Sunday, 20 March 2016

As I mentioned in my last post I was having severe pain and aching in my joints, particularly in my left hand.  In past posts I also mentioned my sister suffers from chronic pain, and we both have a lot of the same symptoms, so she knows my journey... when we were last together she was off medication as she was about to have a hip replacement surgery, and she said to me she could feel severe difference in her pain when she is off her medication, which was Celebrex (which is commonly prescribed for arthritis):
What is Celebrex?
Celebrex (celecoxib) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Celecoxib works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.
Celebrex is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by many conditions such as arthritisankylosing spondylitis, andmenstrual pain. Celebrex is used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children who are at least 2 years old.

(as copied from
So I thought this would be a good opportunity to book in to the doctors, and have a discussion about my knuckles and see what they thought.  In past I was worried about rheumatoid arthritis as my anti-nuclear tests have come up super high in past but recent tests haven't... in all my reading this apparently can be common for even those with arthritis, it is so very difficult to diagnose.  
So I booked in to a different doctor than my regular doctor but at the same centre... she is lovely and was the originating doctor to suggest I had Fibromyalgia.  However, she is a bit of a naturalist in that she always suggests natural remedies, I told her 'I have tried and continue to try natural options' but I would really like to try Celebrex as my sister has huge relief from it'.  She said she gathered I must have a bit of arthritis, but not the rheumatic kind.  So she gave me a cream for topical pain (Capsicain) which I would try in conjunction with Celebrex (she gave me a week prescription!).  Well... within 2 days I felt better than I have in years!!!  Normally I struggle for at least an hour in the morning to move, to get up and to bend and so on.  Like someone 80 years +!  It was not fair.  Celebrex worked instantly, which only confirmed to me that not only have I got Fibro, I have arthritis probably in my low spine and left hip (just like my mother did), and Fibro no doubt has been triggered by this many  many years ago.  I literally felt like a new woman!  I thank my sister daily because I cannot believe what relief I feel.
So, I got a renewed prescription (which does cost unfortunately, some countries it is subsidised) and I've been taking it for about a month and I will never go back.  The downfall is that it is an anti-flam and I do have issues with stomach pain and have had to take Omeprazole in past... but so far so good, this one seems to be very mild as far as stomach upset/pain, and I haven't had to take anything for stomach pain.
The Capsacain however, I ditched using that after the first 3 days!  It didn't really provide relief, in fact it burned my skin... and you have to be incredibly careful as if you get it anywhere sensitive (eyes, corner of mouths, soft skin - anywhere... yes anywhere!!!) it hurts like hell.  Not saying I put it 'anywhere' but it stays on your skin and there are many opportunities to inadvertently touch anywhere throughout the day... and it isn't pretty.  Go where you may with your imagination here but just be safe!  LOL.
So where does this leave me now?  Still not 100% nor do I ever expect to be, but to be able to function at 80% pain free is a HUGE bonus, and the experience of 'fire in my blood' has been few and far between believe it or not... I know that I have had one experience in the past month, from at least weekly in the past... how can I not be thankful for that?  I continue to experience numbness in my left hand/wrist/pinky & ring finger, and the aches in my joints of my hand are their worst at night, and continue to be mild to moderate sore during the day.  I can only think this is still arthritis, and that Celebrex can only do so much, it is still better than it was...
I'm am not saying that this will work for you, but I really think that some sort of arthritis has been a trigger for me and having that under control obviously seems to help.  Celebrex has been an answer, and no doubt if your trigger is the same and you have had arthritis pain or suspected even, I would talk to your doctor and see if it can work for you.  I hope with my stomach issues of past it won't have an adverse affect, and I don't end up with some of the side affects regarding the lining of my stomach, but for now, I am enjoying moving freely and with less pain than ever in the several years... it is a risk I have to take right now.
Good luck out there fellow chronic pain sufferers, it isn't an easy life, but remember we are all in it together.

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