NEW to Diagnosis

I'm a Clinical Psychologist that was just diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had a HORRIBLE flu in February this year that completely changed my life! I was under extreme stress (special needs stepson in ICU, selling and moving our home, keeping a private practice going, opening a new private practice in a different State, etc...) and was forced to stay in bed for over a week. Anyway, since then I have lost feeling in my feet, tingling in toes, "a feeling of needles stabbing up my feet/legs." Pain in so many places. Itching, hot/cold sensitive, etc.....the lost goes on an on.

I was wondering if anyone knows how to handle the "cognitive fog" and fatigue in the afternoons?? I'm still running a private practice and I worry about being able to give my patients the appropriate care. I just feel soooooo tired in the afternoons and cannot change my schedule to fit my bodies needs. UGH!!!


Welcome to the board. I think you will find a lot of wonderful people here who have the same struggles. This is a wonderful board.

Can you schedule an our hour our of your schedule to rest? I know that if I rest for about 30 minutes in between activities I can usually keep going but if I have to sit at my desk all day the afternoons are the worst. And unfortunately I've had to resort to coffee.

Gentle Hugs,


hi DocF.. I hear ya. sigh. As far as the cognition, the best thing i can suggest it to have lots of notes. I guess it is not abnormal for you to have a chart open in front of you on the person you are speaking with. This may give your brain a 'refresher' when you are with that particular patient to remind you of what they said and are referring to. I hope that helps you some. I know for me i must use many refreshers like notes, calenders and planners. You have had so much to deal with and your stress is sky high. I hope someway you can manage to get adequate sleep several nights a week.. all the best to you.



Hello DocF,

This is a horrible thing when it first happens, and continues to be so! As Suzie says lots of notes. Also for me, I have to think ahead, pace myself, timetable rest time, and although I can keep going sometimes I know I will suffer for it later. So I know i will have to rest for a day or two, yes, that is the reality.

Good luck and take care, Anne

Thanks so much for the wonderful suggestions. Great to have some ideas. I find myself taking EXTRA notes. I need to schedule some rest time and I try to space patients about 30 minutes to one hour apart. Planning ahead helps for sure! I also agree on the side-effects of medication. The Gabapentin takes the edge off of "some" of the pain but I'm super drowsy. I would rather be in pain then to deal with the drowsiness.

Thanks so much for being there. I needed to connect with people that understand and are non-judgmental!


Hi and welcome, DocF.
Great suggestions from everyone!
I have a fulltime job that can be very mentally taxing and I find my brain sorta wants to turn itself off after 330-4! Lol. Something I do to combat this that I have found helpful is to take a total mental break in the afternoons around 230-3. I look at funny cat videos, rest on the couch in my office… Whatever I want that isn’t gonna stress me.
Welcome again, glad you found us.:slight_smile:

Hi DocF and welcome! It sounds like you have had a lot go on in a relatively short period of time, I am sorry about that. I remember when I was first diagnosed in 1998, it seemed very overwhelming at times. That still happens sometimes but I have learned over the years how to better listen to my body and be more proactive. Everyone reacts differently to the medications, for me I take a low dose of Gabapentin (just 600mg a day) and it seems to help with the fog but does nothing for the pain. I also work full time in a busy job and I have to try very hard to schedule breaks where I "mentally unwind and re-charge" so I can stay focused. Sometimes I will set alarms on my phone to remind me to go take a "me break." I also drink a lot of water to stay well hydrated. Anyway, welcome and I look forward to getting to know you more. Hugs!!!

Hmm, would those be Garfield videos Laurie? Lol, just kidding . . . I love cats as you know :-)

Yeah, I admit it, I just love him…
“I’d like mornings better if they weren’t in the morning.” Garfield. Heehee

Thanks so much for the suggestions. Today I took a break at around 1:30 (closed the door and napped in my office) and I'm energized.

I'm also wondering if you all know of what can be done with my feet?? The pain is bearable (I think I'm just getting use to the pain) but I feel like "removing my limbs!!" The gabapentin does not really do much for the pain in my feet and lower legs. It's so frustrating. I was running about 3 miles before the illness hit and now I have to hold my husband to walk across the parking-lot! UGH!

