Work stress and Fibromyalgia

Work stress and Fibromyalgia

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 Placebo

Ironically 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.

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