You Look Fine To Me

I have mentioned on a few occasions that I have a condition which causes chronic pain. I hesitate to talk much about it, though, because the condition I’ve been diagnosed with is often misunderstood; some people don’t even believe it exists.

I look fine, after all.

There is no test for fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is made after every other suspected illness has been ruled out.

You can’t see fibromyalgia. I can’t point to a specific injury so you can get an idea of how much I may be hurting. But it hurts all the time. Some days are better than others, but I hurt every day of my life, all day long, to varying degrees.

Sometimes it feels like a burning ache all over my body. Other times it’s a dull, throbbing pain throughout. At its worst, I’ve described it to Mike as the sensation that my muscles are trying to strangle my bones. It’s deep and excruciating. So much so that simply standing and walking across the room can cause me to cry out in pain.

Even when sitting comfortably with a heating pad, sometimes just holding a book or a cup of tea is out of the question. My hands either hurt too much or they just don’t have the strength to hold on. If the fibromyalgia itself isn’t bad enough, I also have osteoarthritis in my spine and various other joints, to further complicate things.

Over the counter medications offer very little relief, if they even help at all. The only prescription medications that have ever given me enough relief to make the cost worthwhile were narcotics, and I simply can’t live like that.

It’s finally starting to get good and cold for us Texans, and the weather aggravates the pain, which means I’m going to have a hard time working this week. My office chair broke long ago, and sitting in this stiff kitchen chair is about to make me scream.

I hope this makes some kind of sense. Flare-ups like the one I feel coming on also cause concentration problems, so it’s difficult to focus on exactly what I’m trying to say. Maybe I’d better just hit the sack before it gets any worse.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On

20 responses to “You Look Fine To Me

  • saintpaulgrrl

    I’m sorry you’re in pain, Lottie. I wish that there was something I could do. If I were there, I’d go shopping for the absolutely most comfortable desk chair we could find for you. I know that wouldn’t be a cure, but it might help you be more comfortable and there would be good thoughts associated with the gift.

    Yes, yes, we need to go shopping!

  • dam

    I’m sorry to hear this, Lottie. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve heard of this disease before-a friend’s daughter has it and she says it is painful, too. I hear it is mysterious and misunderstood. I guess what that means is that there is absolutely no treatment since drs don’t even understand. It is cold here, too. What part of Texas are you in?

  • truthwalker

    I’m sorry, Lottie. That sucks. I wish I had advice or some anecdote But, nope. That just sucks.

  • Lottie

    Bonnie: Thank you. The fact that you care means a lot to me. That generates good thoughts too.

    There are ways to manage it, but no cure. It basically means all over soft tissue (muscle, tendons, ligaments) pain of unknown origin. The good thing, though, is that it’s not degenerative.

    Truthwalker: Yep! It sucks. Sometimes that’s all there is to say. I appreciate it.

    Thank you all very much for your concern. Knowing that people care helps more than you might realize. It’s good for my state of mind, and that can go a long way.

  • Selena

    Girlfriend, I wish you were closer! I would give you a soothing massage. A lot of my clients have fibro (muscle fiber)myalgia(pain). It DOES exist! How do you feel abut herbal remedies?

  • Lottie

    That sounds so nice! Massage helps a lot too. If we lived in the same city, I’d probably become one of your regulars.

    I’ve never tried herbal remedies. I’m open to checking into it, though. Do you have something specific in mind?

  • girldujour

    Interesting. I just switched from one PCP (Primary Care Physician) to another after many years. I first was attracted to the doctor that I just left because her background was in osteopathy and she was more concerned with the cause rather than the symptom.

    As ODs gained more medical clout, she reverted like most doctors to prescribing rather than curing or finding the cause.

    I personally believe that diet (and I don’t mean weight loss, rather your intake of food) and exercise (along with other good living habits) are the key to a happy healthy life, rather than lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry CEOs.

    I don’t know what winters are like in Texas, but here in California it is in the 20s, and not only is that extremely rare (but just ask Sarah Palin, humans are NOT having any impact on the environment or global climate changes) but it’s just plain WRONG. Take a look at the plant and animal life–and the homeless people.

