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Nursing and Fibromyalgia

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by CaLVN530 CaLVN530 (New Member) New Member

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I've never heard anyone say fibro is a FORM of RA. It is in the same family as RA and several other types of arthritis. It certainly mimics RA in many ways. I've had fibro for over 20 years now and I get tested every few years for RA, always with negative results but there are times I'm sure I have developed RA. The last six months there are two fingers on my left hand that are very stiff and achey in the mornings. Sure feels like RA but I suppose it is JUST fibro.

I know about that "just one of the many things I have" stuff. Fibro seems to drag irritable bowel, gastritis, chronic fatique, allergies, etc along with it doesn't it? lol Oh well, it could be worse and fibro isn't fatal. That's my mantra on really bad days. :)

i've been tested on n off 4 RA n lupus, i get a butterfly rash when i feel really sick but they say it's just fibro...n i can rel8 2 all the other things u have w/ urs, me 2...have had 1 strong n 1 weak ANA rest r negative, sed rate is always pretty high tho...

but some days i have to admit i get petulant n wish it WAS fatal at least 4 me! get really tired of feeling bad, but i just kinda call it a "u'd feel better if u were hit by a fr8 train" day n laugh it off, nothin' else u can do. It will usually get better...usually...

it gets discouraging...i remember when AIDS activists had all those protests n then breast CA survivors n friends had protests 4 more $ to help them, i don't think they should have less but i think they count on us all being 2 sore n tired to have a protest! :zzzzz

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I love my cat! has 18 years experience and specializes in ER, PACU, Med-Surg, Hospice, LTC.

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here is a great article explaining fibromyalgia:

further legitimization of fibromyalgia as a true medical condition

"sciencedaily (june 25, 2007) — fibromyalgia, a chronic, widespread pain in muscles and soft tissues accompanied by fatigue, is a fairly common condition that does not manifest any structural damage in an organ. twenty-five years ago, muhammad b. yunus, md, and colleagues published the first controlled study of the clinical characteristics of fibromyalgia syndrome.

(i highlighted the above comment. i think this is one reason many people refuse to be open minded to this condition. i imagine people saying to themselves, "i don't see anything wrong on the labs and x-rays...you're fine, take some motrin and get back to work!"....and the people that blame it purely on psychological conditions and/or stereo-type fibromyalgia as a malady that only, "fat, depressed, females". get)

"dr. yunus describes 13 separate conditions that are related to central sensitization (cs), where the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain) becomes extremely sensitized on certain parts of the body, so that even mild pressure or touch would cause much pain. such hypersensitivity may also be associated with other symptoms such as poor sleep and fatigue. according to dr. yunus, "css are the most common diseases that are based on real neurochemical pathology and cause real pain and suffering."

 

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more and more research is showing that fibromyalgia is a neurological disorder. it is currently not listed as one, but i'm sure it will be within the next year. if you really don't understand what neurological disorders are, go here for a very easy explanation:

neurology.

i find that the more educated people become, the less judgmental they become as a result.

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Lstcats has 22 years experience and specializes in Nursing instructor, Geriatrics.

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It is so nice to have this website for FM suffers. I don't call it FMS because then I feel that it isn't a real disease and just a bunch of symptoms that make up a syndrome.

