Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Baaack.... Fibro Has Reared It's Ugly Head Again

My Pain Diary for November; all list up for Christmas
My Pain Diary for November

As much as I've been trying to convince myself differently, I'm having a horrible Fibro Flare.  It probably started in October, but I didn't want to believe it, and really didn't start tracking it well, until November.  If you're someone who deals w/a chronic illness, you know exactly what I mean by "tracking."  For the rest of you, when you have a chronic illness, it's quite easy for the medical profession to believe your complaints are exaggerated.  Especially in something like Fibro, where so many parts of your body can be affected.  To help your doctors and therapists help you, it's good to keep a diary.  No, not the kind where you profess your love or angst.  (Though for mental illness, which can be an aspect of Fibro, that's a good avenue of treatment too.)  In my case it's a pain diary.  I track what hurts; the where, how, intensity, how it started, what did to treat it & if/when it went away.  Since one of the major symptoms I've had in the past is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, (IBS,) I also keep a food diary.  Yes, it is one more thing to add to my day.  But, it can help show patterns, that can help your treatment.  For instance, hormonal changes tend to have a big impact.  If there's nothing your doctor can provide to help w/this, at least you know this, and can try to plan accordingly.  Try not to schedule anything really important during that week and such.  I track my pain on my smartphone.  (Of course there's an app for that.)  I can print reports from it, or be able to glance at calendar page & see where my spikes are.  The app that I use, My Pain Diary, allows me to enter all this information.  I don't really know if it's better or worse than other apps, because I haven't really tried many others.  It more or less works for me, so it's good.  (Though, upon getting that link, I see that there many more of these than there were when I first sought one.  I may have to try a few & provide a review on my other blog; that I also don't update near enough.)   Anyway, since I'm forced to pay more attention to all of this, I've really taken a good, hard look at my last year & it's really nothing short of amazing.  I haven't had an attack of significance since March.  Even then, April & May only included 2 bad days.  In the scope of things, 2 bad days a month, totally doable.  June - Sept had NO bad days.  That's pretty f'ing amazing.  NONE!  October had 5, which really isn't that bad.  I know a few of those were migraines, which I have good meds for, and can get under control pretty quickly.  November is when things went south in a big way.  On the calendar view of this app, it will color the date depending on your level of pain.  Moderate pain will show up yellow, severe will be read.  November & Dec look like a slasher movie it them.  I'm still committed to yoga, though I've had to back off on it, not wanting to make things worse.  And things seemed to really go south after my 3rd visit to my new chrio.  I was emailing him for suggestions/advice during the worst of it.  I think he was too aggressive in my last treatment.  In between that time, I saw my rheumatologist, who was amazed at how well I was doing.  Of course I was there because I wasn't doing all that well.  He told me to keep on doing what I was doing, and that w/every treatment there are good and bad days.  I was in the middle of a very long bad one.  I saw my chiro again a week after that & he thinks we were too aggressive, too fast.  Pulled back my treatment to what it was the month before (2nd visit,) and I was actually really good for 2 days.  I had expected to hurt more from my chiro visit, but nope, right off, everything was happy.  I'm back in the thick of everything being unhappy, but I have more hope these days.  I see my chiro again in 3 days, I'm hopeful that if we take things really slow, I'm going to continue to have more good days than bad.