Suggested Questions to Ask My Doc Tomorrow?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Hi everyone. I'm scheduled to see my primary care doctor tomorrow as a follow-up on my fibro, diagnosed about a month ago and quickly confirmed by two other docs. I would appreciate suggestions for questions I should ask him. He's very nice and very willing to order tests and make referrals, but although he says he can treat my fibro, I don't think he really knows much about it. He *is* willing to learn, however. When I've given him articles in the past, he's asked to keep them or make copies. I much prefer a doctor like that to one who thinks he knows it all and won't consider new info (like my old neurologist).

    I'm taking Neurontin (recently increased the dose to 300 mg/day at bedtime) and primarily just extra-strength Tylenol, as needed, for headaches and body aches when things get bad. (I try not to take it too much because of what I've read about liver damage.) My primary doc prescribed Fioricet for when the pain gets bad. I've taken Fiorinal in the past for bad headaches, but my acid reflux is so bad that I can't take aspirin or ibubrofen anymore, and the Fiorinal includes aspirin, whereas the Fioricet uses acetominophen (Tylenol). The main active ingredient in both of these drugs is butalbital, which I think is a barbiturate. I've been afraid to take the Fioricet since I started on the Neurontin, because the info sheet warns against taking Neurontin with a "depressant," and I thought barbiturates were depressants.

    I get hot flashes during the day since going off hormone replacement therapy, despite taking the black cohosh and soy that my doc recommended. And for years I've been getting occasional night sweats, but it's gotten much worse in the last month or two, and it interferes with my sleep. So do acid reflux, difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position, and sometimes, difficulty breathing. (I don't have sleep apnea. I was tested, and there wasn't even one apnea, just one hypopnea! As I understand it, that's very unusual, as most people have at least *some* apneas during the night, even if they don't have sleep apnea itself.)

    I get pain, mostly in my neck and shoulders, but also in my lower back and knees. It's usually a continuing achiness, not acute pain, but if my husband gives me a hug, it can hurt when he first touches me and, especially, if he squeezes. On the other hand, if he massages my neck, shoulders and upper back--especially around the shoulder blades--it really helps! I'm not quite sure why the hug should hurt while the massage helps, but that's how it is.

    In addition to fibromyalgia, I have GERD, TMJ dysfunction, IBS (I think) and multiple sclerosis. So it's hard to tell what's causing what. I seem to have a chronic sore throat, and I don't think the acid reflux is under control, despite the fact that I take Protonix and Zantac 75 and use Tums when the acid still gets bad. I use Flonase and Atovent to help me with breathing--and they do seem to help--but I'm still not sure why I have the breathing problems in the first place. (I've been through a bunch of tests on this, and they all came back normal, although one of the tests showed a "minimal lung defect," which I've been blaming on aspirated acid caused by the GERD.)

    With all this going on, an being new to fibro, I'm just not sure what to ask about. I know this is kind of last minute, since my appointment is about 24 hours from when I'm posting this message, but so much has been going on in my life that this appointment kind of snuck up on me. I hope some of you can respond ASAP so that I can make use of some of the terrific wisdom and experience I keep seeing on this board.

    Thanks in advance.

    --Laura R.M.



  2. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Hi everyone. I'm scheduled to see my primary care doctor tomorrow as a follow-up on my fibro, diagnosed about a month ago and quickly confirmed by two other docs. I would appreciate suggestions for questions I should ask him. He's very nice and very willing to order tests and make referrals, but although he says he can treat my fibro, I don't think he really knows much about it. He *is* willing to learn, however. When I've given him articles in the past, he's asked to keep them or make copies. I much prefer a doctor like that to one who thinks he knows it all and won't consider new info (like my old neurologist).

    I'm taking Neurontin (recently increased the dose to 300 mg/day at bedtime) and primarily just extra-strength Tylenol, as needed, for headaches and body aches when things get bad. (I try not to take it too much because of what I've read about liver damage.) My primary doc prescribed Fioricet for when the pain gets bad. I've taken Fiorinal in the past for bad headaches, but my acid reflux is so bad that I can't take aspirin or ibubrofen anymore, and the Fiorinal includes aspirin, whereas the Fioricet uses acetominophen (Tylenol). The main active ingredient in both of these drugs is butalbital, which I think is a barbiturate. I've been afraid to take the Fioricet since I started on the Neurontin, because the info sheet warns against taking Neurontin with a "depressant," and I thought barbiturates were depressants.

    I get hot flashes during the day since going off hormone replacement therapy, despite taking the black cohosh and soy that my doc recommended. And for years I've been getting occasional night sweats, but it's gotten much worse in the last month or two, and it interferes with my sleep. So do acid reflux, difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position, and sometimes, difficulty breathing. (I don't have sleep apnea. I was tested, and there wasn't even one apnea, just one hypopnea! As I understand it, that's very unusual, as most people have at least *some* apneas during the night, even if they don't have sleep apnea itself.)

    I get pain, mostly in my neck and shoulders, but also in my lower back and knees. It's usually a continuing achiness, not acute pain, but if my husband gives me a hug, it can hurt when he first touches me and, especially, if he squeezes. On the other hand, if he massages my neck, shoulders and upper back--especially around the shoulder blades--it really helps! I'm not quite sure why the hug should hurt while the massage helps, but that's how it is.

    In addition to fibromyalgia, I have GERD, TMJ dysfunction, IBS (I think) and multiple sclerosis. So it's hard to tell what's causing what. I seem to have a chronic sore throat, and I don't think the acid reflux is under control, despite the fact that I take Protonix and Zantac 75 and use Tums when the acid still gets bad. I use Flonase and Atovent to help me with breathing--and they do seem to help--but I'm still not sure why I have the breathing problems in the first place. (I've been through a bunch of tests on this, and they all came back normal, although one of the tests showed a "minimal lung defect," which I've been blaming on aspirated acid caused by the GERD.)

    With all this going on, an being new to fibro, I'm just not sure what to ask about. I know this is kind of last minute, since my appointment is about 24 hours from when I'm posting this message, but so much has been going on in my life that this appointment kind of snuck up on me. I hope some of you can respond ASAP so that I can make use of some of the terrific wisdom and experience I keep seeing on this board.

    Thanks in advance.

    --Laura R.M.



  3. domesticgoddess

    domesticgoddess New Member

    Hi Laura

    I was dx in 90 with Fibromyalgia by a Rhuemy. Haven't seen him again as he RX Feldene and Flexeril which put a condo associate in the hospital with 1/4 of her stomach gone.

    I've spent many many hours in physical therapy requested by my PCP (One time was 3xs a week for 1 1/2 years). They not only give you massages to remove the toxins and knots, but they teach you "Stretching Exercises".

    Just recently got out of the hospital for what I thought was a heart attack. My Cardio and PCP recommended I take Ecotrin. Yes, it is aspirin BUT it is coated and helps with our blood flow.

    I'm currently trying to wean myself from Pamelor (antidepressant I took for 6 yrs) to Ambien (sleep pill).

    I also quit hormone therapy on 7/16/02. Had hyster in 94.
    However, both my PCP and Cardiologist recommended I return to my hormone, Estrast - just 1 mg tho as I was taking 2 mg.

    I was dx 4 yrs ago with Asthma - Never had it before - my son has it since he was 5 yrs old.

    I'm unable to take pain meds - they make me sick. I've relied on Flexeril, A Muscle Relaxer, for the past 12 yrs.

    All Of Us Fibromites Suffer Differently and Some Are Able to take different Meds than the others. It took me 6 yrs after dx to finally find my right 'cocktail'.

    Good Luck!

    Gentleness

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