I so appreciate what you wrote about people not understanding because you "look" fine and are young. I am 46 but experience the same thing. I don't even understand it myself. When I went to nursing school we did not learn about this disorder. Even now it is hard to find much on it is nursing books. I was diagnosed in Jan. of 07 but believe that I had it for awhile. However, my main issue has been sleep apnea which seems to exacerbate the FM. I also suffer w/ bipolar disorder which the doctors keep saying is causing the FM. I disagree w/ what they say as I become depressed after I have had a bad day or two of the symptoms and not prior to. I tried a rheumatologist and she was horrible. I would not recommend Beth Israel in Boston to anyone diagnosed w/ FM as they will be poorly treated. I am wondering if I should be on disability and have had many people tell me to do that. Currently, I am working only one day per week as a nursing instructor. I am severly limited in the type of nursing I can do because of my health issues. Anyone relate? Also, I don't have my MSN which compounds the issue as I would have more opportunities to work at less strenous jobs. I can't work FT and have a note from my doctor re: my health stating I will need a reduced workload and may be absent due to FM. So, who wants to hire someone like that? I was fired from a FT job last June after two months. I brought the letter in to HR in May and also was in a bad auto accident with missed days of work. The auto accident exacerbated the FM horribly. It is a hard road. The FM is better in the last two months because the sleep apnea is now either cured or very well controlled. (Miracles do happen.) I also have an appt. to see a physiatrist this week. I am looking forward to this rehab doctor who is out of Spaulding Rehab in Boston and now at Beth Israel. I am grateful that I do have good medicine at my fingertips and that I am in the health care profession so that I know what is right.

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It's nice to know that there are others out there who know how I feel. ( Sorry it has to be a negative feeling). As of now, I am studying for the TEAS exam to become an LPN. Because of my Fibromyalgia ( I also have Lupus), I am taking the part-time program. I've been in school before, but not for nursing. I had a hard time before I was diagnosed b/c I had so many symptoms and it took the doctors a long to dianose the illness. For years doctor's told me it was all psychological or I kept getting the flu. It was hard to deal with. In a way it was a relief to know that I have an actual medical condition and not just losing my mind. I often have trouble concentrating and trouble sleeping as well as pain. I would like some advice on how to make it through nursing school while suffering from Fibromyalgia. For those of you who have to work limited hours, are you eligible for disbility ? Are any nursing specialties better suited with nurses with Fibromyalgia ? Is anyone from PA (I'm from philadelphia suburbs)?

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Lstcats has 22 years experience and specializes in Nursing instructor, Geriatrics.

102 Posts; 3,304 Profile Views

It's nice to know that there are others out there who know how I feel. ( Sorry it has to be a negative feeling).

:wink2:You are not being negative but "realistic". I am glad that I found this site. I believe God brought me to this site to meet other nurses w/ the disease.

 

As of now, I am studying for the TEAS exam to become an LPN. Because of my Fibromyalgia ( I also have Lupus), I am taking the part-time program. I've been in school before, but not for nursing.

 

That is wise. I have not been able to work FT. Currently, I work one day a week but that is because I can't find another teaching job. But, I find that I can't work two or three days in a row because then I am out for the next couple days. I have quit grad school course twice now in the past year and don't know if I will ever be able to do school. But, everyone is different. If you have people to help you w/ things like housework then you will fair better. I don't have anyone to help me except if I pay someone. I can no longer do this as my finanical situation is poor. I think you should try school.

 

I had a hard time before I was diagnosed b/c I had so many symptoms and it took the doctors a long to dianose the illness. For years doctor's told me it was all psychological or I kept getting the flu. It was hard to deal with. In a way it was a relief to know that I have an actual medical condition and not just losing my mind. I often have trouble concentrating and trouble sleeping as well as pain. I would like some advice on how to make it through nursing school while suffering from Fibromyalgia. For those of you who have to work limited hours, are you eligible for disbility ? Are any nursing specialties better suited with nurses with Fibromyalgia ? Is anyone from PA (I'm from philadelphia suburbs)?

