This week has continued my downward physical spiral that has become reality for me. For the morning hours after I take my pain pills and the Cymbalta, I work without much thought of the pain that I continue to feel, somewhat anesthetized by the medication that I'm on. 2:00 P.M. continues to be the bewitching hour that pain returns to a noticeable state and the medications stop working; at least it seems that way. The pain level go up considerably, until by 5:00 P.M. I'm at a level "9" pain. I take my evening medications at 6:00 P.M. when I get home, and after two hours the feeling of numb returns. I can still feel the pain if I try, but the level is down to a 5, and that 5 feels wonderful! There would be no way that I could drive or work in this state. As someone told me, FMS and CFS affects people differently, and there is no "universal" face for FMS or CFS. These miserable problems are syndromes, a cluster of symptoms. That's why everything is supposed to get "ruled out" as a diagnosis before the diagnoses of FMS and CFS are given. Some doctors stop short of doing tests because they may lack expertise, may feel that the tests are not warranted, may feel the tests are unnecessary expenses, or there may be a myriad of other reasons that doctors won't or don't look further into why a person has certain symptoms. Those with FMS or CFS must push the doctors further to find reasons. I still believe that an underlying cause can be found for my FMS or CFS, and if there is an underlying cause, then it might be treatable. A "sleep study" I had at a local hospital was normal, and my doctor is now sending me to Stanford for further evaluation at the big sleep clinic. I'm not sure that Stanford will do much more than the hospital where I had the sleep study, and wonder if I should even go. I have had so many medical problems that I feel in some way have contributed to the FMS and CFS. This includes mono, Valley Fever, unknown viral infection that localized in my joints causing swelling, etc. and etc. Most people with FMS or CFS become "students" of these syndromes, and I'm no exception. My belief, least in my case, is there is an underlying immune disorder causing the symptoms. I say that because I have abnormal blood tests on the immune panels that have been done. At one point my rheumatologist was saying he thought I had Lupus. Now, he is just "watching" through lab work on a periodical basis. I do take one drug for Lupus. Doctors have told me that FMS and CFS can coexist with other diseases. My problem is that I have a hard time believing in FMS and CFS. I firmly believe that a underlying problem is to blame, and that the actual cause will be uncovered to explain all symptoms. I work full-time and have "talked" on the Support Group Message Board a lot about problems I have with working these days. I thoroughly appreciate having the Board there with everyone's comments, suggestions, and support. Problems I spoke of in the past on the Board have continued to get worse. Working is becoming more and more difficult. I absolutely love working, especially in my current position. What really bothers me at this point in time besides the fatigue and pain are the changes in my mental status causing problems with memory and focus. I'm now 59, but believe I've had FMS since my mid-twenties. In the 60's, 70's, and even 80's, it wasn't like I've been experiencing over these past three and one-half years. I would be doing well, then wham! Get "hit" and be down. I was always extremely tired, and jokingly, but truthfully, I can say I slept through my children's childhood on the living room sofa! All I know is that this blasted, miserable physical state is getting worse. I just want to feel "normal", whatever that is . . Or can I even remember what normal is?