Fibromyalgia or MS?

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dictatedbydance
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/16/2009 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok. I've been seeing doctors since March when a very odd and mysterious pain randomly came about in my life. Years before that i had many symptoms i ignored for the most part. After months i ended up narrowing it down to nuerological and have seen two doctors with two different opinions- one says could be MS, the other is certain i have fibromyalgia and should do no more test. Recently, had an MRI that came back normal, which doesn't completely rule out MS, many don't have lessions. May have to get a lumbar puncture (spinal tap)... =/

I posted my symptoms on a MS forum and they thought it sounded fimilar. I'm sure the same will happen here since the symptoms are nearly identical, but i want as much help as i can get.

Pains, all over but in mostly extremities. The pains change from a deep pain that feels like it's in the bone to weird electrical tense pain (it would gradually get worse. expotentially. was reading as a distraction even though i didn't conprehend what i was reading and then couldn't even do that. suddenly it quit and fifteen minutes later started again. that was off ultram and i haven't been off since..). Stomach pains, go away with pain pills. Headaches, which could be from pain pills, don't know. Memory and concentration problems, degrading over time. Have felt extremely dizzy a few times. Fatigue. Chest pains. Over-sleeping. (melatonin has helped the chest pains completely and sleeping a bit- just some advice). And lastly the vision problems which make the other doctor suspect mutliple scorosis. Blurred vision at times, also tunnel vision at one point. But the odd thing i get a lot is the random blobs of colored light that show up everywhere, sometimes so bad i can't read and i've had these for years. She said this is not something seen in fibro and also the fact that my symptoms keep progressing is not typical of fibro.

Anyway, that's it. I hope someone can help. Getting desperate. Going ahead with treatment (antidepressants) for fibromyalgia because i can't cope with the symptoms. This is also used in treatment for MS i read but can't remember if it had to do with the pain.

Another thing that scares me is a few times i have found it hard to walk. Like my knee gave up and it took a lot just to move it in a gimpy kind of way. Also, but it may just be tensing up from pain, i walk funny sometimes and am unusually clumsy. This scares me into thinking MS, since that walking tends to be the trade mark symptom. Been having a lot of pain around my spine recently.

So whatever info you can give. Maybe this worries of MS are symptoms in fibro? Is it all pretty usual? Most likely will have to do the spinal tap, but i really don't wanna. That sounds like something awful. But thank you for any advice or help you can give.

confused Okie
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 7/16/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Are there any radiological findings at all, or blood test for inflammation?
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you won't.
I may not do things like other people, but I get things done in my own way, in my own time.


Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3459
   Posted 7/16/2009 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Here are a couple of good sites. The first one is really excellent in explaining the diagnostic process for MS.  A very few people get a diagnosis without lesions.  If your MRI is clear, you will probably not get a diagnosis of MS. The lumbar puncture is certainly not a lot of fun.  I wouldn't ask for one.  If the doctor suggests it then obviously consider it.  Lumbar punctures are far from definitive.  Something like 30% of MSers have a negative lumbar puncture.
 
You should definitely give the fibro treatments a chance to work.  If you respond to treatment, then you may have your answer.  Good luck, I hope you get answers soon.  I hope you find success in your treatment.
Gretchen  ~  diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


dictatedbydance
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/17/2009 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey. Thanks for the links. I glanced over the first one before but i guess got distracted... Read through most of it, will have to finish later. It's really helpful. Have a name for eye blobs, phosphenes. Ended up doing what test i could on my own and found out something interesting. Made myself laugh with shock at my inablity to walk heel-to-toe, but later when the ultram kicked in i could do it fine. This must be a clue to prove something. I have not found phosphenes to be related to fibromyalgia, or much of anything so far... Electro-magnetism in my brain could be messed up? Haha... Anyway. Thank you.

And nope. Had tons of blood test, lupus and all... Supposively my brain is completely normal. (little do they know =P)

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 7/17/2009 2:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, dictated, and welcome!  I have never heard of anyone with fibromyalgia having this type of vision problem but that doesn't mean it can't happen. We do have an intolerance to bright lights and we have the pain and "buzzing" sensations.  We have fibro fog and we have been known to walk into walls, dishwashers, etc.  I googled "phosphenes fibromyalgia" and some information did come up. 
 