Even w/ a diagnosis they still think you are nuts. I keep getting that "you are depressed". Yes, who wouldn't be when you are constantly ill. Well, their theory is wrong because since my sleep apnea has improved my mood is better and I have far less episodes of FM symptoms. They don't want to hear this because then they are proven wrong and they don't like it when the patient knows more than they do. I have been reading a good book over the past year that you should get. It is called "The Fibromyalgia Solution" by David Dryland. I find that part of my problem is my diet and the things that I eat that I shouldn't. As far as nursing specialities go, I can tell you what I can't do and that is hospital nursing. It is too stressful and strenuous for me. Anything that is going to increase stress or cause pain and fatigue you need to stay away from. That will be hard because you are just starting out. But, it all depends how bad your FM is. They say exercise is the best thing. I agree if you can do it. I find that this is my biggest challenge as I am very petite and have lost most of my muscle mass over the past two years to this illness which caused me to stop working out because of the fatigue and exhaustion. I am so weak that I have trouble w/ most IADL's such as taking out the garbage and shoveling snow is now out of the picture. but, it seems that most of the fatigue is the sleep apnea which is now controlled if I can sleep on my side all night. Sleep is vital w/ FM. Stay in touch and let me know how you are doing. I teach nursing so hopefully I can be of some assistance to you. I have taught PN and RN clinical and CNA programs. Keep on doing the dance!!!

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Thanks Lstcats,

I very much appreciate your message.

I am sorry to hear about your financial situation. I can't imagine how hard it must be for you not to have any support in your condition. I have been fortunate so far as to have my husband suppotring me emotionally and financially. However, he still struggles to understand how I am fine one day and not the next. And because of my condition our love life has taken a toll. I used to have someone help around the house. But, with the economy, I started doing things myself. We cut down on some things because my husband is in finance, and I never know how the market will be, which gives me alot of anxiety.

It's horrible that there is such a shortage of nursing instructors, yet schools are not willing to accept any help that they can get. Are you able to do any type of private duty care (like pediatrics, since adults may be hard to lift) ?

My medication (Cymbalta) slightly helps my back pain and helps me sleep a little better. I have only been on it for two weeks and at first I was nauseaous. Then, the doctor decreased my dosage. However, I only get 4-5 hours of sleep straight through on average. So

I am usually tired ( both my mind and body). Eating the wrong things and doing certain things around the house often aggrevates my condition. Once I eat the wrong things. it is hard to get back into the right routine because I am too fatigue to grocery shop and cook at times.

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19 Posts; 1,589 Profile Views

Thanks Lstcats,

I very much appreciate your message.

I am sorry to hear about your financial situation. I can't imagine how hard it must be for you not to have any support in your condition. I have been fortunate so far as to have my husband suppotring me emotionally and financially. However, he still struggles to understand how I am fine one day and not the next. And because of my condition our love life has taken a toll. I used to have someone help around the house. But, with the economy, I started doing things myself. We cut down on some things because my husband is in finance, and I never know how the market will be, which gives me alot of anxiety.

It's horrible that there is such a shortage of nursing instructors, yet schools are not willing to accept any help that they can get. Are you able to do any type of private duty care (like pediatrics, since adults may be hard to lift) ?

My medication (Cymbalta) slightly helps my back pain and helps me sleep a little better. I have only been on it for two weeks and at first I was nauseaous. Then, the doctor decreased my dosage. However, I only get 4-5 hours of sleep straight through on average. So

I am usually tired ( both my mind and body). Eating the wrong things and doing certain things around the house often aggrevates my condition. Once I eat the wrong things. it is hard to get back into the right routine because I am too fatigue to grocery shop and cook at times.

With your expertise and condition, would your recommend the PN program or the RN program ?

Well thank-you for all of your help, and I hope to talk to you soon.

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I have been an ED nurse for many years and I have to tell you... The majority of doctors and nurses that I have worked with, laugh when they see the word "Fibromyalgia" in the pt's history.

I don't know if it is real or not; I haven't researched it. I do feel that there probably are people that have been wrongly diagnosed.

This may sound wrong, but my advice for people who have Fibromyalgia and need to visit the ED for something unrelated is to not include it in your history. In many cases, you will be taken more seriously.

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Lstcats has 22 years experience and specializes in Nursing instructor, Geriatrics.

