Mistake #1 – Not tracking Your Pain
People with fibromyalgia disease are in constant pain. The problem is determining when that pain is better or worse. The best way that patients have found is to keep a pain diary. When you track your pain, you will discover certain patterns that seem to help with pain and others that make it worse. If you know when things are better, you can also figure out what made them better and what to do next time.
Mistake #2 – High Expectations Concerning Medications
There are only three drugs that are approved by the FDA for use with fibromyalgia disease. These drugs don’t work for everyone and they come with their own set of side effects. They can also be quite expensive. Therefore, learn to be flexible. You may have to try all three to get any good results or you may want to opt for alternative treatments in order to avoid side effects. Work together with your doctor to come up with a good treatment plan. This plan will probably include other forms of treatment besides medications. After all, treatment for fibromyalgia disease is not just in medicines. It’s a lifestyle
Mistake #3 – Refusing to Consider Off-Label Drugs
Off-label drugs are those medicines that are approved for one condition but are frequently given for another. Examples of this are antidepressants. These are normally given to people suffering from depression or other conditions but many patients with fibromyalgia disease report dramatic relief for their FMS symptoms. Be willing to consider something that your doctor prescribes as long as you are given an explanation of the drug and understand any side effects that may occur. Ultimately, you have to decide if it is worth the risk.
Mistake #4 – Not Exploring Alternatives
There are many alternative treatments for fibromyalgia disease that are not considered conventional medicine. However, many patients have positive results from them. For example, yoga would not be a conventional treatment for FMS and performing yoga has helped many fibromyalgia patients learn to control stress, which can cause flare-ups. Other forms of treatment include biofeedback, meditation, and tai chi, another Chinese martial art technique.
Mistake #5 – Sticking with the Wrong Doctor
We would all hope that our primary care physician would be able to refer us to a proper doctor to help with conditions like fibromyalgia disease. Unfortunately, the opposite is often true. Sometimes, the doctor you get for FMS treatment really doesn’t know a lot about this syndrome and will not explore all your options for treatment. If you don’t feel that your doctor is doing all he or she can to help with your symptoms, don’t be afraid to switch doctors.
Mistake #6 – Denying That You are Sick
Many patients who have fibromyalgia disease try one doctor after another looking for another opinion for their condition. While getting a second opinion is fine, avoid a third, fourth, or more diagnoses. Stop denying your condition as it wastes precious time to find a solution. Instead, read up on fibromyalgia disease all you can and learn about the different ways patients have found to help themselves. Education is the key to your solution.
Mistake #7 – Not Enlisting Family Support
Many patients make this mistake. Your family support may be the greatest asset in your corner. However, be sure your family understands what you are going through. You can direct them to any number of websites, such as the National Fibromyalgia disease Association, the Mayo Clinic, or the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, that will educate them as to what FMS really is. Again, education is the key. The support of your spouse, parents, siblings, and children is essential but ask them with open eyes.