Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Does Fibromyalgia Exist? Part 2

As soon as I got home from Arizona I made an appointment with my doctor to get an MRI. I had already done all the x-rays so this was my last hope at finding out what in the world was going on. I have never been in a car accident nor have I ever fallen hard so I couldn't figure out why I was having so many problems with my back, sciatic nerve and neck.

To make a long story shorter, my doctor (who is no longer my doctor) placed the wrong order for the MRI and the technician took the pictures my hip rather than my lower back.  It took all I had to get through the 45 minutes doing the first one as I also suffer from panic attacks and if anything was going to give me a panic attack it was someone telling me I had to lay on a hard metal table right on my sciatic nerve with no pain meds for 45 minutes and not move so much as an eyelash.

Needless to say, I found another doctor and she immediately suspected I suffered from fibromyalgia and set up an appt. with a rheumatologist. At this point I was still very skeptical that I had fibro as I didn't really have the kind of symptoms I saw in some of my friends who have it. I didn't think I had any tender points at all.
The first thing the rheumatologist did was squeeze those "fibro tender spots"  and I about went through the roof with the pain. She told me that half her patients suffer from fibro in one form or another and that it doesn't generally worsen in time, which was a good thing.  She also informed me that there is no known reason for it's occurance and that the studies are still very new.

Before I left her office she had scheduled me for PT for 3x a week for 2 months. It was the best thing I ever did.  I learned so much about how the muscles work and why it is important to keep it up.

When I think back now to all those times I have been misdiagnosed and all the paces I was put through it makes me very angry.  That is one of the primary reasons I chose to do this blog.  I am hoping others will get the information they need and to find the right doctor. I am hoping people will comment with their stories so that others can learn from their experiences.

I have seen a total of 4 chiropractors, 3 doctors and one physical therapist before anyone diagnosed me correctly. I have had countless x-rays and one MRI and ten years or more of my life taken away because of misdiagnosis. It seriously affected where I went from restaurants to traveling because I couldn't sit on a hard surface for more than about 15 minutes.

I am by no means saying that every ache of the muscle means fibromyalgia, but if you have never had any severe injuries and you are experiencing chronic muscle aches and pains you may want to see a rheumatologist.

My mother passed away on October 8th of 2006 and my father a little more than a month later on November 28th. I wish I would have had the correct information about this illness prior to that time as I would have been in much better shape and could have stayed with them until the end.


Judy aka Red Crow Arts said...

Chris this is such a good blog thanks for doing this. I too experienced the many false thoughts from docs and was thankful for one giving me the right diagnosis.

I like your comment in your profile "I'm a bit hyper and some would call me anal in my need for organization. I love bright colors and interesting textures. I enjoy being alone or just spending time with my husband. I am not into crowded rooms or loud music but appreciate meaningful songs and one good friend." that is so me too - right to a t

Thanks for sharing and I will watch this blog for sure

artsyphartsy said...

Chris what another wonderful and informative blog. You are so good with words. Thanks for sharing.

Christine Burgess said...

Thanks to both of you for stopping by this blog.
I am trying to make it interactive because I really do believe support and knowing you are not alone in your pain is really helpful.

Thanks Judy for following.

lisianblue said...

Chris - I am so sorry to hear you have fibro - well yes, I believe it exists - I've been living with pretty severe fibro for about 10 years now - I should say, actually the fibro pain is better - but I am still very tired and if I overdo it, the pain will let me know I over did it. I would like to highly recommend that you don't let the Physical therapists push you too hard - many physical therapists don't understand that most people with fibro need to do about half or less of what most people can do - just listen to your body and be nicely adamant about not doing too much if it's making you hurt more! You may get very tired after your appointments - but if you can keep it up I highly recommend you do - just don't let them push you too hard. I've really had the best luck with therapy in a nice warm therapy pool - well, I'll be back again - gotta scoot for now take care and I wish you the best with this. Reducing stress is also helpful - that and lots of hot baths!

Christine Burgess said...

Thanks so much for your comment lisianblue, and you are right, the PT's will sometimes try to push too much.
I no longer go, but the exercises she taught me for my sciatica and neck have helped me to this day-2years later.