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Arthritic pain and IBS flaring, all at once :( Arthritic pain and IBS flaring, all at once :(

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Unread 07-27-2003, 01:50 PM
Arthritic pain and IBS flaring, all at once :(

Wouldn't you believe it? Just when you think that you've finally found the right med/therapy/diet combo to manage your pains/discomforts effectively, life throws you a loop, and you find yourself struggling again

I feel like such a whimp complaining, when so many of you are struggling, daily, with life altering conditions but, then again, I think of last night and how the pain would simply not go away

I don't know what's causing the sudden flare ups, other than the fact that the extreme humidity, hot and rainy weather we're having lately might be affecting the arthritic pain. It was soooo bad last night, that I simply could not sleep... and, everytime I woke, the cramping would be worse and a new pain zone would creep up for the arthritic pain. And, it didn't help any that all the water I was drinking to help managing the gas was waking me up, having to rush to void!!!

Thankfully, the Arthritic rub I've been using has helped with the arthritic pain: it's back to a manageable dull this morning. And, the bloating has relented, slightly... however, sometimes, the cramps are sooooo bad that they have me doubling over.

How do you girls do it? Living with daily pain? That will simply not go away? At least, mine is, mostly, managed by the anti-inflamatories I take. And, careful eating has kept the IBS at bay, most of the time.
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Unread 07-27-2003, 02:32 PM
Arthritic pain and IBS flaring, all at once :(

I'm so sorry that things have gotten worse for you this weekend. To be honest, I don't have a clue how I make it thru each day. Some days I don't think I'm going to and than I go to bed and wake up and realize that yes I've made it thru another day.

I guess perhaps it is the few good days that I have that keep me going. Than again, those few good days leave me wanting more of them. For example, when dh and I went on a road trip back in April I was doing pretty good and we had a wonderful time, than last weekend we decided to do a day trip and I was simply miserable the whole time. I couldn't even keep my eyes open, had to take a nap in the middle of it and could barely eat because my tummy was soooo swollen. I kept apologizing to dh. I am lucky there in that dh is very supportive and seems to understand.

Than I often wonder is this pain the same or is it different??? When do I need to head to the ER or call the doctor??? I'm trying to hold on for another week and than go back to the Osteo doc. She's really the only one that is still helping me, but I just cannot afford to see her as often as I need to.

All this to say, somehow we do survive! Dany, pain is pain, please don't feel bad for coming here to vent or cry. That is what The Road is for. We do care and we support each other.
Unread 07-27-2003, 04:35 PM
Arthritic pain and IBS flaring, all at once :(

((((Kim)))))) Thank you so much for the feedback I'm so sorry the pain flared up again

BTW, I know what you mean about appologizing to DH: that's what I kept doing last night, when the pain changed our plans for the evening... I simply couldn't do anything other than lie there, with my legs in a position where my tummy was warm (the helped out) and where my ankles didn't help. Like yours, my DH is also very supportive. Guess it helps that he knows what pain is all about: his knees, elbows and toes are all messed up, thanks to the sportive life style he held until he was in his early 40's.

I do hope that you can hold out until your appointment with the Osteo And, you know what they say: when in doubt, head for the ER.

We'll find a way to get off this Road... eventually.

Thanks for being there.
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Unread 07-27-2003, 04:53 PM
Hi Dany!

I'm so sorry you are in such pain!

I suffer from arthritic pain in multiple joints, so I empathize totally with you. I find that it really helps me to identify what triggers flare-ups, so that I can manage them, deal with them, know they are going to end if it is very hard to deal with them, and, yes, plan for them if I expect one to come.

Hope this helps, first I will start with what makes it worse, which may help you think about what could be making you feel worse? These are the things that cause my joint pain to flare: premenstrually for like a week (I still have ovaries, but no uterus so this is hard to pin down lately, but hopefully my gyn will be able to help figure out the cycle thing) , exercise and activity (sorry, activity helps my frame of mind but almost without exception exacerbates the pain in my joints), too much salt and water retention, too little sleep and physical rest, stress and grief (including fear, it is much tougher to deal with pain when you are scared), and physical illness, including viruses, and major changes in the weather patterns, especially when fronts move in. I always know when I am going to come down with a cold, as I have a flare-up, and sometimes can tell the weather!

Except it really isn't that funny when it is happening!

