By the time I was diagnosed, I had already been on amitriptyline (a tricyclic antidepressant taken at a lower dose to help with sleep and pain) for a couple of years. A doctor prescribed it for my extreme struggle with sleep.
So I already had a base when I was diagnosed, which was lucky because I got no other information, advice or help when I got the word.
If I could go back in time and help myself out, here’s what I would say:
Research, research, research. Back then, there wasn’t much information around, but there was some. Our own research is what will help us the most. It will eventually lead to the best pain management options which are:
- Hot bath
- Acupuncture by a physiotherapist
- Panadol and nurofen taken together for a few doses
- Trigger point release, both for yourself and by a physiotherapist or massage therapist
- Meditation – a guided meditation called Yoga Nidra will be one of the most amazing things you will find, much too late to benefit from it in the miserable “full time work” years or the early baby days.
- Nutritional supplementation – high dose magnesium is super important. Along with iron supplementation – the doctor will say it’s “normal” but it’s at the end of a super long range – aim for ferritin levels of 60. Research and experiment. There’s D Ribose, Acetyl L Carnitine, COQ10, B complex, vitamin C and more.
- Keep walking, one good thing you did was keep moving. Just go a little more easy, it’ll reduce the tightness in the muscles. Pilates and yoga are king.
- Learning to rest.
- Prioritise yourself.
- Believe in yourself, sometimes you’ll be the only one and that’s OK.
- Don’t let yourself fall down the rabbit hole, allow yourself time for grief and then carry on.
- Always hope for better, it’s attainable.