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I have had Fibromyalgia pain that was cyclical for years, then degenerating hip joints and have a spinal fusion. Though I had been managing pain over the years, since my first spine surgery at age 16, (am now nearly 75), it was not until I reached age 60 that I was referred to that rarest of specialities-pain management. I had learned to "deal" with pain as a teen, but my hip joints and other joint issues kept cropping up as I aged. My first doc asked whether I needed to treat my lack of good sleep or the pain. I did both. Long story short, I began taking a carefully controlled regimen of Motrin 2400 mgs three times daily and then was moved to Vicodin -beginning at 350's every 6 hours-graduaklly moving up to 750's every 4-6 hours. I di become addicted, both physiologically and psychologically, watching the clock all the time, enjoying the ultimate relief once I took my dose. I had opioid constipation, itchy bumps on my skin, and such horrible lack of concentration at work! As my joint issues progressed and surgeries issued, I hoped to kick the addiction, was sent home for my recoveries-with OxyContin, Vicodin, Demerol and even morphine!! I quickly trashed the oxy and the morphine. Then called pain management for help, saying I could not go back to work until I was off of all opioids. I was given a patch of a med to help with the symptoms of detox and went through a week of hell, but it was worth it. That was in 2009. I have had four surgeries since and have had to be very careful about treating the pain. The sad thing is that there are helpful alternatives and so few specialists to manage them. Most of what I did was done on my own. I now also use hot/cold packs, mild range of motion exercise, electrical stimulation-bought an e-stem unit through my physical therapy office for $50 and use it regularly-careful to use as directed. I have, on each occasion, tried injections, but they have not worked for me so far. GI also use visualization meditation-though I admit that it is often very hard to quiet my "monkey-mind". While I was caring for my husband with dementia my pain levels rose considerably due to stress. Lobby as you can for more pain management expertise within your own medical groups. Primary care doc's need to be much better educated in this. It was hard. I have facilitated a fibromyalgia support group-taking the attitude that this pain will always be an integral part of my life, knowing how emotional and physical stress affects that pain level and talking about the human condition and pain. Sometimes you have to embrace it as inevitable and work through it, but DO NOT STOP MOVING!! Get rest-drink lots of water and stretch. That is my advice and I stick by it. There are dietary thing to help, but always try to find a pain management doc and ask plenty of questions. Am now faced with arthritic and deherative shoulders.

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In my area we do have Pain Management Doctors which were a big help with a friend who lost her leg due to diabetes. I also have a couple of friends who suffer from Fibromyalgia. We have a therapy group that has a pool in the facility. My one friend has found a lot of relief from going a few times a week especially during flare ups.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Good for you! I can't imagine dealing with that kind of pain. I had a taste of it a couple of times and it was horrific. So glad you have had such good success.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Kudos to you, She! Thanks for sharing your journey.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I want to cheer loudly for your determination and stamina. Please write testimonials for the professionals who have supported you in this holistic and open-minded approach!

Why aren't there more of them? Because it is soooooo much easier to give someone a pill. And, to be fair, because the whole field of pain is so complex and with so much still beyond current knowledge. And, to be a bit harsh, because there are many sufferers who do not have your positivity and determination and don't like to be told there isn't a simple answer.

But please, keep on keeping on, and may pain management clinics go forth and multiply.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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