Biking!

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I found biking 5 years ago & have never looked back. I used to Road bike more than 500 miles week. I took up mountain biking after a serious road accident & really enjoyed the fact that any injuries would likely be caused by me running out of talent & into a tree, ditch or off a cliff. This was all well & good until i was diagnosed with CS/FM a few years back.

The doc told me to give up the running (i've cut back drastically) & do more cycling/swimming to help ease up on the joints. Swimming costs too much whereas cycling costs me very little, not as little as running but that does leave me in agony most times.

Not being able to get out all day everyday has made unmedicated living with bipolar/schizophrenia a real balancing act. I still cycle but can barely break 100 miles a week. I know I know that's quite a lot considering but I'd rather the physical torture than be locked up for mental health reasons.

People tell me it's masochistic bit what else is there to do?
 

Jemima

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I think your perspective is really positive. I've found that if I'm not active at all, I wind up in far worse pain than when I keep moving in moderation. I walk 45 minutes most days now, which is a bit sad considering that I used to be a real sports nut, but it seems to be the right balance for my body as it is today.

On the one side, your 100 miles a week might be angering your fibro, but on the other side, if you stop all together you may experience more pain - as well as missing the mental health boost - plus you'd probably find it very hard to start again. I understand your frustration on the cost of swimming - I love it and it works well for my health, but also can't fit it into my budget at the moment!
 
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Thanks for the reply J!
I try to stay positive but as i'm sure we all know, it's not possible all the time. You're so right about being inactive, even after a nights sleep (if you can call it sleep) I struggle to get up & about ready for the day ahead.

I'm terrified that of sinking back into the mental health system (or lack of) & being forced medication for months on end, which usually ends up with huge weight gain, depression & no exercise (due to being locked up in an institution) So yeah I guess I do tear myself apart, but the alternative is far worse.
 

Jemima

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None of us can stay positive all the time - and we shouldn't have to with these kinds of issues to navigate. I've had my own struggles with mental health over the last 25 years, but it sounds as if your battle has been even more insurmountable - and yet here you are, looking for ways to keep fighting and to keep a balance within yourself. Wonderful and amazing! Not easy by any stretch, but very inspiring, so thank you for sharing. Keep the faith - there will be a way to move through all of this. Oh, and vent at will!
 

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Brilliant how you're managing without medication. I don't consider it masochistic at all, it's the healthiest you can do. Let them talk until they can walk in your shoes. Similar to fibro without meds. Not the easiest no brainer solution. But better pain with brain, than no pain with no brain.

Is it for you like for me that you can feel normal while cycling and whilst pains might come during the Big Ache only comes after?

I'm wondering if/how it's possible to balance out the need for it and the consequences a bit more. Praps thru more energy or more frequently, but shorter?
Also how to get the consequences down quicker using quick self-treatments, in my case that'd be twist-stretching ("everything" outwards then inwards for 20'' a few times), WHM (cold showering/washing & breath-holding exercise)....
 
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But better pain with brain, than no pain with no brain.

That's a great motto that I shall adopt from now, because that's exactly how it is. (for me)
Is it for you like for me that you can feel normal while cycling and whilst pains might come during the Big Ache only comes after?
When i'm cycling i forget everything, aches, pains & worries are gone. I know it hurts while i'm cycling but if I let that stop me then i'd never take to the saddle again. As soon as I stop whether it be at a cafe or the end of a ride, it's there waiting. At the moment my wrists seem to taking the brunt. I've changed grips several times & found some Ergons which have palm rests which help a little. But on other rides it'll be other bits of me that seem to be worse affected.
But yes at the end of the ride, most times i end up wishing I hadn't done that extra 5 miles. Thing is I know that the extra 5 miles wouldn't have made any difference to the outcome, so I don't beat myself up about it any more.

I'm wondering if/how it's possible to balance out the need for it and the consequences a bit more. Praps thru more energy or more frequently, but shorter?