Now what I find makes it better. Rest and sleep. Hot baths with generous amounts (2+ cups) of epsom salts added. My beautiful children. Massage, even self-massage, though you have to be very careful, because massage without training can cause damage and more pain. Gentle, and I mean very gentle, stretching (my local hospital has a pool arthritis therapy class and that helps alot). Relaxation and meditation techniques have helped me in the past to move to a place beyond the pain, but I have not been able to get back there for a really long time. Absolutely anymore anti-inflammatories and pain medicines are critical for me, or I become horribly stressed and depressed when the pain is out of control, which sadly is often. I promise I will PM or post if I think of anything else that helps.

For me, flare-ups are so hard because my pain already is unrelenting, so depression for me just lies under the surface, barely. I actually find crying helps me alot. I sort of just lose it and then get on with my life. Lately I am getting an attitude that "this isn't going to slow me down," so I've been running myself into the ground doing things that hurt me, but I miss (like biking with my children and cleaning floors on my hands and knees -- it's amazing what you miss when you can't have it, eh?).

And God. It is resting in God that helps me when nothing else seems to. I have asked many times for an end to the pain, but in accordance with his will, and always, I get the answer (through some odd circumstance, or sermon, or book on a shelf that opens to the right page), "this is my will."

Well, I've written a book, so my work here is done! One thing I must stress, though. Everyone's condition is unique. I had a flare-up last year that was triggered by a virus (the coxsackie virus, "hand,foot and mouth disease") which required medical care and turned into a major bummer for me, including some very severe symptoms that have not yet subsided. Initially, my (new) Dr. didn't really believe what I was telling her about the severity of my symptoms.

Please, Dany, if you are having a major exacerbation of your symptoms and this is new for you, call the Dr. (most of us have so many ...) most familiar with your arthritis and IBS and let them know you are having a flare-up, and insist on being able to give the full story and range of your concerns. It could save your life, at the very least, it'll be an opportunity for someone to give input into something that may help you.

Please take care! Promise me you'll call some one of the Drs.
With love,
Unread 07-27-2003, 09:16 PM
Arthritic pain and IBS flaring, all at once :(

Thanks for the wonderful insight ((((Loretta)))) I'm so sorry your pain is so bad and has had such an impact on your quality of life

As I mentionned earlier, most of the time, my pain is managed with anti inflammatories: I take Celebrex 200 in the evening and, if needed, another dose of Celebrex 100 in the morning. Lately, that has been pretty much every day and, I must admit, I'm a bit concerned about the possible adverse effect on my kidneys.. but, at least, it means I can maintain a normal life style.

The arthritic pain is relatively new to me: it started last summer, very, very suddenly, as I was going through major stress. It didn't help that we were having a very, very hot and humid summer. However, I know most of the things that will cause a flare up and, for the most part, they are the same as the ones that will cause your pain to flare:
  • stress
  • humidity (both hot and cold, but the hot humidity affects it most)
  • being tired and lack of sleep
  • exercise, but only up to a point
  • change in diet, especially foods that are high in sugar, salt or fat
  • my cycle also affects it, and, like you, since my hyst, I never quite know when that will happen (doesn't happen every month)
Where my IBS is concerned, that's another story: I've always delt with it and have known what would be likely to cause a flare up for a very long time. The causes generally are:
  • stress
  • being tired and lack of sleep
  • change in diet
  • my cycle also affects it, and, like you, since my hyst, I never quite know when that will happen (doesn't happen every month)
Since I'm feeling a lot better today: Arthritic pain is under control and gassiness is, slowly going away, I've been able, once again, to avoid a trip to the doctor's (don't have time, right now, unfortunately... especially since it would involve going to the Rheumy for the arthritic pain and to my GP for the IBS).

I'm fortunate, so far, in that I also know how to manage both conditions: for the arthritic pain, I take the meds and I use a wonderful rub... it's Antiflogestine Arthritic Pain and it's amazingly effective... a little goes a long way in relieving pain. I also make sure to keep the affected area(s) warm. Since my ankles and wrists are most likely to be affected, I wear rolled down socks, making sure that the sore spots are covered. I will also hold both of them together, to maximize the heat. For my wrists, I will hold them under my pillow and then rest on top of the wrists, again maximizing the heat. Massage and hot baths, so far, have only been known to increase the pain. However, gentle stretches do help a lot.

