Old 06-01-2017, 10:51 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default a depressing doctor visit

went to pain doctor yesterday. when asked how I was, I mentioned that I am frustrated and discouraged because nothing seems to get any better.

His response was to tell me that the only way that it can get better is if I engage in strong physical exercise, wherein my heart rate is constantly elevated for a minimum of 40 minutes, and for a minimum of 5 days a week.

this is the first time he has said this to me, and I have been going there for 7 months

I mentioned that I work physically hard at my work, and then for a day or two I am just trying to recover from that.
He completely discounted my work (without having any idea of what it entails). No, he said, I have to run or do aerobics or swim or bicycle for 40 minutes, 5 days a week.

OK, well.
I cannot run or do aerobics, the impact is too hard on me, plus I HATE those activities.
I cannot swim, am afraid of the water.
I detest bicycles.
I love to hike but he said walking and hiking isn't good enough!!


Not that I have been going hiking lately. I should, but can't get myself to do it.
too tired, and very depressing to go on a hike without a dog. My hiking dog is 15 and a half and the other two are only 20 pound dogs....really too small to hike up a mountain with me even if I could get myself to go.

I suggested I could do a weight lifting routine and he said, no, not good enough, doesn't get your heart rate up.
I said it could, and he said that even if it did, then it would drop too much when I switched weights, ruining the effect, which is completely absurd.....I use dumbbells...it takes literally 2 to 3 seconds to switch weights!
And so what even if your heart rate did drop a notch.....that would totally negate the benefits of the exercise??

he indicated to me that I am not trying hard enough, not willing to do the only thing that would make things better.
and then he left the room.

That was pretty depressing.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:54 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

Ahhh.... isn't the point of Fibro that we can't handle that much vigorous, high-impact exercise?! 5x a week!? I don't think that's even advisable for most healthy people. Besides, you'd have to work up to it even if it is possible. That said, you could try to do more exercise in general, whatever you can handle (easier said than done, I know. I was lazy and out of shape before the fibro and it isn't going to get any easier now)

This guy is nuts, or at least was not thinking of your overall well-being. Hope your next visit goes better.
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:50 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

How frustrating!!! And sadly, how familiar at the same time, more or less. I am really trying to respect doctors, but with such advice....and this continuous disbelief/wrong-belief of fibro, or fatigue, or any pain, it makes me really really angry.

After my 1st neck surgery, when I did not recover as 'normal' after the usual 6 weeks, my spine surgeon simply told me to go to a 'spa'. A spa? Really??? I started laughing because it really sounded like a joke. Anyone who knows me just a little will know how I feel about heat, massages/being touche or about being semi-naked around others...etc. I don't even own a bathing suit, have not for 2 decades! I cannot even stand the regular summer months - and this guy is telling me to go to a spa!!!! 4 months later, I was referred to another surgeon who found out that the 1st neck surgery had failed because the hardware had moved and was touching the spinal cord! A spa would've helped - yeah right??? This year I found out that the same surgeon was fired.

So my advice to anyone - respect doctors like you would respect anyone, but please respect yourself first and most! Listen to your body and your intuitions. If your body and mind are telling you this advice of 'increased heart rate' is not for you, it is not. Look for a middle ground, or a very different ground. Trying to increase the amount of exercise we get is, of course, sensible advice, but this is not set in stone for everyone or any day/moment of the day. 40 minutes, 5 days a week - without even knowing what your job entails? Come on.....

I would focus on finding activities you enjoy most - whether it be a 10 minute walk around a park, or a 5 minute hike just to get to the spot where you can enjoy a good sunset/view.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:25 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

I am a big believer in the healing power of cardio but sadly my body is not able to do aerobic type exercise so a doctor advising me that's the only way I'll get better would depress me then confuse me then anger would hit. He is a pain management dictor... It is his job to help you decrease your pain so that you can be active not the other way around.
It is so hard to find a good doctor and changing dictors is a hassle so maybe group your thoughts and try confronting him with the idea you are asking him to manage your pain so you can do aerobic type exercise.
Just a thought, I have read and understand that yoga is very effective. I have not tried it yet (just went thru a move) but I think there are even classes for fibro type patiants.
I don't like being touched much either but a mycophasal massage looks unbelievable gentle and is supposedly very effective. I wish I could say I've tried these two but sadly I haven't. But if your in a position to give it a try it might be a good allternative.
If this dictor continues to put the blame on you perhaps look for another that does understand fibro.
Sorry this dictor was so dismissive I know how their comments and behaviors can affect us emotionally.
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:14 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

It was indeed a depressing doctor visit by the sound of it. I know I would become quite distressed if a pain doctor suggested that to me sunkacola. Very unrealistic to say the least. It does seem to be 'flavour of the month' though....this 40 minute, push yourself until you have a heart attack kind of advice. Not a good thing to say to someone asking for pain management.
I agree, we need to control the pain first...exercise later....and that might help. In your case, a physical job must count for something.
Hiking in the country air with little doggies sounds wonderful!
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:05 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

Thanks for the support, everyone who responded. Yes, I was depressed, discouraged, felt like a failure, and then got angry!

I cannot help but wonder, where does he think the energy for that kind of exercise would come from?? Most days I can barely get done what I must, absolutely must, do!