Thanks so much for any suggestions and help ;-)

Hi and welcome. I too was feeling a bit drowsy at first with the gabapentin. I spoke with my doctor and was able to change when I took theses drugs, that helped reduce the grogginess in the middle of the afternoon. I do encourage talking to physician about any changes you wish to make with medications as combinations and timing of ingestion are usually huge components of their effectiveness. I am sorry you had such a year and understand how this could have been a major contributor to fibro as I too had many life altering experiences before fibro took hold. I am glad you found our website, this is a place of excellent support, wonderful members and outstanding resources. Hugs.

I can't help you with suggestion on your foot pain, I have muscle pain and twitches and joint pain. I took 3,200mg of Gabapentin and it took my muscle pain and twitches but left the joint pain, which I have now reduced to 2,400mg and going down. I am now also on 200mg Celebrex, among other meds and that has really made a difference in my pain level. It's only been 9 days (Celebrex) but they have been the best 9 days I've had in a long time.

Have you seen someone to rule out the foot pain as possibly being something else? I ended up finding a rheumy who specializes in Fibromyalgia and she told me that one thing alone will not work, it has to be a multi-pronged approach. It made a lot of sense to me. If you are only taking Gabapentin, it may not be enough. How strong a dose are you taking? Is there anything else you do the reduce your pain? Do you have pain only in your feet?

If you have a large tub, take some warm baths and see if that gives you some relief, or a heating pad, ice packs, massage, TENS unit, meditation, stretching and the list goes on and on. Many things to try to see what works for you.

Hugs, Farida

I frequently have pain with my feet and lower legs. There are several things I try: I soak my feet in a foot bath with Epson salt, they have some nice lavender Epson that is great. I sometimes use otc topical pain patches, like salon pas, it sometimes will help dull the pain on the top of my feet, but not always. I also sometimes elevate my legs above my heart for a while, it sometimes helps some. I have a nice exercise ball and I lay flat and relax my legs over it and it takes some pressure off temporarily. Nothing works all the time or eliminates the pain completely but these things do help me some. The key I've found is to keep trying things to see if you can find something that works for you. And by the end of the day, I am usually holding onto my furniture or walls for balance myself. Hugs!

Hi, DocF.
Auburnm’s suggestions are terrific.
I have severe foot and leg pain with my Fibro. It’s been one of my most debilitating symptoms as I walk everywhere… I live in a busy city where driving is less convenient than public transportation.
Do you have comfortable shoes? I have found that wearing sneakers no matter the occasion has considerably lessened my foot and leg pain. I wear the classic Reebok or the classic Sauconys. They are light and have very soft soles. I also wear the Dr. Scholl’s Air Pillow inserts inside and thick-soled hiking socks. They are not fashionable and I get funny looks at work, but it all helps alot.

Great idea on the shoes BaltimoreBaby, I also wear tennis shoes EVERYWHERE and get strange looks with any business outfit I might have to wear but comfort is way more important to me. I will check out the air pillow inserts as I haven't tried those before. Thanks for the information!

I have that too. I only work part-time now. That is about all that I can do. I do take a multi vitamin.

Thanks so much for all of the information. The foot numbness, stabbing, itching, heat/cold sensitive and pain in several other areas of my body (lower back by hips, elbows, knees, upper back) all started at the same time--after this huge viral infection. They ruled-out Lyme's disease, Lupus, Myasthenia Gravis, MS, hormonal imbalances, etc....

Yup, the gabapentin may not be enough. I will talk to my Doc about some alternatives. Thanks again!

Thanks again for the great suggestions for my feet and legs. I know that after some time passes I will get accustomed to a different lifestyle. The high heels will need to be tossed! :-)

The Walking Company sounds like a great way to invest in my future with Fibro. You all are so great! Thanks again for the amazing support.

Hi DocF

I have allot of problems with my feet as well, they hurt so badly most days, sometimes I can barely walk, i feel like I could almost fall down when i get up sometimes, i also get allot of pins and needles in my feet.

I also suffer terribly from brain fog and it seems to be getting worse lately. I do hope that you are feeling better soon.