Argh! Rheumy tells me to see a counselor

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by nanswajo, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. nanswajo

    nanswajo New Member

    Hi everyone.

    I called my rheumatalogist's office last week because I was having such a bad day. I could barely move and every part of me hurt: joints, muscles ached like a flu, cold sweats. I was way beyond well and scared.

    They called me back and changed my muscle relaxer and told me to see a counselor. When I asked why I would be having those fluish symptoms she said it was a combination of things including anxiety. So, it was back to the its all in your head dx. Oh crap.

    At least I am seeing an RN next week for Lyme tests and will have a follow up with her. If I didn't have that set up I think I would be feeling hopeless.

    Here's hoping for answers in the future so they can all eat crow. (Whatever that saying really means).

    Nancy
  2. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    Me thinks you need a new rheumy. There's too much new scientific research now for any doctor to think this is all in your head.

    Anyone who feels this stuff is all in our heads is the one who is crazy!!! Don't be afraid to "fire" a doctor. It's your body, not his/hers.
  3. nanswajo

    nanswajo New Member

    You know, when I decided to change rheumatologists I was referred to her. I called and asked if she treated Fibromyalgia and they said yes! But she calls it Myofacial Pain Syndrome on my chart. She is very nice and I like her.

    I'll keep her for the arthritis in my neck and for warm pool referrals and hopefully this RN can help me with the rest of it... we'll see.

    This is a very frustrating disease!

    If I get no results, your suggestion is good about looking for a FM specific doctor and I think Boston is my next best route since I live near there.

    Nancy
    [This Message was Edited on 09/25/2005]
  4. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    .......and tell him to go back and finish med school, he apparently skipped the part about fibromyalgia.
  5. ibisgirldc

    ibisgirldc New Member

    Maybe your doctor should see you personally before making that recommendation... but I don't see anything wrong with the sugegstion that an FM patient seek some counseling help - in addition to other treatment. It's a whole-body illness and thus, can require a whole-body treatment. A zillion studies have shown that mental health can help a pain-ridden patient to control or deal with pain and illness better.

    JMO, but I don't think anyone here should be writing off the doc simply b/c he suggested some mental health assistance (again, assuming it's in addition to other treatment.) Now, if the doc meant that you're nuts and just need some psych help, then sure, get a new doc asap... but that's not the impression that i got form your post. Maybe I'm wrong...
  6. tngirl

    tngirl New Member

    I don't think it is all in your head. And perhaps the doctor doesn't either...I agree the the person who posted above that it is a whole body illness.

    While I don't think that should be your only treatment, that doesn't mean a counselor couldn't help you. I think many people with chronic pain seek counseling.

    I think you should talk openly with your doctor about it. Anyway they just suggest treatment plans. We all have the right to refuse any treatment or medication.

    For somethings I don't mind talking to the nurse practicioner in the office. But for new symptoms I like to see the doctor.
  7. vp

    vp New Member

    I think I have to at least partly agree with the doc here.

    The part about anxiety cortributing to this illness. Maybe she meant that a counselor, or a psychiatrist( which ever one can prescribe meds) can help control the anxiety induced symptoms. I take Cymbalta at 120mg / daily and an anti-anxiety med as needed to help with stress and anxiety. In my case, stress and anxiety bring on a whole basket full of nasty symptoms with no warning. Sometimes I don't know what I am even stressed or anxoius about, but the meds usually bring it down to a tolerable level.

    I know this dd is not all in our head, at least not in an imaginary sense. But I do think our brain and emotions affect how we feel physically for some reason. Just my thoughts and experience so far.

    Depending on your ins. I'd say go for it, if nothing else you can have a one on one venting session with someone who knows about chronic illness and all the garbadge that goes with it, and how Dr.'s don't have a clue how to fix it, blah blah blah...so here I am to complain to you about it. So where do we go from here?

    Here's to fixing this dd, not just guessing at answers.

  8. pam112361

    pam112361 New Member

    Nancy: I don't agree that you need to see a counselor, even to receive anxiety meds. My rheumy and my PCP have worked together to get me on meds that seem to help control some of the symptoms of my fibro. The one med that my PCP prescribed for "pain" was Cymbalta. Unfortunately, I couldn't take it, but if you have a PCP, he/she may be able to help you. Rheumatologists, from what I gather, don't typically prescribe much more than muscles relaxers (Zanaflex is a good one).

    Don't know if this helped much but it might give you a start as to who to look to for additional help.