But I do think that I want to take a grain of what he said. I want to get more exercise, but don't know what/how to go about that.

One thing I thought of is that maybe I could start hiking with my small dog, and see if perhaps he and I can get into better condition together. I don't know if it will turn out to be fair to him.....it might be too much to ask of him with his short legs. But I could go only a little way at first, then a little more, and go very very early in the morning before it gets too warm and just see.

And maybe I could do a little weight lifting at home a couple days a week. If the carpal tunnel doesn't get worse because of it.

But I also don't want to set myself up for failure and being disappointed in myself if I fail to do it.

Is there anyone else here who is trying to start doing some exercise (on any level at all) and would like to start a mutual-support thread to cheer each other on?
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:53 AM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

I would take it slow..see how your body responds to short walk/hike first. I for one couldnt do proper workouts since getting fibro..my body siezes up and becomes excrutiating.

I always find walking and just the bending and stretching from housework or gardening was enough 'work out' for me.

I know many can do much more...just look after yourself..build gradually with days off in between to start.

Only you know your own body..a short hike with the dog sounds lovely. I dont know if it would be too much for a small dog or not..maybe ask a vet if you are worried about distance .

Maybe just a very few reps with weights to start..then wait 2 or 3 days and see how the muscles and joints have responded.

I wish you good luck..and i don't blame you for getting angry..Doctors dont know our bodies..we do!!
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:22 AM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

sunkacola,

Yes, I am exersizing. I think it would be an excellent idea to start a thread on what each one is doing workout wise. I've been thinking the same thing.
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:08 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunkacola View Post
Is there anyone else here who is trying to start doing some exercise (on any level at all) and would like to start a mutual-support thread to cheer each other on?
Me! I even posted the workout I have (had) been doing for the past 2 weeks here (1 mile in 15 minutes, low impact moves). I was feeling so proud of myself, on some good days, I even added some basic yoga moves into my daily activities. I had not done those in years!And I was seriously beginning to feel so much better......then last Friday came, the first day of my period, and it has been downhill from there.

I hate this so much, feel so hopeless. How can I go from so high, to so low, just because I have my period? I slept for 16 hours yesterday, that can't be normal, even for when we have our period.

I am also very worried because next week I will go on my annual holiday. Something I look forward to all year, save up to, plan for....I am so scared I will be fatigued and in pain....

So a thread to encourage each other seems like a great idea. I am also curious for exercises/movements others do that help them.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:00 AM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

great to know others would like a thread to encourage each other on this.
I will start the thread. Not this minute, because I don't have time, but very soon!
thanks.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:56 AM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

I would never listen to a doctor when it comes to specifics about exercise. They receive very little training on it besides the whole " it's good for the body to exercise". A good physical therapist and a trainer experienced with people with chronic pain conditions. His comment on weight training is 100% wrong. Light to moderate weight training surpasses the benefits of even sustained aerobic exercise by leaps and bounds. It helps cardiovascular health and bone density especially for women ( more muscle =higher bone density to support muscle mass). Those of us with fibro do have to be careful to use only light to moderate weights and build up over time. Form is especially important as even minor injury results in significant set backs. Body weight exercises are often a great way to start. The metabolic effect studied sustained aerobic exercise (running, cycling etc) vs short intervals of high rep/low weight exercises and found that the body reacts more favorably to high heart rate for short periods of time vs moderate HR for longer duration. They found increased metabolism engagement, increased muscle building which helps burn fat, and improved levels of "happy" hormones/neurotransmitters. You can accomplish more in 20 mins of high/rep low weight exercise than over an hour of sustained aerobic exercise.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:22 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

I'm amazed at any doctor that asking fibro patients to work out like what normal young and fitted human should be doing. I guess cause I can alway get my heart rate that high up very easily , I'll simply just have a panic attack , which would quicky raised up my heart rate in to the most scariest scale since have panic disorder syndrome. Even some of my fibro pains can get my heart rate up while I'm wake or sleep thanks to my nerve quake and daily spasms. I often wake up and felt like I had actually been running marathons all night long without actually doing. Every day I spent most of my time trying to slow my heart rate down not up. So I don't understand why your doctor would asking you to do something like that.
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:42 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

Bunbun34, thanks for your post.
You know, the fact is that I used to weight train pretty seriously almost every single day and at one point I was working out with a 35 pound barbell and 15 pound hand weights, had 5 pound ankle weights on. I was devoted to proper form and never hurt myself; I had worked my way up from starting with 3 pound weights and put on a lot of good muscle, some of which I still have.

I worked out at home with videos, which works the best for me.

I really knew all that you said in your post above, but it has been a while since I worked out with weights and I allowed the doctor to intimidate me. Your post reminded me of what I had known, re-affirmed that I am not some idiot who doesn't know what she is talking about.
So thanks.
And I think I am going to try doing some light weight training.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:38 PM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

It's really sad when Doctors just don't listen.
I'm at the point where I literally have to be on my death bed to go.
I think you take what you hear, and do what feels right.
Your body tells you when enough is enough.
Your so right to be angry 😡. I'm right there with you.
Do not over do it with exercise. Do only what you can do and be happy and Proud that you did it .
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:44 PM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: a depressing doctor visit

Thanks so much Maria22.
Your words warm my heart.
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