Why do I even bother with doctors?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pw7575, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    You would think that I would know better by now to even bother with doctors. I learned this lesson about 3 years ago after seeing doctor after doctor and realizing that none of them could help me. then the specialist that was supposed to help me just made me worse. From then on I decided I was tired of wasting my time with them and paying money for nothing.

    I decided to handle this myself. I was doing better on my own until April when I started feeling worse. Now this last month has been awful. So what do I do? I go to the stupid doctor. The first visit he ran blood work etc but everything came up normal as usual. But since I am still having problems (feeling worse than normal, crazy mood swings, and cramps in my calf muscles which I have never had before) I decided that I wanted some more tests done. Maybe test for hormone imbalances or magnesium deficiency since I read that both of those things could be the cause of mood problems and muscle cramps in the legs etc. SOOO I go to a new doctor today since we have moved and he does NOTHING!!! He just tells me I am depressed and gives me a prescription for Zoloft.

    I asked about other possible causes for my mood swings since I have also been feeling worse lately and have muscle cramps. He didn't want to hear any of that or do any tests. No tests at all. Just throw medication at me when I already told him that I am sensitive to anti depressants. Fine maybe I am just having mood swings because I am having trouble adjusting to moving but I would be much more comfortable accepting that diagnosis if he did some tests first to make sure that nothing else is causing these problems.

    I should have just stayed in bed since I felt lousy today anyways. I dragged myself out of bed for nothing and on top of it I was given the wrong address online for the doctors office and got lost and was 30 minutes late for my appointment. What a waste of my time and energy!

    UGGHH! Just so frustrated and wanted to vent.
  2. fieldmouse

    fieldmouse New Member

    So sorry to hear about your bad day. I hope it gets better. Don 't let these doctors ruin your whole day. Since you have moved to a new place, starting over to find the right doc is essencial. I know how you feel. I have gone thru the same thing for a long time. Don't give up. Somewhwere in your area there is a doc that actually understands and cares. Good luck and try to have a better day. ~HUGE HUGS~,,,Mick!!
  3. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Describe your mood swings:

    1) Has your mood been an issue all your life, even before you got sick? Or just since getting sick?

    2) Have there been times in your life when you've felt like you've had a huge amount of energy and self-confidence (and maybe irritability), and others that you've been down? (I'm talking mostly about before you got sick, but also since then?) Or has it been pretty much normal, and then some down periods?

    Doctors are really bad about trying to sort out what kinds of depression people have. I can't tell from your post what sort you might have. But the choices are:

    1) Bipolar depression. In this case, you'll probably want a mood stabilizer. If you can get this under control, at least it will be one less stress on your shaky health.

    2) Unipolar endogenous depression. If you suffered depression before you got sick (and for no apparent external reason), you may have a chemical problem. In that case, an anti depressant might be appropriate. Supplements (herbal, amino acid, maybe even vitamins) might also be helpful.

    3) Physical depression stemming from CFS. CfS is hard ont he body. A lot of problems (e.g. candida, hormone deficiency) can cause depression. In that case, you need to work on fixing the problems. That way you should feel better in general as well as less depressed. Antidepressants will at most mask the problem.

    4) Psychological depression from unhappiness about being sick. In that case, drugs or "natural" substances for depression may be helpful. It would be better if you could address the psychological problems in a more psychological way though---e.g. therapy, writing down what specific things happen to you and how you feel about them in a journal, changing stress factors in your life, doing more things (within your limits) that make you feel good.

    What is your best guess about what's going on?


    P.S. I am in total agreement with your comments about doctors.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/12/2006]
  4. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    I just get so frustrated with these doctors. I know that you all have had frustrating experiences with doctors as well. I think I will start getting copies of my blood work for my own records so that I can see what things might be going on.

    lisapetrison - As far as my mood swings go...

    I never had mood problems before I got CFS.

    Even when I got CFS the first couple of years I would get upset at times out of frustration with getting diagnosed and being sick but I still wasn't depressed.

    Then I went to a specialist who tried to give me effexor to raise my blood pressure to help with my dizziness (was NOT depressed). After one pill I had a horrible reaction and haven't been the same since. Ever since then I have battled periods of depression and anxiety. For about one year I was perfectly fine mentally. The off and on depression and anxiety problems were gone.

