Fibromyalgia and Follow-Ups

I haven’t kept track… but I’m pretty sure I’ve been to the doctor a half-dozen times this year.  As in 2009.  Not the last 12 months. And I swear nearly all of those have been follow-ups.  Is that possible? Over the course of my life I’ve been to the doctor more than your average Joe.  At least I think so.  Unless your average Joe is a smoker or an individual who participates in other high-risk activities.  In that case, I’m below average (and okay with that).  I don’t take many risks when it comes to my body.

Back on point.

I’m not sure any of these visits have been directly related to my fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis.  I, frankly, can’t recall.  I can, however, recall what the last two have been for.  A nasty cold, bug, infection, bout with illness, kiss of cough, or whatever you like to call it.  So, I guess, technically, I don’t know what it’s been for, I just know what the symptoms are.  Sounds kinda like fibromyalgia, doesn’t it?

Last Wednesday I wrote a quick post as I was waiting at the doctor’s office.  By the time I left the office I had a perscription to fill if my condition did not improve by Thursday.  My sweet husband picked the meds up for me last Friday and I’ve been taking them since… with no noticeable improvement.  Actually, I’ve continued to get more congested and have greater difficulty breathing for eight days now.  The days are bearable.  I sound like Michelle Rodriquez with a little helium.  But, the nights are rough.

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My work provides a wonderful service for employees to can call a Mayo Clinic nurse to discuss medical issues for free.  Have you heard of this?  I’ve used it a few times and am consistently impressed with their customer service and genuine concern for my issues.  When I can’t decide to go the doctor or not I give them a call.  I am sure they are more thorough than some doctors… they stick to checklists.  And if you’ve read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, you’ve heard just how effective such lists can be when it comes to medical matters.

After nearly 45 minutes of questions, answers, and advice, my kind nurse suggested I visit the doctor within four hours.  I called my doctor’s office and, long story short, they were too busy.  I sure wish they hadn’t been.  Maybe if I’d had meds last night would not have included more breathing and, therefore, more sleeping.  But, oh well.  It totally could have been worse.  Yesterday my husband’s grandfather had his kidney removed due to cancer and I’m here complaining about my annoying… non-virus, silly voice creating, sleep stealing mystery ailment.  I don’t want to sound as though I’m complaining.  I’m telling a story.  And details do not equate to complaints (which is somewhat like the fact that reason is not synonymous with excuse).

I’ve been working from home since Monday to avoid getting my coworkers sick (and spare them my nasty sound effects), but I decided to head into work this afternoon on my way to another follow-up.  I was mildly embarrassed by my silly voice,  but I enjoyed the chance to get out and about.  And the follow-up was productive (moreso than this cough of mine).  I walked out with two prescriptions and the sarcastic promise of an exam room with my name on it by the next time I visit my doctor.  So far, the jury is out on the expensive medications.  I can, however, say that the cough suppressent/decongestent he gave me is stellar.  And that is exciting.

Any advice for kicking a strong bug like this?  I’ve tried gargling salt water.  Sleep.  Hot showers.  A humidifier.  And some other stuff I can’t remember because it’s late.  I’ll take all the advice you’ve got to give.

Thank you for sticking with me through this lengthy and self-indulgent post.  I am under-slept and over-coughed and I am grateful for your support.  I appreciate your involvement and feedback and advice and concern.  I pray this post finds you healthy and at peace, despite all that rages on in this restless and peace-starved world.  When in doubt, get involved and share a smile.


3 Responses

  • Tamicat on February 26, 2009, 00:37:13

    I got a kick out of the first part of this one. My mom has always said that they took my sister to the doctor for repair (she was a tomboy) and me for maintenance. I just counted (way too curious not to!) and I’ve had 20 appointments this year. If I was a car, I’d trade me in for another, lower maintenance model! =)

    As far as advice…
    One thing I have been doing lately is using honey. I had read that a spoonful of honey can be more effective in quieting a cough than cough syrup. With a recent cold, my cough suppressant wasn’t cutting it and I tried the honey trick. AWESOME! And tastes better too! Might be something you could do in addition to your killer stuff for a double whammy.

    I assume that you’re using pillows to prop yourself up some? We always had a “cough pillow” as a kid – a big wedge – to prop us up so we didn’t cough as much. Now, I get to use my adjustable bed. (Love it!)

    Reply to Tamicat
  • Rochelle on March 3, 2009, 13:49:01

    Sorry I’m just reading this today… not sure if you’re still fighting this bug or not. According to my doc it was a sinus infection. The only thing that works for me is cough syrup with codeine in it, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Me, I love it. It knocks me out enough that I can sleep and finally get over the nasty cough. I’ve had two of them already in 09 and both times the only thing that did it was codeine. It has the side benefit of helping dull the pain from fibro too. The bummer is when you’re feeling better you feel muchhhhh worse pain-wise cuz it all comes back.

    I’ve also heard about the honey trick but I haven’t tried it. Now that I’m finally over the last sinus infection, my chiropractor has me on a strict regimine of Zinc, Elderberry, Goldenseal Root, and Oreganol Oil. It has had a masterful effect. I haven’t gotten sick since. This has been a terrible winter for me getting sick, and this routine of popping natural vitamin supplements has been great. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s what I’m doing and it’s working.

    Hope you feel better soon! [And you’re so right about the telling a story vs. complaining bit! very well said!]

    Reply to Rochelle
  • K8 on May 12, 2009, 15:29:35

    Tami: Thank you for the advice with honey. I’m giving it a try.

    Rochelle: You’re not too late. Heck… look at me. It’s May and I’m sick again.

    What’s with everyone getting sick so often in 2009? Stress? Weather?

    Reply to K8