Sunday, June 29, 2008

FDA Approves Cymbalta to Treat Fibromyalgia

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved Cymbalta for the treatment/management of Fibromyalgia, making it the second medication on the market available for Fibromyalgia treatment (Lyrica was the first medication approved by the FDA for Fibromyalgia treatment).

Cymbalta is also approved for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, depression, and peripheral neuropathy pain.

Common, non-serious side effects of Cymbalta include:
  • Decreased sex drive, inability to experience an orgasm, or impotence
  • Changes in weight
  • Sore throat
  • Constipation
  • Increased anxiety or nervousness or increased sweating
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, and/or headache
  • Insomnia
You need to call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects while on Cymbalta:
  • overactive reflexes, loss of coordination, hallucinations, restlessness, coma, or fainting
  • Nausea, low fever, stomach pain, jaundice (yellowish eyes and/or skin), stools that are clay colored, or dark colored urine
  • Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and rapid heartbeat

Of course if you experience an allergic reaction to this medication including swelling of the tongue, lips, throat, or face, have difficulty breathing, and/or develop hives, you need to seek immediate medical attention.

To learn more about Cymbalta, please visit

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dad's Visit

Today, I saw my dad for the first time in a really long time. My dad and I have never had a good relationship, so I was really concerned about today's visit. However, it went a lot better than I expected it to go!!

First, we went to the Olive Garden, one of my absolute favorite restaurants ever. I had the unlimitted soup, salad, and breadsticks, and it was great! I had a fantastic dessert - Terremisu (I probably didn't spell that right!).

We headed to Wal-Mart where I got cat litter for my kitties and some chicken patties :)

After we went home and dropped the leftover food and chicken off, we headed to the mall to play Glo Golf, but once we got there, we discovered the golf shut down earlier in the month! That was disappointing because I can see that golf course better than regular mini golf courses. However, we got a wheelchair from the info desk and Dave wheeled me around the bookstore while Marie and my dad looked for some books for Marie's daughter. I was very tempted to buy a Jodi Picoult book - she's my favorite author.

We sat at the cafe in the bookstore after Marie made her puchase and I had some pain pills with a snack because I was in a significant amount of pain again. I showed my dad and Marie several pictures of my cats, and they seemed to enjoy seeing them. I think my dad enjoys seeing his former kitty, Milita, a kitty he let me take when I moved here from his house.

Then, we returned the wheelchair and found another mini golf course, just a regular one though. It was frustrating for me at times because I couldn't see my ball on the course, especially when it got darker outside.

We finally headed to Dairy Queen where I had a waffle bowl, something I've wanted to try since it came out a month or so ago. Dad and Marie also had a waffle bowl, and Dave had a strawberry sundae :)

All in all, I was in significant pain at times, but I think my dad's eyes were opened some to how much this pain effects me every signle day. I hope so anyway. Things went better than I expected, so I'm quite happy with today's events.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pain Triggers

When you have a chronic pain disease like Fibromyalgia, it is important to identify what makes your pain worse. The factors that make your pain worse are known as triggers.

Triggers can be just about anything, but common triggers for Fibromyalgia include:
-Temperature - either being too cold or too hot
-Certain activities - specific activities may increase your pain, and these activities are likely different for different people

Once you identify your personal triggers, you can reasonably avoid them. Of course, you won't always be able to avoid your triggers. In the winter, you will likely have to go outside at times when it is freezing. Thus, it is important to find ways to cope with the triggers. If it is extremely cold outside, for instance, you could put on layers of clothes, and make sure you are bundled up in a hat, scarf, gloves, and so forth.

Identifying and discovering ways in which to cope with factors that increase your pain will help you. Start paying attention to the circumstances that surround increases in your pain to effectively identify your triggers.

My Story

I thought it would be a good idea to start this blog off with my personal pain story.

I began experiencing pain in my neck in college. I thought it was due to the incredible amount of stress I was under with all of the papers, exams, and presentations I had to do, coupled with the fact that I was double majoring. However, my pain continued after I graduated college and went to graduate school.

My pain eventually left my neck and started being present in my right shoulder and arm. My doctor at the time thought that I may have a pinched nerve in my neck, so he sent me to a specialist who performed a nerve conduction study on me. We discovered I did not have a pinched nerve.

My doctor decided to check and see if I had a problem with my cervical spine. However, again, we discovered there were no problems in my cervical spine.

At this point, I began having pain all over my body. I finally put two and two together. A few of my family members have Fibromyalgia, and while I really did not want to be faced with this diagnosis, I asked my doctor if I could possibly have the condition. He did a quick test and told me that he thought I had Fibromyalgia. He wanted to get a hematologist's opinion, though, so he sent me to a clinic where I was examined more thoroughly.

At the clinic, a hematologist took numerous x-rays of my body and told me that I did not have any signs of arthritis. Next, he performed a test called the trigger point test on me, and found out that I have 15 or 16 out of the possible 18 trigger points individuals with Fibromyalgia have.

My Fibromyalgia diagnosis was confirmed a little over two years ago, and since then, I have learned a lot about pain. I truly hope that my blog can help you, no matter what kind of pain you suffer from.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Welcome to my chronic pain blog! Here, I plan to provide you with information about chronic pain, the latest research on pain, my personal experiences with pain, and much more! I hope you find this blog helpful. Please tell everyone you know about this blog. Thanks!