From Japan With Love

007 willingly falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian Japanese pharmaceutical company in order to retrieve a cure for Fibromyalgia that was stolen by SPECTRE.


I’ve been keeping an electronic diary for the research study. Each morning, it asks me what is the highest level of pain I have experienced over the past 24 hours. Yes, I hate that question…and now I get to answer it at least once a day.

By the time I started the diary, I had not had any pain meds (except Panadol) for 4 days. Bloody! Bloody! I had forgotten about the stiffness and inability to sleep so on Friday, after 3 hours sleep, I thought: well, I haven’t been in this kind of pain in a very long time (it’s funny how I forget how bad the pain actually was at its worse) but it’s not a 9 or 10 – I’m not in hospital so I answered:


On Saturday, the mind-blowing headaches in the bones above and below my eyes were back. Bummer! I had forgotten about those; but, I thought: well, I haven’t been in this kind of pain in a very long time but it’s not a 9 or 10 – I’m not in hospital so I answered:


On Sunday, the costochondritis returned. I lay on my couch all day under a heated blanket; but, I thought: well, I haven’t been in this kind of pain in a very long time but it’s not a 9 or 10 – I’m not in hospital so I answered:


On Monday, my stomach and lower back began spasming. Oh, here comes the irritable everything syndrome. I thought: well, I haven’t been in this kind of pain in a very long time but it’s not a 9 or 10 – I’m not in hospital so I answered:


On Tuesday, I had a funeral so I didn’t fill in anything all day – I was afraid to take my electronic diary with me because I couldn’t work out how to turn off the alarm.

On Wednesday and Thursday, my hands and feet felt (but didn’t look) swollen and full (I can’t think of any other word), so uncomfortably full so, I thought: well, I haven’t been in this kind of pain in a very long time but it’s not a 9 or 10 – I’m not in hospital so I answered:


Each day the pain had gotten worse but I had started too high on the scale. It was never the worst pain I have ever experienced but, each day should have been higher than the day before.

Maybe it’s time to consider a different way to ask the question? Maybe it should be, if yesterday was a 5, how much pain have you experienced in the last 24 hours? And then, is it more (or less) pain than yesterday?

NOTE: Emeritus Research is still recruiting for the study, if anybody is interested. Click for  the Consent Form and information. Contact Daiichi using this email address –

As well as the 1000 person study in the US and Canada, Daiichi is also recruiting in:

  • Campse and Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia;
  • Maroochydore, Sherwood and Southport, Queensland, Australia;
  • Hobart, Tasmania, Australia;
  • Malvern East, Victoria, Australia;
  • Tallin and Tartu, Estonia;
  • Baldone, Jekabpils, Liepaja, Ogre and Riga, Latvia;
  • Auckland, Hamilton, Nelson, Tauranga and Wellington, New Zealand;
  • Banska Bystrica, Bratislava and Dubnica Nad Vahom, Slovakia; and,
  • Reading, Berkshire; Chesterfield, Derbyshire; Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Atherstone, Warwickshire; and
  • Belfast, United Kingdom.

Posts in this series:


Sometimes a Duck is…

So, it’s Winter in Australia – not as cold as some places but, still, too cold for me.

I have been suffering from intense pain in my rib-cage and chest. The aching and stabbing pain felt like I had broken and bruised ribs.

Bloody hell! I thought, it’s that awful costochondritis AGAIN!!!

For over a week, every morning I was waking up in extreme pain. It seemed to dissipate by the time it was bed-time. But then, it would all start again.

After a week of agony and really cold weather, I finally realised that I was sleeping all curled up, in the foetal position, and it was my own elbows causing all that pain!

Sometimes a duck is just a duck!

117. fibro duck

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Where Have I Been?

So, I’ve been MIA (Missing In Action)…why?