102 Posts; 3,304 Profile Views

thanks lstcats,

i very much appreciate your message.

i am sorry to hear about your financial situation. i can't imagine how hard it must be for you not to have any support in your condition. i have been fortunate so far as to have my husband suppotring me emotionally and financially. however, he still struggles to understand how i am fine one day and not the next. and because of my condition our love life has taken a toll. i used to have someone help around the house. but, with the economy, i started doing things myself. we cut down on some things because my husband is in finance, and i never know how the market will be, which gives me alot of anxiety.

thank you.:wink2: yes, you hit it right on the mark. no husband and really no body to help. they did last year once or twice but nothing since then. people are too "busy" and i can't stand that. i am sure not busy. yes, it is hard financially and big reason why i want to move to fl. i have been blogging a lot on the fl website. so sorry about your love life as that must be really hard. funny, but i only want a husband to help and take care of me or anyone for that matter. i can't imagine having sex again anyway. yes, i have had hired housekeepers over the past year and ahalf which has cost me around $900 to 1000 dollars total. i just can't do that anymore. then i had my friend's 13 year old son and he does okay but not good like i want it but i pay him $5 an hour which is far less than the $25 everyone else gets.

it's horrible that there is such a shortage of nursing instructors, yet schools are not willing to accept any help that they can get. are you able to do any type of private duty care (like pediatrics, since adults may be hard to lift) ?

i just got word today that i am not needed for next semester because students have withdrawn or failed out. out of 65 students, they expect only 40-45 to go on to 2nd semester. see, i only have a bsn so, i am really limited. i tried school online msn twice in the past year and dropped the class because of my poor health. i had a consulting job but doesn't seem to be materializing. many friends and my mother tell me that i should apply for disability. i don't want to do that but maybe i should try. if something doesn't turn around then i will have to sell just to get some $$ and then will make the move to fl. i know i should but how to move w/ the fm flares and the stress of a move and also my two cats. but, i have a strong belief in god and he will get me through. my sleep apnea is so much better lately and i believe god is curing that for me.

my medication (cymbalta) slightly helps my back pain and helps me sleep a little better. i have only been on it for two weeks and at first i was nauseaous. then, the doctor decreased my dosage. however, i only get 4-5 hours of sleep straight through on )

my computer just erased a bunch of stuff i just wrote.:cry: i will write more later as i am exhauted now and need to get up as i sat so long.

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thanks lstcats,

i very much appreciate your message.

i am sorry to hear about your financial situation. i can't imagine how hard it must be for you not to have any support in your condition. i have been fortunate so far as to have my husband suppotring me emotionally and financially. however, he still struggles to understand how i am fine one day and not the next. and because of my condition our love life has taken a toll. i used to have someone help around the house. but, with the economy, i started doing things myself. we cut down on some things because my husband is in finance, and i never know how the market will be, which gives me alot of anxiety.

thank you.:wink2: yes, you hit it right on the mark. no husband and really no body to help. they did last year once or twice but nothing since then. people are too "busy" and i can't stand that. i am sure not busy. yes, it is hard financially and big reason why i want to move to fl. i have been blogging a lot on the fl website. so sorry about your love life as that must be really hard. funny, but i only want a husband to help and take care of me or anyone for that matter. i can't imagine having sex again anyway. yes, i have had hired housekeepers over the past year and ahalf which has cost me around $900 to 1000 dollars total. i just can't do that anymore. then i had my friend's 13 year old son and he does okay but not good like i want it but i pay him $5 an hour which is far less than the $25 everyone else gets.

it's horrible that there is such a shortage of nursing instructors, yet schools are not willing to accept any help that they can get. are you able to do any type of private duty care (like pediatrics, since adults may be hard to lift) ?

i just got word today that i am not needed for next semester because students have withdrawn or failed out. out of 65 students, they expect only 40-45 to go on to 2nd semester. see, i only have a bsn so, i am really limited. i tried school online msn twice in the past year and dropped the class because of my poor health. i had a consulting job but doesn't seem to be materializing. many friends and my mother tell me that i should apply for disability. i don't want to do that but maybe i should try. if something doesn't turn around then i will have to sell just to get some $$ and then will make the move to fl. i know i should but how to move w/ the fm flares and the stress of a move and also my two cats. but, i have a strong belief in god and he will get me through. my sleep apnea is so much better lately and i believe god is curing that for me.

