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Alfie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/18/2010 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   
A year ago I returned from the gym after a particularly gruelling workout and was sore acroos my chest for the next few days (as I would expect). It then intensified and surged from my chest across to my armpits, shoulders, neck and up to my ears, almost overnight, eventually extending to my elbows (which have become the most tender areas of all). For the next several months it got worse and spread to my arms and buttocks. On top of this I wasn't sleeping and became very sensitive and emotional. I visited a chiropractor, had blood tests, an MRI, Ct scan, respiratory tests even a songram. Everything came back normal and so I did my own research and suspected Fibromyalgia. 4 months ago I contacted my Dr because I was becoming so sleep deprived I was almost throwing up during the day. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (over the phone). I am still not 100% sure that it is what I have but it sure seems probable. I have done more research but I am still not sure if it's considered a rheumatic condition or a neurological one. My Dr said she could refer me to a rheumatologist but suggested they may not be much help! It seems to me more like a neurological condition and that I should be seeking the advice of a neurologist. Just interested in other opinions. Incidentally, at this point I could deal with pain (I am sure it is nothing compared to what others are experiencing), it is the lack of sleep and the 'depression' that is hard for me to deal with as it has put unecessary strain on my marriage. Thanks

Lolotte
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/18/2010 8:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Alfie, Welcome :o)
I am also a new member to this forum, and have found it very interesting and helpful. My partner is the one with FM, so I don't know what its like first hand, but I do empathize with ALL those who experience pain etc. I know what its like to go from DR to DR to DR and get no answer. I also had a question yesterday in regards to a Rheuy. Our GP told us that it would be a waste of time, that he would not be able to do anything different. However, from what I have been reading on here, its a matter of finding one who you trust and who is willing to help. You may need to try a few. I believe that there are some out there... somewhere. My advice is to go and see one. There is no harm in trying. I will be trying to find one for D-27, regardless of what the GP has said. As for your marriage... If your partner is interested in learning about it, get them to come on here and have a read. From a Partners point of view, I've already learned a lot and I don't feel like we are the only one's going through this. The support has helped me understand.
Good luck and welcome,
Lolotte
(Partner of Fibromyalgia sufferer)

TheChickenPrincess
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 8/18/2010 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you're going through this, but you're in a good place to ask questions.

It could be fibromyalgia, but it also could be something else. I guess it bothers me a little how it started for you - after a work out - abruptly and then spreading in that way. It COULD be fibro, but I think you need a really good doctor to sort it out. A rheumy is a great place to start; fibro is under the heading of rheumatic conditions which often present with very similar symptoms to fibromyalgia. It is not a good idea to try to diagnose ourselves, because without the right medical background, there is just no way to know for sure. Nothing wrong with seeing a rheumatologist. He/she will test to rule out other conditions.

On the other hand, a neurologist is also an excellent choice, some fibro patients do see them. A neurologist would be looking at this from a slightly different angle - and may cover different ground in trying to find a reason for your symptoms.

I think If was in your shoes, and I had the ability (insurance coverage or cash to cover it) I would see both doctors - starting with the Rheumy. That's just me - but again, the way your symptoms began seem important enough to get checked out by the right people.
Why my username? It is real life nickname. I love chickens. Will have my flock of hens one day! :D .............. DX'd with Fibromyalgia, chronic hives, sensitivities and allergies, migraines with auras, tmj, and IBS. Not sure what else!

puppylover
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 821
   Posted 8/18/2010 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum. I was diagnosed by my new primary care doctor after 40 something years of seeing all sorts of docs. He is a diplomat which I think means he has more continuing education. I am happy just seeing him because he is treating other problems I have and is aware of all my meds. I previously saw all sorts of doctors but no one, including myself, connected all the dots, so to speak.

Welcome to the forum. You will gets lots of info from this great group of people. Be sure to check out Fibro 101 if you haven't done this already. I have found that the malic acid/magnesium mentioned here is quite helpful for me.
Puppylover
 
Fibromyalgia, arthritis in spine and hips, IBS, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension
 
On the eighth day God created Golden Retrievers.

Alfie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/18/2010 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks.
I guess the confusion for me is that rheumatism implies degenerative joint disease whereas Fibro is not (at least from what I can understand) in the joints but in the muscle and tissue surrounding the joints.
I think the thing that made me wake up was the elbow pain (both elbows). They are constantly very tender to the point where I caught a countertop with one elbow last week and the pain was excrutiating (it wasn't even a bad knock).

TheChickenPrincess
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 8/18/2010 8:42 PM (GMT -7)   
PS: The lack of sleep in itself can cause horrendous symptoms. Depression is very common in fibromyalgia - but can also be part of the sleep deprivation issue even without fibro. What I'm trying to say is - no matter what name they put to these problems, it is easy to see you'd be having great difficulty trying to run your day to day life under these conditions. I can really sympathize. I hope you'll ignore your g.p.'s suggestion about a rheumy not making much of a difference - a good one can do wonders. I really hope you'll pursue seeing some sort of specialist. The symptoms you're having are not at all nice.

*hugs*
Why my username? It is real life nickname. I love chickens. Will have my flock of hens one day! :D .............. DX'd with Fibromyalgia, chronic hives, sensitivities and allergies, migraines with auras, tmj, and IBS. Not sure what else!

TheChickenPrincess
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 8/18/2010 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
We cross posted - sorry -

You are correct that fibro doesn't involve degrading of the joints. However, fibromyalgia is one of the conditions routinely referred to rheumy's. It falls within their sphere of knowledge.