    Best Wishes,
    Pam
  9. patches25

    patches25 New Member

    I live on the west coast so I am not familiar with distances on that side of the country. But if you are within reasonable distance of an FFC maybe that would be a choice.

    I get the sweats when the pain gets really bad. Pain meds help that for me. My sister-in-law who has this is the same way that pain meds make the difference rather than anxiety pills.

    I'm praying an FFC will come to Portland soon. I will be camping on their doorstep.

    I hope by the time you get this you will be feeling better. E
  10. Suzan

    Suzan New Member

    After treating me for fibro for about a year. I think he really just wanted confirmation of his dx., so I obliged him ( to the tune of $400! which I wish I would have known about prior to going) Anyway, the rheumy did a fairly thourough exam. And said he cannot fix fibro, and that my GP was doing exactly what he would do. Ok..so back I go to my GP..and I am told that the rheumy says I need psyciatric( sp) counselling!!! He DIDN't mention that to me in the office at all! My "mistake" was mentioning that on RARE occaision I have what feels like an anxiety episode and my GP had given me some Xanax which was taking care of it just fine. I had only had 3 episodes in a years time.(now I haven't had one in about a year!) It took me 4 GP visits to finally convince him that I am NOT depressed..and I am not having a panic disorder....I just have fibromyalgia. Mostly I have pain, and some fatigue...but I don't need counselling. Anyway...I am guessing that this is one more thing that is standard operating procedure for some docs...and it is like the rest of it..up to us to be good consumers for our own health. YOU probably have a pretty good idea if you need counselling help or not right?? and if you aren't sure..the people that love you may have some insight to that as well. But , a doctor that has talked to me for less than 30 minutes...I doubt that he has a good picture of me, unless all that time has been talking about emotions.
    So, my two cents after all that story ...is if you aren't comfortable with your doc..move on till you find someone who fits with you and your symptoms!
  11. ibisgirldc

    ibisgirldc New Member

    I'll go further and say that any doctor that tries to treat you with drugs alone (esp. pain killers alone) is a doc from whom you should run at great speed.

    What we have is not auto-immune (at least, not yet proven to be), but we're treated by the same sorts of doctors and treated in a similar way. And even a diagnosis of lupus or RA would take some time with examinations in many different fields. For some, it can take years to know for certain. And the treatment, either way, is not some neat and quick pill for any; we see pain docs, rheums, neurologists, PTs and OTs, psychs, and so on.

    There's no question that you shoudl find a doc with whom you're comfortable, but if by "comfortable" you mean "will give me narcotics no question asked," then you're gonna (rightfully) have trouble finding someone to treat you. NO ONE should discount FM as "in your head," but any doctor treating chronic pain will recommend a well-rounded regime. I'll even go so far as saying that if you see a doc for pain and he doesn't suggest exercise, sleep adjustment, at least a little psych help or review, some PT, and more, then you're going to a quack.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/26/2005]
  12. lilaclover30

    lilaclover30 New Member

    but I gained nothing but a tape to listen to when I couldn't sleep!!! What did that do for FMS? Nothing!

    When I was finally dx'd with FMS, I knew that I wasn't crazy! Why do so many think that this is all in your head?

    My rheumy said "Come back when you get worse!" I am but I didn't go back. I have FMS, Myo., Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, etc. What else? I can't remember! My only pain med. is Tylenol #3 and that doesn't do much. I go to a Pain Clinic in a few weeks and do so hope that there is some sort of an answer to deal with the pain.

    I do not care fo the doubts that are put into our heads. We all know how we feel and it is difficult!


    Take care and Gentle Hugs
  13. ibisgirldc

    ibisgirldc New Member

    "Why do so many think that this is all in your head?"

    I haven't seen anyone here say that. In fact, at least for myself, I've said quite the opposite.

    Again, FM is a whole-body illness. And separate from that, chronic pain is usually treated with psychological support as well as pharmaceutical. (Not to mention a ton of other things...) Put the two together...

    Do reading on any site about pain treatment or even FM treatment. You'll find a ton of info on the mind-body connection...
  14. whit283

    whit283 New Member

    I spent two weeks in the states's best hspital went through all sorts of pulmonary and cardiac tests and in the end I was told I was having anxiety attacks and needed to go to a therapist. My Mom looked up my symptoms one day realized what I really had and told my cardiologist and VOILA they had me figured out. just know what you are feeling is real and there are many people out there that can help and listen to you. I now have an amazing doctor that tries to support and help all my symptoms. i wish all of you luck.