my medication (cymbalta) slightly helps my back pain and helps me sleep a little better. i have only been on it for two weeks and at first i was nauseaous. then, the doctor decreased my dosage. however, i only get 4-5 hours of sleep straight through on )

my computer just erased a bunch of stuff i just wrote.:cry: i will write more later as i am exhauted now and need to get up as i sat so long.

lstcats,

housework can be difficult for me at times. it makes me tired or gives me back pain. my little sister helps me sometimes and i pay her 5$ an housr as well, but it lacks professional quality.

i am sorry to hear about your job and your schooling. i don't haven have a 4 year degree. i was in school a few times before and kept getting sick, so i kept stopping. i thought i was just lazy or wan't focusing enough. then i found out that i had lupus and fibromyaglia. do you have any other related conditions ? hopefully, i can at least get through lpn school.

i am not sure how the disability laws work in your state. i know someone who had an on the job accident and has some permanent brian damage and was cut off of disability. he has a basic job, but it's barely enough to pay the bills. its as if, if you can work a few hours doing anything even if its a minimum wage job that cant support you, then they don't want to give you disability. yet, if you have 10 kids and you are on crack, you can get welfare. ( don't get me wrong i am all for helping single mothers, but there are too many people who take advantage of welfare and neglect their children) maybe you should try to look it up now, because it may take awhile to get. especially with a condition that many do not believe trully exists. i hope (if you decide to) you will get evaluated by people who understand the condition.

florida is so nice and warm, i wouldn't mind living there. the winter's cause me such flare ups. flordia housing also seems so much more affordable compared to other areas. well, please keep in touch and let me know how things work out for you.

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I love my cat! has 18 years experience and specializes in ER, PACU, Med-Surg, Hospice, LTC.

630 Posts; 10,283 Profile Views

The majority of doctors and nurses that I have worked with, laugh when they see the word "Fibromyalgia" in the pt's history.

This may sound wrong, but my advice for people who have Fibromyalgia and need to visit the ED for something unrelated is to not include it in your history. In many cases, you will be taken more seriously.

This is just so sad to read!

It makes me feel so ashamed of the Medical and Nursing Profession to know that these attitudes are still alive and well. Since, we don't know enough about something and seeing this chronic pain affects women, for the most part, it must be made up. Okay. Whatever.

Remember when ulcers were only caused because of stress? Calm down, relax, take something for anxiety....this ulcer is only caused because of your anxiety and stress. It's all because of what you are thinking.

Funny how things change.

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Lstcats has 22 years experience and specializes in Nursing instructor, Geriatrics.

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Try having bipolar disorder on top of FM and being told that "You're bipolar disorder causes your FM and you are depressed and this causes your FM". :no:And, also ridiculed by this and told to "You need to calm down and relax." When I am just sitting there telling the doctors what is going on. FYI, I went to the ER by ambulance this past May from an auto accident where someone hit me and ran from the scene. The doctor came in and her first thing she said was "So you have schizophrenia?" I couldn't believe it. I said, "NO, I don't.":argue: I couldn't even see her because I was in a C-collar looking up at the ceiling. She didn't even get near me. She was horrible and when I tried to tell her about the accident she whipped off the strap from my head and I said, "Oh, that hurt". :banghead:She didn't say a word. I told my psychiatrist and my PCP what happened and the lawyer (it is listed as a diagnosis in the ER report). All of them are flabbergasted. And, I have not had a manic episode in a couple years due to being on Lamictal and I am not depressed until the FM starts. I'm so sick of doctors (I have had a reealy rough two years) that I am no longer going to any doctors. The OSA was cured. I think God cured it. See my blog about sleep apnea in another section. So, the medical community needs to wise up. My rheumatologist is horrible and it is obvious to me that she does not believe in FM. :down:

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