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sscheinfe

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NY
I have a friend. She is 36. She always had nonspecific symptoms, but after she had her gallbladder removed, she started having severe symptoms. They only got worse after she started and stopped a birth control drug called YAZ.

She is, for the past four years, constantly in pain...she gets burning in her legs, chest, pain that moves around, you know the rest. She is in such horrible pain that she is nearly on the verge of suicide (she has already tried what I would call suicide attempts, though they were more like attempts to make herself unconscious). She also gets strange spasms where her arms will suddenly jump up and spasm for about 10 seconds, very strange to watch.

She has tried all the meds...opiates, cymbalta, lyrica, neurontin, etc etc. She is limited in some of their use because they make her heart rate and blood pressure skyrocket. She has tried acupressure, acupuncture, physical therapy, heating pads, TENS unit, vibration, etc.....you name it. Nothing seems to help. What she eats seems to affect it, oddly...sugar seems to make it much worse, though anything she eats nowadays doesn't lessen the pain. She has been hospitalized numerous times, including in the psych ward when the pain drove her to attempt suicide.

She is, because of the illness, in a minimum wage, physically intensive job. She received Medicaid and cannot afford a naturopathic doctor or anything of the sort. Because of her illness the best specialists are well out of her price range; the cheap system doctors she has generally discount her Fibro (big surprise there) and have no idea how to manage it. She is on the verge of going on total disability at age 36.

She is at the end of her rope and just wants to die.

Short of begging for donations on the street for a alternative doctor, what the heck can I do to help her?
 

LivetoErr

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Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
137
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
06/2012
Country
CA
State
AB
All that you can really do is be there for her and help her out the best you can. You can let her know there are a lot of us in her shoes and we're here if she needs to vent.

I'm 34 and have not worked for the last three years. The part of my government that deals with disability thinks I'm not disabled enough to not work. However, the part that deals with work subsidies does. Unfortunately, its monthly maximum is half of what they give for disability. It's no where near enough to make it on my own. Every time I think I should just suck it up and work I remember why it is I can't work.

I've never gotten to the point to where I don't want to live, for one reason. Suicide has been a part of my life, in various ways, and what it does to the survivors is not worth any more thought on my part. It's hard to convince someone, who's at the end of their rope, of the devastation suicide causes but, you need to try.

Perhaps, look for some support groups or charities in your area that might help her. There might be something for her. Good luck! She's lucky to have someone who wants to help her.
 

Chrispy93

Active member
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Messages
61
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
00/2007
Country
US
State
Rhode Island
wow, almost a week has gone by and only one reply to this post. i find that shocking. maybe because there is no answer. some people can not understand the mentality it takes to be at the point of suicide. your friend is lucky she has you sscheinfe. she needs to hear that people do need her and what her contribution to the world is them. im sure she feels hopeless and like she has nothing to contribute. all her energy is going to just staying out of that dark cloud. it's exhusting and toxic. my son having a minor meltdown due to my 2 month long journey to the dark side reciently help get me back to a better reality. it was a wake up call for me. but i can say i can feel the darkness lurking, thinking he doesn't need me.

how bout a friday night game night at her place? board games or cards. movie night. keep her social and laughing. don't let her say no. let her know she is wanted and matters. that alone will help ease her pain.
 

1sweed

Moderator
Joined
Feb 4, 2013
Messages
1,956
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
01/1995
Country
US
State
PA
Often Times it is hard to know what to do in case like this. I think a lot of us who read this have been thinking hard on just what to say that would truely help your friend. Having run through the lists of medications myself and having to quit them one after another due to intorance or allergic reactions I am no help in that department. But as you say she has tried all forms of treatments and nothing is working, I too am at a loss in what she could try medically.

One of the hardest things in dealing with illness is the loneliness of it. Most of us try bravely to face our illness alone so that we don't feel bad about complaining about our pain so much that we would drive our friends away. And in some ways illness shows us who our true friends are, as in those that stick by us through thick and thin, and others that are suddenly to busy to stop by. In asking for your friend this tells me you are a true friend.

While I have never thought of suicide, just hearing about the pain she deals with on a daily basis with no options in treatment it is easy to see that way of thinking, but I hope you can steer her in another direction and hopefully give her some hope. I would ask does she have any family that could help her get to a better specialist that might be able to at the very least help with the pain issues? You said that she is on the verge of going on full disability. Would she be able to do this? The reason I ask this is if she got disability then she might be able to get SSI and that would allow her to be able to afford to see better doctors, also she might get medicare with the SSD or SSI, and then she would be able to pick any doctor she wanted to see.
If you go on say SSI, if your condition improves you can go back to work at a later date if able, or continue working a little bit and still get benefits.
Even thoses on SSD can earn some without losing benefits.

I would say have some heart-to-heart talks with her concerning these choices and see if she is willing to try that route. And continue being a good friend and try to be there for her and try to be a uplifting spirit in her life. Maybe you could go with her to her doctors and let them know how serious this problem is and ask them to refer her to a rheumatologist or even a pain specialist, that could work with her and maybe provide some relief.

