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fibromyalgia and pregnancy(3 Posts)
Hoping someone can help. I'm 34 weeks pregnant and have both fibromyalgia and a cardiac arrhythmia. Mostly on the cardiac side I'm coping, it's my second pregnancy and I thought I'd know what to expect. I was wrong! Flare ups are getting me really down. Knees hurt, left arm is swollen and having spasms, neck is also having bad spasms. I'm on mst and I'm not willing to take anything else because of risks to the baby (but could never cope without something so that's the best I can do). Any hints or tips on coping? Confess I'm having a down day, not sure how to cope.
That is tough and I really feel for you - pregnancy and fibromyalgia must be pretty awful at times. I don't have direct experience of fibromyalgia as a sufferer, but I used to work in fibromyalgia research and will offer what take home messages I have.
1.) In the short term try acupuncture. Treatments for fibromyalgia are not a one-size fits all thing, but acupuncture seemed to actually improve quality of life quite significantly for many sufferers.
2.) Pain is a bit of a weird one and is not just a bodily thing - i.e. damage to limb = pain, but is very socially/culturally and psychologically mediated - for everyone (fibromyalgia or not). This may not apply to you at all, but many sufferers felt quite socially unsupported and isolated. Those who's symptoms improved over time generally were those who felt their social situation improved - they joined clubs and had consciously gone out of their way to have more social contact and foster friendships. If your symptoms improve then naturally you are more able to do stuff and socialise more (so it is a bit of a chicken and egg thing), but the action of initiating more social contact genuinely pre-dated the improvement in pain. This is not an easy fix - as an adult it is just harder to make friends, but as I say this is just one of a few take home messages.
3.) In the long run maybe think about talking therapies - in conjunction with medical pain management/acupuncture this is the thing that really turned the corner for a lot of people. On a related note - and again this may not be applicable to you in any way, but fibromyalgia sufferers often have experienced not just a physical trauma that can start the pain in the affected areas, but actually they've had a single psychological trauma or even a period of long drawn out difficulties/distress (i.e. trauma isn't necessarily one single event it can occur over many years).
Other than acupuncture most things with fibromyalgia are a long fix. I hope you found the above at least a little useful and I do wish you the best. In an entirely non researchery way, my other advice is just to take it easy on yourself - pregnancy is not easy and you are doing it with heart difficulties and chronic pain. That is no mean feat.
Sadly the docs aren'tl keen on acupuncture because of my heart. I've been throught the pain clinic, done the group thing. Generally imanage my pain pretty well, and it is all pacing and management. Just so much harder when pregnant! Thanks for your response though. Sometimes it's just nice to let it all out!
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