commission. Keep up the exercise & open a line of communication with your doctor. If he/she isn't hearing what you are saying, then find another who does. Pain is not something that should be ignored by doctors & it can be managed with the right therapies. Hope this helps some. Best of luck to you!
    smurkyjo replied to divineinsanity's response:
    is the Nuvigil like provigil just a newer product? and is it covered by insurance . i have state medicaid in florida.
    ColoBAM responded:
    Dolld & others,

    I am impressed you can walk 2 miles a day. I am disappointed that does not aid in your energy level. My Doc thinks more exercise will help with my fatigue. I know I get home after work in pain & the last thing on my mind is exercise. I do feel tired all of the time. I am on what I am told is a lot of pain meds-morphine IR & ER & methadone for similar back & neck issues, with anxiety & depression meds that cause drowsiness also. Sleep meds never improved my energy level. My pain Dr. recently mentioned testosterone, as a recent blood test showed me in the low end of the normal range-very close to being below normal & not typical of a 36 yr old. Much debate arose with my PCP, somewhat due to another condition which has since passed.

    I didn't get to all of the responses but wonder if anyone else has tried testosterone or hormones to help with fatigue/tiredness & what the results were?

    I think pain just takes a lot out of a person throughout the day & unfortunately part of the treatment causes drowsiness. My only solution has been copious amounts of coffee & recently added tea.

    Good luck Dolld. Hope to be able to read more responses for tips.

    Thoughts & prayers to all who suffer chronic pain!


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