This might help - it is the web site for the American College of Rheumatology
www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/fibromyalgia.asp
Why my username? It is real life nickname. I love chickens. Will have my flock of hens one day! :D .............. DX'd with Fibromyalgia, chronic hives, sensitivities and allergies, migraines with auras, tmj, and IBS. Not sure what else!

onedayoneday
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/18/2010 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   
where I live I have found that the neurologists know a lot more about treatment of fibro as opposed to the rheumatologists.. They know more about the different meds that can be used, the rheumatologist was big on giving me nsaids or steriods which didn't help at all and was just lots of months trying it out and going in no direction at all. But despite all that it was a rheumatologist a really good one who unfortunately lives far from me, who diagnosed it.
good like i hope you find some relief soon
Oneday

sotiredoffibro
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1556
   Posted 8/19/2010 4:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Alfie, Welcome to our fibro family, we have a great bunch of people here who can help answer some of your questions. In my experience with fibro I have seen a lot of different drs. for my fibro, I had a really good neurologist helping with me with my fibro for awhile but then he left the state and the new one really didn't have alot of interest. I have seen a couple really good pain specialists too, but when it comes right down to it the one that I trust the most with dealing with my fibro is my internal medicine dr. I have been seeing him for 17 years and he honestly believes me when it comes to fibro matters. He is going to be working solely in the hospital at the end of this month and I dont know if I will ever be able to find a dr. as good as he was. I guess what I am trying to say is the most important things is looking around and finding a dr. who believes in you and that you can trust. I also agree with you that an diagnosis over the phone is probably not the best way to go. Like princess said maybe try both a neurologist and a rheumatologist and if they dont work then it is time to go dr. shopping. I hope you get answers soon.

Gentle Hugs
Shirley
DX: Fibro, Gerds, COPD, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, High Blood Pressure, and Depression.
When I get where Im going dont cry for me down here. (Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton)

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17095
   Posted 8/19/2010 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Alfie, and welcome!  Well, fibro hit me while I was sitting in my living room watching television!  We have some really weird stories as to how we came down with this illness.  I am wondering, though, about you being diagnosed over the telephone.  You said you had some testing but you really need to have certain illnesses ruled out that have about the same symptoms as fibro...things like MS and lupus and Lyme. 
 
Be sure to check out the Fibro 101 thread...the first thread on the forum.  There are links to good info about fibro and you will learn a lot.  Check out the list of symptoms and also What Else Could It Be links.  These other illnesses are treated differently than fibro.
 
I see a board certified Internist for my fibro and everything else, too.  He can prescribe anything the rheumatologist can but many here like seeing a rheumy and have been diagnosed by them, too.  We also have members that see a neurologist so I guess it's up to you.  They ALL are baffled by this illness anyway so it might not make a whole lot of difference.  BUT the MOST IMPORTANT thing is that whoever you see really does believe in this illness!  There are still doctors out there that think we are crazy or hypochondriacs.  GRRRRR
 
I'm so glad you found us and joined in.  Don't hesitate to ask questions because we are here to help you.  Hope to hear more from  you soon.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/Fibromyalgia
************************
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

EML
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 8/19/2010 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome Alfie

I am new to the board as well and found some wonderful and caring people here who have given me much support.
Sending you gentle hugs and hoping you find a doctor to get you all sorted out.
____________________________________________________________

Don't think about what you used to be able to do............Think about what you DID do today !

Alfie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/19/2010 10:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Going back I have experienced chest pains (on the left side) for each of the last 5 or 6 years, lasting between 4 and 6 months at a time. That was diagnosed as asthma and then costachondritis. I was never really convinced though. Friends said it was old age (I'm 45!), that annoyed me. After my aches began after going to the gym last year they started in the chest but on the opposite side before spreading within days to other areas. There was also some tension in my marriage which caused me to rethink my priorities, wanting to rebuild what I once had with my wife. The physical pain has been bearable but the emotional pain has been unbearable. It may be something else, or a combination of things but I think sleep would make all the difference. I have tried Ambien, Tylenol PM, Trazadone, Nyquil (not all the same night!) but they have done nothing. I have recently tried Valerian root which has helped. Last night it was Melatonin, didn't make a bit of difference. In my case I think that emotional support would show the most benefits as it would cause me to worry and stress much less and sleep much more. Maybe then the symptoms would subside.
Thanks

TheChickenPrincess
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 8/19/2010 11:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Alfie,

I understand what you're saying about the stress and worry. Stars above, how I understand! It can make illness worse, and it can create brand new symptoms. The illness that can be created by chronic stress is very real - it isn't imagined. I believe that the long term release of stress hormones like cortisol for example can do some serious harm to us in very real ways. So yes, please, do whatever works for you in getting support - in finding ways to decompress - in finding a way to find peace.

What is working for me currently is deep breathing, meditation, visualization and now also some hypnosis that I have on tape from a former doctor (psychologist / trained in hypnosis and bio-feedback.) Each day, I am also posting to the board here positive things that I am digging up. It puts me in a better frame of mind. It helps me convert what were formerly defeatist attitudes into hopeful attitudes. Not trying to preach about it - but for me this is all huge. Whatever works for you as a way to de-stress is the right thing - just make lots of time and effort to do it. It helps.
Why my username? It is real life nickname. I love chickens. Will have my flock of hens one day! :D .............. DX'd with Fibromyalgia, chronic hives, sensitivities and allergies, migraines with auras, tmj, and IBS. Not sure what else!
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