Blog Classic: March 18, 2009
When you have fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS), anything that causes additional pain or trauma can be especially hard on you. We need special considerations during surgery, and recovery can be especially long and hard.
A big part of the problem stems from our central sensitization. When you're anesthestized, you may not be aware of pain, but your nerves still send pain signals to your brain, and those signals can heighten your sensitization. The last think you want after surgery is to be more aware of pain!
Also an issue - sensitivity to sedative or anesthetic medications, which especially seems be a problem with ME/CFS. An allergic reaction can be extremely dangerous.
Fortunately, some FMS/ME/CFS doctors and researchers have looked into the special problems we face when it comes to surgery. Here are their recommendations:
- Guidance for Fibromyalgia Patients Facing Elective Surgery, from the Oregon Health & Science University
- Recommendations for Persons with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or Fibromyalgia) Who Are Anticipating Surgery, by Dr. Charles Lapp.
If your doctor, surgeon or anesthesiologist doesn't want to follow recommendations you feel you need, insist on it. They're not the ones risking a dangerous reaction or spending extra weeks on the couch in pain.
I had a very minor surgical procedure a couple of years ago, and the doctor said he always scheduled them for Thursdays because then most people could go back to work Monday. I went back Wednesday and it was too soon, so don't expect to recover like everyone else. Make sure to take extra time off of work and arrange for help at home.
Have you had surgery since developing FMS or ME/CFS? Did you have complications? What was recovery like? Share your experiences to help us all by leaving a comment below!
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