I bike a lot and I find that, so far, it doesn't aggravate the pain... though I have to be careful not to jar my wrists too much. Walking, another favorite activity, unfortunately, has been known to aggravate the pain in my ankles and the right knee (I have osteoarthritis in that knee, as a reasult of knee surgery in 1985). That is especially frustrating, because walking is one of the ways that will help me pull through an IBS flare up!!!

For the IBS, I have to be very careful with my diet and it's even more temperamental than the arthritic pain: just a bit of stress or fatigue, and... wham!!!.. I'm hit with constipation, gassiness and/or diarrhea.

As I mentionned, to pull through a flare up, I will walk, drink plenty of water, stored at room temperature, be very careful with my diet and try to minimize the stress. For gassiness, I will also use Gas-X: I find it's very gentle, but effective.

What's most frustrating for me is that, so far, there has been no definate diagnosis for the arthritic pain: RA is strongly suspected, but all the tests came out negative... hence the "arthritic pain" diagnosis and sticking with anti-inflammatories, instead of other, more aggressive (and less likely to cause side-effects) meds.

((((Loretta))))) Please do not indulge in activities that you know can cause pain. I have found that, most of the time, I can lead a pretty normal life, providing I take the meds and don't over do it. It's also a matter of choosing activities that you know will not cause a flare up, such as, in my case, opting for the bike rides over the long walks.

Another thing I've learned, is that it pays to let your doctor know when your meds are not effective: last year, I was started on Mobicox, but the break through pain was just unbelieavable. And I didn't want to increase the dosage, because the side effects were already quite unbearable. Hence the change to the Celebrex, which has less side effects and is more effective.

Please take care and I hope that you find a way to enjoy life while your pain is effectively managed.
Unread 07-28-2003, 06:38 AM
Arthritic pain and IBS flaring, all at once :(


Ahhhhh...My friend.....

I'm so sorry to hear your dealing with so much physically, It's not easy I know.

I have to agree with you on the humidity and heat causing the RA to flare.....Seems I've been going thru the same thing now that the temps are hitting 95 (not including heat index!) and with the rain EVERY afternoon the humidity is at 90% even at night.

I've been taking my naproxin, and Toradol for the past week myself, but have noticed that if I get up and do things it has taken the edge off....I'm sure the meds have something to do with that. I'm one of those people that even if I'm in pain I go and do something like work in the yard thinking that that will help by working things out.....then in the morning I can't move at all.

I wanted to send some even tho I have no advice as dealing with all of this is new to me to and I haven't really done anything to figure out what works and what doesn't....My DH is NOT supportive in this area and chalks it all up to "your just getting old and we all feel this way when we get old"....SHEESH I'm only 40!!!! Makes me want to smack him. So I just shut up and deal with it on my own and muddle thru...

Love ya dahling....and cooler weather is coming....I wish I could offer more.

How about a trip to Orlando??? Worked well for you LAST time!!

Unread 07-28-2003, 09:07 AM
Arthritic pain and IBS flaring, all at once :(

Oh (((((Dawn))))) So sorry you're in so much pain right now. Must be hard when your DH is not supportive.... I get a bit of a taste of that with MIL smirks everytime I mention I'm in pain And, with (((Ann)))) in NY, part of support system is missing

Sending big s your way. I'm holding my breath for another opportunity to go to Orlando... hopefully soon.
Unread 07-28-2003, 12:31 PM
I like to color...

i have RA, osteo, FMS and IBS, in addition to mobility problems related to my weight.

i am in pain 24/7--no one ever really knows because i just don't talk about it, being the introverted sort, and stoic, to boot.

Fighting this kind of pain 24/7 takes alot out of your personality--your emotional resources get low. When that happens, psychologically, you are at about 3yrs old, and need the same kind of kind, comforting, nurturing that you'd give a little kid. Except we are Women grown.

There is a book called "Pain and Possibility--Writing your Way through Personal Crisis"--that uses writing/drawing to express inner pain. Journaling/drawing all can be useful. Any relaxing activity. I have a huge basket of markers & coloring books next to my bed, and when i'm in terrible pain (i.e. more than usual) i color.
it feels so wonderful and playful.

i also have a massage mat by Homedics--vibrating heat and massage.
We are saving for a hot tub, which also helps

I am going to see a pain specialist 8/7 because none of the medicine i am taking really releaves the pain. (Bextra, darvocet, toradol)
oh, here's another good website (or it might be .org)

i very much empathize with being in constant pain---no one but another sufferer really knows what it is like.

Fluffy Lemur
Unread 07-29-2003, 03:03 PM

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