When work really becomes a pain in the ass
As a full-time chef, I am active in the sense that I am on my feet most of the day. There are days when the only time I get to sit down is when I’m driving to and from work. Arriving home from work after one of these days are the worse. I don’t walk, I shuffle. I can hardly get out of the car, everything is that stiff and painful. It’s a hectic career, no doubt about it. It is also stressful on the mind and body.
Pill or PlaceboIronically enough I first came across the term Tachyphylaxis right after I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It sounds like something you would call a short-legged dinosaur. Of course, it refers to something far more devious. Click To Tweet
Tachyphylaxis is a medical term describing an acute, sudden decrease in response to a drug after its administration, i.e. a rapid and short-term onset of drug tolerance. It can occur after an initial dose or after a series of small doses. Increasing the dose of the drug may be able to restore the original response. – Wikipedia
For the last 5 years, I have struggled to find an effective painkiller. I would cycle between different ones, take more than I should, take them in combinations with other anti-inflammatories etc. The frustration rose the less effective they became. Eventually, I would only take a pill when my pain levels became too high to be bearable. Anything to just take the edge off. Every time I saw a doctor and they wanted me to try Lyrica (of course one of the first recommended treatments for Fibromyalgia) and I wanted to scream. I had taken Lyrica for several months and it had no effect. Even more irritating was that doctors just didn’t seem to listen. When I decided enough was enough and I wanted answers I decided to make my doctor listen to me.
It can always get worse
Two years ago my symptoms started to become much worse, much faster. I was also working for a company where my immediate supervisor was doing everything in their power to make my life absolute hell. My stress levels were through the roof and I was taking Alzam like candy. Of course, it became less and less effective. After numerous fruitless complaints to top management, I decided my only recourse was to resign.
These days I work for the most amazing employer – but the damage has been done. The pain that I had lived with before had been focussed around a hip injury and spinal Kyphosis. Now it was everywhere and my stress levels – that constant state of vigilance about it had set in as a result.
The light at the end of the gym circuit
When I need pain relief nowadays my first response is to hit the gym or do a few laps in the pool. Nothing works better. Some days I doubt my ability to even get out of bed, but once I’ve had that exercise time I feel almost human again.
I cannot accentuate enough how important it is to manage your stress levels when you have Fibromyalgia. Just reading about the condition and working my way through it makes that clear.
A low dose of SSRI to manage my anxiety levels is proving to be helpful. My doctor explained that this particular SSRI, in fact, increases your pain threshold which I welcome.
What has been your experience with work-related stress and Fibromyalgia?
Do you suspect you may have Fibromyalgia? I am curating a list of various websites and interesting blog posts that may be of help. Go to Managing Fibromyalgia to learn more.