Hidden Pain or Thick Fog?

Now, I get it.

When I was first diagnosed, my doctor put me on Lyrica immediately; and then, it was steadily increased. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that I’m weaning off it. (If you’re not up to date, check Whatever…Nothing!) Well, I’m up to Week 4: I’m pissed off, short-tempered and in pain.


It has even ruined the best part of my week: my shiatsu massage.

Last week’s massage was fabulous. This week, however, was another story; and, as I said at the beginning, now I understand how some of you can’t stand a massage.

pain 1pain 2The same place (no idea what it’s called) was incredibly sensitive but it got to the stage where if Peter touched my shoulder, that spot hurt; if he touched my arm, that spot hurt; if he touched my knee, (you guessed it) that spot hurt.

pain 3pain 4In fact, by the time the hour was up, if Peter touched anything, that spot hurt!

pain 5

Why the hell am I doing this to myself?

Well, the good news is that the Fibro Fog has lifted. So tell me, which would you prefer: the pain or the fog?

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  1. I, too, was on Lyrica. I was up to 400 mg/day. The side effects were hindering my everyday life – the fibro fog, the dizziness, loss of balance & the myoclonic twitches (especially in my hands). It was getting to the point my husband didn’t want me going out alone as my balance couldn’t be trusted, and I was dropping things all the time.

    Anyway, once I started weaning off Lyrica, all of the side effects started to go away. I’m now completely off the med. I still have the fog & dizziness, but I’m still on other medications that have the same side effects. The pain is miserable. It sometimes takes me upwards of an hour to get myself out of bed. The pain is so terrible, but having dealt with it for almost 18 years, I’ll take it over the side effects.

  2. I was in the fog for about a year until I said STOP! I couldn’t function at work and nothing was making sense. I would take forever to complete task, had to think before I started to talk… I have been in pain now for a month and can’t sleep so much anymore but I take that over being foggy. If I have to, I wrap myself. I also take Echinacea which helps with fatigue and some of the pain. There is no right answer. It truly depends on what you do and what works better for you.

  3. I have been asking myself that same question – the fog or the pain… I think I may be leaning towards keeping the fog. =oP

  4. Oh, sweety, I’m sorry this is so awful for you 🙁 I wish I could help…. hmm… perhaps I can…

    Last night I did something I haven’t done in YEARS. I took a bath. No, silly, of course I shower at least once a month but I took a SOAK last night. I filled the tub with the hottest water I could stand and put in some skin softening bubble bath. Then I soaked till I finished reading the book Cell, by Stephen King. Granted, I was already halfway through when I got in but… you get the idea, it was a LONG bath.

    After my bath, I slathered on some chamomile body lotion and went to bed, without my sleep meds, something I haven’t done since January. I slept like the dead and when I woke up…. NO PAIN!!

    Now, the pain has returned in the past few hours but for the better part of the day I was PAIN FREE! It’s been 10 YEARS since I could say that!

    I’m still on 150 mg Lyrica 2 times a day and Relafen 750 twice a day as well but I wonder if the Ropinirole isn’t helping me more. I’m on a low dose, 1 mg I think and, though it doesn’t stop the leg twitches completely, they ARE tolerable. Maybe see about adding the Ropinirole at a low dose? See what the doc says, I mean, it can’t hurt to ask… right?

    • Thanks – I had a quick look at what Ropinirole is supposed to do. I’m lucky enough not to have the RLS but I will ask about it.

    • Long baths are sooo under-rated. I put Epsom salts in mine and although it doesn’t have the dramatic effect it used to have, it still helps with the pain and muscle tension. Often when I have no salts, a hot bath is almost as good. Glad to hear I’m not the only one returning to non-narcotic pain relief. Glenn

  5. Greetings! A couple of good alternatives to the shiatsu that you may want to try are myofascial release and craniosacral therapy. Both are often done by massage therapists but incur similar massage benefits without the pain.

  6. I find the whole situation of living with Fibromyalgia a huge puzzle. I have injuries from a car accident also, so the puzzle is even more complex. I take 75 Mg of Lyrica going to bed. I take just half a Prozac in the morning, I’m sensitive to Anti-Depressants. Late afternoon I’ll take 2 Panadeine Forte (30mg Codeine, 500mg Paracetamol), plus two Tabs of Diazepam (5mg). If I need more, I’ll take a little more. Important at all costs to keep moving, excercising within comfortable boundaries, and eating properly.

    The Codeine does clear my thoughts, as it stops pain messages to the brain, and lets me think, I’m speculating. I’m very careful not to take more than 2 doses of 2 tabs a day to keep my tolerance low so the drug works. I’ve been to so many ‘Specialists’ but I actually have been going to a Psychiatrist for around 20 Years, experimenting with drugs. The regimen I take now is much the same as the last ten years. About two years back I started on Lyrica, at 75mg’s. Initially it was pretty powerful, but like most drugs the System (Body) gets used to it.

    I think having a bath with ‘Epsom Salts’ is a great idea, I wish I could motivate myself to do so. I will ! I find having a showever can be painful. The weather here is beginning to get cold, the hot summer days although uncomfortable in some ways are a relief to aches and pains.

    I must admit as a person who has Fibromyalgia breaking down the elements, or symptons, and treating them individually seems my most successful method.

    Be pain free !

  7. I am so sorry that you are in such pain, wish I had some words of wisdom.
    I went for a massage this weekend, and it actually triggered a flare and a migraine that lasted 3 days. My own fault – I asked for a deep tissue massage. Lesson learnt.
    I have also been struggling with the pain vs fog issue. I actually find it very difficult to function when I am in such huge pain, and if I take painkillers, it makes me very sleepy – even at very low dosages. So that is not an option if I want to work. (For some reason I am very sensitive to codeine, paracetamol, anything with aspirin, and any opiates – my doctors say it MAY be related to Fibro, but no-one seems sure).

    Having firbro means insomnia, and this lack of sleep definitely makes everything else worse. Lyrica definitely helps with this – and have fewer side effects than any sleeping tablet I have tried. So tick one for Lyrica. Hot baths with Epsom Salts help me to relax and sleep better, and I also take Magnesium at night.

    So, I have settled on Lyrica 75mg in the morning, and 150mg in the evening, with an anti-depressant and an anti-inflammatory. It is not a perfect solution, but for the moment I can cope. At least most of the time :-).

    Winter is here for us, and the cold is not a good thing for Fibro. I feel pain in all my joints and muscles, and wish I could hibernate until summer.

    Good luck to all of you and your daily battles with fibro.

Got an opinion?