I have been slowly weaning off my Lyrica (see posts below for previous updates) to see if we can find something else that will allow me to feel less pain but with less side effects.

dose last

And I have finally made it to Week 6…

No! I do not feel miraculously better – in fact, I feel horrible. I didn’t realise what the Lyrica had been protecting me from (although it didn’t feel like much at the time). Let’s work from the head down:

  • No respite from the permanent headache
  • Very lazy right eye
  • Cheekbones growing out of my face
  • (Even more) increased sound sensitivity
  • Everything smells pungeant
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Itchy face
  • Aching neck and shoulders
  • Swollen-feeling wrists and hands (without swelling)
  • Costochondritis
  • Stomach cramps
  • Acid reflux
  • Diarrhea (whether I eat or not!)
  • Taut calf muscles
  • Swollen-feeling ankles and feet (without swelling)
  • Inability to remain asleep
  • No inner temperature control

Sounds like everybody else, right? But it seems that the Lyrica had reduced the impact of some of that. I just hadn’t realised how much. But the Lyrica also brought complete and utter fog.

And now I’m back at square 1; ready to start again, in a couple of weeks, to see if we can find a more effective medication regime, that will still allow me to think like a normal person!

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Guess what? I was lucky enough to experience a new symptom (for me, at least!)

8907It seems, or so the emergency room doctor tells me, that it is very common in FM sufferers to feel intense pain in your ribcage and chest. This aching and stabbing pain can really impact on your enjoyment of life – says she who just spent 6 hours in the emergency room.

Supposedly, chest pain in FM is usually nothing to worry about, but occasionally it can indicate other problems. AND we are always told not to ignore chest pains – so when a stitch in my side spread under my right boobie and into the middle of my chest, while driving in the car with Mommy, it was: ‘umm, I think we need to go to the hospital.’

This chest pain is referred to as costochondritis. It is an inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the chest bone. It is this inflammation that causes the sharp chest pains inside the chest wall. The pain of costochondritis often mimics the pain of cardiac problems, including heart attacks and stroke. This can be quite scary for some sufferers (and my Mommy and I!); however, costochondiritis rarely causes any physical complications.

largeCostochondritis affects about 60% to 70% of us. Costochondritis in women is particularly common, especially in women between the ages of 20 and 40. Costochondritis rib pain can last for weeks and even months, and can reappear at different intervals throughout your illness. This problem is not restricted to just us; it can also affect those who don’t have FM and is often a result of chest trauma or exercise-related injury. In fact, it is thought that about 10% of the general population has costochondiritis.

Costochondritis affects the junction between the ribs and the chest bone (the sternum). Seven bits of cartilage attach your ribs to your sternum, and costochondiritis causes this cartilage to become inflamed and sore. If you have costochondiritis, you will be able to feel pain upon movement of your upper torso or when you touch your ribs. Most commonly, pain is felt on the left side of your chest, though chest pains on the right side, or even on both sides, can occur.

stabbing_pain_in_chestThe pain felt like a knife stabbing between my ribs, until it waned and just started aching whenever I moved. I have been told that this pain can wax and wane: some days it will be worse, while other days it will be much better. The sharp pain caused by costochondritis generally begins in the chest. This pain can then radiate outwards, attacking the shoulders, neck, and upper abdomen – Great! Something to look forward to in the morning! Costochondritis pain can last for long periods of time and chronic costochondritis is not uncommon. However, most pain should be gone within 6 months to a year from the onset of symptoms – WTF!!!!

To date, the specific causes of costochondritis are unknown (again?), though researchers do believe that a variety of factors could play a role in the development of the illness.

  • Repetitive Activity: Repetitive activity, like sitting at a desk or leaning forward over a computer for long periods of time often puts stress on the muscles in the chest, may exacerbate pain in the chest area. We already have hypersensitive muscles, and this repetitive activity can cause costochondritis.
  • Fibromyalgia Tender Points
  • Myofascial Pain
  • Infection: Rarely, costochondritis can be caused by upper respiratory tract infections or non-allergic rhinitis. These conditions can cause long periods of repetitive coughing. This coughing can stress and strain the cartilage that connects the ribs with the sternum, causing constant chest pains.

Costochondritis can exacerbate your symptoms; in particular, FM often inhibits your ability to participate in certain activities or sit in certain positions for long periods. Because costochondritis causes such intense chest pain, it often makes sleeping difficult or impossible, causing disordered sleeping and insomnia. Costochondritis disability is not uncommon, especially in fibromyalgia.

It is important that if you are experiencing any type of chest pain that you immediately consult a physician in order to correctly diagnose the nature of the pain.

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