I'm sure there is a balance, but when the sun is shining & the bike is sat there begging to be ridden.. balance goes out of the window! There's no feeling like it!
Also how to get the consequences down quicker using quick self-treatments, in my case that'd be twist-stretching ("everything" outwards then inwards for 20'' a few times), WHM (cold showering/washing & breath-holding exercise)....
I haven't explored much in the way of post exercise exercise. I'm still waiting to see a Pain Clinic specialist who can point me in the right direction. Most times I do a post bike warm down & followed by an extremely hot shower then do nothing for the rest of the day. Not very productive :-(

I am using Tramadol to take the edge off the fibro, I had to beg for these as they aren't on the list of prescribed drugs for Fibro here in the UK (Gabapentin, Duloxetine & Amitriptyline are the complete list) The first two have given me bad side effects & they aren't a fan of giving the third out.

People often comment that I can't be that bad if I can still get about like i do. If only they knew, so I'm glad there are other sufferers who can & do cycle. (i'm not glad because I hate the though of anyone else going thru this or similar)
 

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I'm sure there is a balance, but when the sun is shining & the bike is sat there begging to be ridden.. balance goes out of the window! There's no feeling like it!
As long as that's possible again the next days... it wdnt be in my case... I wdnt give a damn either if it were only that day. Usually it smashes up my night and that smashes up the next days. So I have to balance.
I haven't explored much in the way of post exercise exercise. I'm still waiting ... extremely hot shower then
That'd be sort of normal, pre-fibro.... Tried hot/cold or just cold? When the Ache hones in...
do nothing for the rest of the day. Not very productive :-(
I use resting as an excuse to read and write about fibro online, which feels very productive and satisfying for me. Anything similar for you?
I am using Tramadol to take the edge off the fibro,
Listening to the results of the fibromyalgia2021.com conference Tramadol was mentioned a lot as the one opioid that's 'OK'. I wdnt be able to take it cos of it increasing seizures, I also wdnt want to do with the suicidal thought sfx. Tried tilidine once, never again.
I had to beg for these as they aren't on the list of prescribed drugs for Fibro here in the UK (Gabapentin, Duloxetine & Amitriptyline are the complete list) The first two have given me bad side effects & they aren't a fan of giving the third out.
According to wikipedia Tramadol is 2nd line treatment for FM on the NHS. My sfx on ami were massive, the other 2 were never talked about. What about gabapentins 'successor' pregabalin? Approved in the US it shd be on the NHS too and a lot prefer it. If gabapentin helped a bit, apart from the sfx, I'd suggest trying the supp / amino acid GABA. (Did you mean ami or tramadol with 'the 3rd'?)
People often comment that I can't be that bad if I can still get about like i do.
If I did your stints, I'd need a few days to recover and even think about thinking about doing it again...
Pleased to have managed a 30' gym machine workout today quite well, without ANY Ache tho. :). More of that.
When (...I assume..) people wonder about me managing to cycle I contrast it with not being able to walk much. Before GABA (April) any staircase used to be a challenge, except on really good days. Anything similar in your case to help people understand?
 

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Have any of you had a "backlash" after biking? I starting biking a lot, by which for me means 10 miles at least 3x a week, or 2x a week and a longer week three years ago. Since then I have had to keep cutting back. This year it is a struggle to bike and two doctors think I have fibro. Well, because my cholesterol took a job, they think because no exercise, yesterday was a beautiful day and I rode for 10 miles with a break in between. The cramping muscles were mainly responsible for the break. I slept all day today! I don't hurt more, I just slept way too much! Is this normal? I am on gabapentin, but so am I other days and I don't sleep like this. Often I don't even need a nap. This is so odd, I can only think it may be in reaction to the biking. Let me know if you've any insights! I want to keep at it but now wonder why my body is so wacko. ;)
 

Jemima

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Me again 🙃

Extreme post exercise fatigue and delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) are both really common gremlins in fibro. When I developed mine, I was soooo frustrated that I couldn't keep working out the way I always had, but my body made me stop!

I'd say that there are a couple of ways you can approach this if you're keen to say fit. One is to push through it and anticipate a day in bed, and possibly longer feeling the impact, after each bike ride. The other is to scale what you're doing right back, find a point where it doesn't trigger that tiredness, and then very slowly build it back up as far as you can tolerate. Overdoing anything - from exercise to chores - can trigger fibro, and sadly it does decrease what we can manage. Tracking your activity, in all its forms, and how your body responds, can help you paint a picture of where your limits are.