    In April my CFS started getting worse for no apparent reason but mentally I was still fine. My CFS has been that way since April (worse than in years). Then a month and a half ago I started getting severe mood swings out of the blue. For no apparent reason I would start crying or having anxiety attacks. My moods are all over the place.

    The last 2-3 weeks I have started having muscle cramps all the time in my calves which I have Never had before not before this illness nor since this illness.

    So I really don't know what is going on. I don't know if the mood swings and muscle cramps are related (I have read that a hormone imbalance can cause both and I have read that a magnesium deficiency can cause both). Or maybe they are separate and the cramps are just a new symptom and the mood swings are just me being in some sort of depression trying to adjust to moving. Don't know which is why I really wish that the doctor had tested my hormone levels and cortisol and magnesium. Then I wouldn't be left to wonder what is happening.

    So here I am left to diagnose myself. I think I will start taking magnesium today to see if that helps.
  5. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I'll tell you why we bother. We bother because we have hope. We bother because every now and then we hear of a doctor who really listens, who really gets it. We bother because we want SO badly to be well again.

    And that's the only way we can get refills for prescriptions.

    Marta
  6. enjoysue

    enjoysue New Member

    For a moment I thought perhaps you had a blood clot in your leg but since you have cramps in both legs I would doubt that would be the reason. Keep an eye on it though but don't be too worried. About 8 years ago I went to my pain dr. as usual and mentioned my one leg has a terrible crampin it. She told me to massage it. I never did. 2-3 months latter I'm sitting in a hospital with 5 clots in my leg and a lung embolism! Heck, I thought it was the fibro!
    I would take the darn pills and give it a shot. When I first started taking anti depressants they made me so tired and loopy but that wears off. I coudln't take effexor either but give something else a chance. I'm no longer on any but the rheumy suggested a tricyclic and at this point I am ready to try everything all over again. My life situation is different now so maybe it will help. I've got nothing to lose and I think they are kinda inexpensive.
    Therapy has been a true blessing for me. I don't think I really need to go anymore but it sure is nice to have a strong advocate on your side. It does also help to tell someone of your frustrations, then my poor family doesn't have to hear them. Hang in there and treat each day as a new adventure!!
  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    The consensus from my reading and the decent doctors that I've seen over the years is that supplemental magnesium is almost always a good thing. The American diet is very deficient in magnesium (even compared to the RDA), and a great many people (including those who are generally healthy) find that it makes them feel better. (Meaning more relaxed emotionally and physically....which helps with things like muscle tension, backaches and, I was reminded today, constipation. It also works in conjunction with calcium to promote strong bones.)

    I personally tend to get anxious etc. when not taking enough magnesium, insofar as just this one experience is worth anything.

    I am sure that there are some people who are sensitive to magnesium. (Carla on our list seems to be sensitive to almost everything, as far as I can tell.) And maybe there is some drug that it interacts with, although I have never heard of such a thing.

    Probably that's something that you can feel fairly confident about using on your own, therefore. Let us know how it goes.

    Based on your history, psychotropic drugs do not seem a very good idea. Most internists dispense SSRI's like candy as soon as they hear any word associated with mood. This is often unhelpful, often counterproductive, and sometimes (as with giving bipolar antidepressants rather than mood stabilizers) disastrous. It sounds like you should try other things having to do with addressing general health concerns first.

    Good luck!
  8. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    I think I will try the magnesium. I have read a lot of good things about it and it is also in Dr. Teitelbaum's book that I just bought. The only thing I wasn't sure about is if it would affect my blood pressure? I read that people use it to lower their blood pressure but mine is already very low. I don't want it to go down anymore. Is that possible? I am guessing it is ok since Dr. Teitelbaum knows that people with this tend to have lower blood pressure but he still recommends the magnesium. Anyone know?

    If that doesn't work I will probably have the leg cramps checked out to be on the safe side and maybe see an Endo doctor. The cramping is mostly in the right calf but have had tiny amounts of it in the left.
  9. TerryS

    TerryS Member

    I have very low blood pressure (last week it was 88/58). I also have mitral valve prolapse, and it is my understanding that a LOT of people with MVP have low blood pressure.