I did google "phosphenes multiple sclerosis" and several sites did come up, too, so this does happen with some with MS but I didn't read it closely.  Phosphenes might happen for other reasons, too.  Like Gretchen said, your MRI didn't show lesions so you probably won't be diagnosed with MS. 
 
Check out our Fibro 101 thread...the third thread on the forum.  There are links about fibromyalgia including a list of symptoms.  You just might see yourself there.
 
It does sound like your doctors are running all the tests so try to relax.  They will get to the bottom of this.  Meanwhile, ask all the questions you want.  We are here to help you.  Please let us know what they find out.  I hope to hear more from  you soon.
 
Sherrine 
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 7/17/2009 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi...just wanted to tell you I have had blurred vision and flashes of colored lights,(they only last a second or two) and my MRI was clean.  No one even suggested a spinal tap and just said I didn't have MS.  Fibro does cause vision distortion.  My eyes blurr the minute I start writing at the computer, then passes after I get off of it.  I understand it is from the impaired muscle used for focusing.   I wouldn't think a  doctor would  dx someone with MS simply because of vision problems, especailly when an MRI shows no lesions.  But that's just my humble opinion.  I have all the poor co-ordination problems and pain issues also.  Also...how old are you?  MS usually manifests in the early twenties, or so my Rheumy told me.  When I went in with my symptoms at 43, they didn't even want to test me for it as they said I was too old for initial onset MS.  I insisted just the same.
 
Hope you feel better.
Donna
fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium


dictatedbydance
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/17/2009 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm twenty-two. Have had the phosphenes for years. Five years ago i had my first at night (for a while they only occured at night). Thought nothing of it... even when they made shapes. Sometimes i thought i had hallucinations, but recognized as such so they posed no problem. It's been a pretty wild experience having these... Seen beautiful blobs of color look as if some aura was happening or something was burning in our atmoshpere but the gases gave off the most vivid color display. Have had a black blob run by my periphial on the ground and into my main line of site, scaring me, thinking it was some kind of animal. Have seen something that kind of looked like blurry shoes dancing on the kitchen floor. But mostly, they're just blobs of colored light that i live with, in my eye sight... you get used to things, you know? Of course when i can't read because of a thousand little blobs of colored light are flashing off and on in my line of vision then i get annoyed, but it rarely gets so bad.

But no diagnosis. The doctor who thought fibromyalgia with just hearing what i said was quick to slap a daignosis on me. But the other merely said, "Could be ms. Could be." in her sly russian accent. Then patted me on the shoulder, saying, "Moose and sqirrel. Moose and squirrel" Haha... At least i wished she had.

No, daignosis. Just looking for info... Could be something else besides MS or Fibromyalgia, but they are the most likely candidates i have found. I see a nuerologist soon, i'll let him make the final call. As for now, i just wanna find a something to treat this ridiculous pain. Ultram has helped a bit, so i hope the antidepressant will as well. Thanks again everyone for the info and making the process of getting a diagnosis easier.

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3459
   Posted 7/17/2009 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Just to clarify.....MS is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40.  However, people as young as 6 and as old as 70 have been diagnosed.  I was 43 when I got my diagnosis. 
 
Most doctors absolutely won't diagnose just from symptoms including vision problems.  Indeed the name MS means more than one brainspinal cord scar.
 
There is a ton of great advice here..........good thread. 
Gretchen  ~  diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


kathydownunder
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 447
   Posted 7/17/2009 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I  can relate to what you have written my Doctor decided I had MS after some new things arrived with my Fibro and we argued for some time about this over several visits I looked at what I need to have to be told I had MS only to find that I had already had all the tests need and they had all come up clear so my Doctor told me she was sorry. I had several mri's and they had all come back clear plus lots of other tests yes several things are the same I now wear reading glasses on days when my Fibro is bad and things up close go all fuzzy. My shaking that comes and goes was a big concern but again I have had this for years and it goes away I know what triggers these attacks now so I try to advoid those things. Yes it could be MS or it may just be Fibro I have the spots before my eyes and wierd shapes on the ground I just take this as part of the FM so keep on to your doctor and see what it really is. My Doc tells me it is posible to have both.
Kathy
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