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I had an interesting conversation with my doctor today so I thought I'd share it with you all.

So, today I went to the doctor intent on finding out why my whole body muscles and joints hurt.   My joints have a dull ache and my muscles seem to be drawing up and always so very tight.  I was sort worried about MS or fibromyalgia.  So, he said to me that one of his medical professors in college actually did his thesis for medical school on the phenomena of grief and physical pain.  Now, my doc is a young hip dude and he thought while listening to the lecture that his teacher was crazy until he started seeing patients of his own and also, having it hit really close to home.  He went on to explain it can attack the digestive system, the nervous system and cause migraines along with muscular skeletal pain.  

He told me he'd do all the lab work ups I wanted but he'd bet me a dollar they would come back negative for every disease there is.  I love this guy and trust him completely.  So, I'm accepting for now that my grief is literally paining me.   

I guess what I'm wanting is an informal poll of anyone having or having had a physical manifestation of grief.  

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J, has your's resolved if not what are you doing about it?  

Not resolved. I've been an athlete my whole life until a few years ago. The nagging injuries from football, wrestling, weight lifting, bike riding, marathon training and competitive water skiing were taking their toll. The knees and neck I can attribute to the sports, but the shoulders and belly are new. For sleep, a couple beers and a swig of ZZZquil seems to get the job done, at least for now, but I need to find another way as that regimen is not exactly healthy.

So, I'm merely tolerating the pain--it's not too severe and I've kinda gotten used to it. The sleep is another issue.

It sounds as if you have every right to be in pain J! WOW

I hope it slacks off.  I wish I could say something about the sleep, it isn't a healthy road your on, but I think most of us participated in some unhealthiness for a while afterward.   My feeling is pretty liberal about it, I think as long as you know to keep it in chk then do what you have to do to get by.

I have trouble remembering stupid silly stuff. I'm usually pretty sharp, but with the axis of my life being thrown off kilter I hear this is normal so I don't worry about it. I just has all of my labs and stuff done and there's nothing wrong, just grief.

I have trouble remembering stupid silly stuff. I'm usually pretty sharp, but with the axis of my life being thrown off kilter I hear this is normal so I don't worry about it. I just has all of my labs and stuff done and there's nothing wrong, just grief.hugs

Me too Hopesmom, I seem to have a plethora of everything going haywire.  My mind is better than it was for the first 6 months but I hope it's not as good as it will get.  :)


Interesting thread here!  The main physical symptom of my grief continues to be fatigue.  It's almost constant and even though I am sleeping better a year later, I am still very, very  tired. Also, I have been battling sciatica and lower back pain for a little over two years---through all the time Frank was sick---and am considering a second back surgery. The chronic pain is not terrible, but it is demoralizing and I have tried everything we can think of (PT, acupuncture, meditation, medication).   I'm getting a physical this week; we'll see what my GP says about all this:  is it all connected?  I don't know.

Nancy, I hope you get some good news from your Dr.  

Let us know what your Dr. tells you.  I am intrigued by this whole thing.  I never knew grief would make ppl feel so physically ill.  Thinking back on the folks I know who've lost close loved ones or the sad stories I've heard.  It is really very common but not one Dr. has ever said to them GRIEF is making you sick.  

Oh absolutely.  When Steve first died I had intense pain right above my breastbone.  I began having acid reflux and heartburn almost all the time.  I developed hyperthyroidism.  I often wonder what else it's done to me because I have a lot of problems expressing it because when I let it out it just feels too big to deal with and I have to shut it off and take a nap.

It does seem like a lot.  I'm so thankful to my doctor for introducing the possibility.  I honestly thought I was literally falling apart at the worst possible time.  It's somewhat comforting to know that as I work through grief the physical pain will subside.  More reasons to dig in and try to understand what makes me tick and how I can rally myself to carry on and live a full life.   


It has been four years now since my husband died but lately I feel that I am getting worse instead of better.  My worst symptom  is that while I am diabetic and controlled it strictly by diet for decades, I am constantly struggling to eat properly, sometimes even to eat at all.  I know how bad this is and I am aware that I am feeling bad most of the time, am depressed and have little will to do anything.  I think the physical and emotional are all so complicatedly interconnected but I really don’t know how to deal with it.  I have a good doctor, she prescribes the proper meds but they really don’t help.  I thought that by now I would be getting to some kind of new normal but that doesn’t seem to be happening.  I was strong at first but not anymore and I know I can’t just give up but it sure does seem appealing at times.  If anyone has any good ideas about how to pull through this I’d appreciate knowing.  I was 77 when my husband died but now at nearly 82 the effort seems a lot harder.

To Bonnie.  Sorry you’re feeling so down.  It’s really hard those first five years but for most of us, things do improve.  We begin to run out of patience, I know I did. There’s that fear that things will never get better.  Don’t allow that fear to pull you down or become hopeless.  Better days are ahead, believe it!  Are you able to drive or get out? Doesn’t have to somewhere special, but out and around others. Having something to look forward to may help.

Please make every effort to take care of yourself and the diabetes, you want to avoid insulin if possible. It’s not easy forcing yourself to eat when you feel depressed but you really need to. Maybe try a new recipe to make food more interesting? I am on a special diet and like to go on Pinterest for ideas .

Try to remain positive even when you’re feeling down. Each day is a new beginning.  We all have bad days ( I still do on occasion) but I am still bent upon not allowing myself to be miserable and unhappy.  Maybe look back on the progress you have made so far and give yourself credit— this is hard but at the same time we can be grateful for the many years we shared with our mates. I don’t believe that your feelings are too unusual for it only being four years, it took me a little longer than that. I felt depressed that I was depressed. It was not so long after that,  peace and clarity finally evolved. It takes as long as it does...

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