    Anyhow, magnesium is supposed to be good for MVP, so I started taking it a few months ago. I don't think it's had any affect on making my blood pressure any lower.

    TerryS

  10. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    My blood pressure is usually around where yours is. Usually 90 something over 60 something. What type of magnesium do you take and how much? I have noticed people saying they take different types of magnesium but I don't know what the difference is.
  11. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    400 mg seems the usual supplement amount for magnesium. But more of it (twice as much) is often used, especially with mood disorders.

    One doctor told me that if you take magnesium at the same time as calcium (which a lot of people do), much of the magnesium will be used to help absorb the calcium. You may want to take extra at another time of day if you're taking calcium too.

    For low blood pressure.....maybe for a few days, try using extra salt. A lot of salt---like 1-2 teaspoons per day. If your adrenal glands are weak, they won't produce enough aldosterone, which is a hormone that helps to maintain water in the body. This increases blood pressure. If you don't have enough, the blood pressure will be too low and you will have feelings of being faint or weak. (That's why diuretics work--they get the excess water out.) The salt will help you retain water. If your blood pressure goes up somewhat, you can guess that your body doesn't have enough aldosterone. (If there's no difference, probably it's something else that's causing the low blood pressure and you can stop the salt.) If the salt does work, you can stay on it. If it works but is still not sufficient, you can try getting Florinef, which is like an artificial aldosterone. The main problem with it is that it may have a negative effect on your bones. Although with your internist, perhaps good luck getting him to prescribe it....

    (BTW, I've been taking Florinef for eight years and my bones are great for my age. However, I've been taking natural progesterone and natural estrogen all that time, both of which help bones.)

  12. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I generally use aspartate. I think there's a form called something like--glycinate?---that's also supposed to be pretty absorbable.
  13. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    Everyone is so great and full of information here. Thank you everyone for your help. I will see if I can find some good magnesium and maybe try the salt. The CFS specialist that I saw years ago had me do salt tablets. I tried them for a short time but they made me feel a bit sick to my stomach and I didn't really notice any other difference.
  14. cherylsue

    cherylsue Member

    I can't tell you how many doctors I've seen in the past 6 years to treat my relapsing/remitting CFS. Antidepressants were always thrown at me, but I only tried them a day or two or not at all.

    St. John's Wort has worked modestly for me. I'm now trying LTheanine, as well.

    Yes, I am very depressed about getting CFS for the third time in 6 years. Each episode lasts a year. I could scream. Just when you think you get your life back, it raises its ugly head.

    I realize though, that perhaps I've always been a little depressed throughout my life at times. Working, keeping myself busy, and doing pleasurable activities help. Late winter is always the worst, but springtime is pleasurable. I loved to walk with my husband. We'd go walking in the forested park districts or around the neighborhood. This also relieved tension and depression.

    I am considering taking the St. John's Wort indefinitely like LisaP. I tend to be a worrywart, and having CFS is definitely a stress enhancer. I'm worried about my job. My medical leave runs out next month, and I may have to return to work sick.

    As regards to doctors, I follow my gut. I know I react strongly to medicines and even to some supplements. If I feel the same or even better on something, I keep it. If it makes me feel sicker, I may try it again a week later. I don't care how touted it is, (like whey which I can't tolerate)I will not use it. CoEnzymeQ10 is another one that does nothing for me in a positive way.

    There's only a handful of things that work for me in small ways. But as someone mentioned, there is no one supplement/RX that works 100%. It's more like a 100 different strategies/meds/supplements that work 1% that helps us on the road to recovery.

    This message board has a lot of ideas to be bandied about. Since no one has the same disease exactly, the treatments have varying effects. I'm glad that members share published material and their own personal treatments. We probably know more about our disease than the doctors.

    CherylSue
  15. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    We want answers. We want a better quality of life. We hope that one day we'll stumble upon that person who will care and listen and help us in our search.

    I think docs are afraid of us becasue they know they can't help us. We're too much of a challenge for them. They don't want to bother with someone who's not going to get better. So they dismiss us.
    Very sad indeed!
    Mini