Could it be?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LaffyTaffyLover, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. LaffyTaffyLover

    LaffyTaffyLover New Member

    Hi everyone! I am new to this message board. I love message boards and always look for boards where I have things in common with the other people.

    I am a 29 year old, with a husband and 2 girls, ages 2 and 4. I stay at home with my girls. I was told I have fibromyalgia, but am skeptical, or in denial or something. I just want to share my story and see what you guys think, since you know more about this than anything I can read online.

    I went in for my yearly pap, and because I mentioned to my OB/GYN that I had occasional chest pain, she took me off my birth control, and told me to follow up with my PCP (to make sure my heart was ok). I didn't have a current PCP at the time so I made an appointment with a family doctor who could see me right away. Birth control pills are really important to me, since they are the only kind of birth control I can really rely on. So I was eager to get back on them. I had some abnormal results from my urine tests as well, all similar to a UTI but I did not have a UTI, so she said to follow up with that as well.

    My first appointment with the PCP, I tell her my symptoms and give her my lab work from my visit to the OB/GYN. My symptoms are: chest pain in the evenings occasionally, fatigued frequently, abdominal aches, difficulty sleeping every night. I told her I had stiffness and pain in the morning a couple times a week at most and usually less (seems to happen on the mornings after a good long nights sleep). My blood work from OB/GYN showed a slightly elevated white blood cell count.

    She talks to me for a bit asks me about pain, sleep, diet, exercise, etc., then does the pressure point test. When she did this she pushed really really hard, I think if she had pushed that hard anywhere on my body I would have jumped, not just in the spots she checked. I didn't wince at all the pressure points either, just a few of them (the ones where she poked super hard). When she was done poking me, I had tears swelling in my eyes. I was upset that she had poked me so hard. I was thinking "wow, this doctor is mean".

    After she does this, she sits down and writes "Fibromyalgia" on her prescription pad and hands it to me. Tells me this is what she thinks I have, and to research it online. Then she writes out 2 more prescriptions, one for an anti-depressant (cymbalta) and one for an anti-inflammatory/pain reliever (daypro). And tells me to start taking them right away. I tell her that I am not comfortable with anti-depressants, and that they made me really sick last time I took them for post-partum depression. She tells me Cymbalta is better than the others as far as side effects, and is very effective for Fibromyalgia patients. She tells me to start taking the meds anyway and follow up in 3 weeks. I am also supposed to get a chest x-ray during that time to ensure that my mid-section pain is not a problem in my spine. She also did some blood tests, and a thyroid test. All came back normal except my c-reactive protein was 6.8. Said nothing about checking my heart to make sure I could get back on birth control, which was all I really wanted. Also said nothing about the abnormal urine tests, or follow-up for that.

    A month has passed now. I have read a lot about Fibromyalgia, and the more I read the more I wonder if I truly have this. Some of the symptoms I can relate too, others I think would be a lot worse if I really had it.

    Fatigue and insomnia are probably my biggest problems. I am sore, tired, and I feel sensitive. It hurts me when my kids climb on me, jab me with an elbow, or poke me. But, I am a wimp; I have always had a very low pain tolerance. My back aches all the time, but I had a car accident when I was 16 and my spine is messed up near my tailbone, and I always thought was the reason for my back pain, along with a family history of lower back pain.

    I haven't started taking any meds. I am not sure that I have been diagnosed correctly and I have been busy taking little vacations all summer, and don't want to worry about starting an anti-depressant and being sick while I am vacationing and trying to have a good time. Once school starts and I can be home and miserable for 2 weeks, I may try them and hope they help with sleeping.

    I haven't started the anti-inflammatory/pain meds either. I am not fond of taking medications I am not sure I need. She said it would help with the morning stiffness, but since that is so infrequent, I don't want to take something every day for it.

    I just feel confused, I read things about people seeing 7 or 8 doctors before they are diagnosed. That it can take years to discover Fibromyalgia. I am diagnosed with it when I see a PCP for occasional chest pain on my first visit to her. My mother (a nurse) laughed when I told her what the doctor said. She also doesn't think I have Fibromyalgia, which adds to my wondering. My mother certainly knows me better than my PCP. My mom tells me to tell the doctor to check out my kidneys since some of the tests show that they could be impaired. I had a problem with my kidneys filtering toxins when my first daughter was born.

    I also don't know what to do next. I am thinking about finding a new PCP, and getting a second opinion. I quite honestly dont want to go see this doctor again, I am still upset about the poking. But I also wonder if maybe she is right, and maybe I am just starting the symptoms, and things are going to get worse for me. In which case I could be really lucky to have a doctor so informed about it.

    Anyway, I have been lurking over your boards all day, trying to understand more. I have learned a lot too! Most information I have read about it is very clinical, symptoms, treatments, etc. but doesn't explain to me what it is really like to have it. So, I hope you don't mind my presence here as I figure out with my doctors if it really could be Fibromyalgia.
  2. naturebaby

    naturebaby New Member

    I'm sorry you're having a rough time with this, and I totally understand your reluctance to accept this diagnosis based on the appointment you described.

    Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by elimination....in other words, tests need to be done to rule out other possible illnesses or imbalances. The "tender points" test is an important tool for coming to a conclusion of fibromyalgia but the test is not performed as "poking" or "pressing really hard". Light pressure is applied to certain points on the body. In fibro, this results in pain that shouldn't "logically" happen with such light palpation. This test is usually performed by a rhuematologist.

    Chest pain is nothing to fool around with. I'm no doctor, but I'd suggest you need a battery of blood work, a stress test to get answers about the chest pain, and some xrays or a bone scan to rule out any issues with your previous back injury.

    It's true that many of us with fibro suffer occasional chest pain (costochondritis - an inflammation of the cartilege). Other symptoms you've described (pain, stiffness, fatigue, insomnia) also seem to fit the fibro pattern.

    But you really need a diagnosis you feel confident with. Can you ask for these tests, or for a referral to a rhuematologist?

    There are many, many treatment options for fibromyalgia. Not everyone takes anti-depressants (although many do, there's a school of thought that they help with pain relief)

    Anyway, I hope you find the help you need. Try checking out the purple "doctor referral" tab at the top of this page, and then click the CFS/FM Good Doctors List to see who's available in your state. Keep us posted! Wishing you well, nature


    PS: Keep a journal of your symptoms and pain levels and bring it to your next appt. This has helped me tremendously!
    [This Message was Edited on 08/10/2005]
  3. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    from what you have said. Maybe that is some of the reason they call this a "wastebasket" diagnosis because of docs who WANT to dx it. People are begging to get dx that have all the symptoms, she is dx you with hardly any. Does not sound very clinical to me.

    As for the pressure points, the first respondent is right. The rheumy I saw did not even press hard enough to trigger mine, but I know they are there, like bruises you can't see.

    You probably read how much the pressure should be, but it is just enough to whiten the fingernail. If you try that, you will see that is not much.

    My PCP found one in my back that about sent me through the wall and the one under my arm that I originally went to him for ached all day after he poked me, but he was not checking for tender points. As a matter of fact, he never checked for them even when he dx me, but I checked them out. Some I have had for years (lower back, knee) but never paid much attention to the whys.

    I think you are wise to not jump into the meds if you do not feel they are right for you. Trust your own instincts and get a second opinion. I would make sure that the doc knows about fibro before you go, though. Someone experienced with it should know the diff.

    Sonya