Do you have chronic myofascial pain (trigger points)?

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial PainTrig­ger points (TrPs) con­fuse many peo­ple. Peo­ple who suf­fer from Fibromyal­gia Syn­drome (FMS) have ten­der points that are used for diag­no­sis, not trig­ger points. TrPs can lead to Chron­ic Myofas­cial Pain (CMP). Try­ing to explain both of them is real­ly beyond me, but Devin Star­lanyl does a great job of mak­ing all of it clear. Her web site is great, but believe me, her books are even bet­ter!

The Trigger Point Therapy WorkbookIn any case, I have CMP and FMS. For the past week or so, I haven’t been able to move my neck much because of pain on the right side that referred down my arm and around to my chest. I know I’ve got scar tis­sue there in my neck, and com­pres­sion of a nerve between two of the ver­te­brae, but nor­mal­ly I can move my neck through a full range of motion. I have no idea what happened—maybe I slept wrong? I don’t know, and I haven’t real­ly been sleep­ing much in any case.

Body Back BuddyI had my month­ly vis­it with my pain man­age­ment doc­tor today, and men­tioned the prob­lem. Right off, the PA asked if I want­ed to try trig­ger point injec­tions. With­in 15 min­utes, the pain was fad­ing. I was afraid it would come right back, but so far it has­n’t. By the time I got home, I was falling asleep in part due to the intense relief.

I def­i­nite­ly hope that I would­n’t have any par­tic­u­lar place that is so painful next month, but I’ll def­i­nite­ly be ready to speak up about what­ev­er is most painful.

Tiger Tail MassagerIf your doc­tor does­n’t offer trig­ger point ther­a­py for you, ask about it!

Knobble IIIf you’re sure that you have TrPs, you can also try treat­ing them your­self. For lay­men, the best book about TrPs is The Trig­ger Point Ther­a­py Work­book by the late Clair Davies. I have a copy, and rec­om­mend it. I’ve found that it’s best used in con­junc­tion with a Ther­a­Cane, but it seems there are sev­er­al oth­er nice tools avail­able now, too.

BacknobberTheraCaneI found it nec­es­sary to have some­one else help me with the treat­ments, but they did work. They were more painful than the injec­tions, and you need to do them three times a day. On the oth­er hand, they did­n’t require a trip to the doc­tor or a pre­scrip­tion, and once you learn how to treat your­self you can do it when­ev­er you need it. Our for­mer house­mate helped me with the treat­ments, but I’m hop­ing that my part­ner will learn to do them. They do work!

I’m alive! How about you?

It’s been an insane­ly long time since I gave this site its due. I sup­pose the real prob­lem with blog­ging about health prob­lems is that the peo­ple who know them best, by def­i­n­i­tion, have health prob­lems. I’d love to find some­one with whom to co-write this thing, so we could cov­er for each oth­er!

Any­way, I had an insane­ly long bad peri­od but I’m feel­ing bet­ter now. One fac­tor in the improve­ment was stop­ping Effex­or XR, which I’d tak­en for years. I did­n’t actu­al­ly do that on purpose—It was due to an insane­ly irre­spon­si­ble doc­tor who refused to see me because of a screw-up in his office’s pro­ce­dures, not any­thing I’d done wrong. I had to just stop tak­ing it, cold turkey, which led to seizures and oth­er prob­lems. On the plus side, though, I’ve been far less drowsy and don’t need near­ly as many hours of sleep as I did before. (I’m actu­al­ly expe­ri­enc­ing some insom­nia, which isn’t good, but it’s a change.)

Any­way, my Social Secu­ri­ty dis­abil­i­ty claim was final­ly approved after over five years of wait­ing. They haven’t start­ed pay­ing any­thing yet, but that’s sup­posed to hap­pen Real Soon Now. I have to tell you, though—the Medicare thing is a con­fus­ing maze of choic­es, obvi­ous­ly designed by bureau­crats. You almost need to become a Medicare expert just to know what ben­e­fits are avail­able and how to get them!

For now, here’s a link to an arti­cle I found inter­est­ing:
Do Fibromyal­gia Pain Killers Make You a Like­ly Crime Vic­tim?

I don’t agree with all of the advice. Peo­ple in Geor­gia have been arrest­ed for hav­ing legit­i­mate­ly pre­scribed med­ica­tions because the med­ica­tions weren’t in pre­scrip­tion con­tain­ers. It’s a real nui­sance to car­ry the bot­tles instead of just what you need, and it prob­a­bly does put us at greater risk for crime—but is it worth being arrest­ed? That’s a Catch-22.

What was her name?

While I was read­ing friends’ updates at Face­book today, some­thing remind­ed me of a girl I knew back in high school. She went to my high school, and as far as I know she was in my grad­u­at­ing class. I did­n’t meet her at school, though, and I don’t think our paths crossed there. I knew her from church. She intro­duced me to the guy who became my first hus­band (who she had dat­ed in the recent past).

Now I’m dri­ving myself nuts, because I absolute­ly can­not remem­ber her name! I can see her face, plain as day. I remem­ber that she had a some­what uncom­mon last name. I think she had an old­er broth­er who had been a big deal on the foot­ball team a year or three ahead of us. Why can’t I remem­ber her name?

I’m real­ly bad with names, hon­est­ly. A Face­book appli­ca­tion was ask­ing me to ver­i­fy 130+ peo­ple as high school class­mates, and tru­ly, I did­n’t rec­og­nize many of them at all. I did­n’t remem­ber most of the peo­ple I saw at our five year reunion. After 25 years? I’m hope­less.

Maybe I should get my old year­books out and look at Face­book and the year­books at the same time. I don’t know that I’d be any bet­ter that way, either. I need con­text for most people—not just a face and a name, but also some­thing like “that guy from home­room who was always draw­ing cars in his note­books” or “that sopra­no who bathed in Emer­aude” or “the cute geeky drum­mer who sel­dom made eye con­tact with any­body” (okay, him I’d rec­og­nize, and I do remem­ber his name).

Our year­books aren’t the sort that list­ed peo­ple’s activ­i­ties with their pho­tos. You would have to search through all the activ­i­ty list­ings to find out who did what, which is much more annoy­ing.