Please read through the posts on pain issues and management and you might find some ideas that she could try in hopes of taking the edge of the pain. I wish I could offer more suggestions. You could invite her to join the forum in hopes that we could help by being supportive by listening and responding in positive ways. :)
 

Loftpat

Senior member
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
374
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
08/2013
Country
US
State
ME
It took me a while to respond to your query as the subject hit too close to home. Before I finally was diagnosed and found good docs, I found my way into a psych hospital after an attempted suicide because of the unrelenting pain and fatigue. My saving grace was the care and support of friends who continued to help me navigate the medical system, learned about fibro and encouraged my efforts. It is challenging enough to have your world as you knew disappear, but the added stress of pain with no resolution puts one in a endless feedback loop of pain, stress, pain, stress. Meditation, distraction, and just sitting outside have helped me tremendously to relax and ease my pain. Meds help, but only so much. Encourage your friend to find ways to de-stress. I wish you both well.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
10
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2014
Country
US
State
kansas
I have tried alot of those meds and the only thing that has worked fornme is tramadol. Its a pain killer that doesn't make me feel all drugged up! Stay strong!
 

fibrogal

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
91
Diagnosis
07/2008
Country
US
State
Alabama
Wow, you are probably a life saver for your friend....God bless you! Chrispy gave you some good advice about some very practical ways you can help her. All the others also gave helpful tips. Without my going back and rereading the list of meds she has tried, do you know if she has tried any other antidepressant....some of the older ones work well for fibro, but nowadays many doctors only know to prescribe the ones touted for fibro.

I take an I older SSRI called celexa, which increases serotonin. This is a brain chemical that is found to be low in those with fibro. It helps with depression, anxiety, sleep, and pain. Others are elavil, Prozac, Zoloft. Another thing that could help and could be equally as cheap is in the area of muscle relaxers. You can get these in generic. Most of us take a combination of meds, as usually no one thing works. Many times it takes several things working together.

But out of all those meds, I would think a good antidepressant is a must! I was once suicidal, and it was when I thought I didn't need to be taking an antidepressant. It's so easy to get in that deep dark hole of depression. Please encourage her to speak again to her doctor and not give up. Also you might try to get her to read these posts to see she's not alone. Bless you! We're here for you and your friend!
 

trayne91

Distinguished member
Joined
Oct 30, 2013
Messages
154
Diagnosis
10/2013
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State
Wisconsin
Although I have no way to know answers for you, my best advice would be to let her know she is loved and make her smile.
 

minilandrover

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
30
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
05/2009
Country
fr
State
maine et loire
We all know this is not only a physical and mental taxing illness, but a financial one too. Friends are needed and your friendship will help.
I wrote a reply poem to a girl called tracy who was getting down, ill post it for you to read to your friend.
one thing to remember is that she must concentrate on what she can do, not what she can't. thats what i wrote the poem for. She needs some positives and that will help..im not sure the arm waving is coming from fibro. fibro usually causes the opposite. Like every time i sleep i awake with my hands ( fingers) immobilized amongst my other symptom's. But through perseverance i have got over the depression although it's still there just under the surface im back in control..i just do what i can and fog out the rest..i get great pleasure from my small achievements and they really do count..so try and fine some things that she can do, so she feels better inside..

Now listen up tracy, I hear your pain
you symptoms are getting you down again
you feel so useless, unwanted and stressed
but deep down inside you are one of the best

we all have to suffer in each our own way
pain from fibromalgia that wont go away
so what if we can't do as much as before
do ironing,make beds or hoover the floor

we still have our eyes that beauty can see
the pleasure in others we can share their glee
make fun of our problems cos there here to stay
we still can help others, for them we can pray

so what little i can do, i do so with pride
even if afterward from the pain i cried
but doing things when ever my body allowed
what i can still do, it still makes me prowd

i have learn't how to do things a different way
with a new set of tools that are here to stay
just a few hours hours work and im all done in
but iv'e done my best and with that ill win

ill keep on going. and so will you. thats the plan
because thats what we are here for. to do what we can
so puck up there tracy there's lots left to do
and take one job at a time, you will work your way through

we are not measured by failure, but by what we have done
not by the dozen, but one by one
so do what you can do, and do it with pride
don't ever let fibromalgia shorten your stride.

colin martin
 

Trellum

Legendary member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
1,788
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
04/2011
Country
NL
State
NL
Wow, to be honest I hadn't even seen this post until now (I was in the Netherlands for a while). I must say I truly feel for your friend, but I must also say you are a wonderful friend for taking the time to come here and ask for help in behalf of your friend in need. Not a lot people would do that, but you do!

I was surprised to see how close this hits home, I know what is like to be in the verge of suicide. Things get too difficult to bear you just want to end it all. I'm guessing your friend suffers from a really severe case of depression that is linked to the fact she is jobless and can't find a way to manage her pain. Same happened to me, I attempted suicide 2 times last year, but fortunately I failed. So yes, I had some really desperate moments. The worst enemy of your friend right now is her depression ad that feeling of hopelessness she surely feels every morning as soon as she wakes up.

Is she taking medication for that? I ask because being depressed and in pain is one of the worst things that can ever happen to someone. She really needs to treat that first, depression can make you see things worse than they are and make you do things you don't really want to do.
 
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