  • Lottie

    Actually, weight loss can help because it takes stress off the joints. Unfortunately, that can be difficult for some people with fibromyalgia. While light exercise can help, too much can aggravate it, increasing the pain. Finding that fine line between just enough and too much is a challenge, and it can change from one day to the next.

    That leaves us with diet, as you mentioned. Yes, healthy eating is certainly good for us all. There are certain foods that seem to aggravate my condition as well.

    That said, even the healthiest diet in the world won’t cure or prevent everything, and while I agree that there are some problems within the pharmaceutical industry, the reality is that we need it.

    There are millions of people who truly need their medications in order to function properly. These people are not all dumb suckers who have fallen victim to some (perceived) conspiracy by drug companies. Many of them would literally die without their medications, regardless of how well they eat or how often they exercise.

    To be perfectly honest, one of the reasons I hesitate to discuss my health issues is because, inevitably, well-meaning individuals with the best of intentions say things which seem to suggest that people who are chronically ill or disabled don’t know how to take care of themselves, haven’t tried or at least looked into every available treatment, brought the condition on themselves through poor/unhealthy living habits or other bad choices, and/or that they haven’t been cured because they’ve chosen not to be.

    It can be very frustrating, which is why I avoid bringing it up in the first place.

  • Selena

    In a class I took recently, I heard that cayanne pepper and st. john’s wort are good soothers for joint and muscle inflamation. I am wanting to make a salve and tub teas with these ingredients for some of my clients to try out. After I get a “roundtoit” and make some, I’ll send you some to try out if you like. You can do a search on these 2 herbs in relation to fibromyalgia and see what you think about it.

    I can’t imagine being in perpetual pain 😦 Makes me greatful for a minor 2 hour headache!

  • Lottie

    That’d be really nice, Selena. Let me know when it’s ready.

    Thanks for your concern. I really appreciate it.

  • Selena

    I sent you an email 😉 But now I can’t find any of those spam links I was referring to…


  • Lottie

    Thanks, Selena. I replied. And I know the ones you were talking about.

    Thanks for taking notice. 😉

  • Ezekiel

    Lucifer (Lottie),

    I rebuke you and your witch craft and cast your demons beneath my feet in the name of Jesus Christ, the one, the only Lord God of the highest.

    (Ezekiel writes: “I have one with more power than anything you can say or write.”)

    Mark 11:22-24
    22 And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.
    23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.
    24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

    Matthew 12:31-32
    31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
    32 “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

    Mark 7:14-16
    14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand:
    15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.
    16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

    Mark 8:34-36
    34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
    35 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

    Deuteronomy 18:9-12
    9 “When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.
    10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
    11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
    12 “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.

    2 Kings 9:26 ‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,’ says the LORD, ‘and I will repay you in this property,’ says the LORD. Now then, take and cast him into the property, according to the word of the LORD.”

    1 John 4:4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.


    As posted on:

  • Lottie

    Ain’t Zeek sweet? He thinks I’m an angel!

    He posted this exact same comment under four other posts, but I figured one was enough to entertain everyone here. You know, law of diminishing returns and all that.

  • Selena

    DUDE! 😯

    It’s scary cause this person is serious. I think?

  • Selena

    @ Ezekiel

    And surely I say to you, Get a life! That’s found in 1Skunny 2:7

  • Lottie

    Oh yes. He’s quite serious, Selena. He’s even made a post on his blog calling me a witch!

    I can’t stop giggling! 😆

    I think I’m going to change my avatar to a picture of Endora from Bewitched! Maybe I can find one of her smoking that hookah!


  • Selena

    Is he 7? Does he have to wear a “special helmet”?

    If you change your avatar to a witch, I’m so doing the same! 😆

  • Lottie

    Selena: Dang! I finally found the one I wanted and I’m having trouble cropping it right. Oh well… maybe next time.

    ::yawn:: It’s way past my bedtime. Nighty night…

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