All of that said, we've got a cycling with fibro expert in our midst! @GrumpyGit knows a whole lot about this topic, and is probably the best person to give advice!
 
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LOL I'm no expert @Jemima but I do bike as often as possible @DebMarPir & yes i do get the backlash you type of. I used to do 500+ miles a week but i've had to scale it right back since being diagnosed. Some days I hurt a lot, sometimes I need a nap midday & other days i'm completely wiped out & like you I can't get up for a day or two, but force myself to do something on those days otherwise i'm twice as bad when I try to do something when I've recovered.
Everyday i'm sore & it takes up to 3 hours to get ready for the day. I put this down to exercise / too much exercise (people tell me) the day before, but I refuse to give up.

They've told me that the more i do now the less i'll be able to later, which is fine, but what's the alternative? Sit around getting fat(ter) until age stops me doing anything? Nah I'll stay as healthy as I can now & accept that as I get older i'll have to slow down.
I just think that inactivity/obesity will put make my fibro worse (is that possible?) I'll do what I can while I can & hope for the best.

Good on you for getting out & about!
 

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"backlash" after biking
Of course! Ache all over, plus pain in elbows, hands, knees, backside, feet.
Short, sometimes tough stints are my workaround, e.g. 2-3 miles in under 10 minutes several times a day.
Or others sports like table tennis, short workouts and 30-60 mins of stretching/exercising as well.
 

DebMarPir

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Oh you guys, I spoke too soon. Day TWO is when the spasms all over hit. Oh. My. Gosh. I may be in bed a second day only I have to get an article finished I promised. This is horrible! l can't even ride 10 miles? Aha, maybe this is why I was never great at exercise - I in awe of Grumpy Old Git's 500 miles. The most I ever managed was about 22 and I wanted to work up from there. Only caregiving for my Mom would just wear me out so.

I am kind of scared to try exercising again, but I just took my gabapentin, and it is relieving the spasms. The other pills like muscle relaxant didnt' feel like they did a whole lot. I so want to cycle and be a fit person and I think of the me a few years ago and maybe now I know why going for a ride was so hard. Maybe it wasn't just me, maybe it was all this tiredness!

Thanks so much for responding. I had no idea! Once I stop shaking in my boots I will think about 5 miles.
 

Jemima

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Oh, I'm sorry - that sucks! Yep, that's the dreaded DOMS I mentioned. It's really an ass! Don't lose heart completely - when all of that happened to me, I had to go down to doing a realllly teensy bit of exercise, and then take literally months to very slowly build up again. Now, my tolerance isn't too bad as long as I do paced and steady things, as opposed to train-to-failure type exercises. If you experiment, you may well find your personal sweet spot.

I think your hunch that the reason why you were struggling a few years back could have been fibro is probably bang on. It definitely bubbled under the surface for ages before fully showing itself in my case.

I'm a writer too! Good luck with your article. I hope it's not too much of an effort, and that your recovery is swift ✨
 

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GrumpyGit said:
I am using Tramadol to take the edge off the fibro,
JayCS: Listening to the results of the fibromyalgia2021.com conference Tramadol was mentioned a lot as the one opioid that's 'OK'. I wdnt be able to take it cos of it increasing seizures, I also wdnt want to do with the suicidal thought sfx. Tried tilidine once, never again.

Just want to day this: tramadol is not "OK". It is an opiate drug and is just as addictive as any other opiate. My advice is to stay the heck away from it!

There are many other things a person can do besides taking drugs. It really bothers me when people say that one opiate is "ok" more than another. there are no such distinctions for the people who get addicted to them.
 
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I do mountain biking @DebMarPir & since being diagnosed whenever i'm doing something technical or out of my comfort zone i'm weary. I know I can do these things because i've done them for years, but i'm scared of hurting myself which makes me back out of doing the things that used to thrill & excite me. It's a sacrifice I have to make (even if it makes me look like a coward in front of others) as much as it irks me.

Just do what you can, when you can & have fun doing it.

You are not alone in this!
 
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